My life has changed a lot in the last few months, all for the better I think.
The last few years were hectic. I was involved with a few projects and between work, school, running markets and a million different things, we all were hardly home. I think, looking back, that most days I were running on adrenaline and running on almost empty at the same time. I loved the Christmas Market and being involved with it. I will miss it.
But, I knew that this year I need to shift focus. I needed to focus on a few things that were left by the wayside. Family, friends and my house and garden. A huge collection of orchids as well.
We are in the midst of a big revamp of our house as well. We have been in the house now, for eleven years. And we planned the house as newly weds with no kids and very few possessions. How things have changed. And with that change came a whole new set of requirements for our house. So, we started with a pool. And then we needed more cement and bricks to join the house and the pool. A few more loads of bricks and the big kitchen expansion was born. We were doing it all ourselves with the help of guys from the farm. There were days that got the better of us and there were days when it all seemed totally crazy. Luckily, the end result is better than I ever hoped.
But, alas, we needed more bricks, as the garage is slowly, being transformed into a new office and a classroom. By the end of the month it should all be finished.
I have realized, that I own a whole lot of pans and baking sheets. And a huge amount of strange and beautiful packaging items as well. All this moving the house around, meant a lot of sorting out of cupboards and the discovery of many items long forgotten.
All this means, that by the end of the month, I'll have more space to bake and more time to photograph and hopefully, it will all translate to more activity on my little blog.
I have been baking a lot. And a huge amount of chocolate cakes for all sorts of occasions.
I'll be bringing you a few of the recipes in the next few weeks.
For now, my newest discovery and absolute favorite cake, a nutty, hazelnut torte that I found here.
Try it, it is delicious.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Friday, January 11, 2013
I have some very fond memories of myself and my sisters perched in an apricot tree with the cousins or the neighbors, devouring the juiciest, ripest apricots on a warm sunny day.
Luckily, I found a huge pile of very fresh, just ripe apricots in our local fruit market the other day and I could not resist. I started putting a few in a bag and then got carried away. Well, really carried away and ended up buying eight kilograms of the blushing fruits.
I had a plan though, that all started as another fond memory of a few family members, often my paternal grandmother and my mother and whomever got roped in, making jam. We would all gather around a huge jam pot, chatting, peeling, discarding pips or stirring, tasting.
My next stop after town was at my mom's house with a request for her to join me in my jam making quest. Firstly, because I have never done such a vast quantity before and secondly, because making jam requires chirpy company. It just does. And yes, we did fill a 50kg pot with apricots and sugar and ended up with lots and lots of jars of golden goodness.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
These last few months had been hectic and the reason again was the Christmas market that I organized with the help of a few wonderful friends and family members. You can see some pictures here on the ever amazing Lauren's blog.
I love the creative process of putting it all together, meeting all the amazing crafters and purveyors and seeing all the happy faces of customers. But it does take its toll on family life and normal day to day living.
So now, life is back to normal and the phone is not constantly glued to my ear as it had been for who knows how long. I can think and breath and be a mom and wife and accountant again. And of course the time spent in the kitchen increases too. We get to sneak away on weekends to the mountains too and have spend a lovely, misty afternoon in one of our favourite spots looking for flowers this past weekend.
Enough with the excuses and babbling and back to the real reason for my reappearance around the blogosphere - apricots and financiers. I don't get cravings for anything sweet very often, but maybe because of the energy draining activities of the last while or maybe because of the beautiful rays of sunshine that broke through the clouds of the last few days, today I craved something sweet. And something with apricots, just because I happen to have had a punnet of the sweetest apricots right there on the counter. And these fit the bill exactly. They are not sweet, but not sour either and the contrast of crumbly almonds and feather light egg white batter with the sour-sweet fruitiness of the apricots are just divine.
None left, not one.