Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Cake - part deux

Okay, okay, I know... 2 posts in one day only really happens on days when I'm either really, super on the ball, or really, super not and it's usually the latter... As it is again today. Sure, I did my grocery shopping, picked up flowers, arranged them and then baked my cake, but I still haven't done the dishes from that, I haven't done a single load of laundry and you should see my hair. But, my cake smelled so amazing I had to tell you about it! First off, grating the beets and carrots made my hands a variety of colors. Lemon juice helps get beet juice off and apparently so does Bath and Body Works Kitchen Lemon soap. I actually really like that stuff. So now my hands are a bit better, but still. When you are cooking beets you can soak them in cold water as soon as you take them off the heat (almost a blanching effect) and then peel them while keeping your hands under water and it keeps the dye from setting into your skin - but cakes like this use raw veggies and I couldn't very well grate a beet under water (I thought of trying though). Oh yah, and I tried to beat the egg whites into stiff peaks by hand. I admire Laura Calder so much for her hand beating egg whites and whipping cream. The cream isn't bad. Really, I do that now every time instead of bringing out my hand mixer. The egg whites are bad. My arm felt nearly dead and the whites were only frothy. So I brought out my hand mixer and within 20 seconds on half speed they were at stiff peaks. I love my hand mixer :) Well, I baked the cake and then I made the Boiled Coconut Topping and it is amazing! My whole house smells like it! I think I need to sample some before I take it over to my parents' tonight!
Man, you guys should hear the birds in my backyard! I love how much they sing! Matt and I used to live in a newer part of town and we hated it! There were no birds other than seagulls because the dump was close, we hardly knew any of our neighbours and almost all of them were partyers since there were so many rental places around us! Now we know all of our neighbours, there aren't even any rental places on our block and we have beautiful song birds in our yard! Matt and I really are old at heart. We drink tea, play crib, love to garden and need to live in a neighbourhood older than we are.
I got this month's FamilyCircle magazine while I was out grocery shopping today. They had a section about how to fix up thrift store finds into some trendy things for your home. The problem was, most of the stuff I liked better before they painted. For example, they took old brass candle holders and painted them white with yellow and green dots and swirls. Now there's nothing wrong with white candle holders with yellow and green dots, it's just that they were so much prettier when they were brass! Then they took a beautiful wood table with turned, spiralled legs and painted that white with orange blue and yellow paisley patterns on it. Again, I much preferred the original. They did do two things right in my eyes however. The first one was a lamp. It definately looked old, but when they painted the raised flowers on it, it looked great. The second thing they did right was fantastic. The found an oval frame and an owl shaped wall plaque - you know, one of those green owls with white eyes. I've seen those things all over in various forms. With this one, they painted both of them pure white and hung the owl inside the frame on a dark colored wall. It's fantastic! Really, I want to go find an owl now!
Oh, guess what else I bought while I was out shopping! You'll never guess... Turkey backs! Yep! They were dirt cheap! ... I can't imagine why... Anyway, I'm going to use them for soup. I think $2 was all it cost me for enough bones to make a good stock and enough meat to fill the soup! Whole chickens haven't been on sale for a while so I haven't had a chance to roast those lately and I usually use the carcass from those to make the stock and I pick off whatever remaining meat there is for the soup too. Actually, one whole chicken makes three meals for us. I usually use the breasts for a nice meal, either straight up chicken or my coconut rice chicken bowl, then I use the dark meat for chicken pot pie and then I make soup! Not bad for a $5 bird eh? Well, $5 when they go on sale.
Hey, I found my last baby fish! I had 11 in the hatchery and one kept escaping from me every time I tried to catch it. After a while I stopped seeing it in the tank so I just assumed that it had been eaten. Well, a couple days ago I was looking in the tank and I saw a baby! Only one though, which was weird. So I finally caught this one and put him in the hatchery and I realized he was the same size as all the other ones so he must be a couple weeks old, just like them! I was so happy! And we even had one really small baby that didn't have the strength to swim for the first two days and we were going to just take it out of the hatchery but it's doing fine now! Apparently by one week you can sex the guppies and something about their fins will indicate whether they are male or female. But really, how do you expect me to see enough difference in their fins when they're still only less than a centimeter long.
Well, I'd better get my baby ready to go out tonight! And so ends the second post of the day!

Mrs. Vander Leek ;)

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