Tuesday, 25 December 2007

hey ho

Well yesterday's celebratory birthday lunch was lovely, and well populated with the regular family cast plus a special visit from my cousin (who we later saw opening the telecast of carols by candlelight - wow! Check those frocks!) and her husband and my uncle and his partner visiting from way out West.

Nice food and conversation, nothing flash, just good honest get together. Even Wil was good. And people brought something to share, and nice things to drink and the cousins old enough to talk played nice and only made a moderately enormous mess. Highly satisfactory.

But here I am failing to heed my own advice, and the complicated desert has flopped, and the easy back up looks like a total mess and although I got very little sleep last night and Wil has cried all morning and I felt like doing the same (inevitably I have caught his disease and feel wretched), I am not having a quick nap now but waiting for the bread to bake and blogging to make use of those extra few units.

Not that you are merely a unit filler dear friends. It is just that I didn't plan a morning blog session. What with it being Christmas and all. And there's so much to do, but none of it compatible with this little slot of time.

And last night as I was lying in bed unable to sleep because I was coughing and worrying about the mess I left on the bench in the kitchen and how I was going to present it at a gathering and call it dessert, I was wondering to myself why, despite all the planning and foresight I still ended up baking at 11pm.

And the answer was clearly that undertaking the making of a complicated dessert simply takes more high density contiguous units that I have available to me at any time other than when everyone else is asleep.

Why didn't I realise this before?

Why did I not read the recipe thinking that juggling melting not one but three separate sets of ingredients over steaming water (one requiring constant whisking for 10 mines whilst melting then a further 10 minutes of whisking as it cooled) to be combined in a specific temperature controlled fashion would require 100% of my attention over an extended period?

And combined with the thrice sifted dry ingredients needing to be folded gently in with maximum lift and the perfectly whipped egg white meringue and the three stage topping to be applied at just the right moment as the cake cools, might be a little hard to orchestrate between doses of panadol (his not mine) and small child wrangling?

Not to mention the sheer number of dishes I had to dirty in the process - though to be fair how was I to know our dishwasher would die a wet death two days before Christmas?

Instead I looked at the picture and thought - that looks nice! Nothing there I couldn't do, I think I'll make that.

Because, clearly, I am an idiot.

Next year I think I may opt for KFC and a packet of tim tams.

Merry Christmas to you all, and to those of you who have things considerably more under control than me, well done.

And to those of you who are in the hole with me, don't worry, tomorrow it will all be over.


Poppy & Mei said...

Eh. Top it with whipped cream & call it trifle.
Merry Christmas to ya! Xxx

Jodie said...

Done and dusted here, hope your day improved.

Amy said...

I'm always paranoid that's going to happen to me so I always make something easy. I guess I like to play it safe.

Anyway, Merry Christmas, I hope the rest of your day was better.

Suzy said...

I was thinking of you and the tetris theory at midnight on Christmas Eve while I was sewing a dress while waiting for my second attempt at a pavlova to bake. Because, if you have* to be up til 1am baking a pavlova why not use the chance to teach yourself to use the decorative stitches on your sewing machine?

I hope your Christmas improved, and you had a chance to relax and be merry at some stage.

Suzy (www.floatingworldviews.com)

*of course, I didn't have to - I could have just said that the 1st one didn't work out and it would have been fine, there was more than enough food and a new baby is the best excuse for anything. But obviously I am completely mad, because this didn't even cross my mind once.

kate said...

Hope your Christmas improved, and that your relatives were willing workers in the dishwashing department (white goods have sensors and they die just when it's going to be most inconvenient) and that you and Wil both get a good night's sleep.

Can I get in now with my sister-in-law's advice? Don't, for the love of all that's good and holy, try to make a family of mother duck and baby ducklings, standing upright, as your kid's first birthday cake. A basic choccie cake with Smarties dotted over the top is very impressive to a one year old who has never had cake before.

And, as it turns out, to my Mum, who elbowed my partner aside to get the last piece that had a Smartie.

nicole said...

I feel ya on the dishwasher. Mine died on the 20th. Exactly two years after being used for the first time. Exactly one month after the warranty expired. Fab timing...

Merry Christmas though :-)

tiel said...

we went the go out to lunch option..not a single dirty dish to clean. Meanwhile I have had one of these days today.

hope you have improved with your sickness.

h&b said...

Move to Japan.

The KFC's book out *months* in advnace for Christmas Day Family Dining.



Kim said...


And now my word verification has so many letters and they're all so run in to each other I can't tell what's a j,i, or l.

SagePixie said...

In my old life, I used to do THIS, this crazy over happy holiday thing and then I married a fabulous man, a terrific man who happens to be the oldest of 6 kids. This mans mother my MIL is the awesomest cook food preparer person ever! and ALL of her famous family recipes require NO WORK ! because she had six babies... the have memories of home made donuts (pillsbury biscuit dough with little holes cut out and pan fried in oil then shaked in a sugar baggie) GENIUS!!! all of her recipies for dinner involve a crock pot and leaving it all day without touching it. Seriously touching it messes it up;-) I love that woman. Please make it easier on yourself and your future daughter in law go with fun and easy. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

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