I bake my own Birthday cake as, basically, no-one else is likely to do so (although my Sister made me a fabulous Sacher Torte last year). It’s not a grumble, I don’t mind and I enjoy it, even though I am not to best baker in the World.
My birthday is around Mothers’ Day so I tend to consider it a joint celebration cake and the last one I made would certainly be a lovely Mothers’ Day treat.
I really wanted some sugared flowers for the top and decided to make my own but they weren’t entirely successful, as you can see above. It’s basically egg white from 1 egg mixed with 1 teaspoon of water (I the tried various methods to get the egg white onto the pansies but using a small paintbrush worked best) followed by a drenching in caster sugar.
Problems I had were the egg white has to be whisked quite a bit to break down it down with the water but then it goes very bubbly. I did use a slightly older egg (we have our own hens so most eggs are very fresh) but that didn’t help much. I then found it difficult to use a thin enough layer of egg white and therefore a thin layer of sugar, it all got a bit gloopy. One to revisit on another day, I think.
It was still a very pretty cake and I made one of our current favourite recipes, Catherine Berwick’s Parsnip & Maple Syrup Cake which you can find here. It’s delicious, a bit similar to a carrot cake.
So good that in fact I can see a few months later F requested it for his Birthday (these photos are from a couple of years ago).
C had a chocolate mousse cake that year (from here). I made it for him again in the recent lockdown birthday. It’s difficult to get it to look ‘nice’ but it tastes delicious.
I am never going to win prizes for my cake decorating but I simply don’t have the time or interest to do better, I go for flavour and convenience, I’m afraid. I won’t be winning prizes for my photography either. Keeping it real.
For anyone who knows me (or reads this blog) it’s clear food is quite important around here. When hunting for these photos I found all the accompanying ones; above it Mothers’ Day canapes from 2019 (for me and the boys – C is vegetarian and F can be very particular so we each get our own plate).
And breakfast in bed features every year too. I love this set up, the tray is a Kaymet bed tray that I’ve had for years. I’d need to sell a kidney to buy one now as they are a ‘classic’, having been made since the 1940’s and cost a small fortune. My Gran had a Kaymet tray which is where I remember them from, she also had some fabulous 1950’s/60’s table trays (with legs that drop down) that my Sister and I ate supper from when we stayed with her. The silver toast rack was a Christmas present and comes from Soho Home and the china cup is one Mum bought for me by artist Kitty North with Bolton Abbey on it.
For the next years’ breakfast in bed (yes it sadly does tend to only happen about once a year!!!) the lovely swan egg cup comes from Hannah Turner Ceramics and I LOVE the vintage glass jam post we have which I picked up for pennies on Ebay.
And this photo from the same year but on Mothers’ Day itself (OK so twice a year I get breakfast in bed) really does make me smile – this was the boys making me breakfast in bed on Auntie T’s orders. I did have to explain to them how to make fresh coffee but the cooking and food choice is entirely their own.
Genuinely a top effort, I was impressed. That’s egg in toast with bacon, by the way, which F found on a YouTube video and copied.
I’m hungry now and I’m on a diet so holding out until Sunday Lunch, which is a bit dull but necessary after the early lockdown eating.
Quick COVID round up:
What we are eating:
Too much of everything, hence the diet.
During the day we have been:
Well the boys are at school and I’m trying to get their bathroom finished as I started decorating it last year. I’m also getting the garden sorted and shop sewing. I’m excited about the return to school on Monday but less excited about the daily grind of school runs, which take about 1.5 hours each time, due to the double drop-offs. I did do the Patrick Harris Box One game which was awesome, now handed off to teen 2 and then it’ll go to my Sister. Shame you can only play it once as it really was fun.
We left the house for:
Daily walks, going to the chemist and that’s about it! Although (exciting news) I got my first COVID vaccine last weekend. Big cheer for the local GP and Rotary (who looked after the queues) as it was so well organised.
TV and film watching:
There has been so much, where to begin. I’m currently on Tin Star (Now TV), WandaVision (Disney +), Snowpiercer (Netflix), The Expanse (Amazon Prime), The Great (Channel 4), Unforgotten (ITV) and Bloodlands (BBC). Clearly rocking the geek and sci-fi genre.
I’ve just finished Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney and Tidelands by Philippa Gregory. There will be more, I just can’t remember what right now.
Right, uniform to check, school bags to pack and alarms to set then Sunday Lunch to cook!