#975 Baking: blueberry lemon cake

I haven’t baked in a little while, purely for the purpose of ‘just ’cause,’ for AGES. Back in August my mass baking was of an intentional and event-based nature, so when I came across some mouth-watering recipes last week, I decided to schedule in my very own baking day.

I think it was all the more enjoyable because baby girl was at kindergarten. I do enjoy when she is in the kitchen with me… I love that she is curious, that she wants to help, and her sheer excitement at the prospect of the finished product. I also want her to appreciate the cooking process, the effort that goes into making things, so that she may appreciate eating, and the food itself more, since she knows where it came from.

But at the same time, as a Mum… sometimes you just wanna get shit done.

You just want to go at your own pace. No constant questions of

“can I mix?”

“can I add?”

“can I taste?”

“can I put this in?”

Just me and MY kitchen. Putting mess and bowls and utensils and drips of batter, wherever the bloody hell I like.

After a couple of hours from start to finish, I got something like this:

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Do you think I got close? 😉

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I am being cheeky, sure. Yes I created it almost spot-on to the recipe photo, and even styled the kitchen magazine-style in the process (check the cake under the dome).

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But the MOST important question… how did it actually taste?
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Well I can tell you this: it wasn’t to my taste at first. It had a definite tangy flavour, what with all that zest and lemon juice in the batter. Which is fine, but then there was the addition of so much extra virgin olive oil, which led to a superbly moist but rich cake.

The berry layer was made from scratch with real blueberries, but the cream was not so… creamy. In fact, light cream cheese was required instead, which made it slightly biting… however this was not too bad in its small quantity in contrast against the lemony cake and mild blueberry jam.

I didn’t expect Hubbie to like it… but he did. He actually enjoyed it. And being a fussier food critic than I, SmikG the food blogger, well that was a massive tick in my book. √

#951 The Rosemary Tradition

See a couple of rosemary bushes out the front of a house? Don’t be surprised if there are Croats living there.

It comes with the territory. Having rosemary in your garden is synonymous with being Croatian, just as making their own tomato sauce is common amongst Italians, and the Spanish are known for their post-lunch siestas.

So the fact that the fellow elderly couple two doors down who reign from Balkan Adriatic seas have half a dozen LARGE rosemary bushes adorning their front yard, and I DON’T, doesn’t sit right with me.

It was perfect then, that my parents gifted me with some sprigs of rosemary while at their house yesterday, all ready to go. Perfect for 2 reasons:

  1. It comes at the perfect time of year. I am getting into gardening more and turning my attention there as Spring makes things all pretty and bright again, and let’s face it, it’s a much cheaper hobby than renovating your kitchen (thank God that is pretty much over with).
  2. I can be a proper Croatian Euro now God-damn it, with my own pot of rosemary. That hails from my parents garden no less… what can be better than that?

I planted them today, and I have to say… they have the best roots 😉

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#941 New things to sit on

Frankly, simply, and very, very basically… stools.

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Stools to sit on. New ones at that. Shiny and lovely and all earthy-looking. I love them, they are new, they match our kitchen, and they make everything just gel together that much more in there.

And there is my gratitude for the day there, in a simple acorn shell. An acorn, because the stool tops are made of oak you see…

Ba boom tish!

 

#939 The right quote

I have a daily calendar. It sits in the kitchen, and day by day I rip off a page and discover a new quote.

It can be inspirational. Witty. Life-changing, funny or deep. Philosophical, sage and wise are just some words you might use to describe the quotes penned by the greats over the ages, words I find myself reading in my kitchen each morning.

Some days, I read them and go “hmm, interesting.”

Other days “uh, ok.”

Then on others still – “Yeah I’m not sure on that one.”

But then like today, there are days that not only do I love the quote, but it particularly speaks to me.

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It’s always a special kind of day, when the thoughts that are going through your head are acknowledged and even sometimes, answered in some way by the Universe. By Life. You feel as if you are not going crazy, something out there is not just aware of you, but may even be listening to you…

And there’s a level of comfort, and Hope, in these little signs of Life.

And just because I thought it was stunning, here’s a pic of tonight’s sunset.

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Notice the ship. Sailing into the sunset.

(For more on quotes, trying to find happiness, and the frustrations inherent in the socially-obligatory task, check out this link from my SmikG blog)

#934 Love from afar

You want to hear what one definition of love is?

Being happy for someone else’s happiness, when you aren’t in it.

That was today, as I headed off back to work after what seems like a lot of leave, maybe because we travelled, maybe because there were parties, maybe because we too changed in the process…

Maybe because we have a new-look kitchen? ;-D

But I went to work, leaving my beautiful family behind on a gorgeously sunny Spring day, wishing I was with them all the time, and trying my damn hardest to look for something to be grateful for, on what is typically a very un-grateful day…

FIRST DAY BACK AT WORK BLUES.

But Hubbie sent me this pic, and my heart soared. The caption?

“You missed a spot Tato :-D”

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I know I am not there, and I know I am not spending my night with them, but they are not far from my mind, they are always in my heart, and as long as they are happy – which that photo shows me – that is all that matters.

I miss them.

True love, is selfless.

I want them to be happy, even when I am not there.

♥♥♥

 

 

 

#929 Floors for days

A huge, MASSIVE stepping stone in our work-in-progress kitchen reno today:

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New flooring.

To say this has lifted the atmosphere and overall unity of the room/s is an understatement. We had three different coloured floors over the three areas which are all joined, and to now have the same floor running throughout, it not only completely transforms the area, but the uniform look lengthens and enlarges the entire space.

Not to mention it looks absolutely rad… but I think anything would have been better than a 3-toned floor.

It is really satisfying when a long-held vision starts to take shape… and the shape is even smoother and shinier than you would have ever imagined 🙂

#916 Best pre-party planning day

As I stood there in the kitchen icing cupcakes, just over an hour ago before midnight, I felt content.

Sure the day had been rushed. Manic. Full on, and the only times I sat was when I ate quickly, or was on the toilet… and let’s face it, even that wasn’t long.

But it was definitely one of the easiest pre-party days I’ve had thus far. Not that I didn’t have stuff to do. Not that I didn’t have a massive list of items to tick off my to-do list (that is continuing tomorrow). Not that I haven’t had any chance to chill, bar now.

It was easy because of my attitude. I woke saying “I am going to smash the day!”

And somehow, I did. Baby girl was an amazing assistance through it all, helping me pour flour into the cupcake batter, organising the lolly bags, and helping me wrap presents.

It was crazy, busy, but fun. And I like to remember, that the pre-birthday party stage, is some of the fun-est of them all… because baby girl can experience the anticipation of it all, and sometimes, that really is where the memories are made.