Making a trifle

I had a few people around for dinner a little while ago and as I quite like making desserts I decided to have a go at making trifle which is something I’ve never done before. My main course – mango chicken – was also a first run which I wouldn’t normally do because I like to try things out before making them for people.

I didn’t have a trifle recipe in any of my books so online I went and found one on the Women’s Weekly website.

This is modified ever so slightly from that.

Ingredients
2 x packets jam sponge logs (I bought little sponge rolls, not the big ones)
1 x packet of wildberry jelly (any type will do)
1 x 825 tin of pears (I used peaches)
500ml custard, (optional if you make your own)
300ml fresh cream
Grand Marnier & dry sherry to taste (orange juice will do, but I used orange juice and Triple Sec which has an orange flavour)

Custard: (optional, you can just add custard purchased from supermarket)
2 level tablespoons of custard powder
1 level tablespoon of sugar
milk, enough to get desired consistency

Method
Bowl – 21cm x 9cm (deep) with a base of 13cm diameter.

First make a jelly to packet directions and refrigerate until set.

Cut the Jam Sponge Roll into slices of equal thickness. Place them around the bowl, starting from the bottom of the bowl then building them around the sides to cover the entire inside. Fill in all the gaps by halving the slices where required.

Drizzle the sherry over the cake so that it becomes moist but not soggy. Add a little Grand Marnier in the same manner for taste variation.

Mum likes to make fresh custard- combine custard powder and sugar (or less to taste), add milk slowly to form a paste then stir in the remainder. Over medium heat and stir constantly until the custard can be poured but not too runny. (I used bought custard).

Pour the custard over the Jam sponge and spoon it over the sides to fill in the gaps – then let cool, cover with cling wrap and refrigerate – this allows the sherry & Grand Marnier to meld with the custard and sponge

Once the custard is cooled take the jelly and mince it with a fork and spread over the custard – again up the sides of the bowl to fill in any gaps – then refrigerate.

Whip 300ml of fresh cream and spread over the jelly, garnish with pears cut into slices in a circular pattern around the bowl and any other seasonal fruit – berries if available – or just the pears will suffice.

The finish! This was more than enough for seven of us. JJ and I have leftovers for a couple of days and it kept just fine in the fridge.

Cup of tea anyone?

A while ago I read a recipe on how to make teacup biscuits on Planning Queen’s blog. JJ and I put it down as one our things to do during the school holidays. We finally did it.

I saved it for an occasion where we weren’t left to eat all 26 by ourselves – that would have been a bit piggy. We visited a friend who has three kids and it was one of those kids birthdays the day prior so we took most of them there.

JJ also had some left over for his lunchbox for a couple of days into the school term.

As the recipe said, we used lifesaver lollies for the handles and I had trouble cutting them in half properly. Someone mentioned to me that you could use fruitloop cereal so this might be worth a try next time.

It was a great little activity to share with my son, and quite easy to do.

On another note stay posted as I’m going to be doing a giveaway here. It will be a good one.

Last couple of days

It’s been a full-on two days so this will be quick as I still have loads to do and it’s already 9pm.

On Monday and Tuesday I handed over the job I’ve been doing for the last year to the person who was successful in applying for it recently. That’s been kind of weird. I’m now back in my substantive position which is kind of good because I’m really familiar with it and I’m in a space where not too many challenges at work is good.

It was also my birthday yesterday. So while I was trying to hand over this job I was eating cake, getting birthday phone calls, having happy birthday sung to me, going out for lunch and also having a very quick hand over from the person who’s been acting in my job.

All of this meant that I was only able to leave work ten minutes earlier than normal to get home, and drive to dinner and my usual monthly ukulele practise where I was sung happy birthday yet again and received lots of lovely birthday wishes.

I enjoy birthdays.

So this morning was a bit of a comedown until a girl in JJ’s class who I was reading to examined me and told me that I looked pretty today. I think I’ll go back and get this girl to read to me again.

Oh, and JJ asked if he could please have Google on his computer.

Why didn’t I have one before

I’m the chief washer upperer in my household and there’s certain ways I like to do it. I like to use a brush, I like to have the water as hot as possible and I use rubber gloves because of the hot water. I don’t have a dishwasher.

My dish brush was looking a bit sad and then a friend came around one night for dinner and gave me a new one.

This might sound like a weird present but I’d been at her housewarming a couple of months prior and noticed her dishwashing brush. The reason I noticed it was because it had a suction cap at the end so it can be stuck nearby inbetween uses.

I love this idea because I always battled to find a spot for mine that was out the way and when I did find a spot for it, it inevitably fell back into the sink.

She got these from IKEA. No, she didn’t get me three. I got to keep one and my mates got one each also.

Getting on with other people

Let's race

JJ and myself just spent five days away from Adelaide. We’re on holidays and this coincided with a party at a friend’s property a few hours away. We broke it up a bit by staying at a friend’s place halfway and then went to a place at Marion Bay to stay with a couple of friends and their son in a house we rented.

Their son is a few months away from turning six years old and my son is seven and a bit and it’s interesting watching the dynamics between the two of them.

One minute they’d be best of friends and the next minute they’d be at each others throats. It was usually for pretty small reasons like someone not following the rules. My son likes the rules to be followed and so does this other boy so were there some fireworks when it didn’t happen.

JJ did the right thing when he got angry and took himself to another room but he was followed and more arguing ensued. I’d say to the other kid to leave JJ alone for a bit but he just didn’t listen to me. I don’t know if I should have just let them battle it out and to a certain extent that’s what we did but more than once we had to intervene and try to explain that you don’t say or do those things to your friends.

The two boys spent a night together with the other boy’s father while his mum and I went to the party and at the back of my mind I prayed that things went okay and there were no major blow-ups. Fortunately there weren’t.

At this party (it was a weekend long camping affair) which JJ attended during the day he was fine and was really good with another kid who’s nearly three years old. He kept an eye out for him and hung around with him for a long time. It’s just with this other kid that there’s these blow-ups.

Hopefully it’s just a stage and they’ll become best of friends without fighting all the time.

And just for a change of subject, below is a photo of the landscape near where I stayed. What animal does it look like to you?

Guess the animal

Into the past

Spring

As I mentioned in the last post it’s school holidays here and I’ve taken them off. Consequently we are taking this opportunity to get away from the city for a few days and I won’t be looking at a computer or accessing the internet while I’m gone.

Please don’t miss us too much.

While we’re away, I’ve linked to some older posts that you may not have seen before.

Bye for now.