April 9, Sunday – Donate clothes to charity

We’re way ahead of Martha on this task; with a teenager in the house it seems as though there is a never-ending pile of clothing (and shoes, so many shoes) that he has outgrown. My husband and I add to that mound periodically as well. The trick though is to in fact get the clothing to Goodwill and not just have a bag of clothing to donate sitting in a corner of the garage. Not that I have that problem.

April 10, Monday – Passover begins at sundown

We went to a fun Seder. Ate a lot, drank a lot, sang some songs.

April 11, Tuesday – Plant lettuces, carrots, turnips and beets in the vegetable garden

I think I will put a raised bed in part of the flower bed this year, just for vegetables. I’m thinking about planting tomatoes, Thai basil, basil. That might be it. In the meantime though, I did start the hyacinth beans and am excited to see they are sprouting. I need more soil and will plant the other seeds soon (all flowers though. I’ll buy vegetable plants at the Farmers’ Market).

April 12, Wednesday – Make Easter baskets for Jude and Truman

I went to CVS to stock up on peeps, Cadbury mini eggs and Hershey’s eggs so I can make some Easter goodie bags for my family visiting this weekend – they are coming for my parents’ 50th Anniversary. I think I’ll add some Passover ring jells to the Easter bags too.

April 13, Thursday – Pick early flowering bulbs for arrangements

Just a few sad crocuses. I bought some Gerbera daisies to put in the room for my parents, they look very cheerful.

April 15 – Saturday – Decorate eggs with Jude and Truman (see page 106)

OK I did not do this but remember, I made silk dyed eggs last month (and I think they were prettier than this year’s ideas which seemed to mostly involve painting/stamping).

Instead, I’ll tell you about yesterday morning. I made a Sachertorte Thursday evening, for my parents’ 50th. Then, yesterday morning I just had to cut the cake into 4 layers, add the raspberry and Grand Marnier glaze and make the ganache. I set to work. First of all, I don’t know why I didn’t buy seedless raspberry jam. That was my first mistake. I heated up a little more than 1 cup of raspberry jam knowing that I would lose a lot because of the seeds. Added 3 T Grand Marnier. Then I began the task of pushing it through the strainer. Well, it turns out I have a small hole in the strainer, so I pushed quite a few seeds through. No problem, I’ll just run through a second time with cheesecloth. NO cheesecloth. That’s OK I figured, I’ll just strain a second time using one side of the strainer. On to a new bowl, a new spoon and a new spatula. This didn’t work as smoothly as I expected, so I decided to try pushing it through a paper towel, all the while thinking that Martha’s strainer would have been hole-free AND she would have had cheesecloth (and she would have had seedless jam to begin with). This did not work, the paper towel clogged up the strainer and made a kind of red, shiny, oozing mess. At this point I was had much less than 1 cup of raspberry glaze. Fortunately I had purchased a large jar. I heated up a little more, added a little more Grand Marnier, rinsed the seeds out the strainer, went to work again. The counter was beginning to get sticky. 3 bowls, 2 pots, 3 spoons, 2 spatulas. I strained it once more but it didn’t look like enough so I heated up a little more jam, added a little more Grand Marnier, strained it — and then I spread the puree on 3 layers — and discovered that there was no way I had enough to spread on the 4th. Back to the stove one. more. time. I was beginning to contemplate drinking the Grand Marnier directly from the bottle instead of adding it to the pot. My head began to pound and I was in the midst of my second hot flash of the morning as I pushed the last of the raspberry jam through the strainer. I brushed the final layer of cake, ignored the small hole that developed in one layer that I had cut too thin and put the layers of cake back together.

Not seen in the photo above: A sink full of sticky pots and more bowls.

In the end, the cake looked great. Tasted great too.

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This week’s tip from Martha: Gilded Sachertorte

In case you are curious about how to actually make one successfully. I’m adding a new strainer and cheesecloth to my list of needed household items.

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