Misericordia

Category: Food and Drink (page 1 of 2)

Aches and Twinges

It’s been a grumbly sort of week.

Stem placement - Misericordia

Knitting chart, crumpled - Misericordia

A week of coughs and sore teeth, thrashing children in my bed, of forgotten phones, cheesecakes oozing out of their tins in the oven, sore shoulders,¬† last kid collecteds, I’m hungry but not for thats and I’m sorry for shoutings.

Spikey balls - Misericordia

Measuring cups - Misericordia

I think I’ll just creep quietly into this corner and hope that the universe doesn’t notice me until things are looking a little more cheerful.

Myrtle stem and thimble - Misericordia

Myrtle stem - Misericordia

Pieces of Sunshine

This week has been sunny (which, in Edinburgh means impromptu picnics and running as many loads of washing up and down the stairs as humanly possible).

Kipling in the sun - Misericordia

It’s also required a change in beverage format to suit the weather.

Iced coffee - Misericordia

Unchanged was the repetition, so much repetition.

Popcorn texture drawing - Misericordia

Leaves, so many leaves - Misericordia

Disembarking from the Mary Celeste

March has come in with Little Lion’s first Nursery Plague which rapidly swept through the family.

Hovel in chaos - Misericordia

There is nothing like the zombie-film aura which surrounds you as poorly parents of poorly children. Even the cat joined in after indulging in a sumptuous floor-feast because we couldn’t face tidying up around the high chair.

Bunting ingredients - Misericordia

Eclipse Bunting - Misericordia

When we emerged, I discovered that I had 10 days to make Little Lion’s birthday bunting, a jumper which has been haunting me for two years was complete and I’d read War and Peace.

Gentleman's Relish - Misericordia

Readjusting to life on land has been unexpectedly tricky. I’m still looking for my concentration, I’ve lost the ability to tell time and if anyone wants to do my invoices for February, I’d pay you in plum tart!

Plum Tart - Misericordia

(Not shown – Welsh cakes and brownies.)

“Whatever you do, it’s never enough”

I was sitting on the (very crumb-covered) kitchen floor (because it’s better than sitting in a chair), trying to document the 25 minutes (using my new productivity app*) I’ve spent this week on the Ark Project, when the radio intruded on my internal monologue and presented me with the title of the post.

Sketchbooks and ginger cat - Misericordia

I have a few sketchbook pages of notes and a little swatch of stiffened silk which really represents me coming to realise that I’m going to be cutting hundreds of leaves out of silk very shortly, and I don’t really want to hem them. I also have to get a handle on properly 3D rouleaux which use the minimum of silk, more on that when I get it to work.

Fabric glue test - Misericordia

*I’m using the Pomodoro Technique which times you working for 25 minute blocks. It’s been quite helpful for taming my distractible nature, even though the free app I have keeps demoting me to Unrepentant Slacker!

And now it’s time for …Cake of the Week, iced buns!

Iced Bun - Misericordia

I’m very pleased with these, they’re hitting the not-too-sweet spot nicely. (I didn’t fill them because the first iced bun I ever ate didn’t have filling so I have grown to love them as oddly sweet bread rolls.) I can only show you the elegant pale yellow icing. After the first four were iced the colour scheme descended rapidly into the lurid and sludgy spectrum. I’m thinking about making half-sized ones for Little Lion’s upcoming first birthday celebrations (which is a bewildered post for another day).

Seeping Through the Cracks

It’s half term, and we’ve reached maximum entropy.

Loom Band Entropy - Misericordia

I have very little to show for myself since last week apart from a small but significant gusset for LYM’s jumper, some rather decadent cake and a half-written blog post about flapjacks.

Knitted underarm gusset - Misericordia

We are a broad-shouldered family, so I suspect that the adding of gussets will become a useful skill for me. I have a small pile of bought clothes which could do with the addition of a little more room in the oxter department, so this will be the first of many. I used this TECHknitting tutorial, which was quite helpful and also provided a chance to learn a few more decreasing and i cord-making skills.

Knitted underarm gusset - Misericordia

Have you noticed that all of my cake photography is half-eaten?

Chocolate and salted caramel tart - Misericordia

This was one of those dinner party desserts that look desperately complicated but really aren’t. Blind bake a shortcrust case (I added a little sugar to Delia’s recipe), when cool pour over some salted caramel sauce. (I had a jar of caramel sauce left over from Shrove Tuesday, but it had the same ingredients as most of the recipes I’ve seen online). Allow to cool and make ganache. Allow to cool and pour over while still just runny. I had some leakage where my pastry case wasn’t quite chocolate-tight, but no one seemed to mind!

Sprinkle with a little more sea salt if desired and serve in very small slivers with blood oranges.

If you’re crawling to the end of half-term, I wish you the best of luck.

 

 

Broken Is Beautiful

Ah progress, could we not agree to a more linear approach to our adventures?

Jumping in with both feet - Misericordia

Having decided to jump in with both feet and aggressively line the bimah cloth, I’m now picking out the lining and starting again. I haven’t exactly decided how, which is a touch awkward, but at the speed I’m going with it, there’s plenty of time to work things out.

Wrinkled linen - Misericordia

The cake of the week (quite apt, really) is Broken Biscuit Cake (or Tiffin, or Fudge Cake). It’s a rather glorious cupboard-cleaning exercise, and this particular one isn’t quite as lavish in terms of chocolate as many recipes (but still tastes like it).

Broken Biscuit cake with recipe - Misericordia

Marie’s Grandma’s Tiffen (or Ailene’s Fudge Cake)

4 oz butter

4 oz sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons drinking chocolate

1 1/2 tablespoons milk

1 cup fruit and nuts (or other lumpy things you’d fancy)

1/2 pound digestive biscuits, crushed in varying sizes

Grease and line a 9 inch square tin or traybake pan.

Melt butter and sugar in a pan, add drinking chocolate and milk (and fruit if using). Simmer for three minutes. Gradually add remaining ingredients and mix well. Press into the pan and cover with melted chocolate (add a half slice of toast’s worth of butter to the chocolate before you start to melt it so the chocolate doesn’t crack). Cool.

I used pretzels because LYM can’t eat nuts and I’m still undecided about putting fruit in chocolate. This one turned out a little crumbly because I didn’t measure any of the crispy bits, but if I’d stirred in a little of the melted chocolate I think it would have been perfect.

Certainly, it’s soothing my picking-out angst!

Holding Up A Mirror

If anyone out there is undecided about having children, allow me to recommend it wholeheartedly (but not necessarily for the reasons you might expect).

Little Hand - Misericordia

Children are absolutely the quickest path to self-knowledge. Why waste time on introspection and self-help books when you could learn just as much by watching the flesh of your flesh stand for 10 minutes naked and wailing about how cold he is rather than getting some sodding clothes on? The latter will neatly demonstrate to you your own proclivity towards speaking about, rather than doing, the things that trouble you.

Bimah cloth process - Misericordia

As a result of my newly-found understanding of my faults, here’s the start of the Ark Project’s bimah cover. I’ve been pondering various methods of edge finishing for far too long, but I’ve decided to bag line it (with large gaps at both sides so I can applique and embroider on the wrong side of the top only) and move on with my life.

Chocolate Chip Muffin - Misericordia

In cake news, it’s chocolate chip muffins this week. The funny thing is that with all of this cake about, I’m finding a lot of recipes too sweet. Any favourite not-too-sweet cake recipes (maybe vintage recipes aren’t as sweet?) would be much appreciated!

Stitch by Crumb

What a week!

Kipling - Misericordia

We’ve all been struggling with various forms of P1 and Nursery Plague since before Christmas, and it’s all come to a head with various children home in various stages of pathetically poorly or irritatingly not quite well enough to return to school but full of energy.

Despite these challenges, I’ve been steaming ahead with various projects. It turns out that concentrating on finishing just one thing makes it much easier to finish a lot of other things (or at least start to finish them).

Children's Badge Banner - Misericordia

First, there was the badge banner, which was the simplest possible project that took us about three months from purchase of the felt to application to the wall. It looks a little bare at the moment, but I have high hopes for the pair of them, and there’s a whole second knitting needle that can be put to use if they prove particularly keen on badge-based achievements.

Hand embroidered silk banner - Misericordia

I’ve been getting on with the banner for the Ark Project tablecloth, it’s very slow going but it was infinitely eased by a friend’s Profane Embroidery Night (I like to think I provided the sacred counterpoint). Somehow my opportunities to work safely with white silk are a little limited at the moment!

Cast iron bracket - Misericordia

A few house-y things are coming together too, so there’s rather a pleasant sense of momentum going into February.

Cinnamon Cake with Brown Sugar Icing - Misericordia

Oh, and on the cake front we’ve made a cinnamon cake with brown sugar icing and a batch each of brownies and flapjacks.

Flapjacks and Brownies - Misericordia

I’ll write you a post about the flapjacks because I’m a bit proud of an alteration I’ve made to the recipe to assuage a little of my inevitable sugar-guilt.

Blessed are the cheesemakers

Do you ever buy someone a present that you really wish you could keep yourself?

Cheesemaking kit by Misericordia

We bought a cheese making kit for our cheese-obsessed friends and then, just as I thought about buying one for myself as a treat, received a kit of our very own from the lovely Liz at Mrs Whiskerson.

We finally got around to trying it out, on a particularly grumpy Sunday afternoon, so hold tight and here we go!

Eight pints of milk by Misericordia

The first problem was finding a non-reactive pan large enough for the eight pints of milk required for a full batch. After a bit of frantic work with our fridge magnet collection, I remembered the jam pan.

Pouring milk for cheesemaking by Misericordia

After that, it’s just a case of dissolving this into that, heating, stirring, allowing to sit, a bit more heating, some stirring again and pouring it all into a colander to drain.

Straining cheese curds by Misericordia

A full batch makes a very healthy wodge of cheese, so I made the firmer variety so it would last.

Pressing cheese with weights by Misericordia

The next questions was what to do with all the whey, which amounted to what felt like nine or 10 pints!

Curds and whey by Misericodia

The recipe makes sour whey, and the acidity means you shouldn’t just pour it down the sink. So far I’ve used it instead of water to cook rice, made whey pickles, and washed my hair with it. That leaves about six pints in the freezer to use up slowly! (You can use it as stock in soups, and I think it will make an appearance in my next risotto.)

Homemade crowdie cheese by Misericordia

Cheese making was a fun experiment, and one of those things I always wanted to try, but I’m not sure I’m going to quit my day job. More cheese, anyone?

Happy 2015?

I don’t know about you, but I’m having a hard time getting 2015 started.

Our goal over the holidays was to keep things simple, and we largely succeeded, thanks to a series of virulent colds which left us alternately in bed or collapsed on the sofa watching films.

I did manage to make the most obscene chocolate log (I should have read the recipe more carefully before I started) which was almost entirely butter and chocolate combined in ways I never knew were possible.

The best bit was the meringue mushrooms, the worst bit was the feeling of malaise and the guilt of Western excess that hung over you after you’d finished your slice. (Yes, that’s a massive Christmas cake in the background.)

When I wasn’t eating cake, I made a piece for the curator of Thrive Archive’s Away Being, and she very kindly hung it in the exhibition.

There was an awful lot of overambitious satin stitch, which was quite stressful at the time, but I’m very happy with the way it came out.

We went to the opening  which had live music and lots of lovely responses to the themes of the exhibition.

I’ll be doing my best to maintain some sort of posting schedule over the next two months, but seeing as it’s taken me about two hours to write this piece (most of it spent staring vacantly at the spot where the Christmas tree used to be), I’m not making any grand promises. I hope you’ll forgive me if it slips a little.

In fact, in lieu of proper resolutions this year, I’m trying to make my goals a little less relentless. The last six months have been more of a slog than a challenge, so I’m trying to adjust my focus to allow for some gaps in the schedule. Wish me luck!

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