Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Les approches de saison

It's safe to say it's fall here, and quickly on it's way to being the double-Christmas.

Double Christmas?  Yes.  I have termed it this because here on December 6th there is the jour de Saint Nicholas, which is the day which seems to be more of a gifting-occasion.  On the 25th there is Christmas, which seems to be more of a gathering with family thing, but not exclusive of gifting as well.

This is a little confusing for a person who comes from a super-consumerist "gogogo" overscheduled sort of society.  I have to say that the sentimentalist in me thinks it's nice that there are several family and friend gathering occasions around this time of year (New Years Day is also another,) however the obsessively organized part of my mind is panicking, not knowing when I need to be ready for what.  I don't even know when to start making Christmas sweets so they'll be ready for the correct occasion, because Christmas has been deconstructed, oh nos!

Of making sweets:  I've been looking awhile now for a decent candy thermometer that will double nicely for chocolate work, and have yet to see the one I feel like forking out several euros for.  We scoped out another professional kitchen supply store yesterday, and while they had several things I hadn't yet spotted here that would be nice to have or at least to know where to find for when the occasion arrives, the top items on my list were not found, yet again.  Seriously, how hard is it to find a store that has a decent bulk supply of quality chocolate, and a frikkin' digital candy thermometer?  I think I'm going to have to resort to online means, or a trip to another country, or at least to the other side of this country, where the Callebaut factory lives.

So there is a little pressure mounting, and there has been a little disappointment in the sweet-creating part of my mind and life.  I've recently tried 2 new recipes and had 2 failures.  One fail was the internet recipe which looked ok on paper, but the result was, well, not great.  Edible but not great.  The other fail was my fault.  This morning I was trying out a new carrot-cake recipe (interesting to me because it used nut powders, and had a distinct absence of raisins or spices.)  I misconverted 2,5cL as 250mL.  It was morning, and I could plead foggy headedness but somehow I think this is just one of those things where my foreign brain isn't accustomed to seeing cL or dL in recipes very often. : /  I *thought* a cup of oil was a lot... and it was.  There was no redeeming the fail, (unless I felt like making 10 carrot cakes, which I didn't) though I did try a few culinary experiments before retiring the batter to the garbage.  In case you had ever wondered: sweet carrot pancakes are interesting, but not all that good.

And that's where things are at.  Nothing terribly exciting for the moment, which I suppose isn't all that bad now and then, a little calm leaves me the time to do a few things around here that need doing (like hemming pants, which is boring I know,) watching a few borrowed DVDs, trying to figure out how to most intelligently handle the deconstructed Christmas, (not to mention how to try and get gifts to Canada on time by post,) and getting a little extra sleep (never bad in flu-season.)

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