And if you’ve seen yesterday’s post here and Dan’s post today you’ll know that winter is not kidding around this year. On the plus side, this means it’s perfectly acceptable to remain cocooned in the basement, under a blanket, watching the figure-skating, downhill racing and ski cross; right?
If you have been telling me that it’s nearly 0C in England and I’ve been unsympathetic, here’s why.
I was in the mood to bake on Monday so bake I did. You may remember these:
They were the result of adaptations to the recipe I wanted to make but couldn’t because (a) chestnut puree and (b) how many dried apricots and (c) what do you want me to do with those almonds?
The original recipe is for Jewelled Cupcakes from Nigella Lawson’s Feast. Here is what I did:
I bought festive cupcake liners and heated the oven to 350F/170C.
Into a stockpot I measured in 500g dried fruit (a mix of sultanas, raisins and currants), 125g chopped dried apricots, 75g chopped glace cherries and 75g citrus peel. I added 175g unsalted butter, 250g dark muscovado sugar, 250g smooth apricot jam, 150ml dark rum, juice and zest of 1 orange and the zest of 1 lemon. All this was brought to the boil and then gently simmered for 10 minutes before being taken off the heat and left to rest for 30 minutes.
While it rested, I beat 3 large eggs and measured out 250g plain flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon each of cinnamon, ground cloves and ground nutmeg. When the 30 minutes were up I added the eggs, flour and spices to the fruit mixture, stirred it all until it was smooth and then filled the cupcake cases.
I got 24 cupcakes and each tray took about 35 minutes to cook through. There’s only 6 left and neither Dan nor I have been very good about sharing…
Back home, back cooking.
I bought Christmas cards today!
Last run for the day.
25 minutes until first lift!
This week was the first week of Masters Race Training at Snow Valley Ski Club. There were about 20 of us out last night in -20C doing drills over and over - falling leaves, thousand steps, hopping, skiing on one leg - we did a bit of everything.
I’ve also had two swimming lessons this week (swimming being the weakest link in my triathlon plan) so more drills there: drills to get my arms to work and drills to get my legs to kick faster and straighter. At the moment, I can do two of three: arms, legs or breathing. Trying to add in the third element means a lot of sputtering but I’m working on it. It’s amazing how two 30 minute sessions has given me a lot more confidence in the pool and in my ability to improve.
I had planned a post, with pretty pictures, documenting the recent, regular snow removal that has been taking place at our house. That was until I spent 90 minutes this morning, shoveling snow into a headwind, annoyed that the snow was being blown off the roof and ground to cover the areas that I had just shoveled. Instead, you get a snippet of the conversation I had with the lady at the place where I’ve ordered a blower:
Me: So do you know if it’ll be in tomorrow’s delivery?
Her: I hope so.
Me: I hope so too because if it snows anymore I’m not going to be able to get out of the house to come pick it up.