Since my parents' arrival, our trips to the library are more frequent than ever. We're sampling genres as varied as crafts, physics, nutrition, aviation and classic mysteries, and books are being borrowed by the bagful. Here are some highlights from my reading list over the last few weeks:
The story is colorful with historic details and has a satisfying, tidy ending. The book is set in the late 19th century so the wording on "native servants" can be startling (but is true to the era). With a crocodile lurking in the title, this book fits the first category in my Criminal Plots reading challenge: Novel with an Animal in the Title.
Barlow's book is very clever because she shows how you can use standard cake pans- square, circular, rectangular pans, bowls, bundt pans, muffin tins that most of us amateur bakers already have on hand- and transform the basic shape into a novelty cake with a couple of simple cuts and rearrangement of the pieces, and with strategically placed decorations. Now, the book relies 100% on two things that I absolutely dread, boxed cake mixes and buttercream frosting, but one could make cakes from scratch and use other frosting recipes and still use all of the ideas.
Here are a couple of Barlow's cake ideas that I found online- cut off the 4 corners from a 9 x 13 rectangular cake and make a football cake, a round cake + 3 cupcakes makes a teddy bear. The book has a few others that I really liked, including a sail boat, rocket ship, dragon fly and clown fish. Some of the ideas are time-honored ones that I had seen before, like making a heart cake from one square and one round cake (example here) and making a bowtie-wearing bunny from two circular cakes (example here). What I love about these ideas is that they are doable for the average baker because, let's be honest, slapping on a little frosting and candy decorations is more my style and I'm not likely to be making elaborate fondant creations like these two.
I'm guessing that we all have food rules, whether or not we actively think of them as rules per se. While I don't have clever phrasings, some of my own food rules might be:
1. Dessert is for sharing (I never make dessert unless there's an occasion and there are plenty of people to share in the sweetness.)
2. Don't drink your calories (Water and tea are my beverages of choices and I don't understand why people are so fond of juicing- they throw away all that good fiber?)
3. Be grateful that you even get to have food rules (The most important of my food rules. Only lucky people get to worry about carbs and calories and the benefits of this diet and the other diet. The rest have nothing to eat.)
I'm linking this to the It's Monday... meme over on Book Journey.
Your turn: What are you reading? Care to share your own "food rules"?