Wednesday, March 23, 2011

181. A Very Bad Cake

Recently I think I might have mentioned something about being really excited to try making this Clementine Cake from Nigella's "How To Eat" cookbook. If I didn't, I'm sorry for remembering things I thought I might have said, but didn't. Sometimes I confuse my internal and external monologues.

Anyway, I decided to try and make it Friday night for what was supposed to be a very chic dinner party I planned for Saturday night. Unfortunately, I remain a disaster when it comes to cakes and often cookies too, and the following is what happened...

It began by boiling a bunch of seedless clementines for round of abouts 2 hours. At this point, I am excited, and enamored with how pretty they are as they bob around in the pan. Who boils clementines? That's ingenius!!!

After two very long hours, during which I check on the progress of the clementines every few minutes for fear they may burst open and explode orangey-goo all over my kitchen, they come to rest on a plate, like so:

The next step involved pureeing all of those lovely clementines, pulp and all, in a food processor. Then there was some addition of white sugar and baking powder, and grinding just over two cups of almonds. The problem was, I only bought one bag of almonds, which came to right around 1 and 1/2 cups or something?

At this realization, I panic for a moment. It's probably 11:30pm, I've had a cocktail or two, and certainly do not feel like driving myself BACK to the grocery store for this one thing I forgot. Looking around my kitchen, I discover a bag of coconut flakes in my freezer. Thank goodness! Filler!!!

Ok, so fingers crossed. We mix all of this nonsense together and dump it into my bundt cake pan. Only, upon doing so, I realize the recipe specifically calls for a springform pan, because THIS CAKE IS DELICATE. Oops.

Ah, well. What are you going to do, right? Let's just bake it and see what happens.

By the time it was done baking, around 1? I am tired. I want to sleep. And cakeykins actually crumbles into a billion pieces upon removing it from the pan. I decide that the best course of action is to take the destroyed mess of cake and mash it into an 8 inch square pan, then bake some more. Yes yes, I realize I am an idiot. Why did you not fully absorb the instructions before attempting to bake? Why did you decide to proceed, knowing you did not own a springform pan? To you I say this: FOR SCIENCE!!! But admittedly, I am an idiot who is not good at baking.

Anyway, it came out looking like cheesy hashbrowns, which I wasn't about to serve to my guests. I scrapped the idea and handed the pan to my Wizard, who spent the day picking at it and making happy sounds with his mouth full. I guess it tasted pretty ok, even if it was totally smashed and not pretty at all. I was so disenchanted, I forgot to photo the final product until days later. Today, actually.


Saturday I ended up making an amazing lemon mousse that I've made before, and completely recommend. Why I can master custard and not a freaking cake, don't ask me. Top that with berries (fresh or frozen) and maybe a shortbread cookie. You'll love it, I promise.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

180. In Which I Have A Very Large Headache

Days off are my favorite. They should really happen more often.

Yesterday was a particularly awesome day off, because I think I got to do everything I love except go riding. It's probably for the best, since going riding would have made yesterday so perfect, my head probably would have exploded from trying to take it all in.

It began with making oatmeal Belgian waffles for breakfast. I topped them with blueberry jam and shared bites with my dog while playing a game of Civilization in my jammies. Afterward, I practiced my viola, which is something I should really do much more often because I still suck.

Sometime around noon I finally decided to shower, and then took Frank for a nice walk through the ghetto to take in a little fresh air and graffiti. My neighborhood is especially fun to walk in because there are so many things to look at. First there's the architecture - mostly brick buildings dating from the late 1800's. Many of them are being rehabbed and look very nice, but just as many have the windows knocked out or boarded up, with vines and things growing all over them. I can never decide which I like better. The decay is really sort of beautiful. Then of course the various dogs and cats we find, the vacant lots turned trash pile villages for free-range chickens, the alleyways full of sinks and mattresses... Adventure!

In the afternoon, I took the new laptop to my favorite coffee shop around the corner in order to use their internets and eat a cookie. So now the laptop has iTunes, and I am finally able to back up my iPhone. Hoo-ray!

My bestie came over for dinner and is eating for two, so I got to cook a little more. I've been enamored with eggplants lately, and decided to try a Nigella Lawson recipe for Moussaka from her book How To Eat. Topped with mint and a little sour cream, and sopped up with crusty French bread! Delicious! Definitely making it again.

Now here comes the part about the headache:
After my bestie went home (around 7:30 because she tires quickly of too much fun these days), the wizard and I decided it would be best to finish off as much wine as possible. By 10 I was rather sloshy and decided that I was in the mood to fingerpaint. The only squishie sort of paint I have is a bottle of black fabric paint that I bought a long time ago with the intention of making a Rorschach t-shirt for myself. I ruined the shirt by using too much paint, and didn't have enough money to try again.

I spread out all over the living room floor pretending to myself that I was a great Japanese calligraphy artist, smearing black paint on every scrap of paper I had.

At some point, I ran out of paper, and started painting on myself. When I decided I was coated enough, I went to wash up, and ended up very drunkenly fingerpainting the bathroom wall.

As you can see, it is no masterpiece, but it was terribly fun.
And tonight I get to paint it back.

Monday, March 7, 2011

179. Monday, Served Grey and Cold

I feel like posting, but I don't really have anything interesting to say at the moment. Have some iPhone photos instead! These are from my Instagram feed, so if you follow me there, sorry for the repeat. If not, you can follow me @BadPonee, and we can be hipster photo-nerds together! Muah!