Thursday, August 16, 2012

Baking, Baking...

After requesting numbers for this coming weekend (original estimate 40), thought 'no problem' as others were also cooking cakes. Still isn't really a problem even when I learned they now expect over 100, although they wanted me to provide some 'specials' as the Lord Mayor would be there.
I've now been asked if I could make 30 chocolate eclairs, 30 meringue 'nests', 70 portions of quiche (various flavours), and 50 scones. Plus about 2 dozen jams and marmalade (also different flavours). Easy enough to make, but care needs taken with the timing as need a very slow oven to cook the meringues (for hours), a high oven for the choux pastry, a med. to low oven for the quiches.... and again a high oven for the scones (but these will be made last of all just before B leaves at 10.00 on Saturday). Am sure there was something else but my 'memo list' is in the kitchen.

Disaster almost struck yesterday when I began making marmalade. I need 2kg gran. sugar for each batch, and could find only just enough in my stores for one batch, was sure I had more sugar, but must have used it for other things recently. Was going to ask B to fetch me some more this morning, but he is now stuck in Manchester - went there yesterday to collect someone from the airport, but their plane was cancelled due to computer failure or something, now due to arrive early this morning, so B stopped overnight at a local hotel to be there in time.

I've just had a phone call from France to say the plane is now not leaving at the time originally stated, and they don't know when - maybe not until much later today. I can't reach B on his mobile for he keeps it switched off and doesn't know how to pick up recorded messages!!! I asked him to keep it switched on (he has it fully charged), but he says if he did the battery would be flat (like in one day?!!). Then forgets to switch it on at a time when I suggest.
B phoned me last night to let me know the plane wasn't arriving that evening and I told him I already knew and please keep his phone on so I could pass on any other news re this, but it's still on answerphone. He's probably still in bed, so will try again in another hour.

This mean he won't be able to get to the supermarket today, at least not until later but - hurray, hurray - when I went into the larder yesterday night to have another check (I was SURE I had more sugar), I noticed several bags up on the highest shelf - far too high for me to reach - that B had put there. Do wish he wouldn't put food I use regularly on high shelves. But of course when he did it was just 'back-up'. Think I'll be able to reach it using a set of small steps. May wait until later today for B to get it down for me, unless he has to stay late, then will have to try myself..
Other things I could do with from the supermarket I'll have to manage without. This is one time I'm really pleased I do keep plenty of 'back-up.

You can imagine today and tomorrow I'll be somewhat 'busy', so my blogs will be short (and later than usual on Saturday, but before noon.

Thanks for telling me about your veg box Sairy. Myself really would like to try them again, but since moving to Morecambe there don't seem to be many 'veg box' outlets, at least not the well-known ones. Will have another check and see what comes up on the Internet.

Know what you mean about your 'O' not liking raisins Lisa. Myself don't like currants, which s strange as currants, raisins and sultanas are just dried grapes (although different varieties). Sultanas are usually moist enough for me to add when baking, but mixed dried fruit I like to soak overnight in either water or cold tea so they plump up. This makes raisins very similar to sultanas in texture.
Two queries. The oil used in US cookery shows (other than olive oil) always seems to be what sounds like 'canola' oil. What is that? We have a lot of different vegetable oils on sale in the UK but have never heard or seen that one.
'Broccolini' is something else not heard of. Presumably a type of broccoli? When we visited the US noticed that what we call 'Romanesco' was in the US supermarket called 'Brocciflower' (displayed in a part of the store showing 'English vegetables' - and it isn't even English). Similar in appearance to cauliflower but the 'curds' are a pale lime green colour and the florets are more 'peaky' with great flavour and are so beautiful I want to keep looking at them rather than eat them.

Watched Superscrimpers last night, nodded off during the last quarter of an hour, and then when I 'knocked it forward an hour' to pick up the repeat, same thing happened. Not much of interest (at least for me) from what I saw.
Was reminded though (for no reason whatsoever) to tell you what I did the other day. Found a cork from a wine bottle that B had left on the table, and decided to slice it into rings (using a sharp knife) as I remembered that Gill's son used to do this then stick the rings to a piece of board to make his own 'cork board' to pin things to. Was not intending to make one of these myself, but realised that the little cork rings were perfect for sticking to the underside of things to stop them scratching tables/glass etc. Or the cork rings could be stuck on small pieces of thick card to make place mats, or pot stands. Good to know that even corks can be recycled - at least in the Goode kitchen.

Have now to take myself off into the kitchen, see if I can retrieve some sugar from the high shelf, and will then finish off making the preserves. If not will then move on to my next 'bake', this being the eclairs (as these can be frozen), and end up with meringues as they need hours in a very cool oven to dry out and keep white (too much heat changes their colour).

Because of the work load, and as I won't be doing much of interest to chat to you about tomorrow, think I will take Friday off from blog-writing so that I can get as much done as possible and not end up exhausted as before. So expect me back later on Saturday morning. I've been invited to the 'Tea by the Sea' (3pm - 5pm), but a lot depends on how I feel at the time. I might prefer to put my feet up and nod off in my chair instead.

Didn't really have much time yesterday to look at the weather. It was fine in the morning but late afternoon got very black - thought we would have a thunderstorm - but all it did was pour down with rain for a while. Today have woken to mainly blue skies and sunshine, not that I'll have time to appreciate it. Let us hope we will get an Indian summer at a time when I'm not doing anything, so I can get out and about. Maybe B will even take me for a drive, it's been ages since the last time. B likes driving, and goes out most days, but it's up to me to suggest I go with him as he is so used to me staying at home I think the thought never enters his head.

It will be good if you can find time to send in comments, for after my 'bakeathon' there is nothing nicer to sit down and read your messages as it is almost as good as having a real live chat with my 'virtual friends'. Just wish it could be 'for real', but better than no 'chat' at all.
Isn't there another Bank Holiday coming up soon? Will that mean more baking? Have to wait and see. Meanwhile, enjoy your day and this coming weekend, and we'll meet up again on Saturday. See you then.