Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Banana Chocolate Cherry Cake

Pat Ashforth (yes, that Pat Ashforth) gave me this recipe back in the days of Compuserve. Before blogging and Ravelry were around. It is the single best use of nasty soft bananas I have ever had. But some words of caution before you go checking the cupboards to see if you have all the ingredients.
The first few times you make it, it will take about an hour of prep. It's not quick and easy and it uses a ton of bowls. Your kitchen will look like the guy in your life cooked when you're through with it.
Don't make it for people you don't like.
They'll come back.
I tend to cook when I'm stressing, so for the last couple of days, my house has smelled like a bakery and I've made two of these cakes in as many days.
My in-laws are coming this weekend.
Friday the cleaning starts.
And yeah, the cake will be gone by the weekend. Just saying...

1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup water
2 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs (separated)
2 medium very ripe bananas
1/3 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup maraschina cherries (halved and drained)

Grease and flour a 10" bundt pan.

Melt chocolate chips in 1/4 cup of water over low heat, stirring till smooth. set aside and cool

Combine flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder.

In a separate bowl, cream butter with 1 cup of sugar. Add egg yolks and beat well on high speed. Add bananas, sour cream and vanilla to creamed mixture.

At low speed, alternately add dry ingredients and banana mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Blend well and stir in cherries.

Beat egg whites to a soft, not dry mound. Add 1/2 cup of sugar and beat until stiff.

Fold egg white into batter.

Place 1/3 of the batter into the prepared pan. Drizzle in 1/2 of the chocolate. Add 2nd third of batter and drizzle in remaining chocolate. Add rest of batter.

Bake at 350 fo 50-60 minutes, until cake springs back when touched. DO NOT INVERT TO COOL! Cool in pan till barely warm to touch then remove from pan and continue cooling.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Camp Redux

Just a few more pics from camp, then I'm moving on.

One of the reasons I was looking forward to camp was the chance to meet Leslie. She lives in San Fran, so it's not like I can just hop in the car and go see her. Although, I'm sure we could do some interesting damage at Art Fibers...
It was great to meet her in person and we were actually both wearing the Ribby Pulli at one point.
Random knitting weirdness.

There's been much talk of the camp monkeys. Here's mine and Marti's. Mine's the one with the hat. His name is Ian Sim and he's gone to live at the Monkey's office. Only fitting since he is the monkey's alter ego.
Note his little X'd out button eyes. We decided he was dead inside as his girlfriend had left him for a lemur who had a hot car.
Poor Ian.

Now these have nothing to do with camp, but I've been meaning to blog them for a while. One of the cool gifts that Lorena sent me for Christmas was a subscription to Cuckoo Batts. They've started coming!
Aren't they cool?!
I don't know what I want to make with them yet, but they look gorgeous just hanging out in my office for now.
Thanks Lorena!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Pictures from Camp

Blue Moon Sock was last week on Orcas Island. It was as crazy as you might think. There were classes, weird games, and tasty drinks, things I expected, but there were also some things I didn't expect.
Like deer that march up to you and pretty much shake you down for apples.

This one was so focused it actually let Rosie (my roomie) cop a feel.

The one I fed was a little more reserved.
Cell reception around the resort was almost non-existent. The one place we found that was reliable, at least for my cheap burner phone, was way out past the main lodge on a point. It was bloody cold out there too! No shelter and the weather was not very nice.

This pic is proof for the monkey that the short calls he got were due to my hand going numb in the great outdoors, not from me wanting to get back to my drink in the toasty warmth of the bar.
The homework for camp this year was to make a toilet paper cover. At first I balked at the idea. Those things always remind of bad church bazaars (or bizarres as I think they should be called), but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that a traditional TP cover was the way I wanted to go. You know the ones I mean, the ones with the fake barbie in the frilly dress that covers the roll.
Of course, everyone has their own take tradition.

This was mine. She won for Scariest even though the motion sensor that made her say, "brains" as people walked by crapped out on me.
There were some really great covers.
This was the one that Cat coveted:

She crawled under a table to steal it. Very entertaining and she did give it back when she got caught.
More on camp in the next post.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Nine out of ten cats agree

... that puppies are Satan's hand puppets.
Don't get me wrong, Gir is very cute and we love him dearly.
But he's evil. Pure, unadulterated evil.
There are only two times he's quiet, when he's asleep and when he's doing evil. The later happens more often than the former. I know I'm older than when Loki was a pup, but seriously, Loki was a good boy. Very good it seems.
Gir runs around the house at mach 5 like his ass is on fire. A couple of times I had to grab him and check.
And the biting! He's sooooo bitey! If it sticks out, he bites it. You can see where this might cause problems. Especially with the male member of the household.
Cat wrestling/taunting/fur eating is one of his favorite activities. The cats have been unbelievably good natured about it so far. I don't know how long that will last.
I think Spike is planning an "accident" for Gir to have.
We've given him two baths since he arrived and he manages to smell stinky again within 24 hours.

Proof of bathing.
Pray for us.
I leave for Sock Camp on Saturday. So the monkey will have all the doggie fun for himself. I hope he's still here when I get back.

Monday, April 07, 2008

...and then I cried like a little girl

*warning to fibre people* this post completely concerned with hockey. Hey, I'm Canadian, be happy it's not all about Tim Horton's, eh?

We knew last Thursday that the Canucks were out of the playoffs. That alone was fairly heartbreaking.
Then all the rumours that Linden was going to retire hit at full force.
Yeah, yeah, I know, it may have been Naslund's last game too. After the way he's played this season, I'm actually glad. I hope he does retire. He made it pretty obvious that he's tired of being here. Some games he looked like he was doing us this huge favour just showing up.
But Linden? That's bad, very bad.
He's been the heart, soul and face of the team for a very long time. He and McLean were the reason the 'Nucks almost won the Cup in '94. Forget about the prima donna Bure, Linden was the power player.
We need him now more than ever. With such an overwhelmingly young team and the captain likely retiring, we need a strong leader that people trust. That's Linden to a tee.
I hope the franchise does the right thing. Offer him whatever he wants to stay for at least another year. Fire Alain, rotating lines every 5 minutes doesn't work. 11th place proves it. Let Naslund go. 6 million for 27 goals? Not worth it. Keep Morrison. He's a hometown boy that grew up with the Canucks and loves them the way we all do. The team needs that.
Maybe Smyl would make a good coach. After this past season, could we do worse? 11th for cripes sake!! It's humiliating.
I don't want to cry at the end of next season... unless it's tears of joy as Trevor Linden hoists the Lord Stanley high over his head.
I'll happily cry for that.