Christmas and summer is well and truly upon us. Where did 2013 go?? Last week, it was still a teensy bit cool in the morning. Over the weekend, it became gloriously sunny, summery, and humid – like we are standing in a sticky warm bath. A time for sitting under a fountain, sipping Vietnamese iced coffee, or flocking to the beach.
A long way from America
Last week, I received a very exciting parcel from Anne at Uni Homemaker. I had commented on her peanut butter pumpkin spice kiss cookies post that I couldn’t find pumpkin kisses in Sydney, and she promptly got in touch and sent some to me!
I found much more than pumpkin kisses in the box, Anne had also sent butterscotch morsels, creme de menthe chips, and Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips. I sneaked a couple while taking photos. The pumpkin spice kisses tasted like mildly spiced gingerbread; the creme de menthe made me think of minty candy canes, and I can already see the Ghirardelli and butterscotch jazzing up some oatmeal bars and brownie bars that rotate through our kitchen.
…and Anne’s box also had these colourful baking cups!
A broken oven and flood of jam
Our old, creaky oven is officially on its last legs. The oven light went out, quietly, modestly, on the weekend. Currently, pastries, breads and cookies are going into a dark cavern of an oven, with only smell and sound to guide me.
*silent movie-style gesture of despair*
There are some consolations. The lack of a good oven has encouraged me to discover jam and preserves. So far we have a sour cherry jam, which has been made into thumb print cookies (and survived the black cavern of an oven!), and a blood orange and carrot marmalade.
Here’s hoping the oven will be fixed before I flood the house with preserves and fermented things, like kimchi. Or even garum. I think Mr Gander would be keen to fix the oven before I moved onto garum.