Sunday, February 07, 2010

Things I cannot do

1. Knit stranded colourwork with two hands. I try and try, but it's so painfully awkward that I pretty quickly switch to knitting both colours with my left hand.

2. Swim. True story: Perhaps in preparation for the day the peninsula floats off into the Pacific, San Francisco required (requires?) students to pass a swimming test before they can graduate high school. My parents, despite coming from a country that is mostly coastline, did not feel that swimming was a skill their children needed. So, the two summers before I graduated, I spent lots of time at the YMCA pool. My friends tried to teach me; I took proper lessons. Nope, didn't take. Couldn't do the simple crawl- I kept going lower and lower into the water, so that, a few strokes in, when I turned my head to breathe, I wasn't reaching air. I could do the required two lengths of the pool in the backstroke- this was okay, because if I kicked my legs hard enough, I wouldn't sink. The problem was the one minute of treading water. Could. Not. Stay. Afloat. People were all, Relax! Just move your arms and legs slowly. Ha! Needless to say, I flunked my test- they had to fish me out with the long pole thingy. While complaining about the dunking and flunking to one of my teachers, the swimming coach walked in. I told him my problem. He said, if you're going to sink, just let yourself sink. When the water hits your neck, lay your lead back, and move your arms and legs as fast/much as you need to. Basically like I'm doing the backstroke, but going nowhere. Armed with this, I *just* managed to pass the test on the second try.

3. Make ganache. Like two-handed stranded colourwork, I understand the theory, and I understand how it works and how other people do it. But I cannot. Except for the very first time I tried it, I have never been successful with ganache. It always always splits on me. I have wasted kilos and kilos of damned good chocolate trying. I've just wasted another 250g tonight, before giving up and just making frosting instead. Anybody know what I can do with split ganache? (Don't say recover it; this has also been tried. And failed at.)


Lien said...

I'm a terrible swimmer. I was going to go and get stroke correction classes this summer. But the thought of adult swimming lessons still scare me as much as when I was a child.

Anonymous said...

Brim over I agree but I dream the collection should acquire more info then it has.

Kate said...

No ideas for the split ganache, but I feel your pain. I finally found it worked best if I just melted the chocolate with the cream in a bain marie without touching itand then stood the bowl in cold water while I whisked the two together. It's still heart-in-the-mouth moment every time I do it, though!

Liz said...

Does it still taste OK? Can you shove it in the middle of the cake where no-one will notice?