Ho Hum..

I really don't know what to title this post with. SO much has happened and I am struggling to keep up with stuff. The Tea Party went really well, even taking account the fact that we couldn't have it in the park in the end due to foul weather and that we somehow managed to squeeze around 50 people into my tiny home. The children (mine) ate so much cake that they didn't ask for any dinner and didn't want any when it was offered to them. The next couple of days was spent in some form of sugar stupor and I was struggling to keep motivated.
Anyhoo, after the slight mishap with the udon noodles plan, I went on to have a go at a few things, because I had some ideas floating about. As part of my plans for a future party I have in mind, I wanted to make individual sized lemon meringue pies but couldn't make up my mind as to whether a mini muffin size would be better, or just a normal muffin one. So, I did both. There was a little toying around with the quantities, as really I knew I was going to need more pastry for individual sized ones than if I were to make a big pie. So I doubled up the sweet pastry recipe, which uses no water or fluids for that matter and included a couple of eggs. I have used this pastry recipe before and I have always had good success with it. It has always been light, buttery, crumbly and good tempered. The actual lemon filling was a just a single recipe's worth and I doctored the original meringue recipe to the one that I normally use as I wanted a really, crisp, thin-shelled meringue.
At some point, I am going to convince SOMEONE, or anyone, for that matter, to make me pastry dibbers that fit into normal muffin moulds as I found that was the most time consuming aspect of this process. I had to cut out rounds and then work them into the moulds and somehow make sure that they were all even. The baking process took about 20 minutes, maybe 25 (damn, I really ought to keep accurate records of these things) and they came out pretty well. What I had planned was to freeze a couple to see how well they freeze but then sense hit me and I realised that if I did that, I would be two lemon meringue pies short. So I thought, pah, I will just save two after they are baked to see how well they keep for a couple of days.
The lemon filling was very easy to make, I prefer this recipe more because they actually ask you to measure the lemon juice and I think that goes a long way in making sure that the filling sets, rather than ending up being one huge oozy mess. Also, it also required a small amount of orange juice and I wonder if this is the reason why this recipe never suffers from the occasional sherbet-y flavour lemon fillings take on.
I ended up with one extra egg whites because I made a double recipe of pastry, but funnily have only just realised as I am typing this that I hadn't put in the 'right' amount of sugar because I forgot about the extra egg white. I am such a div. So now I have the conundrum of whether I ought to use the lesser quantity of sugar as it actually worked or do I rectify the next batch I make to my usual amount?????
Anyhow, filling in. Splodge the meringue in the centre, tease it down to the edges of the pies and they went in for about 30 minutes for the mini ones and 40 minutes for the bigger ones (the extra unaccounted for egg white probably explains why it took longer than anticipated for the meringue shell to crisp up).
And this is how they looked like when the came out. The meringue was delicate but not overly fragile and handled quite a fair bit of being move from one plate to another, and another, and another.

Puffballs Galore
This picture makes me feel sideways

Row by row...
The jar of flowers in the background contained the flower which my pantalooned cat has been trying to eat for the last few days. Like we don't feed him enough already.

Aww, I likes-y this piccie
Aww, I likes-y this piccie

I've come to the realisation that in the food blogging world, it is not enough to just be able to cook adequately, you gotta be a flipping good photographer. I think I might sign up for a course.
So anyway, at some point in the next couple of days, I will edit this with the recipe included, if anyone is interested.
P.S. I ate the last two I saved when I got home from the pub the very same day I made them. Bad.
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Globalisation is gonna really bite us in the arse...

I wanted to make udon noodles today. It required plain flour, and also bread flour which I didn't have. So I despatched one of my children (which I have MANY!!) to go into town to buy some. NOWHERE in town can she purchase bread flour, without requiring her to get on a bus and go to the local supermarket. I despair. You guys will just have to entertain yourself today.
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.


Macaroons, Macarons, honestly, I don't think I care....

So, I ended up with, like ten eggwhites from making the lapis legit. The plan was really to make some macarons and honestly, I think the family was hoping I'd just get over the fanciful idea of making something prettiful and just make some mixed berries pavlova. But I was a woman on a mission and afterall, I had already been to Lakeland and purchased my very first icing set and also liquid food colour. Now bearing in mind, this occurred literally days before the Tea Party and really I should have been concentrating on the Tea Party instead. But like I said, I was a woman on a mission.
Oh, and you gotta excuse me. I am writing this post Tea Party. I have so much sugar and butter in my system, I am literally oozing sweet dough from my pores. My eyes are bleary, I swore blind to Spiker that it must be my thyroid acting up and she very sensibly suggested that I might have just been snorting too much icing sugar and just having periodic pre-diabetic episodes.
So, anyway, back to these macarons. Mixing it up was easy enough. Drawing the 3cm circles on the baking parchment on the other hand reminded me why I never did get on to that architecture degree program I applied too, despite me thinking I had all the skills necessary because I could actually draw an apple properly during arts class. However, I simply cannot use a protractor. End of. In the end, I gave up and decided that surely, I can gauge what 3cm look like.
Piping the macaroon mix on the other hand was a task and a half. The first battle was to get the actual mix into the piping bag. Once I got there, it was pretty straight forward, if I am to discount the occasional macaron mix farts that disrupted the process. The part that I cannot get over was how messy my hands were getting and I know that with practice, the mess factor would be greatly reduced. But you know what, I have a phobia (along with the honeycombe one I secretly hide up until now). I bloody hate having messy hands and feet*.
So I rushed through this process and really this is how the little dahlings looked like before they went in.
Polkadots gone wrong
I must have sat on the floor watching them for about 15 minutes. Thankfully, my OCD kicked in about two weeks ago and my kitchen floor has been doused with Dettol about twice a day by this time. Anyway, I digress...
This is how they looked like when they came out.
Shiny, shiny
I think they look pretty alright. Not quite as pink as I would like them to be but I was still playing around with the food colouring. Let's not talk about the purple ones that ended up being gun metal grey. I told my son that they were the boy's version of the macarons.
* No feet were involved in the making of these dahlings