Saturday, January 19, 2008

hola sevilles


Yeah, they have arrived just as we are scrapping the last of the orange jelly from 2007's batch. It's a surprise we still have a jar, I guess I made a lot.

I think one of my first blog posts was about marmalade, which means I have been blogging for roughly a year. I am pleased I posted the recipe, as I now have it at my fingertips. 

I made two batches last year, from different recipes and methods, but it was Sybil Kapoor's recipe which we favoured, mainly because the recipe from Food Beam developed a mouldy top after a month or so in storage. I have recently seen another recipe which I wanted to try, but I can't for the life of me remember where it was I saw it.

So today, I stocked up on 4 kilo's of Seville oranges (that's a lot isn't it?) from Anna's Farm Store, (a fantastic local, store selling whole-foods and organic as well as locally sourced fruit and veg). I am now ready to start the worth while and enjoyable task of making the marmalade. The weather is suppose to be awful again tomorrow, I hope it is.


Friday, January 18, 2008

being wishful


I wish I could just start and finish a 'making' project but I spend too long faffing, hoarding and planning it for it to ever get off the ground. I then get distracted and obsess over discovered blogs, I scroll down the pages feeling envy and admiration that these talented people have the time to make creative things let alone blog about there daily makes. Errrr.

Since dusting down my sewing machine a few weeks back and making a few dresses for the girls, it has made me want to make more garments (or at least repair some very holey ones). Last year I picked up a box of excellent '60's, 70's and '80's dress patterns from a yard sale, which I am hoping to be able to use, only I've never used a proper pattern, just ones I have made on newspaper with more often than not, bad results. Is following a pattern hard? I'm sure I could do it.

One of the talented bloggers I discovered last year, Wiksten-Made (aka Jenny Gordy) is very inspiring. First, it was the red shoes on Jenny's profile photo (see Wiksten's Etsy profile) which got my eyes bulging. I doubt mysaltwatersandals do them in my giant size 43 (I'm yet to convert the US size to find out) but I've already bought (in my virtual wish list) a yellow and red pair for the girls. They may not be as practical as Crocs, but hey, they'll be no ownership confusion at nursery and of course they are so much prettier.

After the joy at discovering the red shoes, I then read Wiksten blog to find out she makes beautiful clothes; the Tova dress and Tova Shirt amongst other desirable items. I want a Tova, but so does half the 'indie' handmade blogging fraternity. I also want her slender pins she models the Tova dress in and also her ankles not my cankles (the unfortunate calf/ankles combo I own) to go with the sandals. Picture this: me, with the average sized male feet, squeezed into simple and nostalgic Sunday school sandals. It's not a good look is it? Having big feet has no advantages. Shoe shopping is miserable.


I just look and dream. These boots are from Rosa Mosa.

So are these fabulous boot clogs.


I often wonder, that if my feet weren't enrobed in Clark's sensible and ugly lace-ups in my early years, I would have smaller feet today.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

eating Orange & Almond cake


....So I haven't exactly with-drawn myself from the kitchen, as I first thought I might. Stopping me is my new taste obsession - anything with huge amounts of almonds and or, coconuts in.

Last week, I had my second attempt at an orange and almond cake. I think it was much tastier than my first attempt when I used the Clementine Cake recipe from Nigella's book 'How To Eat'.  I will add that I don't think it was Nigella's recipe didn't work, it did, but I thought I may like it more if it was less eggy and a little denser.

I have also just discovered that my  digital weighting scales gains grams in mere anticipation of a weight soon to be placed on it. Perhaps the reason for my lack lustre Victoria Sponge a week back (I
like to think so). It's very odd and annoying, seeing as the scales are fairly new, but perhaps a good reason to buy another set. This mechanical set appeals, only I can hear Stu's sensible voice saying but where would they go'. He's right of course.

Anyway, moving on from my kitchen wish-list (it's huge), here is my recipe for a denser but still as moist, dairy and wheat free cake, suitable for both with coffee or for a pud. It's very simple, but please note that you can't make it last-minute as the oranges need to be boiled for nearly 2 hours and then cooled before making the mixture.

Orange & Almond Cake

  • 2 large organic or unwaxed oranges

  • 300g ground almonds

  • 250g sugar (caster or granulated)

  • 6 eggs

  • 1 heaped teaspoon baking powder

Preheat the oven to 150Âșc and line a 21cm spring form cake tin lined with silicone paper. If you put 2 or 3 sheets on the base it will reduce the browning of the cake, although this isn't necessary as the browning has no burnt flavour. I also left the paper at the sides of the tin, quite high to also reduce browning but placing a sheet on top of the cake half way through cooking will also work.

  1. Start by placing the oranges in a saucepan and cover with water. Boil for 1-2 hours or until they feel like better when a knife is pierced into them. Cut in half and leave to cool.

  2. Remove any pips from the oranges then place in a food processor. Whizz the oranges until they are a pureed, but not too pureed.

  3. Beat the eggs and sugar in a large bowl with a balloon whisk.

  4. Pour the orange puree into the egg and sugar mixture and mix gently.

  5. Fold in the ground almonds and baking powder and pour into a the cake tin.

  6. Bake for 1 hour.

  7. Leave to cool in tin before cutting.

  8. Delicious served with creme fraiche and even more delicious if the cake is chilled.

Coconut macaroon recipe to follow....