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The thing with having a backlog of baking posts, or at least baking projects that could be made into posts, is that if I don’t write about them or didn’t take notes during the baking process…I don’t really remember much about what I did when I actually write a post about it.  Like…this orange pound cake.

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I remember I wanted to make orange pound cake (or really just orange cake in general) because my dad left me with a bunch of oranges that I didn’t feel like eating.  I make lemon cakes a lot and I figured orange would work just as well.  So I tried it out.

I know I didn’t just replace lemons with oranges in my normal lemon pound cake recipe.  I think I combined a bunch of recipes into something I thought would work.  But unfortunately, I don’t seem to have links to the recipes I used, nor did I write down the recipe I ended up using.

Actually, I think I did.  But it probably would have been on a piece of scratch paper or the back of an envelope or something.  Which I probably threw away because I rarely label those recipes.  I probably came back to it later on and didn’t know what I was writing the recipe for and just tossed it.

Anyway, I remember the orange pound cake came out fine.  A bit sweeter than I would have liked and not quite as much orange flavor as I would have liked.  I used the rind of two oranges but I think it was getting lost in the sweetness of the oranges and the cake itself.  I do have citrus oils so I might try and augment the rind the next time I want to get rid of oranges via cake.  And maybe I’ll have a recipe to share next time.

I’ve been trying to find more constructive ways of decompressing and relaxing.  I had been playing mindless match 3 games and the like because they’re easy to pick up and put down.  But in the event that I end up playing for a long time, it feels like I’ve wasted a lot of time.

That’s happening more and more, actually, on the occasion I try to play a video or computer game.  There are so many things that I need to attend to that spending a few hours on a video or computer game feels like a very inefficient allocation of resources and I end up being more stressed and frustrated.  This doesn’t happen as much with board games…maybe because there’s a social aspect to it.

The mindless match 3 games were ok because I could focus solely on trying to match three of whatever instead of things that were bothering me.  But…too bad it’s mindless and I have nothing to show for it after playing.  Also, the calming effect was pretty much only happening while I was playing the game when I had something else to concentrate on.  I needed something else was relatively simple and produced some kind of result (i.e. the calming effect lasts beyond the actual activity, if even only for a little bit, and maybe have something tangible to show for it which is a reminder of the decompressing).  So, I’ve taken up sketching and painting again.

Now then, I haven’t done anything serious with the sketching/drawing/painting since I was a child.  Remember the watercolor painting I was doing earlier?  That was an extension of the sketching.  I wanted to be able to ease myself back into drawing and painting.  Turns out, around the time I was actively looking for other things to help me decompress, Sandy Allnock released an online class on whimsical sketching.  This worked out very well for me.

Here are some sketchy flowers.

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This ended up turning out better than I anticipated.  It really didn’t look all that great until I filled in the background.  But you will note how at point I got tired of drawing in the little flowers to break up the black and um…it’s notably just black there.