Monday, February 25, 2013

Baby Baby [with tea and cake]

If last month was Jumping January here in my Stitchity world, then this one has definitely been Flat February. Despite all my best intentions I have found it near impossible to make any sort of time in the last few weeks for stitching of any kind. The first month of the new year was a blurry haze, fueled by pain and painkillers, but it was also a strangely creative time as well. And now that the dust has pretty much settled, quite literally, I have been attempting to recover my household from the five-week absence of the housekeeper (me).  During the time that I was missing in action I had to delegate the dismantling and relocation of my sewing room from one end of the house to the other. The boys did a sterling job under the circumstances, but until I can muster the time and energy to reorganise their effort there will be no stitching here.

So I have turned to knitting in the evenings. There is a vaguely suppressed feeling of panic about the arrival of my very first grandbaby, due in 17 weeks time. It will be high winter, and a bubby must have warming woollies for those chilly and frosty days. In a serendipitous moment I made one of those bookish "heart buys" last year when trawling the shelves of my local repository of tomes, The Turning Page in Springwood. I now wonder, was it prophetic perchance?

I love this book, each and every page, but I especially love this almost vintage little chappy man-vest. The design is simple, with a purl stitch detail running in lines down the front and the back. The pattern called for Debbie B's own Baby Cashmerino, but sadly finding it absent on the shelves of my local yarn stockist I turned to a tried and true old classic in Paton's Bluebell. This is a crepe yarn made from 100% Australian wool (and therefore it is good).
The vest was finished over the weekend - a miserable grey Saturday, where up and down the Eastern coast rivers were swelling and spilling from torrential rain and howling winds were uprooting trees and tearing at already battered communities. It was wet-wet-wet here in the mountains, but there was no risk of flood and the worst of the winds seemed to pass us by. In a household denuded of people I sat quiet and content with basket of yarn and a puppy at my feet. I have been listening to a reading of Anna Karenina over the last few weeks - an audio-book loan from my local library. The vest is finished, the matching socks are almost a pair. The book is still a work in progress, but I have yet to fashion a little woolly beanie to finish the set, so there are hours more of comforting cocoon-time ahead. But back to the cake ...
I found this recipe for Delicious Lemon Bread with Lemon Glaze on the Primally Inspired webpage over the weekend. As someone who tends to avoid grains and refined sugars I thought I'd give this a whirl and see whether it really WAS a cake substitute. The cake is based on coconut flour and uses loads of lemon juice and zesty zest with a small whack of honey for flavour. So I measured, and grated, and juiced, and whisked the whole mess together and tipped it in a pan ...
I thought a light sprinkling with poppy seeds in order with all that lovely lemony goodness in the mix. When the timer on the oven went *bing* piping hot cake was removed and liberally brushed with a lemon and honey glaze and left it to cool. And the verdict? Um, I shall be polite and say that I think this is a recipe with potential. The generous amount of "baking soda" [read bi-carb] is much more generous than good taste would dictate. So next time, I think the soda won't even leave the cupboard, and maybe a goodly cup of shredded organic coconut wouldn't go astray. But in the end, I have for the most part given up cake. And there really isn't any substitute for good cake, is there!

Evie xxx

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