... a commission for the brother of a colleague - I was set a challenging brief with a list of places he had lived around the world, starting with Glasgow. I had an image of a globe, divided up with some sort of geometry - so the next stage was finding the appropriate maps.
I got my hands on the UK maps pretty quickly, and even one of Australia, but was flumoxed by the more obscure ones such as japan, singapore etc. I had looked through every single map in the second hand bookshop where I usually get them.. when there, right at the bottom, was a folded piece of paper just poking out. So I pulled on it, and it turned out to be a National Geographic map of the pacific ocean, dated 1936. It almost seemed a shame to cut it up as it was beautiful, and provides that lovely deep blue and rich tones around the edges.
The next amazing thing was trying to cut the pieces so that the right bits of the map and the names fitted in the shapes - I got to the bottom there, and thought maybe that piece with Indian Ocean would work, as that is the ocean the recipient lives beside - and I thought, we all identify with the nearest pieces of water to our home - right? And as I went to cut it, it was miraculously on the same curve as the globe I'd created! Serendipity.
The background is part of a map which says 'Firth of Clyde' up the side - I must admit I hadn't even noticed I was so in love with the numbers and the scale up the side!
It was hard to take photos as the light wasn't so great that day.
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now, as promised..
gluten free all purpose sponge cake recipe
I used this recipe today to make a small madeira style loaf, which will cut up and form the base of our Christmas trifle.
The basic recipe is below - this time I threw in a chopped up pear which baked inside the cake... The beauty of this recipe is you can just chuck it all in one bowl and mix.. again it can be used with normal or 'free from' ingredients and it always works out.
Another adaptation for the same recipe is to make madelaines - using a madelaine baking tray, or equivalent - add the juice of a lemon at the end of the mix - you can also add handfuls of raisins, cranberries or almonds - they only take 20mins to bake.
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4oz (125g) soft magarine (for dairy free use PURE)
3oz of caster sugar
5oz of plain gluten free flour (DOVES) plus 1.5 teaspoons of g/f baking powder
1. Grease/line a tin - this quantity will make a small loaf, a tray of madelaines, or half a layer for a sandwich cake (ie double the quantity for 2!)
2. Put everything in one bowl and beat until the mix goes slightly lighter and creamier in texture.
3. Add to tin and bake 160C/325F/Gas 3 for 35-45 mins. (time may need extended if you have added fresh fruit such as pear or apple). Madelaines will take around 20mins, individual sponge layers maybe around 25-35mins.
I hope this cake will prove as useful and adaptable for you as it has for me.
(This recipe was adapted to gluten/dairy free from the original by Evelyn Rose, P417, The New Complete International Jewish Cookbook - an absolute bible for any kitchen! and nearly all of the recipes work for normal wheat/dairy or replacing with alternatives.)
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Now all that is left is to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful new year in 2011.
I am going to be taking a break, so see you in the new year!