Sunday, 30 December 2012

More cooking - Part Deux

So at roughly 11.35 on Christmas Eve I ran out of wrapping paper and also managed to finally get 24 red velvet cupcakes out of the bloody oven.

For info, I've been planning to make the damn things since June, but considering that was when I went back to work, the opportunity and enthusiasm to complete the job has been in tragically short supply. So like a total muppet I decided that Christmas bloody Eve was the optimum time to do this. Because I am a f**kwit.

To be honest, from a baking perspective, there are two things I bake regularly (i.e. more than twice in any ten year period) - and they are Victoria Sponge and my mothers gloriously easy chocolate cake (which is rather fab BTW).  Red Velvet turned out to be significantly more complicated than I anticipated  That possibly has something to do with a) a mate having a *really* bad Christmas Eve b) Cava - lots of, cunningly being filtered by my kidneys and de-alcoholised by my liver c) trying to finish off Christmas for my wee boys 1st Christmas - having suddenly been driven that weird state of guilt /insanity that grips parents from time to time - even though there's more chance of him remembering his 12 month jabs and d) I ran out of wrapping paper for the child who *won't fecking remember it anyway*.

So yes, the perfect state of mind for attempting this sort of thing. And then ended up decorating them in a fury of "I've got this far, I've got bloody finish it" (I'm a compulsive completer/finisher and unfinished projects tend to haunt my thoughts).

Not very bloody red....

Some had a strange bicarb of soda globule patina on the surface.

I tried to ponce on piping...then decided that trying to refreshing an old skill while growling at cake is probably quite a rubbish idea.

Quite pretty, eventually.

Here's the link to the recipe again -  and everyone who tried one liked them, but next time I'm not going to do it at a really stupid time. And I'm going to buy a mixer. I had one popeye-like arm for 4 days afterwards.

Monday, 24 December 2012

So of that cooking sh*te I threatened earlier - Part Un

Magnolia Bakeries Red Velvet Cupcakes

Hello, I'm going to attempt this half cut and knackered on Christmas Eve. I'm clearly having a frigging giraffe, aren't I?

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Duffed no more: The problem with raw (ish) census data and the mookswho write about it....

I made the error of stumbling across this rather judgemental pile of shite earlier and had to share:

Official figures show that there are now 300,000 fewer mothers at home that previously estimated.
Experts said that those who decide to sacrifice their career in order to look after their children at home are now considered in the minority.
According to returns in the 2011 census, there are almost 1.6 million women who do not work because they are looking after their home and family.
This is about 298,000 fewer than estimates previously, the Office for National Statistics said.

Well, whoopy-chuffing-do. I would like to say that I'm not dissing Stay-at-home parents here, and if I'm honest, I'd have liked to have gone back to work later...those of you who get to stay home with your kids, you're doing a grand and frequently hard job and I salute you....however as a parent with a ("career") job, I find the underlying assumption that I'm gadding about pursuing a career for entirely my own ends at the expense of my kid rather galling.

  1. I love the fact that this study starts with a rather wrong estimate regarding how many women were actually at home looking after their kids, which clearly meant sweet Fanny Adams and wasn't actually based on any kind of cogent facts. 300,000, even in a population of 60+ million is still a hefty margin of error, given the demographic profile..woman, child bearing age etc.
  2. "Those who decide to sacrifice their career....". Last time I looked, it wasn't 1954, and sometimes people (i.e. women - because the last time I looked, we were people too - or did I just miss a meeting?) may have worked very hard to achieve something and don't see the benefit in just kicking it all in when they pup. 
  3. Positive financially responsible female role models and all that - if I had a daughter, I'd prefer it if she didn't think getting duffed by a Premiership footballer was a reasonable way to make a living.
  4. Also having a kid doesn't automatically make you Joan of Arc...sacrifice?...*really*?
  5. As we're in the middle of/end of/wherever point in the whole-time-space continuum of the worst recession since the Great Depression, strangely enough some people/couples would prefer to spread the risk, especially in light of the fact that the Coalition have just cut the 90 day waiting period for large scale redundancies by half.........Um, making the people who are propping up the economy easier to sack, that'll help. So....reducing the help they receive while in work, *and* cutting them off at the knees when they do lose their jobs is frankly a right bag of old wank. In order for women (or men ffs) to spend more time at home with the kids, there needs to be the resources to do it....and to use a food based metaphor, if the familial eggs aren't going to get scrambled, it's best that they aren't all in one basket.
  6. Houses - we like to live in them and they cost a bomb.
  7. Bloody Nora, why am I still having to have this conversation? Necessity is the mother of invention...and graft, unfortunately.
Honestly, do these people think we live in a perfumed floral 50's cloud where Daddy has a job for life that'll support everyone? Balancing work and families has been the reality for women for centuries...just deal with it. It'll make life easier for everyone.