Monday, 21 March 2011

Momentous movements and a cry for help

It's Husband's birthday today, but since birthdays on Mondays are no fun, we celebrated it over the weekend at the Corbies instead. His present from us was a "Make yourself at home at The Corbies kit" - gift bags containing an espresso maker, tin of good coffee, bottle of malt whisky, whisky glasses, box of ice cube bags and a Lindt gold chocolate bunny. He was quite happy. He also got to have game pie from our local (to The Corbies) butcher for his dinner which went down very nicely. Tonight he has had a beef curry for dinner (made by me in the slow cooker) and he has bitten the head off his Lindt bunny, so not bad as Monday birthdays go.

On Sunday when we got back to Edinburgh, I helped Second Born finish his move into the former spare bedroom. The boys have shared a bedroom since Second Born was about 4 or 5 months old but it has become increasingly clear over the past few months that the time for separate rooms was upon us. We could no longer put up with the constant arguments over which episode of "Just a Minute" should be playing on the iPod dock.

I offered to paint the spare room prior to the move, and Second Born chose a paint colour which goes by the name "Orange Squash". Those of you who live in Edinburgh and who have been wondering what that strange glow in the sky to the south is need ponder no more: it's just the glow from my son's new bedroom walls. They are a little bit bright.

First Born has served notice that he intends to have the original bedroom painted Lime Green when his time comes. (This may be a good while yet: he has about 700 stickers to peel off the walls before I can paint them and I doubt he has the patience.)

So the boys are now in separate rooms. First Born has his beloved drum kit in his room with him and Second Born, for the time being, has the TV and XBox in with him. Until I can figure out a way for the boys to have access to their electronic entertainments without giving up on my declared "No TVs in bedrooms" stance. Any suggestions gratefully received.

And on the subject of suggestions, I could do with some help from the North American contingent out there: we subscribe to a magazine called Saltscapes which is based in and all about Atlantic Canada (did I ever mention we are fond of Atlantic Canada? No?) Anyway, a recent edition had lots of reader recipes in it, one of which was for a cake called a "ski cake". Second Born has seen this and decided that he wants his birthday cake this year to be a ski cake. Which is fine, I am happy to do that - anything has to be better than producing flaming skull or suicidal bunny cakes. But I do need some help with some recipe conversion details, namely:
  1. What exactly is semi-sweet chocolate in English? Milk chocolate? Plain? 75% cocoa? Or some other form I have not heard of?
  2. And what measure is "3 squares" of said chocolate? I presume there must be a standard measurement that is a "square" - any idea how much that is in weight terms?
  3. And if a recipe says 125ml of butter, how much is that in grammes? Or 500ml flour? (I know I could look that one up pretty easily, but I'm feeling lazy)
Any help very gratefully received. If you're lucky, I'll post a photo of the result, good or bad.


  1. Lurker from Nova Scotia jumping in - but all I can answer is the 3 squares question: 1 square is equal to 3 ounces.

    I totally understand the issue with conversion as my parents are from Ayrshire (Stevenston and Saltcoats respectively) and I am constantly having to convert my mom's recipes to "Canadian" :)

    Good luck - since I've never heard of ski cake, I'm off to Google it! Looking forward to seeing the end result.

  2. When my brother chose wallpaper for his first separate bedroom (about 1960) he chose paper with nasturtiums on it. The pattern and colours - orange, yellow, green - are seared on to my eyeballs to this day.

  3. Saltscapes is a FANTASTIC magazine! AND has a twitter presence and a facebook page - I'm sure if you were stuck, they would help!

    Cass has begged (and begged and begged) for a tv in his room so he can play games. I am of the 'no tv's in rooms' school of thought too, but he has now set me down (waving his report card, the bright little snot) and said he only wants a little set, with no cable hookup at all, so it really would be for just games....I'm thinking about it. (Heh.)

    Semi-sweet....I'm dark chocolate, with more sugar than bittersweet.
    Clear as mud, huh? Yeah, I'll keep looking.

    Yay! Summer is coming and you're coming back!

  4. Here in the U.S., 1 square of baking chocolate equals 1 ounce. Semi-sweet is pretty much the same as dark chocolate -- not much sugar at all. I don't know about the ml of flour and butter because we don't use those measurements here.

  5. Hiya,
    125 ml is 1/2 cup and 250 is a cup, 500 is two cups:)
    Dark chocolate is semi-sweet. You could use milk chocolate is wanted but the end result would be lighter and more sweet.
    1 square is usually 1 oz.

  6. Ah. I DID wonder what that nuclear glow was when I passed your house. I was sure I saw the house levitating too. Like some weird alien space ship. No doubt when Project Lime Green is implemented you'll all sail off goodness knows where! :-D

  7. Well, all I knew was the chocolate, and you've already been told (We get it in chocolate chips.) so other than that I will just be quiet now. If it's any consolation, we can't see the glow from this distance.

  8. I found an adaption of the Ski Cake recipe here giving non-metric measurements: