Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Heat Waves and Honeycakes

No end in sight-that's the forecast for the heat. We have humidity too, which is making it like a sauna. I feel bad for the kids sitting in un-airconditioned classrooms, or worse the ones being forced to practice sports in full kit by sadistic coaches.

Our central air (which is nice, believe me I'm not complaining) keeps up on the lower, and first floor, but gets a bit weak on the third. We have a large recirculating fan pointed at the stairway which seems to do the trick. We nearly gave that thing away when we moved (it is huge, and twenty years old) good thing we thought better of it.

Strangely, the kitchen doesn't get hot at all, which is lucky as I have honey cakes to get baked for Rosh Hashanah. They need to be baked well ahead of time to "settle" as they are "keeping cakes." Over the years I've tried so many different recipes that I no longer have a favourite. That's a problem because I have no idea which to use. With the holiday being so early this year, I probably won't do anything with grated apple, as they haven't started showing up in the stores yet (well, yeah the cold storage ones are, but why bother?). Last year I made a chocolate honey cake which while nice, wasn't exactly the sort of thing people had in mind for their holiday. It really comes down to whether you use ad-ins such as apple and dried fruit making it more of a spiced fruit loaf. The recipes that have you separate the eggs and fold in the whites have a spongier texture, the loaf variety can be as dense as  Parkin. I like them all! My family are no help whatsoever-they'll eat just about anything.

I have much less freezer space here than the old place, so I can't bake too many challas and the like to freeze ahead. They are a fast rising sort of bread anyway, but with school starting in the same week, I'd like to get a bit ahead on the holiday preparation. I'm so incredibly thankful I had the syllabus taken care of back in the spring before we moved. I have three large cartons labeled, "Schoolyear 2013-14" in which I thought to pack the actual books we'll be needing. Oh god, am I glad I did that-I can't find much of anything in this house, but at least we're ready to go with books, workbooks, science kits and the like.

Any honey cake experts out there have a recipe to share? Feel free to post them in the comments if you do. I tend to get quite a few Google hits each fall looking for "the world's best honey cake" and I always wish I could respond, "If I knew that, would I have 25 different varieties posted here?"

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