Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Domestic Pursuits

Got a domestic little bee in my bonnet today, and started off the day with a round of cupcakes:
These turned out better than the last batch I made - those were tasty, but closer to the consistency of pound cake than I really like my cupcakes.  The cake recipe I found for these guys was nice and simple, with a bit more leavening to them.  Also, there was no separating of eggs involved.  It's not that I mind separating eggs, I just prefer being able to use the pasteurized eggs so I can lick the bowl afterwards with impunity.

Also, I think this may be the best batch of icing I have ever made.  Normally, my quick icing has a bit of a metallic taste to it, but I learned today that the metallic taste comes from the cornstarch they add to powdered sugar, and can be eliminated by heat.  All I had to do was zap the powdered sugar in the microwave for 30 seconds, and voil√°! Granted, being vanilla-rum flavored didn't hurt the icing's placement on the all-time awesome icing chart, but still...

Meanwhile, I was doing a bit of organizing while the cupcakes were baking/cooling, and found this stuffed in one of my boxes:

Not in the best of shape, but the ink stain is only on the cover (and doesn't hide the original $2 price tag from Venture, of all places...does Venture even still exist?).  Being copyright 1976, all the examples look like they were done in worsted-weight yarn on burlap, but it's still a good book.  Handily enough, February is National Embroidery Month, so I thought I'd take the opportunity of stumbling across this to learn a new stitch.
Presenting: the Palestrina knot: 

As you can see, it took me a few to get the hang of it, but it makes a nice, textural line that almost looks like a row of joined French knots.  I could definitely see using this as an outline for something that needed a touch of emphasis, or as a simple border. I do have two fresh teatowels in need of embellishment, after all...


Elizabeth said...

Nope, no Ventures, no longer. :)

Inara said...

Good - they were always really bitchy there.