Sunday, 28 September 2008

After the Party

Sunday night, another weekend gone in a flash and I have that horrible, all too familiar, sick in the pit of my stomach feeling at the thought of back to work tomorrow.

Thank you for Mr. Bloom's birthday wishes which I passed onto him. We had a lovely party with our family - unfortunately I was so busy trying to be the perfect hostess that I forgot to take any photos. I thought instead you might like to see a bit more of my 'best' china. I use brightly coloured china for everyday, but for best I prefer something more subdued.

Some pieces are flowery are some are white with gold. Over the years I have acquired and relinquished many pieces of china, but always held on to the gold patterns.

The floral pieces have pretty pansies, unusually in this pinky-amber colour.

Between the two designs I have 7 complete cup, saucer and side plates, plus extra side plates and saucers and a few larger cake plates. I also have this pretty jug, which I searched high and low for before the party, finally concluding I must have imagined I had one. The next day I found it tucked away in my china cabinet in the front room!

I have six of these larger plates with pinky peach roses and a gold border. I'm always on the lookout for more similar pieces to add to the 'set'.

The colours tone in very well with my pinky-amber glassware.

Not many roses left in the garden now, so I cut the stems short and popped them into a couple of long-stemmed liquor glasses.

Mr. Bloom did rather well in the presents department:

If Mr. Bloom won the lottery, two things he would do is keep chickens and buy an Aston Martin. For now he has to make do with pottery and pictures! The other book is 501 Must-Visit Cities, so we wouldn't be short on ideas for places to go either. If we visited one city a month it would take us the next 42 years to visit them all - hmm, maybe a bit ambitious!

I almost forgot about the cake - it turned out rather tasty.

I got the recipe from Gluten Free Cookery by Peter Thomson, published by Hodder and Stoughton ISBN 0-340-62098-6.

Almond Sponge Cake

4oz (100g) butter or soft margarine
7oz(200g) sugar
4 large eggs
7oz(200g) ground almonds
1 teaspoon almond essence

1. Beat the sugar and eggs together until they double in volume.
2. Mix in the butter and then the ground almonds and almond essence.
3. Place the mixture in a greased 8 inch/20cm sponge tin lined with non-stick baking parchment.
4. Bake in a pre-heated oven, gas mark 4 (350F, 180C) for 30-45 minutes when the top should be golden brown and the sides shrinking away from the tin.
5. Stand for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire tray to cool.
6. When cold, cover with a white icing and decorate with angelica strips and glace cherries.

I used an electric whisk to mix the ingredients to get as much air in as possible but even so the cake doesn't rise as much as a sponge made with flour. I made two to sandwich together. It also doesn't hold together so well, so I cut into slices before filling. I forgot to put the almond essence in, but it still tasted nice. I filled it with plum jam and whipped cream rather than icing as I didn't want it to be too sweet.

Aside from Mr. Bloom's party I have rather a lot going on at the moment and have once again fallen behind with answering comments and emails, which doesn't sit well with me. I do love reading your comments but find myself stressing if I can't respond to them promptly. So until I can catch up on things, I have decided to switch off comments on my blog. To everyone who I owe a comment or email, I will try to catch up this week!

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Thank you for your comments - I am not always able to reply but they are always appreciated.
Lucy x