gothams3rdrobin: (me)
We had a very special rehearsal at Superchoir on Wednesday night - it was our first anniversary! :-) One of the sopranos, Cath, had mentioned bringing in cake in order to celebrate - something she does from time to time, and has done since our six-month anniversary, as I recall - so I decided I wanted to do a little something myself, and the two of us made a plan. This resulted in a 'mission' that I was tweeting about in vague terms for the entire day *laughs*

Since Cath was making cake, I decided that I would make some of my home-made jelly. After all, what's a party without cake and jelly, right? I've had a great deal of success with a Jamie Oliver recipe, which basically involves real fruit juice and gelatine leaves instead of those blocks of artificial flavouring that you dissolve in hot water and chill. I made a huge 'traffic light' one (Red, Orange and Green) for Rowan's tenth birthday that was a big hit, and I've also made ones with various fresh fruit juice mixes like pear and apple, or apple and raspberry, that were very yummy. I decided I was going to make another 'traffic light' jelly for the choir folks, but I couldn't actually afford to go shopping till the Wednesday morning so that meant Rowan and I had to be on the bus to the supermarket by 7:30 (thank goodness for school holidays!) in order to get the various supplies we needed and be back in time for me to make a start and still log in to work on time. We were thankfully back home by 8:45, so I had time to make the first layer of three pots of jelly (I have moulds with lids these days! Love them so much!) and still have a calm breakfast before work.

Now, of course, it's not as simple as all that. What ever is, right? There's a couple of ladies in the choir who are vegan, so obviously they're not able to eat anything Cath and I prepared; on learning this some months back, Cath researched alternative recipes for vegan-friendly cakes, and appears to have had some successful results. I didn't have the time to look into and practise making jellies without gelatine, so I had to think of other alternatives. A quick websearch later gave me the inspiration to put together fruit kebabs; quick and very easy - or would have been, had I been able to find kebab sticks!! I asked a member of staff, only to be told that since the barbeque range would be out shortly, the store had discontinued them for the moment *sigh* So this meant that I would have to run out after work and go into town to find them. Picked some up in the very first store I went into (the awesome Kitchens, where I could happily spend quite a lot of money) but then got delayed going home when Rowan insisted on stopping in Burger King for his tea prior to spending the evening with his grandmother. Despite explaining to him that I needed to get back home to put the third layers of jelly in to set (I'd spent my lunch break doing the second layers), he still dawdled *eyeroll* Wouldn't have been so bad except the second layers hadn't quite been set enough for an additional layer when I'd finished work.

As it is, the pots needed a fourth layer in order to be full, but that would only have been possible if I'd been in a position to start it off the night before. I ended up having to ask my mother to give me a lift down the Bay to rehearsal, in order to be able to leave the moulds in the fridge for as long as possible, then having to speak very nicely to the kind bar staff of the hotel about borrowing some fridge space in their kitchen till the end of rehearsal. But in the end the jellies were fully set - even if the layers of orange jelly intended to represent Amber overwhelmed the layers of apple that were supposed to represent Green - and everyone seemed pleased. The fruit kebabs Rowan and I made were also very popular, and the ladies were happy about the carrot, celery and cucumber I sliced up to go with some vegetarian houmous dip I picked up. I was anxious about the dip, since I don't know the full in's and out's of what's acceptable under a vegan diet, but Beth assured me it was fine, and was in fact its most eager consumer! *laughs*

The rehearsal itself went brilliantly; everyone was in a stellar mood, especially Patrick, who began teaching us 'Wings' by Little Mix (an awesome song, if you've not heard it look it up!) - he's been wanting to do it since it came out, so he was brimming over with enthusiasm. And this is a gentleman who epitomises excited energy, so you can imagine what he was like that night! Some of the less experienced choristers were apparently trying a little too hard with learning the harmonies, taking it too seriously, since Patrick felt the need at one point to tell them to chill out! *laughs* I love being in learning mode - I actually prefer it to the gigs, most of the time. We're doing Adele's 'Skyfall' at work too, so it's a good time for me! I wasn't able to go to rehearsal at work the next day, since I'd stupidly forgotten that it was Good Friday that week so I wasn't allowed to swap my day off, and I no longer have my usual childcare options on a Thursday during the holidays. *sigh* Probably going to have to do the same again next week, but at least the practise tracks for 'Skyfall' have been uploaded, so I can practise at home.

Oh, and both Rowan and I very nearly screamed out loud when we went back to the supermarket the following afternoon for some regular shopping. What should we see alongside the jelly and custard, and again on the bread aisle, but some sodding kebab sticks!!! Didn't have any in stock, my arse.... If we'd not been in a hurry, and could have gone up and down all the aisles like we usually do, we would have found them and I wouldn't have had such a nightmare finishing my jellies! *eyeroll*
gothams3rdrobin: (Garfield cooking)
I've been clearing out some of my kitchen cupboards and dug out my old food steamer - never ever gotten around to using it. Only trouble is, I no longer have the destruction manual either....

Did an online search, since that's helped me with other appliances, but dim byd, zip, nadda! :-(

I don't have any veg to steam, since everything's in the freezer, but I was contemplating steaming the chicken thighs for lunch.
gothams3rdrobin: (Garfield cooking)
I've washed nearly all the weekend's dishes, so yay me! Next I'm gonna finish the job, then scrub the kitchen before I start baking. I promised Jo weeks ago I'd bring her some chocolate cake, 'cause she brought me in one of her brownies after I whined at missing out *chuckles*

I also need to use up the dessicated coconut in my cupboard, and I have glacé cherries too. So I forsee loaves of chocolate, cherry and coconut cakes in my future. Not all combined, some may be pleased to note.

I also have a couple of bananas going spotty...Hilary, any chance of a link to your recipe for bananana cake? I had a look through your tags but couldn't spot it.

Okay...time to step away from the epic Sentinel fic I started reading earlier. There'll be more time to finish that up later. I ended up having lunch at ten this morning, having popped to Tesco for cereal and sugar and discovered that not only were the french bread batons fresh, they were still warm! So I had to pick one up and have some soup as soon as I got home.

Right. Am I moving yet? No? How about now?
gothams3rdrobin: (Garfield cooking)
Well, my chocolate loaves and Ceri's individual chocolate orange cakes have been sampled and everyone's raving about what a cool competition this is.

I didn't really need to make three loaves, as it turns out, as two just about stretched to everyone. Though I had to yell at Bernie to stop being so stingy with his portions! *grins*

I followed the advice I was given and carried them in covered in tin foil, with the buttercream icing in a tub ready to spread on the top. Once iced, I then sprinkled on some silver balls as decoration - having completely forgotten the reference to them early in David Tennant's first season of Who *chuckles* So when I remembered just now, I was silently geeking out.

Just gotta wait and see how things progress from here. They're discussing how to put up a scoreboard, as we've no wallboards free just now.
gothams3rdrobin: (Garfield cooking)
I have two loaves of Laylee's Choklit Cake baking in my oven at this moment, ready for my entry in the Bake-Off at work.

It's a ridiculously easy recipe! *grins* However, I'm not entirely certain I got the measurements right, as I was trying to convert from the Australian cup measurements to a mixture of metric and imperial weights.... Everything looked fine till I added the milk, and then it went to the consistency of melted ice cream! It took some more sieved flour to bulk it back up again. And I had just enough cocoa for the cakes themselves; the icing will have to wait for when I make it again - I promise Jo I would, since she won't be around for a couple of weeks.

Wish me luck guys!

EDT: They're out, and not burned! \O/ Lets hope they taste okay!

EDT2: Hmmm...nice, but not what I expected. I think I'm going to need to check the measurements again and retry this tomorrow when I've been able to go shopping.
gothams3rdrobin: (Garfield cooking)
My Bramble Meringue Pie is in the oven, cooking.

I'm pretty sure I screwed up the meringue - it was taking forever to 'peak' - and I forgot to sugar the blackberries...I'm hoping the tinned bramley apples I added will compensate for that. I'm pretty sure it's pre-sweetened for crumbles, pies etc.

Plus I also cheated and bought a pre-made pastry base. I don't have the time to learn how to make pastry, right now.

Wish me luck!

EDT: Ta dah! )

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December 2013

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