As if 5000 hits wasn’t exciting enough, I got 10 comments to boot! (And only TWO of them were from my mother!) I felt like a ‘real’ blogger, the kind who quite coolly amasses double figure comments on a daily basis and has an RSS feed and takes beautifully lit photos…okay I’m still genuinely struggling on the photography front and I can’t for the life of me figure out how to install an email subscription enabler thingy but…
Thanks everyone for making it happen 🙂
I couldn’t spend too much time on my high horse though. Last night I tried making the Lemon Meringue Cake from Nigella’s Feast (although it first appeared in Forever Summer) with the idea of putting fresh passionfruit in the middle instead…and nothing would go right. Crucially, I got a tiny bit of yolk in the egg whites – the first time that has ever happened – and true to form, they just would not hold shape. Recklessly, and I admit, a little maniacally, I just biffed the whole lot in the oven anyway where…it got burnt.
However, all was not lost. Luckily the chargrilled stage gave it more of a caramelised, rather than carcinogenic flavour, and with lashings of cream and the airbrushing effect of lots of icing sugar it went from this:
Above: I would have loved to have taken one of those photos where everything in the background is blurry – it’s such a pretty cake – but despite repeated attempts I can’t figure out how. Shutter speed or aperture or something…any tips? Anyway, I guess the lesson here is actually: when in doubt, smother it in cream. Despite the odds, this cake tasted wonderfully good – the textures really define it, as you sink your spoon softly into meringue, then sponge, then cream, then fruit, then sponge, then meringue again. There is something truly exquisite about the elusive fragrance of fresh passionfruit and it proved an excellent contrast for all that sweetness. All I can say is, if it tasted this good, imagine how delicious it would have been had I not cocked it up at every step of the way.
In case you thought we’d only been having pudding for breakfast lunch, and dinner (which incidentally, is how I imagined living my life by now when I was a child), you would be sorely mistaken, my friend. (Surprise! It’s lentils!)
Above: Another step in my increasingly arduous quest to find the ultimate lentil soup. I think the triumverate of brown, red, and French lentils is pretty essential, as is plenty of garlic and coriander. As well as chopping garlic into it, I’ll biff in a couple of whole cloves to gently impart flavour as they simmer. For something so robust, this flavour seems to get lost easily here. Coriander gives the almost too-earthy pulses a kick. I tried making it with spring onions instead of plain ones, but it definitely is better with the latter – spring onions are too delicate in flavour.
Above: The addition of frozen peas worked, giving it a slight sweetness, more texture variation, and they were also aesthetically pleasing (oooh I sound very serious now). Finally, taking a tip from Nigella, I splashed in a little dry sherry. I am getting ever closer, and when I find the prototype you can be sure I post the recipe here.
I realise I am sounding a little Gollum-esque (heck, even I can picture myself hunched over, hissing “pressciousssss“) but what can I say. I like lentils. I’m not sure they will ever be ‘sexy’ in the manner of chocolate and the like – perhaps unless Kate Moss decides that she’s into them – but they are not without their charms.
Relay for Life this weekend. I have a deep, deep hatred of relays after PE being compulsory in my schoolgirl years, but this is for a very good cause and I understand that the popular kids won’t be choosing the teams. And more importantly, it’s about being there, not actually running (finally! A concept that works!)
9 thoughts on “Pride Goeth Before A Fall…(Unless You Have Whipped Cream)”
Laura, I don’t remember much of the technical photography stuff, but I do remember that when I was using a manual F5.6 was my magic number. But really, you’ve got to learn how to focus on one thing and once you do that, the background will keep blurry. Focus on the one thing and keep changing the settings and write them down, maybe then you will figure out your camera. And remember that you have to find life in what your photographing. Like not many people can find beauty in a pile of books, but if you play with the angles and the light, then you might just create a masterpiece. So again, learn to focus, because once you’ve mastered that your golden. Good luck to ya!>xo>Sarah
You know, I’m starting to have a feeling that your doing a colored digital class. If so, then why not get yourself an old manual and stick black and white film in it and get those developed. I think one learns much better that way, because black and white keep the colors more focused and since your using a manual you learn how light works. >>Though this is only a suggestion by all means.
I do lots of my photos on the macro setting (usually shows up as a picture of a flower somewhere on the camera). It brings things up close into sharp focus and blurs out the rest – sometimes. It’s a good way to try it at least.>>And I’m very much looking forward to your lentil soup recipe. I simple adore them.
Good luck with your photography -looks like you have some very professional advice. >>Shared Viv’s Spanish Lentils for lunch today(I shared my corned beef sandwich in return – very “school-yard”). Lentils were yummy and I shall, as a consequence, feel far more kindly disposed toward them, and consider them as worthy ingredients for recipes grander than vege soup. >>Good luck with the Relay for Life. Consider Viv and me as role (or roll?) models because if we can clock up 18-odd kilometres in the middle of the night – you fit young things can certainly do better. Put me down for $10.00 sponsorship (total) and I’ll repay you……. Buy a $5.00 tribute bag and decorate it with all the names of those you know who have or had cancer (survivors and ……. others) and you’ll be surprised how many you will know. Feel free to text me your progress reports. Take warm clothing and lots of food – you may very well be…hungry and frozen.
Snics – Very sound advice! I think I have been neglecting the Manual setting…will have a play this weekend and jot down my findings.>>Bells – I will look for this macro setting – it sounds very promising! I think I’m nearly there with the soup LOL.>>Mum – thanks for the $10. We have the 10-midnight slot, so it should be fairly exciting. All of the Wgtn branch of Team Hadfield is participating. Will look out for those bags 🙂 That reminds me, will have to look out for corned beef at the supermarket…although it’s never as magically delicious as yours.
I do most of my photo’s on the flower setting too with varying levels of zoom. Or I use the close up function, but beware of how close you’re getting to the food – I once stuck my camera in a cream cake, not good.
No idea what everyone is talking about re the photography!!>I just wanted to comment about the Lemon Meringe Cake – looks delicious, well recovered. I’ve made this once but my sponge was much flatter – yours looks lovely.
Laura I can offer no photograghy advice, I need all the help I can get there, lol. Your lemon meringue cake looks lovely, one of my faves, and hey, you can never have too much whipped cream.
Good to see you’ve listed the H and H book as one of your favourites already. Looking forward to reading your account of the RFL experience. While you were walking around in the rain – we were having spit roast lamb, an amazing range of vegetables and salads and desserts to die for (be careful what you say, metaphorically – the cholesterol count from the whipped cream-associated desserts could quite possibly and literally kill one of a cholesterol-challenged constitution). The event was the March birthdays conveniently combined with Katrina and Craig’s engagement. We (including you and Tim….)gave K and C a Farmers voucher which they will use to buy a piece of Le Creuset cookware. I thought you’d be impressed. Looking forward to seeing some of your arty shots in the next blog, using your newly acquired advice from other bloggers. >>Hope you haven’t caught “your-death-of-pneumonia” while walking/end running! for a good cause.