Friday, 3 October 2014

I've Been Driving In My Car, It's Not Quite a Jaguar

Well, relax and take a deep breath and BREATHE
That's how it feels after this weekend. On Monday my youngest passed her driving test. She doesn't yet have a car and she isn't old enough for insurance for my car,  but she will get a car, and it won't quite be a jaguar to misquote Madness. This has been a great achievement, and lots of emotion all round.
That night she and I went to out on the town to celebrate (her dad is in London for work) and we had burger and chips and a diet Pepsi each. She has a heavy cold and I was driving, funny enough, but celebrate we did, even though we decided against the cocktails and the fancy restaurant. This was a time for burger and chips and Pepsi.

only looking, mum

Busy weekend all round. My friend, her daughter and my daughter have still been doing our Great British Bake Off on a Sunday afternoon and posting to FB. We have now completed our quarter final, the competition is not only hotting up but the baking is fast growing way outside our comfort zones. We have all risen to the challenge though, and the competition is friendly, thank goodness!

Two weeks ago we had European cakes. I decided in a moment of madness to make the Swedish Princess Cake, a multi-layered sponge, and patisserie cream confection covered with green marzipan. It cost a fortune to bake, I only bought 250 ml cream for between the cake and the marzipan and it should have been 750 ml. And, this was on top of the cream patisserie and jam which sandwiched the layers. The only thing was very very sweet verging on the sickly I thought. But then I love lemon desserts, the sharper the better. It was a dome shape and known in the house forever after as the "weird green nipple cake". The wonders of transatlantic communication became clear to my dad. He couldn't believe that just as I posted the picture on FB my Australian cousin messaged to say her dad used to buy her that same cake as her birthday cake!

The next week was pastry week, and we make Cornish pasties, or my version. My Cornish friend Hannah would be horrified, but we used mince and carrot instead of swede. Cornish or not they were very tasty. Amanda made mille feuille and it looked gorgeous.

This week was the quarter final, enriched dough. Oh er, I didn't even know what enriched dough was. We both decided to push the baking boat out and stretch ourselves and our enriched dough. Amanda decided on mini doughnuts and I decided to make the weird tree thing Luis made. I found a recipe for Moravian Sugar Rolls, and hey ho and away we go. I made the bread dough from scratch, I decided my bread maker was cheating and although it was a scorcher of a day on Sunday, with the underfloor heating and the windows shut it was too warm, so I did the proving in a low oven rather than on the floor in a sunny spot. All I can say is I don't expect to do well in Slimming World this week. Amanda sent round a little box of doughnuts which I quickly scoffed and my bread tree was surprisingly tasty too. The semi final is this week and I dread to think what obscure thing Mary and Paul will come up with. When the series finishes my dad sure is going to miss his Sunday afternoon baked treat.

I almost forgot to mention this, but last weekend Belfast had a Culture Night, yes Belfast and Culture may seem an oxymoron but Belfast is a city of culture, no longer a city of morons. It was great fun, music and street entertainment everywhere. There are three of these buoys near our cathedral and they were covered in guerrilla knitting and crochet, with a play on the word "buoy". Great fun. We saw a ladies choir of popular music in the oldest Presbyterian church in Belfast, Rosemary Street; there was a Joni Mitchell night in the Cathedral which we missed and we were just on our way to hear choristers chanting by candlelight in St George's church when we got waylaid and ended up in a hotel bar for drinks.

Sewing wise I have been chasing my red and black rugby quilt but have realised no way is it going to be finished for the end of the month for Finish A Long with Katy. So it is shoved back beside the mess of books, fabric and scrapbooking that is taking over my sewing table. Work has been so busy this week it has been exhausting. The "cuts" are starting to take effect in the library and we as frontline staff are shattered, no holidays or sick leave are being covered yet we still have to provide the same service, book groups, rhythm and rhyme, knit and natter etc. And this is only the beginning of it. And yet people say, wee cushy job in the library. Well, compared to brain surgery it is a wee cushy job, yet not compared to a few years ago. Rant over, and see you again soon.



  1. Congratulations to your daughter....a big achievement.....even passing the theory test these days is extremely difficult and what a way to celebrate!

  2. Well done to your daughter! :)
    I love your name for the Swedish Princess cake, you don't hear that on the GBBO!!!! ;)
    V x

  3. For reason unknown I can only see the first pic. Otherwise I'll be drooling over I guess :)


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