Down-time

The blog has been quite lately, just a spot of down time. Downtime, as in:

  • Photo capability is down again due to loss of card reader (again)
  • the test knit shawl has had some downtime since Row 5 of Chart E threw up a possible error in Row 3. I started to tink it back, had to put it down for something else needing my attention (the phone, I think) and somply haven’t picked it up again since. I seem to have lost a little heart for it – probably due to…
  • feeling a little down in spirits myself
  • of course, the Mood socks have also been on some downtime due to having the test knitting to do
  • Fibre has been taking a back seat to Kitchen

So, what do we have in the way of progress reports?

  • test knit shawl – stuck, and this will not do. I must get back to it this very day. Estimate 1 day to finish the chart and part of another to crochet the cast off. This does not include tinking and fixing time.
  • second Mood sock cast on and 1 leg repeat (of 8) done – I want to finish this by the month end. ETC dependent on shawl activities.
  • Spinning today saw the pink-dyed Shetland spun into singles and all ready to complete the plying! I have every hope of completing the handspun Aestlight Shawl soon, if not achievable by the end of this month, at least by next month end.

No further progress:

  • ferry socks
  • ferry blanket
  • Yo-Yo scarf weaving

At Spinning Group today I managed to establish a month’s leeway on dressing up the conservatory as our Fibre Studio. That’s a great help, as the hall floor is coming up in April.

I made these Oven-Baked Apple Donuts for spinning today. Nothing like a doughnut, of course. Just a muffin, really. There was something wrong with the recipe, as the dry ingredients  would not bind with the amount of egg and liquid given… and it was far from being a batter. All the same, given an extra egg and some more milk, the finished result was nicely tasty. They were still warm by the time that we had them and were much enjoyed. There was talk of writing up the recipe as Spinning Cake. Perhaps, but not yet – I need to quantify the extra liquid components and also convert from stupid cup measures to something more accurate and readily used. Perhaps best classified as “shows promise”.

This classification is probably also to be applied to the Rich Fruit Cake that I made on Tuesday, in a bid to consume some of  The Great Egg Glut…

Now, I have my own recipe that I have used for celebration cakes for a great many years; it is delicious and it works. I had an idea to start making fruit cakes on a regular basis, and stack them up in the pantry for maturation. That way, I’d never be stuck for  cake on Spinning Group day. I’d also use up the egg glut… and fruit cake keeps for yonks. A sensible plan, it seemed to me.

However… this time around I decided to try the Industrial Show recipe (fruit cake has to be made to a given recipe, and diversion brings about disqualification.) My oven is somewhat dodgy and a practice run before the Show seemed sensible.

Monday was the day set aside but when I looked out my dried fruits, it became clear that I would need not only to wash the fruit, but also to rehydrate it. It was… elderly. So it was duly washed and set upon the Rayburn to dry out again.

I set to yesterday morning, measuring and mixing. Then I found I was out of Ground Almonds… but forged ahead, those not being critical to cake success.

The lemon rind was mouldy, so I used orange zest instead… and a little natural lemon essence.

When I reached the dry ingredients, I found that I had no Mixed Spice. Now, that is critical.

I threw in a few single spices and hoped for the best, but thought the best would not be very good at all… so I thought why not chuck in the mixed chopped nuts that were “a little” out of code as well.

The cake baked OK. It took a lot less time than the recipe stated. I mean A LOT. So it was a useful exercise and the recipe has been annotated.

When it came to annointing its bottom with brandy – you guessed it – no brandy in evidence. I gave it a malt whisky bath instead.

I shall be going shopping soon and then I shall do a proper practice run with the Show recipe – give it a fair chance – before going back to my own mix.

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