Reading and Recipes

Monday, February 28, 2005


Please to report that the 'stockpile' in the cupboard is shrinking nicely.

Admittedly I've given up on a couple of the oldest items and thrown them away.

We've finished the various bags of Spilt peas, burgermix and polenta. Made some shortbread and cakes for Melrose with flour, semolina etc. Oh - and finished up the last bits of various bread flours and a tin of yeast making bread this am. Not that it worked particularly well as the yeast was a little old, but think that any not eaten can be made into bread and butter pudding (which will use up some of the mountains of dried fruit that are in the stockpile, and some of the 'egg replacer' in the jar at the back of the other food cupboard).

Anyway - todays recipe. This is the cake that I made to take to Melrose for DD2's birthday.

Chocolate/Vanilla Marble cake

(This is a basic single cake quantity recipe, for the camp I made a double quantity which made it easy to separate out enough for the pink swirl portion of the recipe)

1/2 cup margerine creamed with 1 1/3 cups sugar.

Sift together 3 cups flour and 3tsp. baking powder.

Milk dry and creamed ingredients together, along with 2 cups soymilk (you could use water, rice milk or whatever takes your fancy or budget here). Beat together for a few minutes (gives the baking powder a chance to react).

Pour 2/3's of the batter into a 20cm square tin or equivalent.

Melt 4Tbsp margerine and 4 squares of *really* dark chocolate together. Stir in 2Tbsp good cocoa powder or Green and Blacks Drinking Chocolate, and 1/3 cup sugar (or use more of the the drinking chocolate and no sugar :-). Add to the remaining 1/3 of the batter and beat through. Pour over the mixture in the tin and (using a wooden skewer in a non-stick tin) wave around to desired marble level (you can usually do a bit more than you think as the choc. mixture is slightly thinner and the other resists quite well. Part of the beauty of this though is that you can never quite predict what you will end up with).

Cook for around 30 minutes in a 190 degree Celcius oven (this cake will cook well up to temps of 240 degrees celcius, although you'll need to watch it like a hawk!).


Lots of reading to report.

Finally made my way through the Christopherus Homeschool Resources Curriculum overview - with the help of a week at Melrose with the Muddlepuddle list. I've been reading the blogs on the associated blogring - very easy to have that take up a lot of time, but I've been good and just dropped in and out. Anyway is the main website, and it has useful stuff on HE for tinies and links to other things including a yahoo list and the blogring, if you care to look.

King of Foxes, by Raymond E. Fiest has been my most recent fiction purchase. A follow up to Talon of the Silver Hawk, It seems like I've been waiting ages for it to appear in paperback, given that book 3 (Exiles Return) came out in hardback before Christmas. Brilliant story, as usual. If you have a British Bookshop/Sussex Stationers near you then get it from there as it is a fiver, rather than the six quid that amazon want for it this time.

Apart from that, I've done a lot of newspaper reading (face it, when do I ever *not* read a paper or two a day?) and other things (see HE blog for that). Not really felt like much of an Autonomous Educator given all the Steiner stuff that has been going on here, but the children now do circle and daily for themselves if I don't, only dropping it if something like half term (the local schools in this case) intervene when extracting them from the TV becomes an interesting activity. Roll on the Easter weekend and lots of lovely National Trust places being open again.

The National Trust Guide for Visitors being the last Reading I'll be writing about in this entry - several nice new places this year :-) - the layout has changed slightly, and the point size of the print is an improvement on previous years. There are some useful maps as well - I see a purchase of several OS maps coming on though (topography anyone?) as we are planning a major roadtrip this summer with the Children using NT and EH properties as the reference points (well its a good way to know where we will find nice loos and a place for tea and cake :-)