Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Baka's Kolaca, Golden BB and time March-ing on...

(This post comes with a warning of a possible Irish influence - Irish Cream, to be sure... but that is March for you.  Not always exactly what you expect, and possibly not all of what you may need - but its what you get.)

Tonight I am attempting to concertina a little time...

You see, when Baka taught me this recipe, the most important ingredient always stressed was TIME.

And time I do not have - due to time on the weekend expanding and overflowing its bounds. 

(The weekend was a glamorous, glittery destination filled with of fine cuisine, fine-tuned teenagers, fabulous feasting with fantastic people (frantic, fairy fiersome foes and friends navigation for the 7 year old), and a festival for (technically) my longest-serving friend (True, there were also incidents with hammers, horses, heroics, histronics and hugs in the intervening years))

Ooh boy, was Paris weekended out! (The one window I had to get ingredients for a luncheon tomorrow slammed shut by a sleep-deprived, over-stimulated, post-afternoon-napped doppelganger of Paris).
(* this post was not sponsored by Arnotts - unfortunately - however a special at the supermarket this afternoon meant the absolute need for such a sponsorship was negated somewhat.  Note to the US especially - you can't get these over there, and your Kolaca is resultantly very expensive - finding plain sweet biscuits in a rectagular shape was a mission over there that I am still  recovering from!!)

Which toppled the dominos well and truly.  In my mind, I had this orderly progression of the steps to create the perfect imitation of Baka's Kolaca.
Just by being me, my bar is already far lower than the standards maintained by Baka in the creation of the cake.  When she first met me, she advised her son that he was to treat me like a snowflake.  However, once she learned of my rather slap-dash approach to perfection there were words exchanged in Hrvatski that may not have been always referring to my qualities.
So tonight, all I had to do (after getting Ms Paris to get past that whole "I'm not tired" song and dance routine and settled into the ten-foot-under slumber that is the first half of her night) was make the chocolate cream (cool it for several hours) layer up the (cooled) coffee-dunked biscuits and the (cooled) cream, melt the icing and spread and refrigerate overnight.
When you start time is after 9 and you expected finish is WELL after your bedtime, might I suggest that investigating your newly acquired liquor over ice is a most excellent way to assist in the cooking process?

It helps when you realise that you didn't apply enough vigour to the early stirring of the cream mixutre to avoid the requirement to delump for the whole million years it takes to get the right consistency and add the chocolate et al.
It helps when you realise that the last of the fantastic (cool) coffee has been demolished and you need to speedily cool a fresh instant for the layering.
It makes snapping the biscuits to fit the layers less perfect - but, ah well.  Baka won't be having any of this.

It makes spreading the melted chocolate layer smoothly that much less important when they will set before they spread if you take "action" shots.
Mmm - now, who can I get to lick the bowl...

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

The Great Glitter Explosion 2017

This post shall not be littered with photos - I shall expect you to use your imagination - as long as it constantly throws glints of gold from every angle, its working well.

Allow me to preface this with the first world acknowledged fact that young girls do like a bit of the glit - well, all young girls who I have birthed that is true for, anyway.

And we all know there is never "just a little bit" of glitter, is there?

So yesterday, we saw out the end of Summer with a little craft before bedtime - a pinch of gold was used to accessorise the odd colouring in, but all in all it was relatively contained - if relatively equates to across the table, on the dining room floor, around the rubbish bin and traipsed through the house.

But relative is relative.

Last night, Paris was slow to go to sleep.  I put it down to it being hot.  I put it down to being melancholy at her sister starting her new life far away.  I put it down to her fidgeting.  I put it down to her needing to go to the toilet.  She took an age to wash her hands post this reminder.  Hindsight would have cued the ominous music at that point.

Then she started crying, and voiced her fear that the whole school would laugh at her.  I did my mum thing and lay down with her and talked her around from the anxiety of anticipated bullying and mean girls and how to win the schoolyard skirmishes and positive approaches to the new month and resilience and by the end of my little talk, even I was feeling like grasping hold of life anew.  Go me!!!

I could even feel glitter between my teeth when I was getting ready for bed, and I did notice that the bar of soap had a very bright sheen.

As I said, relative is relative.

We are currently breaking Paris of the habit of crawling into our bed and taking up 70% of available real estate EVERY SINGLE NIGHT.  Until recently, our mattress was extremely uncomfortable and truth be told V and I almost raced each other to nab hers when that moment occurred in the wee hours of the morning.  However, her area requirements are growing AND we bought a more comfortable mattress, so we heralded change in this area to go with the changes in every other area of her life this year.  It is an ongoing process.

She went REALLY well last night - only one 3:30am sneak in for a cuddle and return to her own bed.  I was very chuffed at her and vowed to myself that the promise of scrambled eggs was as good as cooked.

When I had finished my morning rituals including the promised eggs, I went in to waken her for the start to her new day, the new month and the new attitude to life, and...

I awakened a GOLDEN child.  From her eyelashes to her toes, there was glitter.  The trail of glitter across the books at her bedside (and strangely, bottle of nail polish.  Huh?), pooled throughout her bed and piling underneath the bed belied a saga of a little girl who had a glitter nailpolish desire after lights out, and how it went so HORRIBLY wrong.

The poor darling.

No amount of showering, scrubbing and empowering discussion would erase the hue, the tone and the fear of eternal chastisement from the THEM at school and she never, ever wanted to leave the house again.

It was a VERY LONG MORNING.  The eggs helped a little.  The promise of school swimming today had torrential repercussions.  There was the leading with the front foot lecture (where the title of this post comes from).  The negotiations required were very delicate, pivoting precariously at every juncture.

When we got to the classroom this morning, she was slightly buoyed by the greeting of one which didn't SEEM to be too mean.  The teacher had just dealt with one child broken down by the lack of her swimming bag, and greeted Paris with "well, at least you aren't crying and you have your togs, hooray!" 

I advised her of our morning and she remarked "you look quite glorious yourself" to me.  When I told her of Paris' big fear, she deserved every shekel of her salary when she responded "Oh darling, they won't laugh at you.  They will be jealous.  You look FANTASTIC!"