Monday, September 10, 2007

Monday Mishmash

I'm serving up myself a nice hot dish of humble pie* for dessert tonight....

Yesterday I made the following comment on someone's blog :

"I don't think TV is appropriate for young children at all, and only in small doses for older children."

I followed that up by entertaining my children for a half an hour looking at pictures and YouTube videos of animals from the cuteoverload.com site.

I loathe the overly cutesy captions and comments, but we were all cracking up at kittens attacking empty boxes, overfed hamsters, and the world's tiniest snail.

I know, I know.

It's just that when the kidlets wake up from their nap and I'm already on the computer, they immediately beg for pictures of dinosaurs or puppies or whatever. And I'm weak, I'M WEAK, I TELL YOU!

*I just love Wikipedia: where else can you find the following things all related to each other: Offal | Savoury pies | English idioms?

* * *

This afternoon SillyBilly reminded me of his greatest superpower: eagle-eye vision. (The boy can spot the tiniest things, as well as the one thing that you didn't want him to notice, or the one tiny thing that you changed in the room.) He noticed a visitor in my bedroom window:


Though I hate tormenting creatures, I just had to go outside and bring this amazing mantis in for the kids to see. (It was raining, and the thought of getting the kids ready to go outside in rain gear before the mantis left was beyond me at that moment.) It was mostly reddish brown, with bright green wings peeking out. And about 6 inches long!

I had caught it in a large glass water pitcher, and the mantis showed us his amazing superpower by crawling all the way up the sheer, slippery side of the pitcher and almost escaping!

* * *

Tomorrow is my birthday (yes, it's a nice birthday to have. I just get a little extra pondering of mortality every year now). I decided to make my own birthday cake. Mostly to give the kids a project, but also because the last store-bought cake we ate just wasn't that good, and this way I at least know what the ingredients are and can pronounce them!

I also decided to try out my spiffy cake pan that I bought a long time ago:


Of course, I don't have a recipe for this pan's shape or volume, but with my trusty Joy of Cooking I was feeling no fear. I used the Sour Cream Chocolate Cake recipe.

Now, I seem to have a constitutional inability to follow recipes exactly as written. Though this time it wasn't all my fault: Anthropapa had bought some almond extract so I just had to add some, and we didn't have enough sour cream so I improvise a half cup of whole milk and lemon juice.

The kids had a great time sifting and stirring, though mostly they liked licking the spoons. Coming out of the oven, all seemed well:


I hadn't expected the batter to completely fill the pan, and in any case I could live without a little train around the bottom of my cake.

The problem occurred when I tried to get the cake to come out:


I don't know if the batter just wasn't quite right for the pan, or I didn't grease the pan enough, or didn't let it cool enough before attempting it.

Whatever. It will still taste good, especially after I melt some more chocolate to drizzle on top.

Shove a few candles in it, and pass me a fork!

12 comments:

Kerryn said...

Happy Birthday for tomorrow (or today here on the other side of the world. Ooh, two birthdays!).

Mmm. Chocolate cake. It doesn't matter what it looks like. It's chocolate cake.

Have a wonderful birthday Kristine.

Papa Bradstein said...

Happy Birthday!

I'd call that a Godzilla cake--it looks like the terrible lizard came and laid waste to it on his way to, I don't know, emptying your silverware drawer onto the kitchen floor?

Anyway, you're right--it will taste wonderful. Enjoy.

szilvi said...

Many happy returns! Have a wonderful day! I'll have to try that recipe, just so I know what you guys had. (We recieved The Joy for our wedding from the States.)

Charlotte said...

Happy Birthday! Hope you have a great day. I think your cake will probably be absolutely delicious.

Henitsirk said...

Thanks everyone! That cake tasted fine after all, just needed some cosmetic adjustments.

Yogamum said...

That's so funny -- I just wrote about not giving my kids food with artificial coloring, and then went out a bought a huge box of Goldfish crackers.

My cakes always look like that, but they taste great anyway. Mmmm, cake! Hope you had a happy day!

Henitsirk said...

Hi Yogamum! Yes, I have succumbed to the lure of the Goldfish crackers, particularly if stuck in a long line at the store. As things go, I think they're pretty benign compared with Cheetos or candy. My kids usually ask for "bars", meaning Nature Valley or TLC granola bars. They could live on those!

thegoodwitch said...

I've had the exact experience...the NordicWare pans are beautiful, but a hassle to de-pan. Despite my freaky hippie organics, I broke down and purchased the Wilton brand cake "grease." It works fabulously, if you can manage to get it into all the tiny crevices!

Anonymous said...

Where'd you post "I don't think TV is appropriate for young children at all, and only in small doses for older children."? I am in agreement, and would like to see the entire context!

Henitsirk said...

Hi Goodwitch, thanks for visiting! I used coconut oil for the grease and thought I was using too much...next time I'll try flour also to see if it makes a difference, before I buy any icky grease :)

Anon: OK, I'll reveal my hubris to the world: it was on the Attachment Parenting Blog, http://www.apparenting.com/

(un)relaxeddad said...

That's the kind of cake the whole family could love, one way or another!

Helen said...

Mmmmmmm! I bet it still tasted delicious! I'm going to have to keep Kiko away from both Cute Overload (he will go insane!) and pictures of your cake or I will be tormented. Coik! Coik!

I have a confession to make. Kiko loves TV. He follows me round the house with the remote control going: "Teddies! Teddies!" If I don't switch it on, he tries to use the remote control himself (the wrong one and the wrong way round). What have I bred?!?! A particular low point was the other day when he cried when I turned off Bindi Irwin Jungle Girl (I will spare you my inevitable opinions on that show). He was going: "Puppy! Puppy!" so plaintively that I switched it on again. I'm talking about giving the TV away, meanwhile his Daddy is talking about getting a plasma screen. Seems like I'm outnumbered...