now about that cake

November 25, 2010

hello friends.

Sorry it’s been so long. My last post was rushed .

It’s not a GREAT idea to start a post 25 minutes before the cab arrives for leaving on holiday.

Phil and I had a wonderful holiday for 31/2 weeks. A week of galleries and museums followed by 2 1/2 weeks of country living, walking and fossicking and a day of shopping just at the end.

The crazily wonderful thing about this holiday is that now, over a month after our return, that post holiday feeling is still hanging in there.

You know the feeling where there is just a bit more space and time in the air. Things seem a bit clearer and brighter and I’ve not been tempted yet into too much inefficient rushing.

I’m holding on to the feeling as fast as  can.  I’ve done the spring clean and have taken breaks from many things including blogging. I have been so chicken  I haven’t even opened my site but I caught up with some  blog reading in the last 2 weeks.

Time to say a big hello again and happy Thanksgiving if you are celebrating.

Now the cake. Kim’s blurb mentioned that it was a very big cake and suitable for bigger celebrations and it was.

Chocolate Meringue Explosion Cake

Meringue

2 cups of egg whites (about 12 medium eggs)

5 cups of sugar

Pinch of salt

1 tablespoon cocoa

Filling

1.5 litres of thickened cream (I didn’t use this much)

Castor sugar

Half cup of cocoa

1 cup hazelnuts –toasted and chopped

1 cup chocolate buttons

250 g dark chocolate

Meringue:

  • Beat the egg whites, sugar and salt in an electric mixer at high speed until stiff.
  • Gently fold in the cocoa.

Line oven trays with baking paper and spread out the mixture to make three 25cm rounds, each 2-3cm high.

  • Bake in a slow (90 C) oven overnight (yes – overnight – for 10-12 hours).
  • Remove and cool.

Filling:

  • Beat the cream and sweeten to taste.
  • Add the cocoa, hazelnuts and chocolate buttons.
  • Set aside about a quarter of the mixture and use the rest to sandwich together two of the meringue rounds.
  • Roughly chop the remaining meringue round into 2cm pieces.
  • Use the remaining cream to generously coat the top and sides of the meringue sandwich. Gently arrange the meringue pieces in the cream.
  • Dribble the top with melted dark chocolate

It is easier than it sounds.

This was all copied word for word from Kim and it was easier than it sounds.  It was also great hit with 21 year olds.

I hadn’t seen a cake like this  one before and I do think I had a bit of a failure of imagination. If I had my time again I would try to cut the 3rd meringue into shards, following the shard model of  the original Federation Square plan. I couldn’t find a picture but the London Shard would be a great model.Now for quilting updates.

Mum’s ‘top’ Version 3 is finally done.
I was very fortunate to find a border fabric remnant from some old stock that had just come into Patchwork on Tuesday. There was even exactly the right amount. Phew.

I’ll take a few shots of the blocks and post them on Flickr tomorrow.

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With my brother and little sister at Cleland Wildlife Sanctuary

I was very fearful when I quickly wrote my last post and I wanted to explain my many longer blog breaks. At the moment I do not have internet connection in ‘BC’ and have been taking as many trips as possible there in the last couple of years.

I have never before had to bear the death of a very close loved one and I had no idea how I would be able to do it.

Dad has been ailing for the last few years and in many ways we as a family must have been  grieving a little at a time and  preparing ourselves for Dad’s death- inevitable but sad nevertheless.

All was well. I was able to spend two days with my very, very dear Dad and the rest of our family, and  I was so happy to be with him and hold his hand through his last night.

The hospital staff who have looked after him (and us) for the last couple of years were magnificent, and the warmth and support of the community in this  small country town was wondrous.

There is  lovely tradition that when there is a death of someone in or close to the community  a  flag is raised at 1/2 mast in the main street. Everyone is alerted and gathers around. Neighbours drop in with food and flowers and help to organize the funeral and afternoon tea.  During both of my parents illnesses in the last couple of years I have spent a lot more time traveling back  and forward to Booleroo, and although I have not lived in the town for many years it has felt as if I had never left and I’ll be forever grateful!

The funeral was a wonderful celebration of a long, full and happy life. We were surrounded by friends and family and I was honoured to be able to do the eulogy. I have posted this on a separate page (temporarily) for friends, family members and as a little piece of history.

I would not describe myself as superstitious or particularly sentimental but in the last couple of weeks I have been observing all sorts of invented rituals and practices. Wearing the couple of little pieces of jewellery he gave me as a child , using his hankies and wearing his pj’s.

I wore my Liberty ‘viking ships’ dress to the funeral, because I had heard a minister talking about ships and souls and peace at a previous funeral and I remembered hearing about the Vikings cremation rituals!

Those you have loved the most dearly must live on the most strongly in your memories and remain as a source of inspiration and strength.

“Collectors”

May 27, 2009

RIMG0325Sallyanne will be on  ‘ Collectors’ tomorrow night talking about ‘The Comforting Cup of Tea Project’. The filming was done over a month ago in Taggarty and Marysville,  on the coldest, sleetiest day of the year.  After the show is aired it can be watched on line. Go to the shows’ website for more information.

P.S. See Sallyanne in her lovely Liberty dress in video segment 4 at this site for 29/5/09, she doesn’t even look cold!

http://www.abc.net.au/tv/collectors/

I think all artisans and craftspeople become collectors of some sort. It’s impossible not to collect materials or tools or resources, books etc. Whilst we’ve been scouring antique , second-hand and op- shops I’ve been trying so hard not to collect things for myself..but I could not resist the two Victorian cups on the left. They were $A10.00 each  and I think they go well with the lovely old cup given to Phil’s great- grandfather in 1904. Looks like I am now a collector of something else.

After spending a week in South Australia visiting my parents I returned with a new resolve to make my sewing area more comfortable. Anita at Bloomin’Workshop must be thanked for so much of the progress I have made this year in life! The Medallion Quilt Along was the start of it. This quilt has been so much fun and a great vehicle for learning about colour and pattern.  It ‘s great to be able to see the wonderful work that the other Quilt Alongers are doing and it inspired me to learn the skills to do basic Flickr and now very basic blog. I’ve just purchased a very basic tripod because my photography is rubbish, and now I am organizing my sewing areas. Anita, have you thought about becoming a life coach! rimg0331

I have been a migratory nomadic sewer, moving my sewing machine and basket of fabrics and notions to nice comfortable areas of the house. I have had a room for a few months that has had the basics but have not made enough effort to make it homely.

I have reorganized the space in the last couple of days-a bit.

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rimg03182My fabric storage I am happy with. It is great for a nomadic sewer. The very light cardboard boxes free from the greengrocer can be carried wherever I wish to play with my pieces. Often I just shuffle them out of the cupboard !

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Things to do

  • curtains – there is a light blind but it’s too transparent for night so I never work there at night
  • something for the walls: fabric or prints
  • look for a small comfortable chair and bench for obvious reasons!
  • pin board

Next month I’ll do an update.rimg03552