Remember that old Paul Simon song? I’m always on the fence about whether to find it cynical, or whether to embrace a little levity in the face of tragedy – even though I really like the song. To me, break-ups are always the end of the f…ing world, even if they’re not my own (no worries, not everything on here is about me.)
That said, it does concern two people whom I care deeply about, and it’s devastating to watch. Right now, both are miserable, even though the leavee is certain it’s the right decision, and the left one is caught in the limbo of sadness, resentment and not understanding.
It’s a process everybody who finds themselves at the end of a relationship has to go through. When you’ve been through it a number of times over the years, you may cognitively know that life is not over just because you’re not with the other person anymore. But even so, it doesn’t really get any less painful. I remember, even though my last breakup was about 25 years ago. (A bizarre sentence, I realize.)
I’m not going to meddle, but I must confess it’s on my mind more than it probably should be, but one of the people involved is my child, so I just worry, you know?
On to more pleasant matters! This fine Sunday morning, I’d like to share an unlikely (for me anyway) recipe – lemon and poppy seed pound cake. It’s a cake I made last weekend, and it came together quite randomly. To be honest, I’m usually not fond of poppy seed cake, the way it’s eaten in this country (short crust, poppy seed filling, streusels). The seeds can get stuck between your teeth (ew), the filling oftentimes tastes slightly stuffy (ew, again), and I just don’t see the appeal.
This cake was nice, though! I had added vanilla generously, as well as the peel of two lemons, and the juice of one. You could taste just a slight hint of the poppy seeds, and that worked very well with the other flavorings. Basically, it was a lemon pound cake with poppy seeds added to the batter. After baking, I gave it a thick lemon glaze.
Surprisingly Tasty Lemon and Poppy Seed Cake
150 g butter
150 g sugar
1 p vanilla sugar
peel of 2 lemons, grated
juice of 1 lemon
100 g poppy seeds
250 g flour
pinch of salt
1 p baking powder
Juice of 1 lemon
Cream the butter and sugar. Beating batter with a wire whip, add eggs, one at a time. Add lemon peel, salt, vanilla and juice. Then stir in poppy seeds and fold in the flour and baking powder (you could sift it but you don’t have to). Let sit for a few minutes.
Butter your baking dish or line with baking parchment. Pour in the batter. Preheat oven to 175 °C.
Bake for 45 minutes+ – until a toothpick stuck in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
Let cool for a bit.
In the meantime, combine the juice of the second lemon with as much icing sugar as it takes to make a thick paste. I won’t give measurements because it depends on how much juice you get out of your lemon. Spread on your cake and let set for 30 minutes.
Enjoy with a nice cup of Earl Grey :-).
Crochet book submitted, I’ve taken on the next translation project. It’s a cute supernatural urban fantasy novel, set in a haunted building in Scotland. A lovely, dense atmosphere, ghosts aplenty, an exorcist and some deep, dark evil lurking, all paired with a sweet love story. It fits nicely with my current vampire state of mind. Having finished the last of The Vampire Diaries, I’ve moved on to the show’s first spin-off, The Originals. I like that it shows us more of one of my favorite supporting characters in TVD, Elijah, played by Daniel Gillies. Knitting a blood-red sweater while watching this stuff certainly has some poetry to it!
And as of yesterday, the Red Sweater is done! Since I was aiming for precision, I blocked this time! I steam blocked before joining the pieces with the mattress stitch. Then I made the neckline, picking up the rib pattern from the hem. Then I soaked the whole thing and left it to stretch over night pinned to the couch.
I’m happy to report that the half rib and half stockinette design came out like I wanted it to be. The finished sweater is a little shorter than anticipated, but I’ve made my peace with that. Generally, I like my sweaters nice and boxy, but I now realize this yarn was actually a bit thin for that. I used a 3,5 mm needle. Next time I’ll know to use 8-ply and not 6-ply yarn. Today, I’m in for another few hours with the tapestry needle, because there is still a number of ends to darn in – you can see them hanging all over the place if you look closely. But all in all, I’m pleased. What do you think?
There is only 1 week of school left before the Easter break. Both my husband and I are lucky enough to have a bit of time off, and I’m looking forward to seeing family, my own blood, this time. It’s been more than 2 years, and even though the kids and I went to see Little Cousin K when he was a baby, my husband hasn’t met him yet. It’s going to be fun to see what he’s like, now. And the others of course have yet to meet Charlie, and our winsome little cat dude, in person.
Things to look forward to. Before that, my friend F. who took on editing the crochet book still has some cramming the German version into the English layout to do – a task involving a lot of swearing, and red ink. German translations are usually 15% longer than the English original, but many crafts books use the exact same template for printing both languages, so abbreviations need to happen. And once I’ve looked over the final proofs, I’m going there:
Leaving the computer now to go darn in some loose ends. Thank you for reading, and have a lovely Sunday!