I had been receiving a couple of emails, and while I try my hardest to reply them all, there are a couple which I may have overlooked, or have yet to come around replying, and some whose orders I had to decline. I think it’s best for me to just come out and say that I have not had the best of weeks thus far, and have been spending most of my time in my room.
It has been an emotionally tiring period for me, and not surprisingly, the concomitant physical draining ensued soon after. I can only thank the mister for being there for me when I needed him most, and mister God for allowing me to talk to him in my prayers and thoughts. I used to seek solace, biding my time alone, away from people, but times like these have made me realise that I am never alone, and that He whispers His love and promises of better days even through the synchronised rustling of leaves, and warm kisses of the setting sun upon your tainted cheeks.
These hard times will be over very soon, and I promise I’ll be back with more bakes to share. In the meantime, my apologies to dear friends for delays in replying emails, and to lovely sweeties for declines in orders; Ovenhaven will be up and about next week, God willing, and next week’s orders which had been confirmed much earlier will still be fulfilled, fret not.
The last I updated here, I turned to a non-bake yoghurt parfait breakfast when the heat got to me. Now as I’m writing this, the bedside window is perforated with beautiful patterns of the tearing clouds. Such is the temperament of the weather here; the seasons are far from clearly defined, and as time went by, it had become more difficult to predict the wet playful monsoon period, when brightly-coloured raincoats and quirky cute brollies contemplated their position amidst backpacks of school children and handbags of strutting ladies.
And all I can think of at this moment is the warm slice of blueberry crumb cake fresh from the oven I had a couple of days ago. I have a favourite apple streusel torte recipe, which I always turn to whenever the non-chocoholic crowd decides to gang up on me, or when I need a good choice of underrated warm cake to be slivered ever so slightly with a dollop of freezer-cold ice-cream. But now, this one attempt at a blueberry bake has knocked the several tastes of red off the charts, for I have found the perfect crumb cake that kept everyone eagerly asking for a second slice.
I’ve had a pack of blueberries sitting in the freezer for some time now, and had been searching for the right recipe to try; blueberry muffins were too average (and the mother decided she was not a fan, having tried at the airport recently), while a blueberry pie sounded too ambitious (the last time I made that, I opted for the canned blueberry pie filling the brother had bought). An intensive search around the Net saw me drooling over these photos, and I knew that if I couldn’t get my hands on those lovely cutlery, I just simply had to try my hands on that crumb cake.
This is one cake that actually brought all the chocoholics and non-chocoholics sitting at the same table, discussing what was the ‘winner’. Some were absolutely smitten by the cinnamon streusel crumble adorning the top layer of the cake, others were won over by the perfect tease of the orange zest illuminating the cake itself, while some found comfort in hidden blueberries bursting in freshness amidst a fluffy cake. Whatever the reason, and in which ever way you prefer (I had mine with warm tea, the father had his with a dollop of vanilla ice-cream), this recipe is a sure keeper.
When I first read about Grace’s Beat the Heat event last month, I was actually wondering to myself, what heat? Sure, the sun would be all bright and cheery in the bluest of skies, but we had the occasional daily showers which would send unsuspecting pedestrians scrambling for shelter. The heat was the least of my concern, relishing instead on beautiful picnic days and manic shutter-frenzy.
That was until the recent cupcake bake, which left me fighting most of the battle in the air-conditioned living room, upon having melted away in the heat of the oven. Believe me, amidst the 4pm still air, the whole kitchen felt like a preheated 200C oven.
The next day, I contemplated warm scones with fresh blueberries for breakfast, but decided against it after the humid sun made his way into the kitchen faster than I could greet it a beautiful morning. Hunger pangs and sheer laziness on my part brought about this mixed fruit yoghurt parfait, or what I’d prefer to call ‘These Are a Few Of My Favourite Things Parfait’.
Mixed berries yoghurt, bits of sweet watermelon, pieces of dragon fruit, and topped with Koko Krunch (just because I need my daily dose of chocolate in one way or another);– an oven-free breakfast you can easily whip up with just anything you have stowed away in the fridge.