Sunday, 31 May 2009

From Zero to Hero

It was the best of weekends, it was the worst of weekends....

I woke up bright and early on Saturday morning, rearing to go. I had plans you see. Baking plans.

I had this month's Sweet and Simple bake to complete and had seen a gorgeous Strawberry Sponge cake on Rosie's blog that I wanted to make for a bbq we were going to later on in the day.

First up - lemon curd muffins.

"There's something strange about this recipe" I muttered to myself as I started assembling my ingredients. Then it hit me. There's no butter in it! "Muffins without butter" I said to myself (in fact I said everything to myself because the boyfriend was still in bed at this point) "how very strange. And there's oil in them instead?! What strangeness is this?!"

Still I am the novice and ahead I went. Everything went great, they came out of the oven nice and risen and looking good. A little anaemic looking which I'm putting down to the fact that I didn't use golden caster sugar but on the whole it was good. Until I bit in to one.

I don't know what I did wrong! Whether I used the wrong kind of oil or what I don't know but they really did not taste nice. So they had to go in the bin.
Bad start to the day.

Second up - Strawberry Sponge Cake.

I was feeling good about this one. Although I haven't attempted a sponge cake yet I was feeling pretty confident. Putting the disaster of the lemon curd muffins behind me, I set out on a new baking adventure.

I should have just stayed out of the kitchen.

Maybe I had the oven up too high. Maybe the shelf was too high up. Maybe it just wasn't my day. I went to check on them after 20 minutes and they were burnt. "It's ok, maybe I can just cut the nasty bits off." Yes. Maybe I could have but I would have first needed to chisel them out of the sandwich tins they were stuck to. Night. Mare.

I put the blame for this on my boyfriend, he was in charge of greasing the tins.

To be fair when I did plunge my fist in to it and pull some out it tasted really good. I just shouldn't have ignored that voice in my head that was saying "STAY OUT OF THE KITCHEN".

That Saturday will now become known as Black Saturday. It was a bad, bad day and I was in no mood for the rest of the weekend.

However Sunday dawned bright and wonderful. It was a new day and everything was going to be ok because I wasn't going to be anywhere near the kitchen as I would be out at Costello Stadium, running in the Race for Life 2009. Me and a group of friends had decided to run it this year and we decided to do it with a twist - we would do it 3-legged.

The idea was borne out of the fact that there were a great mix of us in the group, ranging from people like me, who break out in a rash at the thought of exercise, to someone who does triathlons 'for fun' (no I don't understand it either). We figured that doing it 3-legged would be a bit of a leveller and would keep us all together in a team. Also it would provide us with a good angle to go at when trying to collect sponsorship money. People get these sponsorship forms all the time and I think there's a real danger of 'charity fatigue' so we hoped this might help us a little bit.

It wasn't actually as hard as we thought it was going to be. Once you get in to your stride you're sorted and we even managed to jog a few times. Unfortunately we didn't all stay together as one big group - I guess some people are going to be more interested in winning whatever situation you put them in - but 4 of us stuck together through it and we managed to finish the 5km course in 50 minutes which we didn't think was half bad - the general consensus was that it was going to take us an hour and a half.
All in all a great laugh. And all for a great cause as the 10 of us managed to raise over £700 for cancer research.
Yes, maybe I didn't run it and yes, maybe only doing 5km is not that impressive but it was to me.
And I got a medal.

So though I might have been a disaster in the kitchen this weekend, at least I can say I've achieved something.
...and then I came home and burnt the garlic bread we were going to have for tea. *sigh*


♥Rosie♥ said...

Oh heck not good news about the baking :0( I am sorry to hear the lemon curd muffins and my strawberry cake didn't turn out. Don't give up baking it happens truly to the best of us. I binned TWO yes TWO lots of a bake last week, the recipe just didn't work for me on a red velvet cake.

I do hope you will join us again at S&SB - keep that flag flying for homebakes :0)

Great news on your huge achievement "Race for Life 2009" - well done!!!

Best wishes Rosie x

The Curious Cat said...

Hey! Yeah I have read Half of A Yellow Sun - I worked on all the marketing for it when I worked at HarperCollins! I love Chimamanda she is a really lovely person and so talented - I love the book! She's got a new one out/due to be out which consists of short stories, you should also read Purple Hibiscus...

My friend was running in the Race for Life this weekend - said it was brilliant! Well done for doing it! I am terrible at running! xxx

Wonk said...

A bit of belated response but meh, you poor thing, I totally sympathise.

I had a bit of a 'mare myself this past weekend. Even though common sense tells you that 'kitchen trauma' happens to the best of us and is temporary it still spoils your mood.

I just use regular old vegetable oil when baking, you basically want one as bland as possible (unless the flavour ties in naturally with what you're making) - so you need to be quite cautious with Olive Oil etc. Alternatively if I've not got the oil I need to hand I'll just melt up some Stork in the microwave and leave to cool for a few mins before using - same thing (in my mind anyhow ;) ).

Anyhow, glad you bounced back with the Orange Drizzle cake this month :)