Oh, Spring is in full swing alright!
Although there’s been a whole bunch of radio silence up here, I feel like March was overflowing with great things: visits (both surprise and planned!), new starts, fun gaming nights, another cake decorating course, and the first book of the Book Club! I managed to squeak in with my thoughts on the very last day of the month; whoops. Having gotten my hands on April’s book, hopefully I’ll be able to chime in a little earlier with some mid-book commentary as well.
(As an aside, do you know what I love about libraries, aside from the whole “free book” thing? Large print novels. Call me an old lady, but man, I love how easy it is to request large print versions of books. It’s a little weird at first, but so much better for nighttime reading. No? You never check out the large prints? Okay then, I’ll just get back to my mashed potatoes and Matlock and leave you kids to your TwitterFace and whatnot. Hrmph.)
March actually had a whole bunch of cooking in it: The Boy was away for a week for work, so I got to test-drive a whole bunch of meatless dishes, including the long-awaited Mushroom Bourgo. (zOMG, if you’re not a mushroom hater you have to try that; so delicious.) Close runner-up to the bourguignon? This quiche. Not sure if it was the chunks of salty baked feta or just the fun of working with puff pastry, but it was almost no work, and super tasty. (I will warn you though that it’s a pretty light dish; be prepared to eat a third of the tart. It’s good but not very filling.) I also made speculaas with Gerry (our band’s multi-talented oboe player) — a totally new technique in cookie-making for me! — as well as several cakes, including the one above to celebrate the Equinox. That cake was two weeks into our cake-decorating course, and looks pretty unfinished, in retrospect. I sent the Week 4 cake in with The Boy to his coworkers, and I definitely think they got the better product. Guess I’ll have to make it up to my work folks with an April cake!
If I were making this cake again, I’d have done less basket, and crammed some more flowers on there. Ah well. After a month of various sugar flower techniques, I still have many, many edible flowers to decorate a cake (or seven) with, so we’ll see what else I come up with. In the meantime, I’d like to whip up a batch of Swiss Meringue Buttercream that actually comes together (read: where my meringue to butter ratio is actually correct because I’m not half-asleep) as making frosting out of Crisco makes me die a little inside every time I do it.
On the non-food front, I’ve had a couple close calls, but as much to my surprise as to The Boy’s, I’m somehow still on track with Project 365. See?
Plans for this weekend include smoking up another batch of bacon (that’s the enormous 12-pound pork belly you can see in the last shot there) and cheese, hopefully finally getting my garden up and running, and catching up on some much needed flute practice.
How is April shaping up for you?