Saturday, June 27, 2009

Daring Baker Challenge - Bakewell Tarts - I'm late, but I wasn't

Psalm 16:11  
You will make known to me the path of life;

In Your presence is fullness of joy;

In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

The June Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict and Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar. They chose a Traditional (UK) Bakewell Tart... er... pudding that was inspired by a rich baking history dating back to the 1800's in England.
At first I thought that I couldn't posssibly make Daring Baker project this month because of going through chemo.  But after my first treatment I did pretty well, except for the first Sunday after treatment.  So I planned it out that I would get help.  I invited my #2 daughter to come over on Thursday after I had the chemo to do the project with me.  She brought along my grand-daughter Emily because she's now the one babysitting her.  She also brought my grandson Christian.  He was hoping we would play a game of cards.  He doesn't yet realize that my energy is limited.  He wants to beat me at 10 to 1 or rummy.  

So slowly but surely we got working on the tarts.  The first thing of course was to make the pate sucre.  Emily was keen to help in all things, and she was keen to play with all her toys that she'd been missing because of not being at my house every day.  It was fun to see her get to excited about her books and her dolls.  She loaded all her dolls into the antique doll carriage that we had given her for Christmas.  And then she got out all her books.  And then she got into her great big toy basket trunk and looked through everything.  When Riley got home in the evening he said to me "Either you lost it, or Emily's been here."

I told Christian that he could take the pictures, as I didn't feel like I had the energy to keep Emily under control and take pictures.  Well it seemed to be going okay, though he's not all that good at taking pictures, but what I discovered later was that he was a rather naughty boy because he changed the lens.  Now this is no cheap camera, and I was really quite upset with him for doing that.  In part that also explained why he was having trouble getting the pictures to shoot.  He had the big zoom lens on.  I'm still hoping there's no damage to the camera.   Christian has a problem thinking that he's as old as he is big.  Being 5'8" at the age of twelve is confusing.

Christian on his 12th birthay

Making the pastry dough was very easy, but slow going with Emily involved.

She was upset that I didn't let her sepparate the eggs.

But she really has absolutely not tallent in that area and I did it myself, all the while trying to prevent Emily from opening up all the butters on the table.  She didn't understand that some were for later.

So when the pastry dough was wrapped up and in the refrigerator, I started in on the frangipane. But when I got out the almonds Annie spied a bug in the bag. So into the garbage with the nuts, and I went off to the store for almonds. But not long after I returned Heidi showed up to collect her children, so it was decided that we would continue the next day.

So this was the morning that I had my hair wacked off. A very distressing event, but necessary. But anyway, after the hair cut I picked up Annie and Emily so we could finish the tarts. We got the frangipane made, now that I had new nuts.  We tasted it, and it was yummy, even to my dulled taste buds.  To Annie it was heavenly, and she was glad to know about it.

Then we got out the pastry dough, and rolled it out.  I let Emily "help" me roll.   She going to be a good party roller one day.

Then while I hunted around for something to cut the circles of dough out with, Annie and Emily discovered a little bag of very unusual candy on the counter, and they were into that until all the candy was gone. So I took a picture of the lovely jam that Lauren (my sister-in-law) had sent down to me earlier in the week.
Annie and Emily finishing off a little bag of candy

Emily wanted to help cut the discs out,

And Annie was keen to put the dough into the molds once she saw the tool I was using to do it with. So I gave her some instuctions and off she went.

And she was also keen to help put the strawberry-rhubarb jam into the molds.

We then heated the oven to 400 degrees, added the frangipane on top of the jam, and put the tarts into the oven for 15 minutes. They turned out perfect, if I say so myself. Now everyone who ate these thought they were fantastic, but I must confess I couldn't really tell what they tasted like. Almost everything tastes terrible in my mouth.

I gave Annie and Emily six tarts and I kept the other six. I was going to take a picture of the insides on one, but they were gone before I got around to it. I still have stuff left to make more, and I think I will get onto that as soon as possible.

But anyway, when all was said and done, on Saturday I suddenly hit the wall at about 1 o'clock, and all I wanted to to was nap, and that's just what I did.  All day and into the evening.  I completely forgot to post the Daring Baker project.  I couldn't believe it.  There I had finished the project on time under difficult circumstances and what do I do, I forget to post it.

"Slump? I ain't in no slump... I just ain't hitting." Yogi Berra

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

You could think I'd dropped off the face of the earth

"There is an appointed time for everything. 
And there is a time for every event under heaven-- " 
Ecclesiastes 3:1

But I didn't.  Most of my blogging of late is done on anther blog called Molly's Trouble.  That's because I've been diagnosed with a rather odd form of breast cancer, but according to several sources I will eventually be just fine.  Christmas is the soonest however.

This blog has been used for my Daring Baker, Daring Cooks, Tuesday with Dorie, and Family events.  For the time being I do not think I will have much energy for any of those things.  And when I found out that cancer cells feed on sugar, there was no way I was going to make something sugary, no matter how good I thought it was.  

I'm really doing pretty good, as you can see on my other blog.  But then that's today.  I start chemo in a week, and I imagine it will really be downhill for a while.  But I preparing for the best.  I hope to have enough energy to go for walks from time to time, and I really hoping to eat as well as possible, even if it feels like being force fed.  We shall see.

But if I have things to blog about that appropriate to this blog, I will surely do them.  There's actually things to be put on this blog that are in past time, but that I really must get on here.  Before I was diagnosed with cancer I was sooooooo tired, and little was getting done besides what had to be done.  But I did manage to make two big cakes and a big batch of cupcakes for my Dad's 90th birthday, and put on a dinner also for his birthday.  And I had dinner parties that have not been blogged about.

The hardest change is that I don't have Emily any more.  She's rather hard to take care of, but still a joy at the same time.  When she sees me now for a while, she cries such cries when she has to go.  It really tugs at my heart.  She's very aware that things have changed.  Trying to tell her that I'm sick is rather hard.  Wait till she sees me with no hair.

"It ain't over till it's over."
Yogi Berra