Blackberries and sheep September 28, 2008
These fairy cakes were somewhat of an experiment: I needed a gift for a relative who can eat eggs, but not cow’s milk or butter. Browsing through 101 Cakes and Bakes I found a recipe for blackberry fairy cakes that contained oil rather than butter, and also used yogurt. With some trepidation I used sheep’s yogurt instead of the usual cows’ milk yogurt, and it was a great relief when the finished product came out of the oven looking good and tasting yummy. Both the icing and the cakes have a little orange zest in them, which is a good flavour to have alongside the blackberries.
(I had been a little nervous of using the sheep’s yogurt because, although I’ve had only limited exposure to it, I’ve found the milk and yogurt from goats still smells overwhelmingly of the goat from whence it came… Happily these cakes don’t have any unwanted scents or tastes!)
Good things September 13, 2008
The last few weeks have been silly busy, for various reasons (none of which are that exciting), but it looks like I’ll have a bit more time now and so I can tell you about all the nice things I have either seen or bought recently.
Firstly the things I’ve got my eye on:
And then a few things I have shelled out for, some a lot more expensive than others… At the cheaper end of the scale are these gel spots to put in your shoes – you can stick them on which ever part of the show it is that bothers you. I have some newish shoes that cause a lot of pain at the back of my ankles, and since I’ve bought these I’ve been able to wear them all day with no pain whatsoever. I’ve bought two more packs to stash away for the future in case they stop making them. They do a few other products made with the same gel: gel pads to wear with those flip flops that have a bit between your toes, strips, pads, heel shields… Maybe I should buy some more – I always have trouble with new shoes, to the extent that I own fewer pairs of shoes than most women because I’m so reluctant to go through the pain of breaking in a new pair, so having found something to stop that pain is real progress.
And then, rather less frugally, I became one of the last middle class people in England to get themselves a Dyson. Until now all we had only had second hand vacuum cleaners from family members, and the switch from those to the Dyson Ball was very noticeable: our carpets look like they have been cleaned, and the amount of stuff the thing vacuums up is both pleasing and horrifying. Less pleasing was when I emptied it for the first time: I thought the button I was pressing was going to open the top so I could pour out all the sweepings, but no – it opened the bottom of the canister, covering me from head to toe in whatever unpleasantness had recently been lurking in our carpet.
And in quiet moments I have been flicking through the Great Plains catalogue and the White Stuff catalogue – I bought one of these pretty skirts to brighten up the very grey days we’ve had of late.