DH was busy making a path in our orchard (still in the beginning stages), Son#4 was at a wedding with his girlfriend, and even though it was cooler than in recent days, it was still too hot to quilt. After cleaning out my wardrobe (ah, there's that missing pair of jeans and why, oh, why, do I have accounts going back twenty years still hanging around?) I decided to get creative in the kitchen and do some baking.
We had a huge bag of walnuts from last year still sitting in the bottom of the cupboard and there were still half a dozen Granny Smith apples on the tree so I decided that a cake using those ingredients with maybe some spices and maple syrup would be just the thing to satisfy a sweet tooth (or three) later in the day.
I found this recipe for Maple Apple Walnut Cake and proceeded to mix it up with a few changes. Firstly, I didn't peel the apples. I never do and I like the chewiness of the skin when it's cooked. Next time I would dice the apples rather than slice. A small thing to be sure, but I think they'd mix in better into the batter.
Secondly, I used less than half the amount of maple syrup. It looked like a lot in the jar but when I measured it out, it came to just under half a cup so I added about half a cup of coconut sugar because I wasn't sure if the cake would be sweet enough - or would rise - without some additional sugar. I would probably do a similar thing again because when I looked at my jar of maple syrup I realised that the shape of the bottle was rather deceiving and that it only holds a cupful. And it cost nearly ten dollars! (My Canadian and American friends are probably freaking out by now!) Okay, it was supposedly pure Canadian maple syrup and not the flavoured sugar-water syrup that is sold as ice cream topping but that still makes it an expensive ingredient for a cake.
Thirdly, I doubled the amount of cinnamon, doubled the amount of baking powder and left out the baking soda (I can't stand the taste of baking soda in baked goods no matter how well it has been incorporated) and only put in a pinch of ordinary table salt (I find most recipes have far too much salt for my liking).
Lastly, one hour was just a wee bit too long for the cake to bake. It didn't burn, but it came close. Still it was delicious and I suspect I'll be trying this one again soon.
Back in October, I promised to include a link to pattern notes I had made on kitting socks that can easily have the heel and/or sole and/or toe replaced, depending on the need. I spent a lot of time writing the pattern up, starting out as just a general technique and then adding pages and pages of step-by-step instructions depending on whether the sock was begun at the heel, the cuff or the toe, and writing it for several different sizes. I would really, really love to keep my promise but a while back, I dropped my tablet and smashed the screen and it appears that whatever was on that device cannot be retrieved. I thought I had saved the notes I made onto another device (or better yet, Google Drive) but I can't find them anywhere. I'll write them up again but with an ERO (Education Review Office) Review coming up later this term at work, any writing time is being used for more urgent stuff (like keeping up to date with Internal Reviews, and Policies, and Planning and Assessment, and all that exciting - and necessary - documentation).
We celebrated another family birthday in February. This was the "last" for a while in our family after numerous birthdays and anniversaries that have all been celebrated since Christmas. This time it was the turn of The Most Adorable Granddaughter#6 who was happy to get the exact cake she had asked for (and which no doubt pleased her parents that it was such an easy one to execute)!