Monday, August 18, 2008

Lamingtons




A few of us got together to watch the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics and eat some delicious food! We each picked a country (Australia, Greece, Italy, Cuba & Mexico) and brought food from that country. We also cheered for our adopted country as they walked in. Way to go China for not going in alphabetical order and instead going in order of the number of brushstrokes used to create each symbol—Australia was 203 of 205! No one got a pic of our amazing spread, but it was so good! Cuban sandwiches, meatballs, homemade salsas, antipasto, Greek salad and more!

I made lamingtons, the official dessert of Australia. There are tons of recipes online, but I sort came up with a semi-homemade version:

Lamingtons

1 frozen pound cake, sliced in half length wise and then cut into 12-16 pieces (much easier to slice and work with while still cold)
½ bag of shredded coconut, toasted
4 c. powder sugar
1/3 c. cocoa powder
2 tbsp. butter
½ c. milk
Can of heavy whipped cream/topping (like canned Redi-Whip or Cool Whip)

Toast coconut in the oven or a skillet. Place coconut in a large bowl or plate to cool.

Combine cocoa powder and sugar in a bowl. Melt the butter and milk in a medium pot on a medium temperature. Slowly add sugar mixture into milk in about four batches. Stir continuously between each batch smooth out any lumps.

Take a piece of pound cake and dip it into the chocolate using a spatula to cover all sides. Let the cake drain over the pot. Put cake in coconut and coat all sides. Place on a cookie rack to cool and set. Work quickly to cover the remaining cake with chocolate and coconut.

To store, place a layer of wax paper in a Tupperware container. Stack lamingtons on top of each other, separating with more wax paper. Cover the top layer of lamingtons with wax paper before shutting the lid. Refrigerate until an hour before serving.

To serve, slice each lamington in half and place a dollop of whipped cream between before sandwiching the two slices together.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Failed attempt

This morning I walked out to my car and saw that a baby bird had flown onto the hood where the windshield wipers are.

I tried to scoot him off with a cup, all while hearing his mother chirping down at us from a tree. Eventually he flew away, and he flew a pretty long distance.

He landed on my next door neighbor’s boat, but the boat has a plastic cover over it so the little bird didn't have good footing. He would slide down a bit and then struggle to fly up again, only to repeat the situation.

On his third attempt to fly my neighbor’s cat crawled out from under the boat.

I screamed. Then I screamed at my brother, who was closer, to run and scare the cat. Jacob didn’t hesitate, but he was only able to take about 4 steps.

The cat looked at us and in one quick move jumped up and trapped the baby bird in his mouth.

It was done.

Jacob and I both looked at each other and let out the same nervous laugh slash moan. There was nothing we could do now. I of course felt at fault because I tried to move the bird. I should have pushed him in the direction of our yard—no one would have disturbed him. Before I even attempted to push him I had thought about just getting in the car and driving off, hoping that he’d fly away. But then I foresaw me driving further and further along the road, gaining speed, and then the bird would just get blown off the car and land in traffic—obviously why I thought scooting him was the better option.

As we drove past our neighbor’s house we looked at the cat who was still sitting next to the boat.

He stared right back at us with both of the baby bird’s winging hanging out the sides of his mouth.

I swear between those wings he was grinning.