Sunday, August 31, 2008

Working on progress

This weekend has been busy! Amongst cleaning and toddler-chasing, I've been sanding, lacquering, baking and tasting (tasting.. and tasting..)

Indoors, I've been working on my most recent cakecapade. I have a few recipes I want to try and baked two of them today with some rich success.

The first is a Cola Cake, which is very interesting. I made it as directed in single cups to resemble a cup of rum and coke. I then made the frosting, replacing half of the Coke with Malibu Rum (maybe a bit more than half). I poured the frosting equally over each cake and let them sit. I didn't have pecans, so I used walnuts.

They came out rather neat looking, and insanely rich. Chocolatly and rummy. Not so much Cola-y. Very tasty, not sure if it's what I'm looking for for this project though.

The second cake was a rum cake - made using Malibu again, and in coffee cups. After pouring on the glaze I poured an extra capful of rum over each cake. Over two of them I poured a few capfuls of Coke.

The cake turned out lovely, tasty, I'm not so sure about the extra rum or coke on top though. Coke just doesn't carry on very well as a flavour - it's not strong enough. I might try cooking it down to syrup or something.

In the end I'm hoping to create a "Rum and Coke" cake. But we'll see how that goes. In this theme, I also tried making Coke candy the other day.

I ended up with carmely candy, with only the slightest hint of a cola flavor, if any. A waste of time, I think.

Outdoors, I've been working on our new (old) dining table. A while back - this was crazy-nesting-pregnancy-time - I cut our dining table in half, re-stained it, and attached it to the wall, because I thought it was too big or something. Well.. it's been 2 years, and the wall isn't faring so well, that is... I'm worried one day the table will rip out and land on Dessie's head. So, I picked up this solid oak table off of Freecycle a few weeks ago.

As you can see, it's a little worse for wear. (and in pieces, but that's because I took it apart)

At this point, I would like to interject me love of Freecycle. It's a fantastic place. While feeding the need to feel helpful, you are able to get rid of things you no longer use - which maybe aren't ready for the trash, and may or may not be sellable. I've been able to hand off many baby items, some furniture and dishes which we just weren't using to people who I hope are finding great use from them. At the same time, I've picked up this table and an immersion blender (YEY!!!). After getting the table and remembering the sore arm which comes from refinishing by hand - I put out a request for a sander, and got one from a lady who just wasn't using hers anymore! She thanked me for helping her reduce her "stuff" load, while I thanked her repeatedly for making my life infinitely easier - and with our tight budget of late, I am ever so thankful to avoid the extra expenditure.

My plans for this table were to sand out the old stain, and then add some detail with a wood burning tool, or maybe some *tasteful* decoupage.. however, after sanding off the stain, I realized how gorgeous the wood is, and have decided to simply lacquer it as is.

I've only finished sanding this one leaf, and it's only two coats of lacquer in, but I'm very excited by the potential elegance of the table.

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