The author blog of C. J. Ivory

Tinkerer with words. Dresser-Upper. Adorer of Steampunk and VictoriaNoir fiction. Occasional Lawgineer.

March 29, 2011

A few of my favourite things...

When the dog bites, when the bee stings (when the heel snaps, when the tax department sends a letter - whatever)... it's good to have a store of favourite things set aside to cheer you up. Here are a couple you might want to add to your list:

Hot Pools – the ancient Romans knew what they were talking about

Last week I went with two girlfriends to thermal pools ninety minutes’ drive from town. (Well, I say ninety minutes, but since I was driving it was nigh on two hours...)

Oooooooohhhhhhh so relaxing. Seriously, there aren’t enough Os in the world to express how good that four-hour soak was. We got out once to have a beer in the cafe, then plunged right back in again. If you’ve ever seen the X-Men movie, where the baddy turns into a 99-percent-water jelly fish – then you have some idea of how we looked by the end of it.

An unwillingness to get out of the bath was a direct cause of the Roman Empire's Fall
I don’t know whether it was the country drive, the hours of chatting and laughs, or the wonderful thermal pools working their magic, but that night I slept the best I have since the big quake. Bliss.

Cookie Recipes with photos

I’m proud to say that I am a mean cook. 

No, not like that...

Hmmm. Maybe I should say: I am a pretty good cook. I can whip up yummy meals from scratch, and I know my way around the spice aisle.

But baking? Ugh. I am quite possibly the worst baker who ever donned a pinny. I put it down to my carefree attitude towards instructions; I’m just not good at following instructions. My cakes turn out lopsided and gluey; my scones could be used as paper-weights. 

What I really need is to see the process – to have a visual guide through that dark jungle of baking powder, vanilla essence and caster sugar. I’ve tried the YouTube videos, which are pretty good, but if even if you have them on your IPhone you still constantly have to pause them with doughy/greasy/wet hands. Also, I have an aversion to electronics near water ever since a friend had The Great Cellphone-Cistern Incident of 2005.

Anyway, I found this lovely website called Author’s Kitchen, which (as it happens) is written by two authors. I love that they take pics of the necessary ingredients before they start. I love that they show the process step-by-step. I love that they will be completely honest when they mess up, and even obligingly include photos of said mess. I especially love that they sprinkle their recipes with the occasional swear word (much more restrained than the ones I employ when baking!).

Author’s Kitchen isn’t just cakes and cookies, though: they have an eclectic range of food, seemingly whatever takes their fancy that day. Go check them out.


Taneasha @ Authors Kitchen said...

Thanks for the love, Charlotte. I'm glad to hear you like what we're doing over at Authors Kitchen. If you have a favorite recipe or one you've had trouble with, feel free to share it with us, and perhaps one of us will give it a shot and post it on the blog.

Charlotte Jane Ivory said...

Thank YOU for the awesomeness, Taneasha! I'm planning on making the spinach artichoke dip soon, YUM :)

jessb said...

I saw the link to Author's Kitchen on the side of your blog and spent far too long happily drifting through their lovely sounding recipes the other day. I plan to make their cookies this weekend because Oh.MY.God - they look amazing! I am on a seemingly endless quest to find The Perfect Cookie recipe, and theirs is looking like a serious contender!

One of my v favourite things? Clean sheet day (is there anything nicer than getting into a freshly laundered bed? Sanctuary...)