June 23rd, 2007

Sea dragon

It's a busy Saturday but I won't be enjoying the weather much

It appears to be lovely and sunny outside - a fresh breeze is blowing in the windows and I can see the roses merrily blooming away in Bishop's Park. Flat boats full of pleasure cruisers have been wending their way up the river, and we're mightily jealous of the people sitting on them in their deck chairs. Sadly, for us it will be a day of cleaning, loads and loads of dishes and various picking up of this and that, the only chance to get control of this before we leave. I also need to do some cooking for tomorrow. So while I'd like to go see some art, or just go for a walk, I think today will be home all day until it's time to head out for the birthday party tonight.

I've moved the Chinese knotwork and jade teapot dangly off my old phone, so my new phone has been baptized. All it needs is a name. We're calling the one I used for the last five months or so "Rosebud" since shadowdaddy spent so much time longing for it. I'm not sure what to call this one, but since I'm not prone to personifying inanimate objects (for years I drove "the car"), it'll probably just be called "my new phone" (as in, "Honey, can you help me figure out how to send pictures to LJ with my new phone?").

I also need to see if I can find my driver's license today while I'm pushing things around the flat. It would be really helpful to have while I'm in Detroit, even if it's expired.

Now back into the kitchen for a first load of dishes while shadowdaddy makes French toast and bacon.

Spectacular baking failure

Okay, so I'm trying to bake a cake, right? And ... well, I've got some serious challenges to deal with here. Not the recipe, oh no. I made this Italian cream cake when I was in seventh grade and it was great. Delicious, really. A great cake. I know I've got a winning recipe.

What I've not got, however, is the tools to do it correctly. First, NO cake pans. That's right, none. As a blue-ribbon winning pastry cook (admittedly against other Girl Scouts and teenaged participants in the Johnson County Fair), I cleaned up in many categories. But when I moved here I decided I'd get rid of the mangy kit I had and get new ones.

However, trying to do this 30 minutes before every shop on the high street closes is a bad plan. Woolworths had no circular pans, Robert Dyas only had two in the size I needed, and the Shop N Save was cash only (and I had none). Crap! I needed three! Okay, whatever, a two layer cake, I can do it.

Once home, as I bravely soldiered through creaming a cup of butter/shortening and the sugar together with a fork, I realized I was missing another crucial element: my mixer. Goddamnit. Of course I don't have it, it was electric and I gave it away with the rest of my soon to be non-functional appliances. Shit, shit, shit. I added the eggs in, then the milk, then realized ... the butter had totally fragmented in the bowl and wasn't sticking to anything any more. Man. To be honest, it already looked like a baking disaster in the works, and that was before I poured it into the two cake pans and a (wait for it) frying pan that was about the right size.

Shortly after they made it into the oven, I realized I'd forgotten the most critical element of my cooking repertoire; my brain. What went wrong? I'm not used to using this oven, and I set it on broil. I figured it out when I smelled the cakes burning about 5 minutes after I put them in. Well, hey, at least the one in the freaking sauce pan, which I put in the weird extra oven this thing has, was looking alright.

Anyway. Hopes are low, and it'll likely be making its way into the garbage some time around midnight tonight, and there's no time to bake another. Oh well, at least I didn't go try to buy one at the Maison Blanc up the street; 5 people were hit by its marquee and put in the hospital this afternoon. Me, I was only frustrated and proven USELESS and a bad cook.