November 9th, 2003

(no subject)

Link grabbed from nalsa: Diary of a London Call Girl.

Nice work if you can get it, I suspect. Me, I'm too old, the wrong shape, and insufficiently interested in my appearance in any case; someone never assigned me the bit on the XX chromosomes which is supposed to cause you to spend time in front of a mirror. I manage about as long as it takes me to brush my hair, in general (and I've ranted about this before)

rotwang's parents have been with us this weekend. Lunch today and lunch yesterday involved me cooking (peasant bread, oatcakes and a birthday cake for yesterday; beef, sweet potatoes, marrow and broccoli for today); last night we went to our local nice Chinese for dinner. We appear to have achieved 'regular' status there, inasmuch as they now ply us with free drinks after our meal.

I'm a bit underwhelmed by the cake recipe. Nigella Lawson's stuff is generally good, but this one didn't work as well as it might have done. It was the 'Autumnal Birthday Cake' from How To Be A Domestic Goddess, which is quite heavy on the maple syrup. The cake itself came out OK and didn't seem to have suffered too badly from having to be cooked in slightly undersized tins, as I didn't have any of the exact size specified. The icing was a whole 'nother story.

The icing for the cake involves egg whites, maple syrup, and a few other odds and ends. To all intents and purposes it is a rather over-beaten sabayon sauce; you put all the ingredients in a bowl over a saucepan full of boiling water, and you mix it for a fairly long while (5-7 minutes, says the recipe) until it is forming soft peaks.

This of course works best if you have the electric hand-held whisk specified by the recipe. I don't, but what I do have is one of those little battery-powered whisks which you use for frothing milk for cappucinos and the like. Unfortunately application of this for about 15 minutes resulted in:

  • very hot fingers (the whisk gets very overheated if you use it for that long, even with the occasional rest)
  • a sauce which had achieved sabayon consistency but not the required 'soft peaks'
  • a saucepan which had boiled dry (luckily not fatally to the saucepan)
  • a very frustrated bibliogirl, wearing some of the sauce/icing where it had decided to splatter a bit
  • a cake which, when iced, didn't look even vaguely like the picture in the book.

Oh well. It tasted more or less OK.

We dragged rotwang's folks out this afternoon after I'd fed them lunch to within an inch of their lives. His mum is a rabbit fanatic (in the sense of "aw! they're so cute!!" rather than in the bunny-boiling sense) and it so happens we have a rabbit and guineapig rescue centre quite local to us, so we dropped in on there, gifted them with many sacks of shredded paper from my office, and watched Ma rotwang having a whale of a time cuddling bunnies. We just about managed to persuade her that she really couldn't take one with her.