Sunday, 16 May 2010

Rosy Cake, Romantic Necklaces and One Ruined Kitchen

Ok, that there on the left is pretty much what happened today. The Middle Sister is visiting from the south with her spouse and obviously a cake was to be made. Like I need an excuse... The weather, however, has been all sunny skies and lovely breeze with thunderstorms in the evening so life has moved outside with the result that I have felt decidedly slug-like in the evenings. My clever plan was to make the entire cake in a couple of hours this morning which would leave me free to concentrate on reading 'The Age of the Innocence' by Edith Wharton in the evening. Not a wise move. Before going to bed I set the washing machine to do the dishes expecting to find clean stuff waiting for me in the morning. Instead I found smelly puddles on the kitchen floor. The machine broke. Crap. Cleaned up the mess, hand washed the dishes, closed the door of the machine and absolutely decided to ignore the problem entirely. Yet another wise move, that one. And now let me skip to the chase and tell you that the kitchen mixer practically blew up as well as I was making the cake base. Something went wrong with the batter and the cake did not rise. And while I was washing the mixer bowl I realised there was also something wrong with the kitchen sink plumbing as the dishwater was seeping out from under the sink. Double crap. So what did I do? Threw some towels ( ex-towels, present day floor wipes) on the floor and got on with the abysmally flat cake. Naturally. Cake comes first. Plumbing can wait.

As there was no way I could get three layers from the pancake I had made I cut it in half and pretended I had intended to make a two layers in the first place. The filling I made from 2.5 desilitres of whipping cream mixed with 2 desilitres of quark added to a half a kilo of pureed strawberries. Last, added half a desilitre of vanilla custard powder, some sugar and powdered vanilla. Moistened the lower base with strawberry juice, spread on some strawberry jam and on top of the jam a generous amount of the cream-quark mixture. Based the top cake layer on top of the cream-quark and moistened it with the juice as well. Then proceeded to hand-whisk some whipped cream ( as there was no way I was going to try and get the machine to co-operate) and tried my best at smoothing the horrendously uneven cake base with more cream than could ever be considered necessary. With the result that run out of cream. Hop in the car and drive to a closest grocery store 45 minutes before the cake was supposed to be at the Grandparents to buy more cream. Drive back and haphazardly pipe on some basket-weave. Oh, realised I had forgotten to make the rose leaves. Color some marzipan and cut the leaves. Stick the decorations on, grab the cake and run out of the door only four minutes late according to my car clock.

The cream started to melt on the way there. And I drove holding the cake in one hand and the steering wheel in another as the moussey filling started to make the cake slip and slide all over the place.  Don't worry, though, I did not have to drive that far...

At least there is something to be said in favor of making a cake like this using this rush-like-a-mad-woman method. The cream did not have time to start melting the marzipan roses and leaves. Usually this starts inevitably happening within a couple of hours.

In the end we had a lovely lunch of smoked salmon lasagna and a sweet but also fresh rose and strawberries cake that managed to make it's way to the table in one piece. But please, let's not talk about the carnage that I left waiting for me in the kitchen as it bears not being discussed. Terrible. Truly terrible. But on a much, much more pleasant note though, I have been experimenting lately with old lace, and wanted to make a necklace for my Youngest Sister from one of the tiny tableclothes that I found a few days ago. This is how it came out.

I had cut off the beads before from an old cardigan that I managed to destroy in the wash and was just waiting to find a suitable use for them. All in all I was quite happy with the result and am planning on making myself one too.

And now I am going to retire to bed with Wharton and Rossetti and wish for some nice household fairies to come and fix the plumbing come tomorrow. Or household goblings even. Or any other creature with any amount of any sort of plumbing skill, really.


  1. I was laughing so hard while reading this! All I could picture was a I LOVE LUCY episode. You should get the Gold for Perseverance. The photo of the cake is beautiful and the menu devine. My husband has a "label" for this kind of woman..."You're a Babe".

  2. Yes,I think this was indeed one of my more I-Love-Lucyish moments. :D Thanks for your lovely words.