Weekend at Rosys

What a weekend we’ve had!  In a snapshot there’s been DIYing, baking, chilling, painting, BBQ’s, rain, and…wait for it…nude water sliding (ha!).  Visit my new Weekend at Rosy’s Blog to read more.

Amy x

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A recipe for disaster

My family has a longstanding recipe-sharing joke. And it usually ends in failure.

It all began at Mum’s sporting club.  With an endless supply of sponges, casseroles, soups, lamingtons, pavlovas and yo-yo’s, recipe sharing is rife in this small local community of women.

It is not unusual to enter the club and hear: “That slice is delicious.  I must have the recipe”.  Or, more so: “I love your pav.  Still waiting on the recipe though.”  Or: “What’s that?  You’ve sent me the recipe?  Nope, I didn’t receive it.  So here’s my email address.  AGAIN.”

You see, these gorgeous ladies love a good tasty spread.  As we all do.  Right?

But there’s an undercurrent to all of this which is due to the ‘Baking Chain’.  The Baking Chain is kinda like the Food Chain.  But more dangerous.

In the Baking Chain, there are a number of women, competing for baking survival.  In fact, almost every one of them is pushing for their own baking glory.  And there is always a winner, my friends.  There is always “Mrs I Can Turn Dog Poo Into a Culinary Delight.”  Otherwise known as the Bitch Baking Goddess.

Every week, women in the Baking Chain offer up a delicious feast, having spent hours of blood, sweat and tears in the kitchen, whipped it up in no time.

All for what, you may ask?  To achieve baking greatness.  Of course. To be placed on the cooking pedestal.  Queen of the Baking Chain. To be known for their dish.

It then goes without saying that while recipe sharing is commonplace, there is fierce and ruthless competition in this quest for the holy grail.

Which leads us to the oldest trick in the recipe sharing book.  It’s this:

Share your recipe gladly girls.  With a sneaky proviso.  Be the smiling assassin.  Give the recipe, BUT NOT the full recipe.

It is vital that you miss a key ingredient.  Fiddle with quantities.  Delete the clincher ingredient.  Overstate the cooking time.  Whatever.  Just do not give an even playing field.  It’s too risky.  You CANNOT have anyone cook your dish better than you do.  NUH AH.  NO WAY.

They need to fail.  So they’ll never attempt it again.  And you will remain the master of your dish.  Maybe even rise to become the Baking Goddess of your club.

I know this from experience.  My sister does this to me all the time.  I’ve baked a delicious Apple Ginger Cake – which only tasted of ginger – due to the 5 tablespoons of ginger I was told to add, instead of 1 teaspoon.  I’ve baked pork spare ribs in a thick gluggy sauce – due to being told to add 4 cups of flour, when no flour was necessary.

What can I say, I am a sucker with these things.  I know.  4 cups of flour is A LOT. I am just way too literal and measured in my cooking (And I usually drink…when cooking).  But that’s the way I roll.  And sisters will take advantage of that.

So there it is.  The secret is out.  Beware of the shared recipe.  It is not shared out of kindness.  Nor generosity.  It is only a step for someone else to climb the Baking Chain, and mush your baking status into the ground. With a mortar.  And pestle.

If you want a recipe, or need to check on a recipe that was so kindly shared with you, do what I usually do.  Google it.

Enjoy the Pork Spareribs recipe peeps.  It’s a cracker.  Honest.  It’ll be a huge success for you.  Haha.

Amy x

RSVP and bring a plate

Are you familiar with the term ?  Bring a Plate.  Commonly used in school newsletters.

For me it conjures up memories of home baking: images of slices, sponges, cupcakes, sinking paper plates & glad wrap touched with icing or cream.  That’s from back then when I was a kid.  Does ‘Bring a Plate’ get you thinking of the same things?

At a recent ‘Bring a Plate’ function, ‘the spread’ was a little different to the ones in my younger years.  There were mostly bought supermarket items (mainly chocolate biscuits), with only two or three homemade ‘plates’ that I could see.  My plate was from the supermarket too: Fruit scones from IGA.

Not saying that this is good or bad.  Just an observation really.  Of change.  Of busy lives and easy to purchase inexpensive goodies.  And it all tastes good, especially to the undiscerning eye of the kids!

How about you?  Have you found a change in the number of homemade baked goods getting around?  Do you bake or do you buy?  I like to bake but often run out of time – so I have to buy.

Actually this post is motivating me to go bake.  My slice of choice: Chocolate Mocha. Yum. I’ll post the recipe tonight.

Love & all that.  Amy x

* Image c/o of here.

Bake. Cake. Rock. Hard…Trifle!

Hiya.

Cake Disaster.  Baking Trainwreck.  Bake Smash.

Ever happened to you?  Cooking merrily on your way. Grand plans for your little one’s birthday cakes.  Oooh, they’re going to be delightful.  All the mums will ooh & aah and compliment me on my culinary expertise, smoothness, ability to do it all and so well at that.  Kids will devour my cupcakes and come back for more.

Hah!   Snort.  Apparently I’d wandered off to Fairy Cake Land.

Reality: This doesn’t happen.  Fancy thinking all of these fanciful thoughts.

I’ve baked many a Women’s Weekly Birthday Cake.  Not once has it been a pleasurable experience.  Each time I start out with the best intentions and a big serve of enthusiasm.

Midway through the cake bake I’m tiring, things aren’t turning out as they should and I’m knee deep in butter icing, licorice, marshmallows and god knows what other sticky, icky delight.

By the end of the bake, I fall into an exhausted coma/sleep, disappointed that my cake DOES NOT look like the picture, but it will have to do.  Seriously, how is warm chocolate meant to stick to ice cream in a neat, orderly, decorative fashion – with no meltage?  But I digress.

It all began a few nights ago with a pretty, sweet cookbook that a friend gave to my daughters.  Sugar, spice, all things nice – yes all that stuff.  Well blah blah blah.  Here’s my grown-up recipe review:  It sucked.

I was baking from said recipe book for the first time.  STOP right there.  We all know that we DO NOT try new recipes when we are on deadlines.  We go with tried and tested – CAKE MIX.  Well apparently not for Super Mum/Me (tongue in cheek).

And so it began.  My cake mix was very thick.  Doughy thick.  I perservered, spooning the heavy mixture into the cupcake patties.  Into the oven.  They rose beautifully.  Golden brown.  Removed from oven.  Cooled.

And they are ROCK HARD.  I could seriously play tennis with one.

Then there were TEARS.  What now?  I always bake something special for the kids’ birthdays.  Mr F suggested a trip to the supermarket.  But not an option.  I had to turn this around, but how?  Then it struck me.  TRIFLE.

And so it was.  Plastic cups.  Jelly.  Custard.  Soakage into cake to soften it.  Chocolate.    SAVED.  just.

No points for cake presentation, but hey, kids ate it all up so they must have been half decent.  Or kids were starving.

Shake n Bake baby.

Amy x

ps.  For the record: it WAS the recipe that was bad, NOT the baker.