Thursday, August 14, 2008

Lazy Swell Days of Summer

Why am I so out of commission these days? I can't even answer that one. I miss my blogging desperately, however, summer has been more than busy. My days are filled with working and nights are filled with beach time, laundry and cleaning. Thoughts of turning on the oven fade quickly when my air conditioning is already cranking. The baking bug bites me though at night when the sun has faded and our house is cooling. I realize I can't wait to get back at it....
That being said, I am taking the second Wilton class finally. Time goes by so quickly here at our Swell House and before I know it another month of no cake learning is happening. I finally have an excellent teacher who really wants us to learn the ancient art of piping.
I am still seeking knowledge from other places, and I found a great clay tutorial on Martha that is really appropriate to use for gumpaste. Check out her link on how to make a hydrangea. Just substitute gumpaste for the clay and you are all set--the best part is virtually no supplies are needed to make her hydrangeas. That is really a bonus because most cake ventures require a purchase of some sort. For a full-bloom tutorial on the buttercream hydrangea, check out Whimsical Bakehouse's tutorial on their Blooming Hydrangea Cake.

Monday, August 4, 2008

More Swell Stuff

I am having big problems uploading my favorite apron pictures, but I will send you to her website anyways. Just get an eyeful of Callie Mick's aprons and I think even the most defiant baker will agree that the apron should never go away. The logic of the apron defied my sensical ways until recently when I realized I was the only modern baker still wiping my hands on kitchen towels. Tired of looking for the towel, I realized the "always on another counter" towel could easily be replaced by the good old fashioned apron! Oh, and when you are looking around for cute aprons, you also need to try Sommer Designs. Carrie Sommers and her apron's could not be any cuter and may just make your husband want to pull out his pipe while reading the newspaper.

Not that I don't already own one. A picture of my female cousins and I was taken ten years ago at Christmas when one of the Aunt's gave each of us an apron from our beloved Grandmother's collection. It was in those apron's she made her Irish Mashed Potatoes, of which I could not stomach, onions and all. Thank goodness she usually made the onion-free, or American version, for my carb loving self. I refuse though to wear the apron from my Grandmother. Yet. First, I feel it may just be too special to wear. She died in 1988, after living since the turn of the century-last century. Second, it is in the Valley of the Unknown, a.k.a., My Hope Chest. I just don't know if I could bear to open a box full of so many momentos from years past. I fear the afternoon would be gone before me.

Thus a minuscule history on how we came to love the apron again. I will happily wear the new ones making cakes. Maybe Grandma's should be brought out on special occasions. Please pass the ba-tatas.