November Baking

My plan to bake 52 things in 2013, a spur of the minute almost a new year’s resolution, has made it to 40 items by October. Having completely failed to keep up the monthly reports past May I’m actually quite pleased to find it’s not miles and miles behind. But it is behind.

  1. Pumpkin & Walnut CakePumpkin & Walnut Cake
    I found Ocado stocked American canned pumpkin puree and decided to do something with it. This was a nice cake but not really worth the imported ingredients.
  2. Coconut Cherry BiscuitsCoconut Cherry Biscuits
    You can’t go wrong with coconut and glacé cherries can you? I think you would have to try hard to do so. These were nice.
  3. Mushroom PastiesMushroom Pasties
    Getting the hang of making pasties has been one of the best things about this ‘try and bake more’ experiment. I still can’t whack them out with the ease of a tray of mince pies, but I will keep practising.
  4. Asparagus QuicheAsparagus Quiche
    Shop bought quiche has had its day. I have got pretty speedy about this one.
  5. All Gone IIApple Pie
    I swear I took a photo before eating it. But I must have gone wrong somewhere because there was no photo to be found. Made in individual pots with a pastry top and accompanied by home made vanilla ice cream. Very good.

So that puts me at 45/52 at the end of November and I am relieved to see the finish line in sight. Not because I want to stop baking – the whole idea was to try and turn it from a seasonal Christmassy activity into more of a year round one – but because I was worried that by forgetting to count up I had left myself with too far to go. I’m pretty certain I can manage 7 baking endeavours in December. We will see.

Touchstone (Harris Stuyvesant, #1) by Laurie R. King

Cover of

I think reading in French has totally screwed up my reading English skills! I don’t think I’ve ever read a book so slowly and carefully. It’s probably a good thing though. This is one of only a few of Laurie King’s books that I haven’t read. I’ve been wanting to read it for years, but it hasn’t been published in the UK before now. She has written a sequel to it recently and her UK publisher has decided to let us read this one first. Given the long delay over publication I had wondered if it would turn out to be not-so-great. It involves an American spy wandering through the English aristocracy in the 1920s, you feel it could go horribly wrong although King has done a decent job of injecting Americans into early twentieth century England before with the Russell & Holmes series. I ended up liking that series a lot after some initial misgivings. This one I liked straight away and it was well worth lingering over, I really enjoyed it, and am looking forward to reading The Bones of Paris before too long.

More information about this book can be found on goodreads.
This was a kindle eBook.

October Baking

At the end of September, despite forgetting to count up the baking project as I went along I had managed to get to 38 bakes out of a planned 52.

  1. Apple CakeApple Cake
    This was the point where the project nearly fell apart with me starting to forget to take photos of things. If I bake and don’t take a photograph, did the bake exist? This is a photo of almost the last bite of a cake made with some windfall cooking apples.
  2. Science Biscuits IIScience Biscuits
    I couldn’t resist these periodic table style biscuit cutters when I saw them, the biscuits I made with them were very ordinary though. Not even everyday ordinary, just not right nice.

Oh dear, only 40/52 at the end of October! Can I catch up from here…

September Baking

My project to bake 52 things in 2013 got stalled in August when jam and ice cream took over – I don’t think either of them quite count as baking somehow. Besides I don’t have photos. I got back with the baking in September.

  1. Coconut MacaroonsCoconut Macaroons
    I used to love these as a kid, did we have them at school lunches on rare days or am I misremembering? They are still good. There is something magic about baking that has to be stuck to rice paper.
  2. Bakewell Tart IIBakewell Tart
    This began as something else in a pastry case, with a bit of jam and a topping. By the time I’d added lots of ground almonds and changed the recipe I had pretty much reinvented the bakewell tart (like the proper version from Bakewell, not the iced shop version).
  3. New York Cheesecake IINew York Cheesecake With cinnamon blueberries on the top. I made this when my brother was visiting so I wouldn’t have to eat the whole thing myself, but there wouldn’t be so many people that I wouldn’t get to eat nearly the whole thing myself. Takes careful planning, this baking lark.
  4. Lemon MacaroonsLemon Macaroons
    I was using up the egg whites from my first lot of egg custard based ice cream here. Practically forced to make macaroons.
  5. Pistachio MacaroonsPistachio Macaroons
    Also using up egg whites from ice cream making. Most of them got eaten before I got the photo taken. Not all by me.

That’s 38/52, only just slightly behind schedule. The project is looking good!