I seem to have fallen down one of those internet rabbit holes that periodically appear. I have no idea what chain of links I followed that took me to this video of Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield making a peanut butter sandwich in space (I know I did arrive via his in-space performance of Bowie’s Space Oddity, which is also fascinating), but it’s absolutely fascinating. Quite aside from the fact that watching someone just floating around in zero gravity never gets old, it’s the cool stuff which is obvious if you think about it, like the way you can’t just put food down and expect it to stay there. I thought at first that all the spinning of objects in mid-air was showing off, but on reflection, it’s a practical way of using their momentum to keep them in basically the same place…
(and then, of course, you have the honey with velcro on the lid so that you don’t *have* to keep it spinning constantly.)
Anyway, I thought it was pretty cool. Maybe you will, too.
Here, for the delectation and delight of those who have far too much time on their hands, is the full and complete recipe for how to make a Cross-Dressing Eurovision Ken Cake, with costume reveal marbled insides and alcoholic agar jellies for the outside. Read it, and be appalled at the sheer amount of sugar in this recipe. Or just marvel at the insanity of making your own sweets just to put on a cake, Womens’ Weekly style…
Alternatively, you could just scroll down to the bottom of the post to view the Gallery Of Ken in all his glory – the complete collection of every Cross-Dressing Ken Cake that I’ve ever made and managed to get a photograph of. Enjoy!
You see, I was going to write a post about bread and butter pudding made with leftover sourdough fruit bread and apples, only then it came out of the oven tasting fabulous but looking like scrambled eggs, and I couldn’t quite bring myself to share that recipe.
And then I made the mistake of looking into the pantry and discovered that some of the things in the pantry were looking back at me, a sign that it is time for the Quinquennial Pantry Reorganisation. So much for my evenings this week (I have a big pantry).On the bright side, investigations to date suggest that I am now in possession of every possible kind of flour except Teff flour (which I kind of want for my gluten-free bread making experiments), a remarkable variety and quantity of legumes and whole grains ranging from black rice to freekeh, by way of four separate containers full of dried chickpeas (note to self: stop buying chickpeas and then hiding them in the back of the pantry), and so much cocoa, almond meal and brown sugar that some sort of chocolate cake is becoming almost inevitable. Maybe that can be my reward for a tidy and moth-free pantry?Anyway. I do have a Market post half-written from my exploration of Coburg market last weekend, but it’s not really fair just to show you pictures of vegetables and pasta and stuff all the time and never give you recipes. So instead, I’m going to link to six recipes whose existence has made me happy this week. Continue reading →
A big cake, as befits someone who needs to feed cake to 90-odd scientists. By big, I mean it was more than 30 cm in diameter, about 15 centimetres high, and weighed more than 7 kilos once iced. Two kilos of that weight was chocolate and raspberries.
For once, I actually succeeded in making enough food that there were leftovers. About a quarter of the cake, to be precise. And that’s after I fed several other random Institute people. The difficulty is that I can cater for four, or six, or ten, but once it gets to 90, I just throw up my hands and go ‘lots!’. I don’t really know what constitutes a sensible amount of cake for that number of people…
Also, it turns out that making little stencils out of baking paper and using them to make sparkly sugar hearts is actually quite an effective decorating technique, which causes people not to notice that your icing is lumpy from all the raspberries. So that was good, too.
Also, it tasted fantastic. But we knew that already…
Once again, I have to apologise for being an absentee blogger. I’m afraid I have no real excuse – this has just been one of those weeks when I’m wandering around feeling tired a lot (which could not possibly have anything to do with the five Easter services I sang in last weekend). It’s also been a week when I feel like playing with recipes from actual cookbooks, which gives me less to write about.
I do note, with some amusement, that after three days of basically going “meat, meat, must have meat” after Easter, I’ve been cooking vegetarian food again for the last few days. The craving has been satisfied, and I’m reverting back to part-time vegetarianism. This is a bit of a relief – I really was wondering about my carnivorous tendencies for a few days there.
Part of the inspiration for this has been my discovery of the gorgeous new cookbook The Green Kitchen, which I found quite by accident yesterday, and seems to be the cookbook I have been needing for the last few years.
I’m gearing up for a big week, with either choir practice or singing lessons every evening, work every day until Wednesday, and at least one Easter service every day between Thursday and Sunday.
Today has therefore been a day for cooking things that need to be cooked (hello, raspberries) and organising food for the week. Mostly, though, it’s been about baking, so this is my little gloaty post about all the goodies in my kitchen…
I’m a bit late on this bandwagon, largely because I went into one of my baking frenzies yesterday, inspired by my recent acquisition of Sugar and Spice, by Gaitri Pagrach-Chandra, and my subsequent compulsion to make everything in the book, even though I’m not really in a sweets mood and currently have no scientists to feed things to. Anyway, several hours of baking later, I can tell you that chickpea fudge is actually really gorgeous (and a bit like halva, really), egg candy is slightly, but only slightly, less weird than it sounds, that Scotch Tablet is very sweet, but good with dried figs and glacé ginger stirred into it, and that brownies are still best with dried cherries in them. And that I want to make Paneer so that I can make Indian Mango Milk Sweets. Why yes, I will be reviewing this book in the near future.
Anyway. One advantage of being late off the mark is that one can peruse the blogs of one’s acquaintance, see what they are doing about end of year posts, and then pick something that looks pleasing and not too difficult. Not surprisingly, Hannah’s formula at Wayfaring Chocolate appeals to me (perhaps it’s the shared fixation with sweets?), so herewith, a month-by-month gallery of my favourite recipes for 2012.
Happy New Year – may your 2013 be as full of sweetness as my kitchen currently is!
May your Christmas Dinner be delicious, your family visits non-stressful, your gifts – given and received – be precisely what was desired, may your children actually sleep in on Christmas morning (and may the batteries on that fluffy toy duck that plays the chicken dance on endless repeat be short-lived), may you have precisely the right amount of leftovers, and may your Christmas pudding light with ease but not actually set the kitchen on fire.
And if you are on the roads, drive safely.
Catherine (& Andrew, side-kick and washer-upper extraordinaire)
Just a reminder that if you want to buy confectionery this Christmas, the time to order is now, as I’ll be closing orders tomorrow at 4pm, after which I will make enough batches to fill what orders I have, but no more (that is, there will probably still be some confectionery about that I could pack up for you, but it will be in whatever flavours I still have some of).
Prices etc below the cut – email me at 17catherines at gmail dot com to order.
I’m still taking orders for jellies this week, so act now, before it’s too late! I’ve been very diligent this weekend, and should be able to start filling orders for people on Tuesday. As a reminder, the prices are:
$15 – Luxury Fruit (raspberry, passionfruit, lime)
$12 – Citrus (blood orange, lemon and grapefruit – my secret favourite combo)
$12 – Christmas Spice (cinnamon apple, grapefruit with ginger, spiced orange)
$10 – Agar jellies in a petri dish (wide variety of flavours, each more ridiculous than the last – see below)
Actually, every dish will have an assortment, but the blue curaçao ones were my test batch.
Also, I want more people to order my agar jellies, because they are adorable, amusing, and slightly insane. Just like me… (sorry, I’m channeling my inner Lydia Bennet, apparently)
Welcome to my online table! My name is Catherine and I love feeding people. By day, I am a scientific co-ordinator in a medical research institute. By night - or by weekend - I am generally found cooking like a maniac, rejoicing in farmers' markets, or talking endlessly about food.
While I am an omnivore, the vast majority of recipes on this blog are vegetarian, and many more are vegan, gluten-free or allergy friendly. You can find them through the menus above, or click on What if there isn't enough food? to learn more about this blog.