Monday, April 25, 2011

Chocolate Eggs, Chocolate Bunnies, and Popsicle Molds

What's this? Getting a holiday post up around the actual date of the holiday? How unheard of. Maybe I'll get a Cinco de Mayo post up before it's done and over with. But let's not count on that kind of planning from me.

I had a lot of big hopes for Easter this year. Mama Bird and I had three slow cookers at our disposal, and I was armed with an alarming number of recipes which may have included a few for Cadbury creme eggs knock-offs.

I love those creme eggs more than almost any other candy. Which is saying a lot, because I love mint. But those eggs... a shell of milk chocolatey goodness, covering the delicious, creamy center... oh, such fond memories of insane sugar rushes. I used to just eat the four packs in one sitting. This year, I bought myself a four pack, and have only eaten one so far, and it's been more than a week.

Sometimes I feel like a responsible adult. Then I remember I spent Easter hunting for my basket, just like I did when I was five, and realize I am going to be a child for the rest of my life. Although my parents have certainly gotten better at hiding the baskets over the years.

So despite my big hopes for cooking Easter dinner, I ended up contributing very little. I gave Mama Bird my slow cooker to use for the ham, and a scalloped potato recipe she ended up not using. I did get her to agree to have asparagus, make straw-berry spinach salad, and said I wanted to make hot cross buns. Fine, except I was away with friends all weekend, and got home around 2 on Sunday. When I walked in she had already made some egg bread dough in the bread machine, since I had told her none of my plans.

I was slightly disappointed. Because I have developed some sort of cooking compulsion to make things from scratch if I have the time and ability. I had been looking forward to being crazy and making hot cross buns completely from scratch. I whined to her about how my hopes and dreams were being systematically destroyed. Then she told me we didn't have any raisins, and I decided that the grocery store was too much work for a Sunday afternoon, and I'd have to mess with her dough until I liked it.

I am lucky Mama Bird loves me.

'Messing with the dough' involved me taking some cinnamon and some sugar, and kneading the dough until I decided I was done kneading it. I have yet to master the kneading process, and obviously have no clue how to apply flour to my hands so they aren't just... a doughy mess. Every two minutes spent kneading right meant at least 5 minutes of trying to get the dough off my hands and back to the ball. But it worked well enough, and we had a delicious lump of cinnamon-sugar smelling egg bread.

I let it rise as our family did our Easter celebration. For our family, that means the annual hunting of the Easter basket. We used to do egg hunts every year too, but since none of us seem to love the taste of hard-boiled eggs, we've slowly stopped doing that.

Sister Bird and I hid Papa Bird's basket very well. It took him all of twenty minutes to find, and we delighted in his frustration. Then when it was our turn I found Sister Bird's basket in under five minutes, and left her to keep searching while I went to pop the hot cross buns in the oven.

They came out of the oven before dinner was ready, but they had to cool they could be frosted. So we had our delicious dinner, and as Papa Bird and Mama Bird fluttered around putting away leftovers, I mixed egg whites and powdered sugar to use as frosting. I should have just used milk, because the amount of powdered sugar I would have needed to really thicken the icing was insane.

I didn't want to use it all, so I opted to not make the icing thick. So we didn't really have crosses made of icing on. Meaning we didn't really have hot cross buns.

We had warm cinnamon biscuits with icing. But they were delicious, so I'm okay with that. I am dreading making more icing to eat the rest with, though. Hopefully Papa Bird will take them away and spare me.

Mama Bird did an excellent job of listening to me ramble about all the stuff I've been wanting to buy for the last few months. I had been planning on buying some popsicle molds so I could make fresh fruit popsicles, and have a steady fruit intake over the summer. So she bought me an adorable little set! They're already sitting in the freezer with some strawberries/milk, and hopefully I'll get to sample one tonight. I've already decided I'm going to have to try to make my own pudding so I can make pudding pops. Sadly, if you search 'pudding' on Tastespotting, you get a lot of desserts, so I will have to be creative in my search, But oh, there are so many possibilities...

She also got me a mortar and pestle. That, combined with the 8 pounds of chicken sitting in my freezer, means I am going to be making something else out of the Indian slow cooking book. I'm sorely tempted to just make the vindaloo again, but I know I should try other recipes from the book. Either way, Mama Bird gets to benefit from my gifts, so she will know how grateful I am.

I have a lot of food I need to share with this blog... I've got two muffins to post, some cornbread, something from St. Patrick's Day, some cookies, some calzones... I've certainly been eating well, but I've been holding out on you. And I may even change the layout (yet again) to something with less sparkles. Either way, it looks like my kitchen adventures are only picking up speed.

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