azurelunatic: Chocolate dessert, captioned No Artificial Shortages  (no artificial shortages)
([personal profile] azurelunatic Aug. 19th, 2017 01:00 pm)
Belovedest has mentioned a few times that it's hard to get your hands on a nice meat pasty around these parts. I contemplated the matter and asked a few questions.

At length, it seemed like it was a good day to try.

My reliable source for understanding the principles behind what I'm cooking is Serious Eats. So I read through the pie crust stuff again. (Incidentally, the site is a clickbait hole for DELICIOUSNESS.)


Clickbait: http://www.seriouseats.com/2015/03/science-of-pie-7-myths-that-need-to-go-away.html

Science: http://sweets.seriouseats.com/2011/07/the-food-lab-the-science-of-pie-how-to-make-pie-crust-easy-recipe.html

Recipe: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2011/07/easy-pie-dough-recipe.html
2 1/2 cups (12.5 ounces; 350 grams) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons (25 grams) sugar
1 teaspoon (5 grams) kosher salt
2 1/2 sticks (10 ounces; 280 grams) unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pats
6 tablespoons (3 ounces; 85 milliliters) cold water

I looked at the amounts involved.

There was no way that I was going to be able to fit all that flour and butter into my food processor, which is an attachment to my stick blender. I looked closely at the amounts.

It so happens that the ratio of cups of flour to sticks of butter is 1:1. So I decided that I could make a test batch, one cup and one stick. The salt and sugar is less important, and in fact the sugar is kind of not what I wanted for a pasty dough.

I put 2/3 of the flour together with the butter and a bit of salt, then added a little water and more of the flour. (Probably not how I should have done it.) Then I mixed it in a larger bowl with a little more water. My hands are rather hot, so I tried to cool them down with ice.

I wrapped it up in cling wrap and let it cool off in the refrigerator. I pulled it out a few hours later, and quartered the dough. I saw that it had distinct stacked layers, like a good steel blade. I was thrilled.

I rolled it out in the best tradition of my mother, between two sheets of parchment paper. (There is no rolling pin in this kitchen. I used a glass.) I stuck it back in the refrigerator, still between the sheets, to wait while I prepared the filling. (Parchment paper and waxed paper are easier to handle than cling wrap, for this.)

http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2012/01/cornish-pasty-british-meat-hand-pie-recipe.html

This was not a Cornish pasty. [personal profile] wohali said something about a chicken curry pasty, and I went "Oooo!" and she advised that you can use pretty much any chicken curry recipe, just dryer than usual.

I went for it.

My basic chicken curry is chicken plus a brick of golden curry sauce plus assorted vegetables, and oil as needed. This time I decided to cook the chicken thigh meat so it would be easy to separate from the bones in my multifunction fancy rice cooker, along with some spiced oil left over from a previous recipe, and some dry onions. I cooked the vegetables and the curry brick separately, only combining them all (and some potato flakes to sop up water and oil) at the end. My partner is much better at handling chicken meat in all its phases than I am, and stripped the meat from the bones before I mixed them together.

I did roll it too thin, and I let it get too hot when filling it.

Despite the holes, I stuck the crust together with egg wash, and egg washed the outside. (I used the leftover egg wash to make a little bit of curry scrambled egg, which my partner ate on top of their salad.)

I'd wisely said that if the food was not going to be ready by 10pm, we should eat something else. The pies came out of the oven just as we were finishing chicken nuggets, but we still had enough room to test half a pie each.


Mmmmmmmmm.

I will be making these again. And the dough process is relatively simple with the tools at hand, so my partner (who can follow a recipe, but isn't yet the cocky ass in the kitchen that I am) may wind up learning the process too.


I put together a bit of sweet pie dough just now, and it's chilling in a ball in the refrigerator. I'm thinking that some fruit pies might be in order...
([syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed Aug. 18th, 2017 01:00 pm)

Posted by Jen

(ATTENTION MOMS: this post may be mildly inappropriate for young children.)

 

Alright ladies, it's OUR turn.

That's right: it's time to turn the tables on all those chauvinistic guys who order the boob or butt cakes, rendering the female form as nothing more than an object - and an edible one at that! It's time to ogle the MALE form in cake for once, and show them how it feels! You heard me, gentlemen: prepare... to be objectified!! [rubbing hands together] Heheheh. This is gonna be awesome.

Ok, let's start the show!

First up, ladies, check out this sexy little...

Oh.

["Urp"ing noise]

Sorry, sorry. Uh, yeah, Julie B.? This one's really not doing anything for me. In fact, the neck hump area is kind of grossing me out.

 

Not to worry, though; there's more where that came from. Next!

Huh.

Um, Donna B., not that I don't appreciate the liberal use of painted-on under-arm hair (and other hair which I was kind enough to cover - you're welcome) and the whole "good luck on your wedding night" sentiment, but again, this is really having more of the opposite effect on me. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that it looks like the chest of a pasty-white prepubescent.

 

Ohhhkay. Now I just creeped myself out, looking at this. [averting eyes] Next! NEXT!!

Whoa! I think we just went to the other extreme; this guys looks to be about 70. And is it just me, or does he have a bunch of raisins on his chest? That, or his chest hair has gone all matted and clumpy.

[gagging] Rapidly. Losing. Appetite.

By the way, Amanda E., not that I'm complaining, but I don't think he has any nipples. Again, NOT complaining. Really. Put those raisins down, woman!

 

Oh, look: Tam & Annabel found Mr. Heard-it-through-the-grapevine's bottom half, and it begs the question...

Is acupuncture ever a good package deal? Just wondering.

 

Ok, this is ridiculous. I don't feel like we've objectified any guys at all with these cakes! Sarah W., you're our last hope. Bring it, sistah.

Aaaugh!! My eyes! My seared, bleeding eyes!

What this headless, neckless, armless, and legless torso lacks in limbs it certainly makes up for with day-glo orange streakiness. Not to mention that it exudes a kind of sinister intelligence: I swear it's looking at me.

In fact, here's a hypothetical for y'all: You get up in the middle of the night, and turn suddenly to find this cake hopping along behind you. Do you:

a) scream
b) laugh
c) grab a fork or
d) all of the above?

[sigh]

Well, ladies, I'm sorry: our quest to objectify men using cakes has failed. But on the bright side, we'll always have Tom Selleck - right?

*****

Thank you for using our Amazon links to shop! USA, UK, Canada.

azurelunatic: A red apple with a bite out of it, captioned in Star Trek font "What no-win scenario?" (what no-win scenario)
([personal profile] azurelunatic Aug. 17th, 2017 02:28 pm)
I am scared of my family right now.

My immediate family are largely good people who generally behave with kindness to all, and abhor the concepts of white supremacy and fascism like any decent person.

My aunts on my father's side are pretty awesome. Hippie Uncle is great, and Woodworking Uncle has good intentions and maybe a few distortions due to assorted experiences of privilege, but he does not appear to go out of his way to fuck other people over.

My aunt-by-marriage scares me. She's a doctor, and things she has said about transgender people, and gender in general, make me feel unsafe around her.

My uncle who is married to that aunt has good intentions, but does not appear to be in a position to temper his wife's attitudes.

"Racist Cousin Anna" has said some things about Mexicans that made me turn away from her. She's married to the older of that uncle's kids.

Both those cousins have posted things about guns and Muslims on Facebook that make me scared, like they wouldn't hesitate to support laws that would marginalize my friends, or might use one of those guns on someone.

I don't have the scariest family in the world. And I'm still skittish of saying anything that might prompt them to stop seeing me as their tame cousin and start seeing me as Other.
([syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed Aug. 17th, 2017 01:00 pm)

Posted by Jen

Yesterday was the 40th anniversary of Elvis Presley's death, so I thought I'd feature some appropriate cakes. However, I realize many of our younger readers may not be familiar with The King. So listen up, whipper snappers! Picture an older, more talented, better looking, Southern Justin Bieber wearing a white, bedazzled jumpsuit.

...

Also, he may or may not be dead.

...

Maybe don't picture that part.

 

Right. All together now? Then let's get started!

 

This is Elvis:

Rawr! Ffft ffft...

 

This...

...is not Elvis.  I'm thinking either Ray Liotta or Wayne Newton.

 

Elvis:

Not Elvis:

John claims this looks like Jimmy Durante. It's like I don't even know who he is anymore. (John, I mean. Jimmy I had to wiki.)

 

Elvis:

 

Um...

I'm going with Liza Minelli.

 

Elvis:

Oh! Wait! I know this one!

The Brawny paper towel guy!

 

And finally, Elvis:

Annnnnd:

Queen Amidala. Or maybe one of the guys from Menudo. (Thanks, John!)

No, no, I'm staying with Amidala.

 

Thanks to Paula H., Diana C., Connie B., and Chrissy K. who are all, collectively, nuthin' but hound dogs. And oh! The crying! ALL the TIME! Enough, already!

Ah thank you. Thankyouverramuuuch.

 

Update from john: The Munsters! The last one looks like the kid from The Munsters! I knew it was something with an "M" from my childhood.

*****

Thank you for using our Amazon links to shop! USA, UK, Canada.

([syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed Aug. 16th, 2017 01:00 pm)

Posted by Jen

Pay very close attention to these cake pairs, now; I wouldn't want you to get the Wreck mixed up with the Inspiration Cake. [eye roll]

First up:

 

Elodie M. asked her baker to do this, only with far fewer rose petals. The baker obliged by providing this:

Ah, nothing symbolizes the beginning of a new life with the one you love quite like shriveled old rose petals. On the plus side, at least they distract the eye away from the poor cake construction. The weird grass sprigs sprouting haphazardly from the side and top help in that arena, too.

 

Next, Claire G. discovered the hard way how important "pipemanship" (as opposed to penmanship) is.

What she wanted:

(I believe this is from Martha Stewart.)

 

What she got:

Such delicacy, such grace...

By the by, I don't monogram much, but I think the middle initial is supposed to be larger than the other two. I also think that if "msk" were a word, it would accurately describe the leveling job done on the leaning wonder here.

 

And lastly, Hannah W. asked for this, only with square tiers instead of round:

 

She even brought in the brown ribbon and fresh blue hydrangeas for the bakery to use. Pretty simple, right? Just make some white square tiers. But you know how some bakeries are, always complicating things...

Let's see. Misshapen layers, lumpy icing, no ribbon, electric teal icing "flowers"... What seems to be the problem, Hannah?

*****

Thank you for using our Amazon links to shop! USA, UK, Canada.

([syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed Aug. 15th, 2017 01:00 pm)

Posted by Jen

Greetings. I am Siri3000, your automated cake decorator. How may I help you?

"Siri, I need a cake."

*dingding*
I am programmed with 12 billion different cake styles. What kind of cake would you like?

"Well, I was kinda hoping for a soccer cake..."

*dingding*
I have made 23,000 soccer cakes. Commencing slideshow mode.

Cake 1:

"Um, you don't have to show me every ca..."

 

Cake 2:

"Really, this isn't necessary..."

 

Cake 3:

"Ok, I get the idea."

 

Cake 4:

"STOP!"

 

...
*dingding*
May I help you with something else?

"Okay. Yes. The cake is for my team..."

*dingding*
Making By Tim cake:

"NO! TEAM. Like a sports team. It's the Trojans..."

 

*dingding*
Making Trojan covered cake.

That will be $374.50. Charging credit card...

"WAIT! I wanted a photo cake!"

 

*dingding*
Making photo cake.

[flash bulb goes off]

"What - NO! Not of ME!!

"Okay, STOP! Just... stop. I don't have the photo for the cake now, but I will bring it in. Okay?

Siri?

...

 

*dingding*

 

Thanks to Aimee P., Victoria W., Jarrod P., Jenna K., Melanie W., Lorie B., Bridget & Jarrod, Daphne G., and especially to our friend Teeter of Red Rocket Farm for the inspiration:

................

Did I make you laugh? Do you shop Amazon? Then how about clicking through my affiliate link to shop? By visiting Amazon through that link, CW will earn a small percentage of your purchase - but it costs you nothing. NOTHING, I say!

Together, we can achieve wrecky world domination!! Or at least keep our respective cats fed. Either way, s'all good. Thanks, guys!

([syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed Aug. 14th, 2017 01:01 pm)

Posted by Jen

How hard is it to write, "It's a boy"?

LET'S FIND OUT.

Oooh, so close.

 

Less close.

 

No...

 

"Bay?" Really?

 

And yet they nailed "congratulations."

 

[massaging temples] Two tries, both wrong.

 

[forehead on keyboard] Well, the "A" is back...

 

Woohoo!

 

And finally, the wreckiest version of "It's A Boy" I've seen yet - and which I promise I am not making up:

Ouch.

 

Thanks to Ashley L., Alison U., Laura M., Suzanne L., Karin A., Heather C., Cat W., Kayla F., Melissa H., & Jill D. for finally finding something worse than the "Finally A Boy" debacle of '08.

*****

Thank you for using our Amazon links to shop! USA, UK, Canada.

([syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed Aug. 13th, 2017 01:00 pm)

Posted by Jen

If you've ever been to South Beach in Miami and cooed over the candy-colored buildings, then odds are you're an Art Deco fan. See? Just like that, you're a reader of uniquely refined taste! So hold that pinky high while you're swigging that Diet Coke, and let's take a look at some of the world's Sweetest Art Deco wedding cakes.

By Sugar Art By Tami

Not only is this cake design amazing, I'm also really digging that topper. Who knew Calla lilies and a little wire could look so glamorous?

 

You're going to be tempted to think this next one is some kind of fancy jewelry box, but trust me: it's cake.

By Lyn Rees of Lyn's Cake Creations

Each of those panels and end pieces was made using an icing technique known as run-in, or flood work. When it dries it becomes hard and smooth like porcelain - but about a hundred times more fragile. Frankly, I don't know how Lyn managed those delicate lines in the top box:

Photo by Cake4ever

Gorgeous.

 

Of course avocado green isn't for everyone, so to make Art Deco truly timeless, just take away the color:

By Sucre Coeur

Would you look at the texture on those bottom tiers?! After staring at it in full-size for a while, I think it's made up of hundreds of tiny paper fans - presumably edible paper -layered over the icing. And with those jewelry designs on the top tiers, it kind of brings to mind a feathery flapper dress, don't you think?

 

And speaking of feathery flapper dresses...

By Cake Central member McLin

This design was completely hand-painted, with hand-piped "pearls" and 3D sculpted gumpaste "feathers." I especially like the colors; it's like an old fashioned black and white photograph with parts of it colorized.

 

Of course, a little Deco can also look surprisingly modern:

Made by Jo-Ann Edwards, found here

This couple used a piece of Art Deco jewelry - the Butler & Wilson brooch "The Dancing Couple"- for their cake topper, and the cake ties it in beautifully with those stylized fans and clean, bold lines.

 

This one reminds me of all those grand old movie palaces from the 1930s:

Photo by Jose Villa Photography, baker unknown

Can't you just imagine an illuminated marquee above the bottom tier? And, come to think of it, wouldn't that be a fun way to tie in the couple's names?

 

I honestly can't decide if this next one is more Art Deco or 60s mod...but then again, Deco *did* come back in style during the 60s, so maybe it's both?

By Jan Kish

Whichever it is, it's pretty darn cool. The sheen on those flowers really makes them look like metal!

 

Here's another beauty straight out of old Hollywood:

By Martha Stewart Weddings

I hope the bride wore her hair in pin curls. And her dress was some slinky satin number with a big fluffy fur stole. (But not a real fur stole; that's cruel.) And I hope the DJ played "Puttin' on the Ritz" like, a million times.

 

You really can't get much more Art Deco than this:

By The Bakery Cottage

Talk about a piece of art! Are they flames or leaves?

 

This next one's so big it's kind of hard to see all the detail:

By Sugar Realm

So here's a closeup:

Look at all those shimmering metallics! And did you see that the silver sections are actuallly filled with silver dragees? That must have taken FOREVER to do.

 

This next one is one of my favorite Art Deco cakes EVER:

Submitted by Hayley P. via the DISboards and made by Disney Weddings.

That center column is like a stylized paper waterfall - and it lights up! I just love the colors, and the sun emblem at the top, and those little jut-outs on the bottom tier - so much great detal!

 

And finally, here's what I like to think of as "Venice meets the Chrysler building":

By Rosebud Cakes

Look at this perfection! LOOK AT IT!!


Ok, now you can go enjoy the rest of your Sunday. Toodles!

*****

Thank you for using our Amazon links to shop! USA, UK, Canada.

And from my other blog, Epbot:


azurelunatic: The (old) Tacoma Narrows Bridge, intact but twisted. (disaster waiting to happen)
([personal profile] azurelunatic Aug. 12th, 2017 10:17 pm)
I feel very much like I'm talking about the things that don't matter, but the things that matter very much are private and inward and delicate, and to share such things widely would not be the done thing.

So: life bits, in passing.

The freezer (the thinner, left, door of the two-doored refrigerator) has had ice on the bottom -- at first just a little bit, and a few cubes that had fallen out of the ice maker -- for a while. We've had "de-glacier the freezer" on the to-do list for a while.

This morning (I think?) it hit critical, while I was -- ah, yes, it was this morning, because I was retrieving the frozen vegetables that I'd use in lunch -- searching around for something that turned out to be in the bottom drawer.

The drawers in this freezer are wire baskets with snap-on (and fall-off) plastic fronts. The bottom drawer was blocked from pulling out because the ice on the bottom was too high.

I grumbled, laid down the kitchen utility towel (one of the old ones with fraying and maybe a hole or two) and grabbed a knife for ice-pick duty. (My partner was unavailable for help, on some other unspecifiable but definitely important mission of internet mercy. Godspeed, friend.) Anyway, it would probably not have benefitted from two people. So I whacked at the ice for a while, and got it mostly on the towel. I tugged at the drawer.

The drawer shot out with surprising ease, given the big chunk of ice still attached to the bottom. I had words. I went for the cooler-bag.

It turned out that the ice sheet was attached to the basket by only a few wires, and once I figured out how to get it in the sink at the right angle, I was able to use hot water to get the ice off those wires. I left the larger sheet in the sink to thaw and drop its inclusions all over the sink, like boulders on a cleanly carved valley.

The ice had come out in one piece. There was still a little coming down the slanted surface of the bottom back, and a little more below the vent that disperses cold air or something. I swiped it out with a different kitchen towel that was due to be washed soon anyway, and reported back to my partner (after they emerged from their task).

The stuff went back in, a little more organized than it had come out, with a few things put in the fridge to thaw.

A generous double handful of the frozen mixed vegetables went in the frying pan, along with some bacon and potato. It would be slowly cooked into glorious lunch with cheese. A proper weekend brunch sort of item.

I found the strawberries I'd put aside when I got the big thing of them, frozen into a sullen frisbee sort of shape in the bottom of the round container. I pondered, tried chopping into it with a not-big-enough knife, then the brainstorm hit. I retrieved the largest of the melamine bowls (the ones with the lids) and popped the disc in.

Then I shook it.

A whole bunch of frozen strawberries make some gawdawful noise, being rattled like rocks against a hard surface, but it does tend to break them apart quite handily. I liberated a few to chuck in the food processor (an attachment for my stick blender, which I finally found at some late point in the packing, so it went in my Bachelor Kitchen Box) to turn into dust to grace the top of the lemon jelly. (Lemon jello plus shreds of frozen strawberry? RECOMMENDED.)

I also got some mending done this morning. There are some shirts that need their necks re-hemmed, plus under-layer shorts that had started blowing out at the crotch but were still otherwise in good shape. I had found one of the dismangled (a typo, but I'm keeping it) pairs of shorts, and sacrificed it for patches.

I will need to either repair my sewing machine (I dropped it while trying to get it set up) or locate the Sidewinder. The sewing machine still lights up and stitches, but something is awry in the bobbin winder. This is the second sewing machine that I've jacked up such that it won't wind bobbins anymore. Additionally, something else is wrong with the actual bobbin nest -- I believe some plate fell out. So it's harder to load, but at least it does still sew.

Kitten has decided that I am an acceptable surface to sleep on/against, and has started doing just that. It's cute, until I need to move, at which point she meows accusingly. Sometimes she settles back against me, and sometimes she stalks off and sits in her accustomed place on Partner. (Partner sleeps on their back, face up, sometimes guarding their bladder area with their hands against kitten massage even as they sleep.)

Posted by Jen

There are lots of crazy cakes out there, minions, but the thing to remember is there are distinctive LEVELS of crazy.

What's that? Do I have examples?

I'M SO GLAD YOU ASKED.

Ahem hem hem.

[extending pen-pointer stick thingy]

First, we have Good Crazy:

Because while no one NEEDS a rainbow worm covered in Gummi Bears, why the heck not?

 

...which can be surpassed by Awesome Crazy:

Or, crazy awesome.

 

Then we have Bad Crazy:

That's right, running down frisbee players with your new birthday car is bad, Mark. BAAAAD.

 

First, let's just assume that says "Curt."
Second, Why?
Third, Why?
And fourth, SWEET STAY PUFT WHYYYYYY?!

Ahem.

 

Also, celebrating the US Navy's birthday with a sinking Titanic isn't so great, either:

 

And finally - and my personal favorite - we have Bat Sh*t Crazy.

This is the crazy that isn't bad, and isn't good. It's the Chaotic Neutral of crazy, if you will.
(And if you got that, YOU ARE SUCH A NERD. [let's be friends])

For example:

Soccer player butts next to badly rendered Pixar characters.

 

And of course:

Cow udders.

 

Thanks to Jessica B., Dana G., Richard W., Lindsay D., Brian E., Anony M., & Cheryl S., who could really see herself understanding cows.

(I'm so proud of that pun I actually teared up a little, you guys. WHAT.)

*****

Thank you for using our Amazon links to shop! USA, UK, Canada.

([syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed Aug. 10th, 2017 01:00 pm)

Posted by Jen

Everybody sing!

 

Who's the one that can't be made

 

into a CCC?

M-I-C-K-E-Y
M-O-U-S-E!
 

And who's the one that looks like he

Would like to break your knees?

M-I-C-K-E-Y
M-O-U-S-E!

Mickey Mouse!

We think that's him!

Mickey Mouse!

Orange you glad?

Bump badump badump badump baDUMP!!

[Singing slower with sad faces]
Who's the leader of the cluuub...

That's maaade for you and meeee?

M-I-C...


"C" is for "copyright violation!"

 

...K-E-Y...

Why? WHY? WHY?!?

M-O-U-S...

EEE-AAAAUUUGH!!!

 

Ted, Shelly, Dana C., Amanda L., Colleen B., Stephanie, Jennifer D., & Dana C., I think the creepy tongue adds character. *Badumpbum* And in all fairness, that last one could be a really, really bad Princess Leia cake. 

*****

Thank you for using our Amazon links to shop! USA, UK, Canada. 

([syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed Aug. 9th, 2017 01:00 pm)

Posted by Jen

Most brides think that bringing in a photo of their dream wedding cake will help clarify for their bakers what it is that they want and expect on their big day.

[shaking head] Those sweet, silly girls.

In reality, these photos are more like "guidelines." A springboard, if you will, from which the baker may or may not spring - and then into heretofore unheard-of realms of artistic "expression."

Perhaps some examples will help.

 

Bride Laurie S. asked for this cake, only in ivory and with blue flowers instead of white:

(Photo & cake by Martha Stewart)

 

Instead, she got this:

"It's boxy, and it's blue and white. What more do you want?"

 

Kirstie also wanted a cascading floral design, like this:

 

Which her baker recreated pretty well, except for one key detail:

S/he used real flowers instead of sugar ones.

Once the petals shriveled, Kirstie's cake design became less "cascading flowers" and more "attacking butterflies." Which isn't horrible, I suppose, but it is kind of hard to resist the urge to flap your arms and shoo them off.

(Note: The silver thing is their topper, which the baker laid flat instead of standing up. Or maybe the butterflies just knocked it over. :D)

 

Sharon L. wanted this gorgeous topsy-turvy design:

(Made by Lisa's Creative Cakes - and I totally want one.)

...only in 3 tiers and using her colors of fuchsia, orange, and lime.

Her baker's interpretation?

Remember that springboard I mentioned? Well, some are a LOT springier than others.

 

And finally, this bride wanted her seashell-themed cake to rise to new heights:

 

Instead, she got one that was apparently dropped from great heights:

Think it was served with a pancake dinner?

[snicker]

 

*****

Thank you for using our Amazon links to shop! USA, UK, Canada.

azurelunatic: Monkey King swings his cudgel  (monkey king)
([personal profile] azurelunatic Aug. 8th, 2017 01:47 pm)
My partner got one cat in the breakup, the cat who trailed them through the shelter while they were looking at different cats, and who lap-kittied at them the first chance she got. (I suspect that my partner got this cat by dint of having made sure to pack her along with the other important things when they fled the household of abuse. The ex took all the other pets, including the second cat who adored my partner.)

Miss Air Raid Siren had two types of notable damage when she was adopted: first, she had been front-declawed, and second, she is quite food-insecure. She cannot just be left to free-feed, and I gathered that it was a bit of a production to feed all the cats in such a way that everyone got their fair share. (Another of the cats had been a bit of a vacuum-cleaner himself, so it wasn't just her.)

When the ex's regimented schedule had demanded that my partner be home at the appointed hour every day to feed "the kids", all was well ... at the expense of my partner's labor, and my partner's ability to have an actual social life and do things with friends.

Now, this cat does appreciate being fed. She's earned a few names on account of her increasingly vocal demands to be fed, typically starting about an hour before feeding time. (Most of them are even printable.) And if the feeding is late -- oh, my. (Everyone has come to the understanding that while an hour late is no big deal ultimately, it's probably better for whoever is present to feed her, if it's anything beyond that or if she appears to be in any actual distress. And then tell the Human In Charge, because she will cheerfully make as though she's Never Been Fed, Ever when a food-giver returns home. Even when she's already eaten.)

So when my partner was living with Host Family #2, they borrowed some wet/dry automatic feeders (with ice pack) in service of being able to be out & about and spend the night away, without overly distressing the cat. This worked reasonably well.

Then they returned the feeders. They then tried to replace them.

Friends, do you know how very goddamn many nearly identical compartment feeders with a rotating lid exist on places like Amazon? A very bloody lot, as it turns out. And not all of them are up to the challenge of being worked at by a determined and highly food-motivated hacker-kitten.

Candidate Feeders 1 and 2 had a spring-loaded lid. Hacker-Kitten dug at it with her little blunt pussywillow-paws until the lid crept back, then held it there (somehow) and stuck her little face in, and ate extra portions.

Candidate Feeder 3 looked like the loaner feeder, but Hacker-Kitten batted at the protective plastic cover on the brain/engine core, and broke the manual advance button by standing on it, then dug it open despite the lack of springs and claws. Subsequently the thing didn't work at all.

Candidate Feeder 4 was the same model as 3, but I'd taped down the core's cover in a way that defeated the attempts to open it that way. After the evening meal, I put it up out of harm's way for the night, and put it down again in the morning. She ate her breakfast on schedule, but come 5:30pm or so and she'd dug the top around to the next meal, early.

This morning when my partner put it out again (only dry food, this time) loaded with today and tomorrow's meals, a little past breakfast I saw she'd opened the dinner compartment just a little. So I put it up, and sent my partner the link to the (not cheap) feeder I found that will do 1/8 cup increments of dry food and uses an entirely different mechanism. I'll put it down when I leave for my event this evening, then see what she's done to it by the time I return...

We're hoping that Feeder 5 will do the trick.

It would be ideal to be able to give her both wet and dry food on a timer (and keep the wet food refrigerated, naturally) for 2-3 days. But failing that, just dry food will keep her fed well enough that she won't be yowling and desperate if an evening out goes longer than planned. (Usually we feed her early if we think we'll be out significantly past her dinner. But that doesn't always work.) Provided she doesn't eat it all early...
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([syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed Aug. 8th, 2017 01:00 pm)

Posted by Jen

So Dawn W. was throwing a Wizard of Oz cast party, and she knew better than to order anything as complicated as a Yellow Brick Road cake. So instead, she simply asked for a cake with "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" on it.

Now, if you've read this blog for any time at all, then you're probably expecting the same thing I was - an inscription that looks like this:

"Some Wear"
The Rainbow

I'm pleased to report that's NOT what happened. No, Dawn received something far more...colorful.

At first I thought the decorator was just being clever, but then I noticed the "Somewheres".

Yeah.

Well, there went that theory.

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And from my other blog, Epbot:


([syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed Aug. 7th, 2017 01:00 pm)

Posted by Jen

I know bakers see a lot of unusual names these days, but sometimes you've still got to wonder: 

 

 ...are they doing "the drugs?"

 

 (That's me channeling a little bit of my mom for you, right there. She puts a "the" in front of everything, like going to "the Walmart" or seeing "the Star Wars" or disowning "the daughter.")

 

Not cool, man. NOT COOL.

 

There are so many wrecky butterfly cakes coming in this month that my first thought for this next one was that it actually wasn't so bad:

Oops. 

(Funny thing: this one's a lot less phallic than most butterfly wrecks, too.)

 

From a bakery that uses a lot of clipart:

(Yes, really.)

On the plus side, I've *seen* most bakery clip art out there, and believe me, this is an improvement.

 

Do you think this next baker finished the cake, looked down, and thought, "Hey, what a coincidence!"?

(And no, for you positive Pollys out there - the birthday boy was not named Nemo.)

 

Now, you might think you could avoid your own birthday wreck by just having nothing on it.

And, hey, you might be right.

 

Or...

 

....yeeeah.

 

Thanks to Kasha D., Windy S., Anony M., Heather K., Aisha A., Sue P., & Kristen H. for not naming any names.

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([syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed Aug. 6th, 2017 01:00 pm)

Posted by Jen

It's Sunday! Aka, snuggle-up-somewhere-cozy-with-a-good-book day.

This calls for some books we can really sink our teeth into:

(By The Night Kitchen Bakery)

That'll do.
:)

 

And a tip of the Sorting Hat to J.K. Rowling, who inspired a whole generation to grow up reading:

(By Janice Paredes-Alvarez)

 

(By Gina Rouchy)

 

Or raise your hand if you grew up on this fantasy series:

(By Bake My Cake)

So, so pretty. That little ivy trail is the perfect touch.

 

Or how about these classics?

(By Sweet Fix)

I've actually featured this cake before, but those covers are worth a second look. Seriously some of the best I've ever seen.

 

And for more classics, how about a little Edgar Allan Poe?

(By Miss Amy)

Creepy cool! Love the hand-painted raven.

 

Eventually we all graduate to slightly less riveting reads, of course:

(By Highland Bakery)

 

But all it takes is the right book to make us feel like kids again:

(By Sweet On Cake)

 

Or maybe a teenager, fighting for her life:

(By Isabelle Bambridge)

 

Maybe some of us even get inspired to start writing our OWN adventures:

(By The Cake Factory)

 

Because for book worms like us, the best "happily ever after" is one filled with stories:

(By Roxy Cakes)

Although a double chocolate raspberry filling might be a close second. ;)

 

Happy Sunday, everyone! Here's to curling up for the rest of the day with a good book.

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