Monthly Archives: October 2014

Monday Lifelines

From “F in exams” by Richard Benson. Because school starts again today, last term, only a few weeks left before CHRISTMAS!
Topic today is Mathematics. Aaaah, the good old days!

Change 7/8 to a decimal.
7.8

A car company is having a sale. A car that was £25,000 before the sale now has 50 per cent off. What is the new price?
Still too expensive.

You are at a friend’s party. Six cupcakes are distributed among nine plates, and there is no more than one cake per plate. What is the probability of receiving a plate with a cake on it?
Nil, if my sister is invited too.

x is inversely proportional to the square of y. x=3 and y=4. Express x in terms of y.
:-x+:-y=:-)

There will be a prize for the correct answers…

SATURDAY COOKING: SICILIAN TORTA DI MELE (Sicilian Apple Cake)

A delicious moist cake from “Bake your cake & eat it too!” by Tamara Milstein.

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120g butter, melted
50g toasted walnuts, ground
1kg Granny smith apples
zest and juice of 1 lemon
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
250g sugar
150g flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
100ml milk
120g raisins
100g pine nuts, toasted
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon icing sugar

Method:

    1. Preheat the oven to 190°C.
    2. Using 20g of butter from the total quantity, grease a 24cm cake tin generously, then sprinkle with the ground walnuts. Set aside.
    3. Peel and core and quarter the apples, then cut them into slices. Toss the apples with the zest and juice of the lemon and set aside.
    4. Whisk the eggs, vanilla and sugar together until pale and creamy, then add the melted butter, flour, baking powder and milk. Mix thoroughly.
    5. Pour one third of the batter into the prepared cake tin, then top with one third of apple, raisins and pine nuts. Repeat with remaining ingredients, then finish with layer of apples, then sprinkle the combined sugar and cinnamon over the top.
    6. Bake at 190°C for 55 minutes, then allow to cool in the tin for 20 minutes. Unmould and sprinkle with icing sugar before serving.
    7. Eat!

I used a springform tin. I didn’t have walnuts, so I used hazelnuts instead. And I sprinkle sugar and cinnamon at the end on the cake, it looks better ( I have tried with the icing sugar, but it just get absorbed and it looks “dull”).
Keeps well for a few days in a container or in the fridge.

FashionAdvisor: The Airport outfit

The perfect outfit to wear when you go and pick up your family or friends from the airport.
A great way to welcome travellers who have been confined in an airplane for more than 10 hours, who are feeling tired, dirty, and in a state of excitment (because this is the end of the journey, they are going to see you again after a long time), relief (they know they can rest and have a long hot shower) and slight worry (are you going to be there to pick them up?).
Of course, they will have no idea that you will have put on your Sunday best. Your visitors may feel inadequate facing such a degree of good taste, but be reassured, they are more likely to go into cardiac arrest when they finally realise who is parading incognito in front of them…

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Monday Lifelines

From “The little book of insults”:

I never forget a face, but in your case I’ll be glad to make an exception. (Groucho Marx)

He is useless on top of the ground; he ought to be under it, inspiring the cabbages. (Mark Twain)

What he lacks in intelligence, he makes up for in stupidity. (Anon)

SATURDAY COOKING: ROCK BUNS

After looking at all these cakes, scones, biscuits, fruit cakes, meringues, pikelets and cupcakes (without mentioning the chocolates, preserves and sponge cakes) from the Perth Royal Show, I decided to join in the cooking movement and make ROCK BUNS.

This recipe comes from “The Blue Ribbon Cookbook” by Liz Harfull. A book about “recipes, stories and tips from prizewinning country show cooks”.

2 heaped cups (about 350g) self-raising flour, sifted
3/4 cup (165g) sugar
1 teaspoon mixed spice (optional)
lemon juice (generous squeeze from half a lemon)
125g butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup (125ml) milk
lemon essence (a few drops)
250g mixed fruit

Method:

    1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Lightly grease an oven tray (or just line  with baking paper, easier and less messy).
    2. Combine the flour and sugar in a bowl and, if desired, the spice. Add the lemon juice and rub in the butter until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
    3. Lightly beat the eggs and stir in the milk and lemon essence. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon or fork to form a soft dough,adding a little extra milk if it is too stiff. Add the mixed fruit and stir until well combined.
    4. Drop generous teaspoons of the mixture onto the oven tray, allowing room for spreading. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until browned. Loosen the buns and cool on the tray.
    5. Eat!

I assumed the mixed fruit was dried, so I bought a medley of dried chopped fruits. I didn’t have lemon essence, so I put lemon rind instead.
Because my oven tray is not very big, I cooked the buns in 3 lots, putting only about 9 each time. And because my oven is temperamental, I cooked them for 25 minutes, turning the tray halfway through the cooking. Keep an eye on the rock buns as the bottom browns quicker than the top.
The tips from the judges say : “The buns should be even in size (about 5cm) and colour, with evenly distributed fruit and smooth golden bottoms. They should cut well without crumbling. They should be sweet and spicy, with the flavour of the fruit and a delicate hint of lemon”.
I also sprinkled some cinnamon sugar on the second batch and I added chocolate chips to the third batch I cooked.
Easy to make, not very sweet, not too crunchy. No idea if it is supposed to be hard as a rock…Would be nice with a cup of tea…

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