Thursday, May 7, 2009

project status

I haven't posted in so long.  I have yet to feel like I have any kind of routine that allows for regular updates online at all the etsyfacebooktwitterblogspotflickr what have you.  I tend to do it in spurts, but then I get exasperated at spending too long at the computer all at once.
Everything is in spurts right now for me.  I want to put so much more of myself into promoting my Etsy shoppe, but Zoe just had her baby and Mother's Day is upon us and my front garden is still unfinished, so more time sensitive things have taken the front seat.

I made the hospital cookies for Zoe and Marc.  They were in the shape of elephants and Texas and I was able to use my weird coloured leftover frosting from the ox cake for Nathalie's shower and dressed that up with the rest of my clear sugar sprinkles I had bought for the ox cookie favors.  Marc said he appreciated the sugar rush after their long labor and delivery having left his Marc's Mix in the car.

The quasi quilt is going fairly well.  I have the top and bottom pieced and stitched and pinned like a sandwich with the batting in between.  So all that's left is sewing through the sandwich, cutting the bias strips for the border, lining said strips with interfacing, stitching those together, then attaching around the edge, then, voila!  I will have made a mini-quilt, playmat, tummy time pad thingy.  Hopefully Zoe and Marc and Alden get some use out of it, or at least like looking at it.

Speaking of Alden, he is so cute and has the softest little blonde hair that makes his head feel like a baby kitten.  I'm really thinking of Zoe and Marc and wishing them all the best right now, because it's such a fragile time.

So, in my bizarre self-inflicted quest to learn recipes and make traditional things, I have discovered the Simnel Cake.  This is a cake, popular in England that was made on Mothering Sunday by the kids who had gone away from home to be servants and workers.  They were granted time off to take a cake to their mothers who, in turn, would give them a blessing.  It's a kind of fruit cake with lots of marzipan.  I'm attempting to make said marzipan, the first batch needed tweaking, so I'll have to give it another go after purchasing some more almonds.  This time without peels (I know, Celena told me so, but the recipe didn't say anything and Paula Deen says you're supposed to make something following the recipe first and then figure out how you want to change it).  The peely marzipan tasted good, but wasn't the look I was going for and I wonder if the texture may have been affected a bit.  We'll see.  I think I can use the batch inside the cake though.  I'm contemplating candying some orange and lemon peel instead of just using it plain.  I think I probably should.  I found a recipe, but they have to drain for 4-5 hrs. and then be stored in sugar, so here I sit.

The front garden started strong but then I ran into a lot of dirt mess that is a drag to clean up and makes the brush disposal bags too heavy for pickup.  "Why can't you just compost it Selah?"  Well, funny you should ask, but all the stuff I pulled up has sticker burrs in it and I don't want to spread the seed every time I use my compost.  So there.  I had high hopes when I dug up the rogue Lantana that showed up in my back yard.  It had smaller friends found on clearance at Lowe's already planted and was going to be my nice big one.  I nipped the very end of its tap root though.  I had no idea it was going to be so long and went out there with the naivete of someone who's never run into rogue Lantana before, Dicey in tow.  I thought I was so clever, it would be quick to dig it up, so I laid out a blanket in the shade for D to enjoy a bit of outside while I simply popped the plant up out of the ground and popped it back in where I wanted it in front.  A foot into the ground later, my hands are covered in dirt, it's all caked under my nails and I still haven't gotten anywhere near being able to lift this plant out.  I finally have dug as far as I'm willing because D is losing patience and so am I, so I tug gently, hoping to pull it out intact, but alas, it broke.  I'll never know how much I broke off, but it was pretty skinny, so I thought surely it could recover its loss.  Days later and my rogue Lantana that was so robust and beautiful has only become more and more wilty and droopy.  Unless it has a fighting spirit, it's definitely circling the drain.  Darn those all important tap roots!  I have been doing my gardening at night after D goes down, but my fingernails were all sore from a few days of this and now that all the plants (save rogue-y) are getting what they need, there's no longer the major impetus to push forward.  Plus, Zoe's baby was born early.

Oh well.  No pics, but thought I would share.  Think I'll go candy that peel now.


  1. as frustrating as all this must have been, your write-up is quite charming. :) I want the peely marzipan if you're not going to use it!

  2. thanks! I know you want the peely marzipan, but I'm going to try to use it as a layer in the cake if I can. If not, it's all yours, sister.

  3. i'm late commenting, but it sounds like you've been very ambitious lately...good job!