Friday, March 21, 2014

This and That

It's like being on a roller coaster!!!  Or inside a kaleidoscope!

April is fickle, but March is just totally confused and can't make up it's mind what the day shall be. So it vacillates.....

The catkins grow longer each day, fringing the branches of the hazelnut with a golden glow in the sunlight, and quivering gracefully when the March winds pass through.

I am lured outside by the sunlight, which may or may not last as long as my energy and enthusiasm for tidying beds and raking leaves and poking carefully around the little dry sticks left on the perennials, looking for signs that something is stirring!!!  Especially with the new bed of peonies, - did I plant them too deeply?  Did their roots have time to settle in before November brought the frost and snow?

And somehow my enthusiasm exceeds my energy, and I remain outside, lost to time and indications of creaking knees, so that the whole garden operation results in days like this, spent indoors doing this and that and the other thing, while my knees recover.

I finish the thumb on my latest pair of fingerless gloves, made from Navajo plied singles

And I read a chapter of the Quick Read I brought home from the library the other day - The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd.  It is a novel inspired in part by the historic figure of Sarah Grimke who with her sister Angelina played a large part in advocating women's rights and the abolition of slavery, especially before the Civil War.  I am only on page 59 but expect the book to live up to the praises on its jacket.

I tinker with my new bedside CD player and radio, looking for a station that will carry me through the night with soft music, and bemoan the fact that it is no longer possible to get a multi disk CD player. Technology changes so quickly and I am continually learning about new ways of doing things from children and grandchildren when sometimes I would be quite content to just carry on with those things I am familiar with.

This afternoon the finals of the women's world curling championship will be on the Sports Channel, and the Canadian team are at the top and will be playing for Gold - I sent my timer so that I won't miss it!!  And search for a scarf pattern to cast on lovely lilac wool while I watch.....

This and that, and the day passes from sunshine to clouds, - a little shower, perhaps a cold March wind just passing through.  Lovely white clouds in the east - a dark curtain in the west that speaks of rain.  Never a chance to get bored with the weather in March......

I wonder if the sap is stirring yet
If wintry birds are dreaming of a mate,
If frozen snowdrops feel as yet the sun
And crocus fires are kindling one by one:
Sing, robin, sing:
I still am sore in doubt concerning spring.

Christina Rossetti

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

ABC Wednesday
March 19th, 2014

The Letter is J, for Jelly Roll

When we were young and newly married we were part of a Veterans' community involved in establishing a new orchard project on the Cawston Bench, - the Fairview Heights Irrigation District.

Amongst our many friends was a War Bride from the United Kingdom who brought with her two great accomplishments;  the knack of gathering together friends for wonderful parties, (most of which eventually included a round of Knees Up Mother Brown),  and her elegant and delicate way with Jelly Rolls!  They were the star of most tea parties, and she was generous with the recipe, - which follows....

Norma's Lemon Jelly Roll

4 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp hot water
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sifted flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
pinch of sale
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

Lightly beat the egg yolks, gradually beating in 1/2 cup of the sugar.  Continue beating at a high speed until thick and very pale in colour.  Beat in water and vanilla.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt, folding it into the yolk mixture.  Set aside and wash beater thoroughly.

In a large bowl beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until peaks form; gradually beat in the remaining sugar until stiff shiny peaks form.  Fold the yolk mixture into the egg whites with a rubber spatula, turn into a prepared 15x10 inch jelly roll pan lined with parchment or waxed paper.

Bake at 325 F for 25 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly touched.

****sprinkle icing sugar over tea towel; invert cake on  top.  Remove paper and gently roll the cake in the tea towel from the long side......   Let it cool on a rack.

Unroll the cake when it is cool and spread with Lemon Curd.  Re-roll and dust with icing sugar....

Put it on your best plate and prepare for accolades....

this is the delicate part

If you're going to make this for a party here's a little bonus to make things even gayer!

For more interpretations of the letter J join Denise and Roger and all their helpers
  here at ABC Wednesday!

with many thanks.