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Sunday, April 20, 2014

If life doesn't hand you lemons...

In preparation for Easter I not only wanted to dye eggs, but also make a carrot cake. 

I had never made one on my own, but watched and helped my mom a couple of many years ago.

A quick look into the fridge confirmed that there were more than enough eggs for both purposes, but all the ground hazelnut in the baking drawer had expired. That's what you get for not making Christmas cookies!

I went groceries shopping. Alone, because hockey guy doesn't always like to join me. So I had to make it quick, but I did think of the marzipan carrots. After all they are the most important ingredient of a carrot cake. At least here in Switzerland. We don't cover carrot cakes with cream cheese frosting.

I started by doing a mental pro / con list on kitchen machine vs hand grater while peeling the carrots. This is how my brain works:

Kitchen machine pro:
  • No hand grating. Obviously.

Kitchen machine con:
  • I'd have to look for the manual because I wouldn't know how to assemble the necessary pieces to grate carrots. 
  • Assembling the pieces might take me a long time
  • I'd have to wash the bowl by hand because I would need it again to make the batter



Hand grater pro:

  • It doesn't take up much space in the dishwasher
  • No assembling necessary
  • I actually know where it is!

Hand grater con:

  • Hand grating necessary
  • Finger nail and / or skin damage and / or coloration might result

You guessed right. I have an expensive and powerful kitchen machine, but I preferred to grate the carrots with my own hands and a cheap old grater.

I was quite happy about the nicely grated carrots, washed my hands and said to myself "don't worry about the orange-ish fingers, just rub them with lemon juice."

Wait a minute! Lemon juice? I don't have any lemons! I also didn't buy any! But I need some for the recipe! Shooooot!

Colin was outside, playing with the neighbor's kids. I told him I had to do another quick run to the store.

"That's OK" he said. "If anything happens, I've got your number."

And he does. I always write it down when I leave. We have been doing this for almost 18 months now when I leave for a half hour of so. So far he has called twice. Once to tell me who won the hockey game he was playing. And once to ask if I was going to buy donuts. 

"Wonderful. Be nice, don't fight, I'll be back soon!" I blew him a kiss and went back to the house. He blew me one back. I was almost at the door when he ran toward me and shouted "wait, Mommy!" I turned around. "I want to give you a real kiss!" 

Awwww! When life doesn't hand you lemons once you could really use them, you get sweet kisses by your kid instead! In front of his friends, no less. Life is good!



There I was, back in the kitchen, juicing my lemons and separating yolks from egg whites. And I forgot that I wanted to try the water bottle trick! I'm sure you've seen it going around social media:



By now you know I do things the old fashioned way in the kitchen. But wait, I used the kitchen machine to beat the egg whites! I am always fascinated by the miracle of some viscuos fluid turning into a voluminous, fluffy, gleamy mass!



While the cake was in the oven, we boiled and dyed our eggs.





There is something therapeutic about being creative while the kitchen is full of the nice smell from baking. 

Cake on the rack for cooling, eggs in the carton ready for the Easter Bunny to pick up and hide, pizza in the oven for dinner, I felt on top of things and grabbed my phone to check Facebook and email. A friend and I are sending picture riddles back and forth. Mine was this - actually I only sent one single letter, so you are better off:



Q: What's this about?
A: Part of your Easter decoration?

Did I just say I felt on top of things? 

I had done NO decorating whatsoever! 

Can you say "quick & dirty decoration?" T's what I did…

Thank God for last year's efforts!
This morning Colin went letter chick hunting 


and tried to make sense of it:

So proud he spelled Easter!
He figured it out!! The most valuable hint we gave him was to start with the "V". He wanted to write "Las Vegas" but noticed he didn't have all the necessary letters. Then he wrote "never", looked at it, looked at the remaining letters and got all excited: "It's DENVER!!"  


And "St. Paul" on account of the soft hockey sticks he got after he left out the letters over night for the Easter Bunny.


Happy Easter!