Friday, November 26, 2010

Pantry tea and gingerbread people

My long awaited, dreaded, and inevitable return to blogging is here, and I shall make more of an effort to assault you with my bakings and ramblings from now on.

Having been in England for four months from April to August, I had little opportunity to bake, having no kitchen to speak of, or worthy of the name of kitchen. Mr A's mum eventually took pity on me and invited me over to bake, which was a glorious release and an apple pie and a cherry pie came forth in quick succession. Both were rave successes, especially the cherry pie which was made with fresh morello cherries, and therefore had a lovely tart quality to it. The cherry pie was repeated for Mr A's birthday and crumbles full of bramley apples and summer berries were also made. We went blackberry picking, and picked a tonne of blackberries as Mr A was working up the courage to propose...which he did, and I said yes....A celebratory apple and blackberry pie followed, though I have since learnt that you must put some cornflour in when baking with blackberries as the pie was almost drowned by the vast quantity of delicious crimson juice.

Since coming home things have been busy with with the thesis, work and friends. My dear friend Miss P got married and so in the lead up the the joyous occasion we had a pantry tea, which allowed me to get my bake on!!

Having been deprived of means and opportunity for so long I made:

Little lemon tarts
Almond macaroon/biscuits - intense little almondy diamonds that you left to dry out over night before baking and smothering in icing sugar
Caramalised onion and bacon quiches
Balsamic Caramalised onion, pumpkin and Parmesan tarts
and Pistachio Macaroons.

I have made these macaroons before, but the first time, whilst they turned out really well, something was wrong with the mixture as it was very liquid and wouldn't pipe. These, on the other hand were perfect. They are Nigella's recipe from "Domestic Goddess". The recipe makes way too much butter cream - so I have some stashed in the freezer to use for something else as it is intensely sweet if you used it all to fill the biscuits it would totally overwhelm them and everyone would get diabetes instantly.

For Miss P and Mr D's bomboniere's they lovingly made gingerbread brides and grooms to give to their guests. We were called in once all the hard work had been done to turn the little guys and girls into brides and grooms. It was great fun, especially when I got half way through a bride only to realise it was actually a groom! The whole thing made me want to run away and become a pastry chef...which part of me still wants to do, especially on the days when my thesis is driving me insane or I have had a particularly good day in the kitchen....



Foodycat said...

Welcome back to blogging! Nice to see you haven't been wasting your time!

mscrankypants said...

Congratulations -- and to celebrate with an apple and blackberry pie is charming indeed.

*big hugs*

HH said...

Thanks FC! Yes, at least I have been baking, if not blogging.

Thanks MsC, yes, it was a lovely way to celebrate, and we washed it down with straight Jameison, not my drink of choice, but Mr A's parents were so enthusiastic I couldn't refuse.