Thursday, January 17, 2013

Busy Time

Quick blog today as B may not be home in time to deliver the cakes and scones, so will have to take them myself by taxi.  Need to be ready by noon.

Before I reply to comments, just time to tell you of something I discovered yesterday.  While baking a 'sort of' Bakewell tart (sponge cake in a pastry case), decided to part-bake the pastry first so that it didn't end up with that dreaded 'soggy bottom'. 
For 'tray-bakes' I use the light-weight oblong foil tins that Lakeland sell in packs of 10 (very inexpensive as they can be reused, many times).  So - instead of cover the pastry with paper and filling it with baking beans (although I use old pennies and half-pennies as they are metal and heat up well 'cooking the pastry from the top), instead I fitted another of the same-side foil tins on top of the one lined with pastry.  This didn't need weights and kept the pastry neatly flat.
Another way I could have done this was to roll out the pastry and then drape it over an upturned foil tin, the cover it with another, pressing it down so the pastry fits inside.  It could then be baked bottom up, or turned over.   It certainly worked very well indeed.

While the cake was baking, thought it was browning a bit too fast, so covered it by laying the same size foil tin over it - bottom up, leaving it room to rise further if necessary.  Again this worked perfectly.  A lovely golden surface to the cake and also a perfectly level surface - possibly helped by the 'cover'.

If wishing to cook cakes in these tins,  I often stand one tin (sometimes two) inside each other so it gives some protection.  A bit like double lining a tin with paper, or wrapping paper round outside so it doesn't burn.  
Hope these are tips that you haven't thought of before (because I hadn't!). 

Now replies to comments....
Why spend money buying labels Les when a marker pen works just as well?  I pack individual meals/servings etc in the shallow plastic trays (that the Chinese take-away pack their meals in), and after they have been thoroughly cleaned, fill them with whatever, then - using the marker pen - write the contents, and also cooking instructions on the lids.  Once they are emptied, the writing washes off very easily in hot water and they can then be used again and again (and again....).

My glass (Nescafe et al) storage jars also have their contents written on with my marker pen. Again easily washed off if I wish to change what is stored.   The only labels I use these days are for my jams and marmalade.

Your mention of stiletto heels Campfire brought another memory to light.  I used to love wearing stilettos (had very long and good legs in those days).  I often used to walk from our village to Leicester down centre wearing these, AND back again.  This must have been about a round trip of 10 miles. 

Those of us Sarina, old enough to remember what real snow was, at least now have the chance to feel smug when we see how our nation seems to be unable to cope with even a small amount.   Sometimes it's good to have the last laugh, although suppose we should remember that nothing is easy to those who have never experienced what we did.

Still no snow here, but plenty forecast for tomorrow although have been told by 'the natives' that it never snows in Morecambe.  Until - of course - we moved here and had two winters of the most beautiful snow.  Everyone hated it but me.  I was thrilled to bits.  More of it please!

Before I leave, have to menton the hoo-ha about horse meat being in several beef-burgers (sold in several supermarkets) - turns out this has been happening for years!
As a nation we don't eat horsemeat, although it is often used in pet-food I believe, however we do export 10,000 horses a year as there are many people in several countrie who enjoy eating it.  Am sure we had some in war-time (couldn't afford to be fussy then, as long as any sort of meat was edible then we ate it). 
Myself wouldn't really be concerned if horse meat was in burgers, worse things can go into other pre-formed meat products.   The issue here is that it is not mentioned on the packing as an ingredient, and probably not the fault of the supermarket or even manufacturer as they may be sold the meat ready minced and 'according to order'.  The fault could like a long way back down the line.   

Really have to finish now, will try and catch up tomorrow.  We may be having visitors next week, in which case I may take a few days off, but will try and let you know in good time.  TTFN