Guess what? Guess what? Today is Sharky Oven Gloves‘ second birthday (in case you haven’t read the title of the blog post…). Exciting stuff! And what the blog title doesn’t tell you is that this also happens to be my 200th blog post. I can’t quite wrap my head around both of those facts. Two years’ of blogging and 200 blog posts. Goodness. That’s a fair bit of procrastination…
A fair bit has happened since my first blog birthday , so here’s a little re-cap:
- There’s that minor detail of me moving across the globe to NZ, which I announced shortly after last year’s blog birthday. Since getting here, I’ve been all confused by the seasons, discovered feijoas and tamarillos, and watched the All Blacks play in real life for the first time.
- I managed to make some rather spiffing stollen, which I must admit is my only ever successful foray into baking with yeast, so I’m still pretty chuffed about that.
- One of my favourite cakes this year was the banana, hazelnut & spiced rum upside-down cake which turned out really quite fantastic, if I do say so myself.
- One of our technicians doesn’t eat egg, so I’ve ventured into occasional egg-free baking over the last few months, which is not something I’ve ever actively done before – most of the egg-free baking I’ve done before has been by accident more than an actual decision to make a recipe egg-free, so it’s been interesting. Learning about the banana substitution trick certainly helped.
- I won “best-tasting” in a baking competition with some “radioactive” lemon macarons (ok there wasn’t a great deal of competition, but still…), which was totally exciting.
- Something I decided to try for my Kir macarons ended up sparking a minor obsession with swirly-shelled macarons, and I’ve since tried the effect out in my Mojito macarons, the non-radioactive version of my lemon macarons and my Leiter Fluid macarons. So basically all of the macarons I’ve made since arriving in NZ. Perhaps I should calm down on the swirly shells a little. (But they’re so pretty…)
- A few months ago I started my weekly Sunday Smiles feature, a weekly recap of things that have made me smile or laugh through the week. It’s something a little different and all about focussing on the positive things in life.
- And finally, Gin & Tonic scones happened. Yes. I love gin that much.
Now, today is also St Andrew’s Day, which I feel is largely eclipsed by Burns’ Night by Scots actually in Scotland, but celebrated by many Scots abroad (at least that’s the case based on my experience – it’s funny how as an expat you suddenly latch on to any excuse to celebrate your home country). So to celebrate Sharky Oven Gloves‘ second birthday and 200th post and St Andrew’s Day, I decided that I’d post a Scottish recipe but with a Kiwi twist as a nod to my current home. Hokey pokey is a crunchy butterscotch honeycomb type thing and very popular here apparently (especially in ice-cream it seems), so I thought it would be a fabulous idea to make hokey pokey shortbread. Now, if I’d thought about it, I’d have realised that putting hokey pokey, which mostly consists of sugar and air, in the oven was not a good idea at all, but I went full steam ahead (I hope I get points for enthusiasm). Result: the hokey pokey melted in the oven leaving unattractive cavities of caramelised sugar all over the shortbread. Bugger.
Of course, I could have just glossed over this particular experiment and pretended that it never happened, but you know, I figured I might as well give you a laugh. And hey, sometimes I have kitchen failures. Well ok, the shortbread wasn’t a total failure because it still tasted good, but it certainly wasn’t presentable… Anyway, I even made a shark fin-shaped shortbread biscuit especially for the occasion, which sort of morphed out of shape a little – perhaps failed shark fins could be a theme for blog birthdays.
Anyway, giggle away at my recipe mishap, and here’s to another year of blogging, of both successes and failures (but mostly successes).
Enjoy the rest of your day, wherever you are in the world!