This week has been dedicated to learning new skills and re-learning old skills.
Once upon a time I could bake a fairly mean cake. In this instance ‘mean’ connotes something remotely edible.
So I went back to the drawing board. In my case the drawing board is the entirely foolproof cookbook. The cookbook that has never once steered me wrong. The cookbook that if followed to the letter produces fabulous food every single time.
This wonderful culinary grimoire is one that has been passed down to me by my mum who spent years creating disastrous food before she found it:
With faith in my heart and the Cookery Year on my counter, I turned to April and the sub-chapter entitled “Easter Customs” on page 135. At the bottom right hand side of the page you will see a little segment entitled “Hot Cross Buns”. Armed with an amulet recipe and a cast-iron resolve I headed back into the kitchen.
This time things went much much better as evidenced below:
These were, by request, chocolate chip muffins. I even piped melted chocolate crosses across the apex of each bun. The children gnawed out the chocolate and left the rest. It turns out that no-one else in the house is quite as keen on hot cross buns as I am.
Separately I decided that I was going to try to use something other than iPhoto to edit my blog photos. Using a 7 year old boy to take photos is all well and good until one finds oneself with a wall mounted fan heater growing out of one’s head.
I thought I would play about with the Retouch in iPhoto which was a bit of a mistake (see below).
So I decided, not having the money to download Adobe Photoshop, to have a go at using the free editing software in Picasa Web Albums.
This made things much much worse as somewhere during the editing process I managed to acquire Gerard Depardieu’s nose:
The buns took less than an hour to make. My transformation into a short Gallic actor with a legendary schnoz took considerably longer – about 3 hours of playing about with pixels and sighing loudly.
I wish there was a Cookery Year version of photo-editing software around here somewhere.
Elsewhere I figured out how to switch the flash off on my camera so that I don’t get dancing lights across photos taken in the mirror (see below). That’s only taken me 3 years to figure out by myself.
Don’t ask me why I didn’t use the manual. The Minx collects and planks these in her secret leaflet booklet somewhere as yet undiscovered. More on this later.
Have you learned anything new recently? What was it and how long did it take?