Archive for December, 2013


August Not-Baking

In cooking on December 19, 2013

At the end of July I had made 33 baked items out of a plan to make 52 during 2013. This is where the plan started to fall apart. We had a nice summer and I was busy trying to make jam.

Peach & Vanilla Conserve

The Peach & Vanilla Jam was the first lot. I threw in a sachet of pectin out of the back of cupboard but it didn’t quite set right. Then I made some Strawberry & Vanilla Jam and I tried to do without pectin, but couldn’t manage it, Darren ended up getting me a bottle of liquid pectin that I’d never seen before from the local supermarket and I got it to set eventually. This was really yummilicious jam.

Then I started reading up on how to get jam to set without using added pectin and decided it was a skill I needed to learn. I began with some Redcurrant & Raspberry Jelly, ok, but not great. I tried some Cherry Jam which I thought had reached a setting point but after I had jarred it up it was still liquid. Several days later I reboiled it and ended up with Cherry Toffee. Very nice, but not quite what I was after.

I forget how many other variations I tried, there were several more, and none were really a success. Next year I will be using pectin again!

August was also the time when the stars managed to align so that I finally managed to get rid of the crappy fridge-freezer than had been haunting me for six years and get a shiny new silver appliance into my kitchen. This gave me spare freezer space – actual COLD freezer space for the first time in a long time. I celebrated by splashing out on the ice cream maker attachement for my Kenwood Chef, and have been making ice creams and sorbets regularly since. Coconut, pistachio, lemon sorbet, lemon ice cream, blackberry sorbet, choc mint chip (yes, dark choc ice cream with peppermint chips), and plain old vanilla which isn’t at all plain. That’s just the ones I can remember off the top of my head. I’ve made lots of different types of ice cream now and am still experimenting – but the egg custard vanilla one remains the one to beat.

So, baking still on 33/52 at the end of August. But plenty of other treats were coming out of the kitchen at the time!


July Baking

In cooking on December 18, 2013

This is one of a series of belated updates figuring out whether I reached my self imposed target of baking 52 things in 2013. By the end of June I was up to 30, but that was where I started to forget to keep the records up to date…

  1. More Victoria SpongesMore Victoria Sponges
    My second set of mini Victoria Sponges were made to take to a family party.
  2. Mini Coffee & Walnut CakesMini Coffee & Walnut Cakes
    Another set of mini sandwich cakes, taken to the same family party.
  3. Strawberry & Raspberry PuddingStrawberry and Raspberry Pudding This is basically just a cake mix popped on top of some fresh berries in an individual pot and eaten warm with ice cream, on the terrace on a warm summer evening. Very yummy indeed.

That’s 33/52, which is still ahead of target for 7/12 of the way through a project.


ByeCricket ClubBlack & WhiteWinter Sunshine IIWinter Sunshine I

Flickr Pics 18th December 2013

on December 18, 2013 by kirsty

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June Baking

In cooking on December 17, 2013

Right, I have got very, very, very behind with this yearly project! I didn’t forget my idea to bake 52 things in 2013, but I did forget all about counting and cataloging them. It’s now December and I have made the first batch of mince pies for this Christmas which reminded me to go back and tot up the score. I was on 27/52 by the end of May.

  1. Banana (& Chocolate) BreadBanana (& Chocolate Bread)
    A way to use up the overripe bananas, with some chocolate that obviously needed using up too, honest, thrown in.
  2. Chocolate EclairsChocolate Eclairs
    I have made choux pastry once before, at least a decade ago, so thought it was about time for another go. They were fine. I just came to the conclusion that ‘cream cakes’, as much loved a treat as they are, really aren’t my favourite kind of thing.
  3. Mini Victoria Sponges IMini Victoria Sponges I got the baking tray for these from Lakeland, and used their sponge recipe too. I filled them with homemade peach & vanilla jam and they were super yummy. Much more my thing than eclairs.

That’s 30/52, well on target. But at about this time I started experimenting with jam making which took some of my baking energy away. The jam making deserves a post of its own at some point.


Christingle LightingVictorian OrphanYSP TreeHenry Moore Sunset

Flickr Pics 17th December 2013

on December 17, 2013 by kirsty

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t DecayingTowards Choppards, Drizzly Day

Flickr Pics 16th December 2013

on December 16, 2013 by kirsty

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Christmas Fair Cakes IIChristmas Fair Cakes IChristmas Puddings

Flickr Pics 12th December 2013

on December 12, 2013 by kirsty

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Bench & Upperthong in SunshineBench, Sideways in SunshineTowards Holme Moss

Flickr Pics 11th December 2013

on December 11, 2013 by kirsty

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Lamma Wells

Flickr Pics 10th December 2013

on December 10, 2013 by kirsty

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Strawberry Cheesecake Meringues

Flickr Pics 9th December 2013

on December 9, 2013 by kirsty

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