Sunday, June 8, 2008

A very long day.

Yesterday it was a sweltering 93 degrees out. Hot, sticky, humid and just plain miserable weather. We had a shed to demolish and a brand new one to put up. We did it in one day. One long, sweaty, stinky, exhausting day.

John began demo at 7am. By 11am he had most of the old shed down. The yard was a disaster. Wood, nails and shingles all over the place. By 3pm we had most of the new shed up. John and I did it totally alone. Of course he did more than I did, but I lugged the sides of walls that we 3 feet taller than me and even got to use the power tools! By 5pm we were near exhaustion. The heat was getting the better of us and we were both ready to collapse, so we went in a took a much needed break. One of our neighbors Rick (who actually went and got the shed for us (thanks Rick!) came back over with his brother-in-law to check on our progress. The only thing left to finish was the roof. The guys decided to get the roof on and just finish this project and call it done. So I called over a few local neighborhood young men and the 5 guys lifted that roof right in place. An hour later I was loading everything neatly back into my brand new shed. By 9pm I was ready for a nice cool shower. I can't remember the last time a shower felt so good.

At 9:30pm I remembered that I needed to make a cake for Jesse. He was at his Dad's over the weekend and I wanted him to come home to a home made birthday cake. His party is next weekend and it's supposed to be in the mid-70's. Thank goodness! So 10pm, cake is in the oven and I am on the couch dozing off. Cake out of the oven....cooled....covered and to bed.

It was an extremely long and totally exhausting day but when I look in my backyard now and I see that adorable shed, I am very happy. All that is left to do now is build a new ramp and plant some perennials round the base.

Chocolate Birthday Cake
Adapted from The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters
Printable recipe
Ingredients (all at room temperature)
4 oz bittersweet chocolate
1/2 C (1 stick) butter
1 1/2 C sugar
2 t vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1/2 C buttermilk
1 1/4 C boiling water

To be sifted together
2 C cake flour
6T cocoa powder
2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt

Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter two round 8-inch cake pans, cover the bottom with a circle of parchment paper, butter it lightly, and coat the pans lightly with cocoa or flour.

Chop the chocolate coarsely, then microwave for 30 second bursts, stirring after each burst. It took me only a minute, or less to get this amount of chocolate melted. This can also be done in a double boiler.

In a large bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Add sugar and vanilla, and beat very well for 5-10 minutes until very light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the melted chocolate. Stir in half the dry mixture. Stir in the buttermilk. Stir in the rest of the dry mixture. Slowly, stir in the boiling water until it is just incorporated. Now you will have a smooth and glossy batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes clean. Cool completely before frosting.

So we had cake for dinner tonight. I know, totally wrong, but once in awhile, things happen, it's sweltering hot and you end up eating birthday cake for dinner. Hey we had milk with it so it wasn't a total nutritional loss!


Anonymous said...

Wow, that new shed looks great! It looks like a little house! If my had that, all my family would want to rent it out and move in ! ;)
I can't believe how hot is over there!

michael, claudia and sierra said...

ordinary? a cake made from an amazing book written by one of the best cooks ever? that is extr-ordinary...

cake for dinner = heaven

Anonymous said...

I agree with cook eat fret... extraordinary! Happy Birthday to your little / now big guy!