Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Wee Bit of Baking

I don't know if I've told you this, but Jane Brocket's "The Gentle Art of Domesticity" is like my Home Bible. Not in a religious way, but in a this-book-is-everything-I-love-about-being-a-homebody-and-inspires-me-to-do-everything-I-love-in-a-creative-and-fascinating-way.

I'm sure that I've already mentioned that I savored every page of this book at night while a cup of tea and curled up in my bed, with a warm, little guy by my side (not Ian, Ben). I marked pages for recipes, added movies to my queue on Netflix that she recommended (all SUPER so far!), reading books that were listed as awesome (which, again, have been wonderful!) and got so inspired by all of her not-complicated, but beautiful quilts, that I've started one of my own.

I dragged my ironing board out from the laundry room, bought a new blue, floral cover for it and brought my iron out of hiding. I set the whole thing up (along with all of the new cotton, quilt fabrics I bought from Purl Soho) in my bright (although not on the day of this photo) yellow and white kitchen. After washing my fabrics, I set about ironing them...and everyone seemed to gather in the kitchen with me! Ben took out his watercolors and quietly started to paint some pictures, Tim and Mike came in to chat with me (teen alert!) about random things and have a snack, and even the cat came to sit on the windowsill. All the while, I'm ironing in a very relaxed way. It was almost like a meditation and everyone got sucked in!

Push, push, smooth, readjust, push, smooth, fold.

Since THAT went so well, I decided to try one of the recipes from her book. Now, I'm not at all a baking type of mom. I can put self cut cookie shapes on a baking sheet and bake them and make a mean apple pie, but that's about it. I have made a loaf of bread or two, but nothing fabulous. When I saw the recipe for "Natural Lemon Cake", I knew I had to make it. I LOVE lemon anything. Yummmmmm.

After carefully procuring and adding the ingredients, I got this:

A very thin and soupy batter. Everything was measured with extreme precision (at least as far as it's possible in anyone's kitchen), so I'm not sure if it was MEANT to be this liquid-y or if the ingredient amounts were wrong. It only called for 1/2 cup of flour for the entire cake and I thought, wow....that's very little flour.

But, I kept going, hoping that it would all work out.

Here is the cake right out of the oven...

Smelled very good, but about 1/3 of the size I thought it would be...compared to the picture of it in the TGAOD book.

When it cooled, I took it out of the pan and found it to be even thinner than I'd thought. I've taken a picture here with a half of a lemon for comparison:

I frantically checked online to see if anyone else had made this cake and found a couple of bloggers who had the same thing happen to them. I was relieved that it wasn't me, but a bit sad that the cake was so tiny.

Later on, I mixed up the frosting...with real lemon juice...(I could have smeared some on anything and it would have tasted good! Well...almost anything) , spread it on top of the mini-cake, and arranged it nicely on a white ceramic plate. (forgot to take a pic...ugh)

Though the cake was less than the beautiful, huge mountain of lemony-goodness that I'd hoped for, it was eaten with no less enthusiam - we drooled, licked out lips and gobbled that cake up in a matter of hours. (a slight exaggeration, but barely)


Now, before you ask if I'm still knitting, I will let you have a peak of what I've been working on, but I want to save the final sharing of it when I'm finished.

Can you guess what it is? (Manchvegans cannot guess...they've seen me knitting it for the past week) Can you guess what yarn I'm using?


CraftyGryphon said...

... a really, really bright sweater?

(I love that yarn. I hope someone guesses what it is correctly so I can go find some...!)

Lora said...

It's B-E-A-utiful!!! That's what it is. :)
Did I give it away?? LOL That is such bright and pretty yarn.

yarnophiliac said...

AHH! Must see the knitting! And, umm, me want cake. ;)

Anonymous said...

Whatever it is, it's going to be gorgeous in that yarn!

cayli said...

Well, if Lora's hint is right I would say Bea the sweater. And if I am wrong then you should knit it as it is a super cute sweater.

The yarn, you got me there.

Gigi said...

No fair making me hungry! I swear I can smell the tangy lemon from here.

Great shot of the ****** yarn. Cannot wait to see the progress. =-)

Jackie said...

Can I jump in and live in your blog for a while? I can practially smell the freshly pressed cotton and lemon.