The mister and I celebrated our 40th month recently, and with all the hectic schedules and busy projects we somehow alternately get ourselves busy with, we thought it was pretty much overdue that we found time for ourselves. And what better way to spend quality time together than an afternoon over a picnic on the greens.
The park was filled with children running around in excitement, finding entertainment in fallen twigs, and fussing over their packed fast food lunches. Parents chased after little ones confidently steering their tricycles off the gravel track, while a lady seeking inspiration, armed with a journal and pen in hand, looks on with a faint smile. The weather was perfect for building castles with every rolling cloud.
As luck were to have it, I had been quite busy the past week with the parents’ birthdays, and catching up with the lil nieces who stayed over. I was secretly hoping that I could find the opportunity to snap photos of what I baked for the birthday celebrations, but they were wiped out sooner than I had expected. All’s well, I guess
For the mother, I baked an improved version of the peach crumble pie, and a rich butter cake sandwiched with fruits, and decorated with buttercream frosting. Both were easily my mother’s favourites, even though I had deliberately reduced the sugar content in light of the doctor’s advice to her.
For the father’s celebrations yesterday, I baked the tried-and-tested soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies for the little ones to munch on, and tried my first attempt at an ice-cream cake. After several opinions, I went for the same butter cake, sandwiched with a layer of chocolate ice-cream, and another layer of chocolate chip ice-cream, and topped with a layer of Oreo crumbs. Even though it was a total mess (the ice-cream melted during the father’s speech!), I thought it was a good learning point, and I picked up several pointers with regard to the choice of cake (sponge, vis-a-vis butter), and the fridging duration. Oh, and hopefully next time I’ll have enough space in the freezer to use a springform pan
I still have a long way to go before I can come close to the likes of Happy Home Baker and Laureen with regard to cakes and cake decorations, but I do hope that I can get more practice soon!
In other news, I’ve been tagged by HHB and Aimei to give 5 random facts about myself. To be honest, I don’t know why anyone would be interested in knowing more about the boring ol’ me, but here goes:-
It never really occured to me, but when I incessantly whined to the mister about the dilemma I was in;– I had my largest order over the last weekend, hence I had to reserve my resources, so to speak;– I knew that I was addicted to baking. Don’t get me wrong; other than the upsize in bills and waistline, I don’t see anything I should be ashamed of.
While I was still rapt in thoughts, the mister distracted me with a suggestion to cook for a change. An idea that would have previously left me adamantly scoffing to hide my guilt of not being the least stove-gifted, but at that point, I was ready to take on anything to curb the addiction.
What I had initially planned to be just a quick rummage through the packets of instant mixes soon morphed into the mother’s kitchen crash course to what I’m supposed to do, as opposed to what the cooking-challenged me can do. Biggest lesson of the day: no amount of rushed albeit hassle-free cooking can be as good as the meal you’ve “toiled and troubled” over. Many garlic cloves, onions, and a wok of fried macaroni later, much love and gratitude to the resident chef of the household for I had passed my very first cooking assignment.
Now on to more familiar terrains, shall we?