Friday, 15 January 2010
A Bit of a Mix.
The sun has left us again and there is a cold wind in its place. Yesterday was such a contrast with warm sunshine far too good to miss by staying indoors, so Isabella and I headed into the garden with a basket of bulbs. Far too late for planting now, but I was sick of seeing them heaped outside the back door, tiny green shoots already appearing. They can take their chances in the cold soil instead and next year the task will be done on time as this is the Year of Unprevarication! Hmm, we'll see.
Once I was crouching down I could see so many signs of spring, from the masses of striped crocus leaves clustered all around
to the soft unfurling of the new alchemilla leaves. Such a beautiful word - alchemilla. I also love its common name of Lady's Mantle and the way it is so often spangled with crystals, each one holding and reflecting shimmering rainbows in its delicate depths.
In my last post I talked of making a cake and I had just the one in mind: pecan and maple syrup cake. It looked so good in the picture and sounded so good on the page claiming a cake that would be nutty, moist and coated with fluffy mousseline butter cream. It got better as the coating would be flavoured with maple syrup (lots of it), vanilla essence and whisky! Oh Yum! So why did mine come out looking like this?
Each half of the cake sort of fell into pieces. It tasted wonderful - sweet, but wonderful with no flour, only masses of crushed pecan nuts making up the bulk of the mix. One seriously expensive cake this; oh, and sweet too, did I mention that? The coating needed one whole bottle of maple syrup which had to be boiled and then whisked into beaten egg yolks, flavoured with the vanilla and the whisky and then spread onto the cake. Well, I boiled and I boiled...
and I whisked and I whisked, but no way was this butter cream being spread. It was far too liquidy for that and ran off the spoon, but oh the taste. Just gorgeous and rich and so very sweet. Never one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I decided to trial a little portion of the cake with the supposed buttercream as a pouring syrup. Lo and behold: tonight's pudding!
Meanwhile, Dave and I are still knitting like furies (did they knit?) and have both finshed the backs of our various projects. I have actually finished the back and front of my tank top - so love that term - and it looks something like this...
I even discovered thatnks to the wonders of the internet that I had been sewing up shoulder seams the wrong way all these years, now having such neat seams as to make you sigh and bring a tear to an appreciative eye. well, it did to mine anyway. See, you can't tell it's a seam ccan you?
Just the dreaded neck and armbands to go, followed by more seaming, sewing in of loose ends and blocking. Was hoping to head off for a new pattern this weekend, but I think I have a little way to go. However, in my New Year's endeavour to do more crafting for myself as opposed to the never-ending sewing I do for my business I have joined Marmalade Rose's challenge to sew/knit/crochet for at least 20 minutes a day.
Another New Year's revolution was to try to do more for other people. I do a lot for my own family like most of us do, but I have become increasingly aware how lucky I am in my little world. Yes, money is usually a problem to be worried over, the house is an eternal problem which needs sorting, the children I fret over because I am me BUT I really do love my life and think I am very blessed in the amount of fun and love that flows through it. This year I want to see if I can just think outside myself a little and find some time - that precious commodity - to do a little for those who are not so lucky.
Not sure quite what that will be, but by putting it here I hope I will feel the push to act on it, to unprevaricate and just 'do'. I intend to start by popping over here to find the link to Shelter Box, a wonderful organisation based in Cornwall who helps those coping with disasters such as Haiti is in the aftermath of right now. Perhaps you might join me by clicking and seeing if maybe you could spare a little too to help Diana raise enough for one of these life-saving boxes?
That's me for today. Thank you for all your get well wishes for Miss Lucy who is so much better at last.
have a lovely weekend all xx