Friday, 17 September 2010

in praise of the cast iron skillet

I had never owned, nor planned to own, a cast iron skillet. I always thought of it as too heavy and too fiddly to season and clean. But then, a few weeks ago, I visited a wonderful baking site and saw this recipe. And my heart skipped a beat and decided that it was in love with the idea of baking in a cast iron skillet.

Fortunately for my bank account, I found one on Amazon that was selling for a song. Well, not literally, of course. But it was five pounds! Even cheaper than my el cheapo saucepan that I use for boiling rice and potatoes! I knew that it was Fate telling me to get the skillet. This was not going to be a doomed love affair.

Yesterday, | made my first attempt at baking in my now-seasoned skillet. And of course, the first recipe just had to be the one that set on my path to becoming a skillet devotee. Instead of red plums, however, I used the leftover apricot halves from when I made Danish pastry a few days ago.

The result? Delicious perfection. The cobbler cooked perfectly in the skillet. The browned butter lent a slightly salty contrast to the creaminess and sweetness. I thought it would come out a bit dense, but it wasn't at all. I served it warm with dollops of vanilla ice cream. It was a big hit with the family, even with Sofia who can be very choosy when it comes to food.

I'm afraid I don't have a decent photo of the cobbler before it was served. It just got gobbled up so fast. As you can see, we ate half of it last night. Which means we have another half to look forward to this evening!

'I have a feeling this is bad for my waistline,' the hubby said as he was eating the cobbler. I just smiled at him. He didn't need to know that almost 150 grams of butter and 200 grams of sugar went into this delectable dessert, did he?

Next on my list of goodies to make with my skillet: apple cake!

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

happiness is . . .

. . . the postman carrying little parcels for me!

My copies of Katie Green's Green Bean issues 3 and 4 have arrived! With a lovely little note from Katie! And a print of one of her balloon paintings! (I know I'm squealing, but please bear with me—I'm excited.)

I've just had a quick look at the zines and oh, they look so scrumptious with lots of Katie's lovely drawings and charming prose. And they smell nice too. Yes, I love smelling paper, I'm weird like that.

I need to make sure to keep them away from Sofia though. She'll probably think they're colouring books for her and I know she wouldn't be able to resist colouring in the pretty pictures. She has already found my copy of Mio Matsumoto's My Diary and declared that it's a good book for writing and colouring in! Good thing I saw her holding the book with one hand and a shiny green pen with the other and managed to stop her just in time.

Here's the cute balloon print. It will definitely go in a frame and hung somewhere in our study where I can look at it and be inspired while I'm working.

And just to make my morning brighter, another little parcel came through my letterbox: a few new Prismacolor pencils, to add to my ever-growing collection. There are a couple of autumnal colours in here so expect some autumn-themed pictures soon.

I woke up this morning with an idea for Christmas goodies to make and possibly sell. I'll have to see if the materials are available here, as my goodies are inspired by how we celebrate Christmas in the Philippines. I'll post a prototype once it's completed.

Now, on to some housework and playtime with the kids. Lucas goes back to school tomorrow; Sofia, on Friday. I'll miss my babies, but I'm glad we'll be settling into a routine again where we don't spend every hour of the day with each other. Let's face it, the kids are lovely and fun to be with, but they do wear me out sometimes!