Sunday, September 20, 2015

Splendid Teapot Racing Florida

After building our teapot racer, we needed a place to race it and people to race against, so I started a local chapter of Splendid Teapot Racing USA.

Splendid Teapot Racing Florida took off faster than I ever imagined. We had more than 40 members in less than a week and some were asking where our first race would be. Luckily, I knew of a steampunk event coming up in the not too distant future, Renninger's Steampunk Industrial Show in Mount Dora, Florida on October 17 and 18.  I contacted Renninger's and they were very happy to host our first race.

As a matter of fact, everyone I have spoken to about this race has been very enthusiastic. Renninger's has even offered a prize to the person who has the best race day hat.

So far, we have a venue, two celebrity judges, a couple obstacles, a starting and finish line, judges badges and winners' medals, and a pair of ramps.

Our judges will be Niki Philips, better known as Lady Hawk, from the Game Show Network's show Steampunk'd

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and Renate Goodwin, the drummer from the band The Cog is Dead.

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One part of the obstacle course is a series of three to five, tall, brass candle sticks with precariously balanced teacups and saucers on top. The RC teapot racer must weave in and out of the row of candle sticks, preferably without sending any teacups to their doom. So far, I have 4 candle sticks and enough cups and saucers to get us started and have a few back-ups, for the inevitable crashes. I discovered this is a great way to get rid of cups with tiny chips that I had been hesitant to throw away in the past. I knew they'd come in handy someday.

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The most recent addition to the obstacle course I'm putting together is "The Chasm of Death".

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DH just made this event advertisement for me:

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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Enchanted Chocolate Pot

It's #Teapot Tuesday.

The featured teapot today is an unusual thrift store find. The sugar bowl and creamer stack neatly on top of pot, as does a bell. I chose this pot to go with the book Sorcery and Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot, by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer, because the wooden handle sticking out to the side is often a feature of chocolate pots.

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      " 'To be sure,' I said. I took two cucumber sandwiches and one of the macaroons, then  made a show of studying the chocolate pot."

French Macaroons


1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup almond flour
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup superfine sugar
2 to 3 drops gel food coloring
1/2 teaspoon vanilla, almond or mint extract

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. 

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Sift the powdered sugar and almond flour into a bowl. Discard any almond flour that will not pass through the sifter. 
In a large mixing bowl, at medium speed, beat egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt. Increase speed to high and gradually add the superfine sugar. Beat for about 5 minutes. Gently fold the egg mixture into the almond mixture. Add food coloring, if desired. Fold coloring into the batter until an even color is achieved. 1 1/4 inch circle can be drawn onto the parchment paper to assure all the cookies are the same size. Use a 1/4 inch round tip on a pastry bag to pipe the batter onto the circles. Tap the bottom of the baking sheet firmly against the counter a couple times to release any air bubbles. 

Let the cookies sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour, depending  on humidity.

Bake 20 minutes on double baking sheets (one baking sheet on top of another helps protect the cookies from heat).

When cookies are cool, fill with jam, lemon curd, or buttercream frosting. 

Cucumber sandwiches:

1/2 Cup of softened butter (one stick)

3 Tablespoons of finely cut chives

1 English cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced

1 Loaf of thin sliced, white bread

Mix butter and chives in a small bowl. Remove crust from two slices of bread. Spread the butter mixture on one side of one slice of bread and place cucumber slices on the other slice of bread. Place the butter bread, butter side down, on top of the cucumbers and press down lightly. Sandwiches can be cut in two triangles or 4, depending on how dainty you would like them. 

     "For the life of me all I could do was nod and smile  inanely and hold out my cup. 

   She took this for acceptance, and poured me a cup of chocolate from the most beautiful             
   chocolate pot I have ever seen."

Nutella  Hot Chocolate:

1/2 Cup of Nutella

4 Cups of milk

Place Nutella and one cup of milk in a sauce pan over medium heat. Whisk until Nutella has melted and become completely incorporated into the milk. Add the other three cups of milk and continue stirring until desired heat is reached.  

Crafty Crow