FOR TODAY, June 15th, 2009 ...
Outside My Window...
The sky is overcast. I'm not sure if it's an early morning fog and will burn off during the day, or if we are just due for a cloudy day. My fridge is humming big time. We keep it in the laundry room as it is quite large and there is no space for it in the kitchen. I hope that doesn't mean that it is on it's way out . . . We've had it for about 8 years now. It's a tall American size fridge/freezer and I would surely miss it if I didn't have it! Most refrigerators over here are lilliput sized!
I am thinking...
About the lovely telephone conversation I had with my mum yesterday. As you know I call her every second Sunday. I really enjoy our talks together. We get along really well. Funny, but when I was a teenager I would never have thought that one day I would consider my mum a close friend, but that is exactly how it is today. I can tell her anything and often do! I love my mum so much and I am so grateful that she is still here with us. She had breast cancer when my middle son was only 3, and he is 27 now! She had a complete radical mastectomy and one dose of chemo and thankfully it's never come back! She is the greatest example to me of strength and tenacity. She's survived experiences that would have made a lot of people give up! I love her dearly.
I am thankful for...
The privilege of being able to live in a country that enjoys lots of freedoms . . .freedom of speech, freedom to worship God in any way I want, freedom to read any book I want to read, freedom to be able to walk around unhampered by any constrictive clothing etc. Freedom bought by a price paid by thousands of individuals who gave their lives fighting for it. I am ever grateful for that.
From the kitchen...
There are some scrummy sticky pudding squares that I made yesterday, sitting in a tin, not to mention a lovely yoghurt cake that was soaked in a cinnamon syrup. I had a little taste of each yesterday and they are both very, very good. I also have a lovely big bowl of fruit sitting there, which is actually tempting me far more than the cakes. I guess that's a good sign . . . either that, or I am sickening for somink!!
I am wearing...
I am wearing a long cotton nightie, which is pale blue with white polka dots and has a pretty blue bow on the front of the neckline. In the warmer months I like to wear nighties. They seem to be a lot cooler to me.
I am creating...
I didn't get any painting done at all this weekend. I know, makes me sad too!! I did manage to get some yarn on Saturday that I think will make good hair for a doll so I am busy planning what she will look like. Obviously she will be based on one of the characters that I paint!
I am going...
To work today and then Mutual Activity with the Young Women on Thursday evening. The housekeeper is away on her holidays right now and the Friday girl can only work two days a week so I will be doing double duty for the next couple of weeks at work. I don't mind. It makes the time go faster when I'm at work. That can't be bad!
I am reading...
A Homemade Life, Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table, by Molly Wizenberg. Molly is the author of the food blog Orangette, which sadly, she is taking a hiatus from at the moment. I am enjoying this book so much. It reads like fiction and is chock full of delicious sounding recipes and a wonderfully delightful story to go along with each. It's funny, poetic, sometimes sad, always entertaining . . . I highly recommend!
I am hoping...
The lump has come back up on Jess's leg. The vet said it might do that. We just have to keep an eye on it now and see that it doesn't get too large and pray that it goes away on it's own. It's right on one of her elbows and to remove it would be quite traumatic and would take a lengthy time to heal. She would be in a cast for a very long time. Because of it's position it would not heal properly and her leg would have to be kept straight so that she couldn't bend it. She just doesn't seem like her old self lately. She sleeps too much and she seems to be having problems getting up most times. I really worry about her. She can't tell us if she is ill or if she is in pain. We just have to read her body language and lately she seems quite lethargic. If she doesn't improve soon we'll have to take her back to the Vet to make sure that something more sinister isn't going on . . .
I am hearing...
The music on my play list. I added a few new songs to it. I love them. This is the kind of music I like to listen to all the time. Music with soul and spirit and that inspires. Music with a positive message. Music that uplifts rather than brings down. I don't know how anyone can stand a lot of the pop music that is out there today. Most of it sounds the same to me . . . and oh no! I just sounded like my dad!!
Around the house...
I have some books sitting out that need to be put away. When Todd starts putting signs on them like Ben Nevis or Mount Kilimanjaro, then that's a sign that means they need to be put away, lol. I take them out to reference recipes etc. Often the things I make are a compilation of several recipes . . . I take the best bits and put them together into a creation of my own. I find it makes cooking so much more interesting and challenging, and I do love a challenge!
One of my favorite things...
I love nature shows, as long as they aren't about insects. Insects give me the creepy crawlies. We have been watching a very interesting show on Sunday evenings the past couple of weeks. Stephen Thompkinson's African Balloon Adventure. Last night he was in Rwanda and Botswana. It's been a really unique peek into Africa. I am enjoying seeing all the animals and learning more about the various countries that make up Africa. It's really quite interesting. Todd and I sponsor two children in Africa through Compassion, and it's been really nice seeing the countries that they come from as well.
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...
The Seminary Graduation is on Saturday, and unfortunately I won't be able to go to it. I hear it's a really good evening. I do have the Mutual Activity on Thursday night though. A sister is coming in and doing a music demonstration for us and will be a combined activity with the Young Men.
Here is picture thought I am sharing...
These are some yellow flowers from the garden. I don't know what they are, but I think they're really pretty! We have white ones like that as well, or at least that are quite similar. I know what the names are of common flowers, like marigolds and daisies, sweet peas, etc. I don't however know what the names of others are, such as these ones. I only know that I think they are beautiful and it brings me joy to look at them!
I got a new little baking book the other day at the grocery store called "Sweet Food", which was put out by Murdoch books. It's a chunky little cookery book and is jammed full of lovely cakes and bakes that really caught my eye. I baked this lovely Yoghurt from it yesterday and was most impressed! It's quite like a pound cake, but the syrup which is all cinnamony and lemony really makes it that little bit extra special!
*Yoghurt Cake with Syrup*
Makes one 9 inch round cake
The recipe called for roughly an 8 by 4 inch loaf pan, but once I got the batter all done, I knew that wouldn't be large enough, and so I used a 9 inch round deep cake pan! My goodness but this rose really nice and high in the middle and turned out to be a wonderfully rich and delicious cake. I love the slightly spicy and fragrant sugar syrup that you pour over it while it's still warm. This went down a real treat!
185g butter, softened
(250g) 1 cup fine white sugar
5 eggs, separated
250g (1 cup) plain Greek style yoghurt
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
280g (2 1/4 cups) all purpose flour, sifted
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
creme fraiche to serve
for the Syrup:
150g (1 cup) superfine white sugar
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
3/4 cup water
4 cm strip of lemon peel
1 TBS lemon juice
Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F. Lightly grease and base line a 9 inch deep and round cake tin with some parchment paper. Set aside.
Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl until very light and creamy. Beat in the egg yolks, gradually, beating well after each addition. Stir in the yoghurt, lemon zest and vanilla. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Fold this in with a metal spoon. Beat the egg whites until stiff in a clean dry bowl, with clean beaters, and then fold them into the batter. Spoon into the prepared tin and bake for 50 minutes to an hour, until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the cake. Place on a wire rack to cook for 10 minutes in the tin. Then remove from the tin onto the wire rack to finish cooling. Pour the syrup onto it, little by little, starting while it's quite hot, until most of it has been absorbed by the cake before serving. Serve warm, cut into slices and with a dollop of creme fraiche on each piece.
To make the syrup, place the sugar, cinnamon stick and water into a saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat until the sugar is completely dissolved. Bring to the boil, add the lemon peel and lemon juice, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 to 6 minutes. Strain the cinnamon stick and lemon peel out before using.
Over on The English Kitchen . . . something you won't want to miss . . . Sticky Toffee Squares.