Lately the cakes are going gang busters! It makes me joyful and thankful that I have started jogging for exercise. If I had not started that, I am sure it would be a sad state of affairs. This was a lemon layer cake that I found the recipe from, yet again, the wonderful people at Cook's Illustrated Magazine. For this recipe, I had to make lemon curd for the filling. It was interesting to work with eggs in that kind of concept and to get experience in cooking with out cooking the eggs as a separate element in the whole package. There is nothing worse than cooked pieces of egg in your curd. I also had to learn to make a seven minute frosting variation for the frosting. That time I did cook the eggs on the fist try, so I had to take another stab at it. The frosting turned out rather meringue like. It was delicious, and also worked well in the small cake halving territory of things.
Bread making has been rather so so. I have been trying to make the San Francisco sourdough recipe from my Peter Reinhart baking books. The loaves are turning out with a good crust but way too dense. I am wondering if I need to cast off my "purist" dream and do his mixed method with both starter and commercial yeast. I will try that once I return from a trip I am going to take and post those results here.
The peas finally decided it was too hot for them and turned yellow this weekend in the pleasantly warm weather. I pulled them out of the trellis and planted a few more bean plants. Hopefully they sprout and catch up with the rest of the pack soon. I tried soaking them to give them a faster germination rate, so hopefully I helped them along. The tomatoes are crazy this year. One has grown out of the cage already, and the flowers are blooming away.
I found some aphids trying to attack my tender and small herb plants, so it is back to the soap spray regiment to rid myself of the pests. I am glad that I happened to catch them early. There were few of them and not the large swarms that I usually find later when the damage is already done.
The zucchini plants seem to be really happy this year. One plant already has four small zucchini and this other larger one:
I also tried some of the radishes from the box in a pasta salad this weekend. They were great. Just the right amount of hot and not very burp educing. The other plants are trucking along and looking rather happy. I even noticed a new little shoot in the zucchini plant box from a replacement cucumber that I planted when the other one started to die while I still had hope for a cucumber season. I guess I should not have given up so easily. This shoot is rather shaded by the now large zucchini plants, but one can always hope for it to shoot up and claim its own place.
I took several shots of the new pairs of pants at the end of the week. Here is the olive filigree pair in a rough picture. I may have to take some more pictures of this pair today as I am not sure the ones I have will be good enough. I am also awaiting a few new supplies to start some samples of new projects. I cannot wait. What about the old projects I keep saying I will complete? Well I am still working on them actively. After a "rewiring project," I can now work on things at night. Our apartment, while awesomely spacious and full of electrical outlets, is a challenge for being able to plug in a light by the couch in the middle of the room. It creates a trip wire which is bound to inspire an accident. This weekend we ran the wire for a large power strip under the side of the area rug ending behind the couch and bookshelves, so now I can have light to work on things in the living room when we are watching the television or movies without cords running everywhere. This also hides all the laptop cords as well, making the room look much more pulled together and less chaotic. I expect my productivity to increase quite a bit with the new light for working.
This weekend, Dan and I cut the cable... literally. We decided that we no longer wanted to pay for cable when most of the television we watch is over the air, PBS, or available on line for free. Why pay for something that is free right? We have fully signed on to Boxee and Hulu for most of our television as well as using a new high powered antenna in our front office window. I have to say, the picture is amazing; the HD looks better without the cable. I know that sounds bizarre, but the picture quality is better due to it not being compressed down by the cable company. My PBS cooking shows have never looked so good! I am also hoping that this increases my productivity as well since I will not be a slave to my want-to-know addiction to the 24 hour news cycle. Cutting the cable means no 24 hour cable news. Already I am feeling a bit lighter.
I also found my new running shorts solution over the weekend. I am going to try out my new running skirt! I will let you know how it works out for me in tomorrow's installation of the blog. For today's goals, I want to get my jog done, make up some baby shower gifts, hem some pants for a friend, start back on my personal black skirt, go to dance class tonight (really actually go), and work on some falls or the belt when I get home. Lots to do and hopefully with fewer distractions I will get it done!