Saturday, 28 January 2012

Toadstools, spindles and giant jaffa cakes

Well, as promised, here's the fruit of my spinning labors to date! To one who has never spun wool, it may look pretty pathetic, but believe me, this spinning malarkey is tricky. I guess it's one of those things which suddenly 'clicks'. I've not quite reached that stage yet.

One of the problems is that the wool seems to unravel itself, effectively unspinning, when I finish. I need to read up on 'setting the twist'.

Feeling encouraged by my drop spindle efforts, I've had another bash at Nana's wheel. It almost caused a domestic between Craig and I after dinner this evening, as he tried to explain to me about 'tension' and things. I don't understand technical terms - I just needed to know when to twist the knob!

To say it's a bit like patting your head while rubbing your stomach is an understatement. I can't believe the co ordination required even just to keep the wheel spinning in the same direction. Or perhaps I'm just exceptionally uncoordinated?

Friends are calling by tomorrow evening for cake and craft. One quite fancies herself as Rumpelstiltskin so I'm hoping she'll spin all my straw to gold! I'm not sure if she's ever spun before. I think it could be good entertainment!

With my spinning adventures done for the day I sat down this evening to make a needle felt toadstool for Miles' nature table. I'm much happier with this than my spinning achievements. It's a first attempt and could be better, but I'm happy with it and hopefully he will be too.

A little bird told me it's the time of year for gnomes to be digging up crystals! Can you see the little crystals which we collected by the seashore today to scatter by our gnomes?

A while ago a wise mama told me about a very interesting cake she had made. It was a huge jaffa cake! Craig loves jaffa cakes so when he grew another year younger last week, I decided to make one for him. well, I'm not sure where I went wrong but it didn't pan out as I had expected.

I made a flat sponge. That was fine, I'm quite good at flat sponges. I also made an orange jelly in a shallow dessert bowl. So far so good.

Shortly before dinner the plan was to flip the jelly out of the bowl onto the sponge, then cover with dark chocolate frosting. Sounds like it couldn't possibly be simpler.

Fast forward five minutes and the jelly was on top of the sponge but not in a smooth disc, it was like the Alps. Have you tried to apply a even layer of cake frosting to a mound of smashed up jelly? I'd advise you not to bother trying. I tried a spatula, a spoon, a knife and even my hands (both wet and dry) all to no avail.

In the end I decided the only thing to do was to put the jelly under the sponge and frost the top of the sponge. Comparatively easy.

I felt a bit of a failure and it has to be said, as birthday cakes go, it didn't exactly have the 'wow' factor, but Craig loved it and that's all that matters. I'll certainly make this again as an after dinner dessert. Sometimes rich cakes can be too heavy after a meal, and in my opinion, no matter what the time jelly on it's own is always too wobbly. This was a nice combination which did actually taste just like the real thing. A resounding success!

1 comment:

dawny said...

fantastic both for your spinning, felting and your cake :-) and happy birthday too