Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Making and baking

The plan for this week was to get in as much making and baking as possible.

I have a craft show in Ottawa this coming Saturday, and although I have quite a bit of jewellery stock built up, I'd like to have as much on hand as possible. Sold out of sushi pendants, so I made just a small batch yesterday. For some reason I get a little antsy whenever I make these platters and have to get up and walk around every half hour or so.

My card inventory has never gotten back up to what it was prior to the holiday craft shows, so I have to work on more cards today.

There is also the Japanese Canadian Cultural centre bazaar this Saturday, which is their biggest fundraiser of the year; this centre is our second home, and we are there 2, 3 and 4 times a week for taiko practice, taiko classes and other activities. I think this may be the first time in around ten years that JF and I won't be there to help on the day of the bazaar. Guilt. Since my mom passed away almost two years ago now, I decided to take on her role as pie lady - mighty big shoes to fill, but I managed to crank out 6 apple pies last year. My crust is still not as good as hers, and I don't make them often enough to improve!

This year, however, since we're leaving for Ottawa on Friday, which would have been my pie making day, I thought I could try making manju, those little Japanese red bean-filled desserts. And if I ask my friends and fellow taiko players in Arashi Daiko, I knew I'd have the best help around. Well, long story short, the dough for the manju didn't work out - I made the mistake of mixing a quadruple recipe at once and it just didn't take. Invited people over to make the little dessert bundles and the dough just wasn't cooperating. Should've mixed four single recipes. The vein in my temple was getting very 3-dimensional. Below left is what they're supposed to look like, and on the right what they looked like on Monday eve. Who in the world would want to buy these lumpy critters? (click for embarassing detail)

90 minutes into trying everything with that schmucky dough, we nixed that idea, and dashed out to get apples for apple pies. Dragged everyone over to make some stuff to sell at the bazaar, so we had to accomplish something. By then, I was feeling very guilty. Here I am trying not to cry while starting on the pie crusts.

Paring knives and peelers flying, these are my champion apple preppers!

So there are 6 pies in my freezer now, that I will add a few more to today; I'll bake them all on Friday morning and drop them off at the Centre before heading to Ottawa.

All that manju dough sitting in my fridge was nudging me to do something with it though, so last night I thought I'd try something and this is what I came up with, a "new" style of manju with little sakura cut-outs ☺ JF loves them, but then he loves anything I bake!

Still time consuming to make, but at least these don't have to be turned 5 times like the cubes on the grill, I popped these in the oven, and broiled for the last minute to brown.

So I feel a little better that the dough didn't go to waste and we have more of a contribution to the bazaar since we cannot be there to help.

Off to make some cards and do a quality control check on those sushi pendants...


High Desert Diva said...

The "new" style of manju with little sakura cut-outs are darling. I'd buy those in a minute!

Apple pie sounds so yummy...I wonder how a wheat free crust would turn out....hmmm....I might be baking, too.

picciolo said...

I'm not surprised you have to get up every half an hour or so when you make your sushi platters, they are so tiny and so detailed, beautiful! I'm glad you got your pies done in the end, and the new sakura cut out ones look delicious.
: )

XUE said...

you are amazing!....with your sushi platters that look so real & your sakura-manju1 I love mochi & have not tried manju & I will, after this!

Mei said...

I came across your blog while browsing and I like your blog.
Great blog.

steph said...

your sakura manju are SO cute! i'd definitely buy them. i love red beans......mmmmmmm.

Joanna said...

My sympathy with the baking woes-- looks like everything turned out delicious in the end, though! Yum.

Good luck at the show this weekend!

Sarah McBride said...

Oh my gosh you are so talented! Those sushi pendats are wonderful.

mmmm, pie.