Baking and grilling in CH (amongst other things)
Hello beloved readers ❤
How are you all? How’s the weather where you are? We had a few glorious sunny days here last week but this week it is looking wet and downcast. Perfect for staying indoors to read. Let me share with you a few things that I’ve only discovered recently:
(1) It is possible to enhance those boxed cake mixes. Also, it seems bingeing on cooking competition shows on Netflix may not be a waste of time.
Regarding the former, this post and this write-up provided some useful ideas. Confession: I “stumbled” on them while deliberating on how I could improve the taste of the chocolate cake I intended to bake from the box of cake mix (purchased from the local supermarket, Coop) for a summer party at Jaime’s school. The resulting cake looked and tasted promising …before cracking. Experienced bakers (including my younger self) will no doubt tell me that I committed the rookie mistake of being impatient, removing the cake from the pan while it was still hot. (Click here for some handy baking hints including to wait for the cake to cool down before attempting anything).
Panic and doubt ensued (eiks - perhaps I should have taken the easier route and bought a ready made one?!) but inspiration to improvise ala Netflix’s “The Big Family Showdown” saved my day. The battered cake was chopped into cubes and placed in individual cups before being topped with a lashing of nutella buttercream (Sidenote: I would reduce the amount of sugar when making this icing next time). Aside from smearing some buttercream on my new summer dress on the way to the school, everything else went swimmingly well i.e. the cups arrived safely, Jaime’s name was appropriately ticked from the list, the cake was popular with the crowd, etc.
(2) Grilling vegetables on the BBQ does not have to be messy or boring. An epiphany for Emilio and me who are constantly retrieving boring dropped veg pieces from in between the grills, even though they were skewered. This revelation came to us during a recent weekend in bigger-than-you-think Saarbrücken where we witnessed our friends casually place aluminium trays containing seasoned mushrooms and peppers on to the grill. Not much fuss and yet the outcome was scrumptious. We started using aluminium trays on our grill (an alternative is this), making sure each time that our chosen vegetables (ranging from broccoli to peppers) have been first thoroughly seasoned with herbs, spices and oil (olive, sesame, pistachio). They taste great!
Meanwhile back at the (our) ranch…
The ‘settling in’ wheels are continuing to turn. I’m happy to report that Jaime seems to be looking forward to going to school, cracking jokes on our way there. Hurrah. Isabel is also slowly adapting, encouraged by the various bribes being offered (by me). As for me, conversations with my mentor=counsellour=twin sister and attending classes at a local meditation centre have reminded me that everything around me are my mental projections. This realisation, along with paying attention to my ever changing thoughts, have somewhat banished the blues and lifted my spirits. To keep this momentum, I am making an effort to use both the Insight Timer and Calm app frequently. Rereading the cult book Getting Things Done has instigated a formal “Project List” and “Items of Actions” the latter being actively executed. Much easier now that I’m not spending a lot of time at the day care. All still very much work in progress… as usual.
Wish you well. xxx