Category Archives: baking and mixing and kitchen stuff

Things that happened today

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Oreo butterfly cakes 👍

Also a smashing afternoon en amité but largely it was about Oreo butterfly cakes.

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Try something new today…

Having a domestic moment last weekend, I sorted out the kitchen shelves where our cookery books live. In doing so I found myself reminded of the time one of my ace chums challenged herself to make one recipe from every Cook book she owned (she has considerably more than housemate and I but that’s by the by). Since I’ve got back into cooking lately this seemed like the optimum moment to challenge myself to justify the continued existence of all the books on the shelves… Watch this space for fruits of my labours. Or tales of woe. Or both.

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On the subject of trying something new, you may recall that I’d fallen in love at first relevĂ© with my freed classics. They’ve died a sad and tragic death since and I’ve replaced them with another pair (different maker, more paste, hopefully lasting a little longer but I do feel like I’m cheating on my first maker). After a little more than a year, I think I’ve found my shoe…

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February, by numbers

Books read: 17 (vg)
Books bought: probably more than 17, ffoqs given: precisely zero
Ballet classes taken: 15 (excellent given I was on holiday for a week)
Times I skived barre stretch during class: 1 (excellent, and it was only because my spine was completely unhappy everywhere)
Pairs of pointe shoes killed: 1, must replace
Ballets seen: 4 (Giselle with Laura Morera in the lead, oh my ~feeeeeeeeeeeels and a triple bill)
Ballet companies seen: 1 (Royal Ballet)
Knitting projects completed: 2 (an iPod cover and a phone case)
Knitting projects cast on and in progress: 2 (a shawl for me and a hat for my mother)
Metres of alpaca silk I bought because my feelings were so strong I almost licked it: 800
Times I cut my own hair off before a job interview: 1
Times I accidentally got a new job in spite of hair cut: 1
Times I made cake for work: 2
Times left london: 3 (vg: Derbyshire, Orkney and Hampshire)
Days spent getting to Orkney: 3
Cameras left behind on Orkney: 1
Nephews acquired: 1

Today it is March which I don’t quite understand. BUT that means tonight I get to go and see Ballet Black! In the LINBURY! Bring on the capslock and the ~feeeeeeeeeeeeeels

Anyway, have a picture o the sea on Orkney:

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Filed under baking and mixing and kitchen stuff, ballet how it should be done, I dance (not by Toyota), iPointe, knitting on pointe

2013 By Numbers

Ballet classes: 191 (good but could do better ;))

Pairs of pointe shoes since restarting pointe: three (good, well not the Freed Studios II which, it turned out, were not the right choice for my feet. The Bloch B Morphs and Grishko Proflex were/are great though)

Ballet performances seen: 29 (average)

Ballet companies seen: 11 (vg)

Books read: 221 (could definitely do better)

Knitting projects completed: EXCELLENT QUESTION (why do I have no method for recording this? Must do better)

Baked good produced: my colleagues’ answer to this would be “not enough” and I’d probably be inclined to agree!

TV programmes fallen in love with: Call the Midwife (my ovaries are SO on board the Good Ship Turnadette it’s not funny) and Sherlock. On the downside all my long standing favourites are starting to Jump The Shark (yes, Homeland, I’m looking at you. Also Bones)

Number of times my ovaries were damaged in some, way, shape or form: innumerable (must gird better)

Occasions on which I was forced to break out the CAPSLOCK SQUEE: many

Niggling injuries: numerous (must do better)

2013 has been… well it’s not been terribly bad. It’s had a lot of good points, a few slumps but mostly it’s been a nice year of middling along in an average kind of fashion which suits me just nicely. I don’t think I have many particular aims and ambitions and resolutions for 2014. Well, you know the usual things: Be Less Fat, sleep more, stop playing stupid games on my phone instead of going to sleep, knit more, work harder, keep my bedroom tidy, keep my desk tidy…  oh and BLOG MORE (because I have been a total Slack Alice).Well, maybe there’s a few balletic aims but nothing silly, all (with any luck and a following wind) fairly achievable:

  • manage a pirouette en pointe without getting up to passĂ© and freaking out
  • achieve some kind of consistency with pirouettes (at the minute there are some classes where I just settle for hitting a decent balance and I’d quite like to get over that now thank you)
  • manage an attitude pirouette
  • achieve consistent doubles en dehors both sides
  • get my demi pointe balances more consistent
  • start jumping again (my patella tendon/ITB have been… niggly so jumping’s been out since about October which is galling)

It’s still a bit funny to look back to two years ago when I was in the deep throes of my emo meltdown and all “I NEVER WANT TO DANCE AGAIN”. What a drama queen! Mind you, what a change too. I think 2013, in all honesty, was my happiest dancing year – it’s amazing the change that dancing in the right environment can bring. I have incredible, exceptionally supportive teachers and some completely awesome in class chums and, no matter how lousy the day has been up until Ballet O’Clock, I never fail to leave without feeling at least a little lifted and I know that I am so very, very lucky. Dance wise, there’s a long way to go – at the moment I’m settling for ‘competent. As one of my teachers said “no, not great but definitely better”*.

Here’s to 2014. And “better”.

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Filed under baking and mixing and kitchen stuff, ballet how it should be done, I dance (not by Toyota), iPointe, knitting on pointe, random stuff and nonsense

Ballerina baking

Because normal people stay up past midnight making meringue to serve up a dessert named after a ballerina to their chums the following day, right?

Mes pals, I present my pizza de résistance: pavlova.

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Last time I made pavolva it was an emergency affair one Christmas morning following the Lamentable Tragedy of the Unsettable Champagne Jelly. This time may have involved post class, late night kitchen adventures but a vastly more preferable state of affairs… I think.

The proof, as they say, is in the pudding and we’ll see how my victimschums feel about it later!

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Memories are made of this

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What’s better than birthday cake? Nutcracker birthday cakes. In ‘summer’. I use the term summer lightly given that I don’t trust the fact we’ve had two nice days in a row (also it was good weather for my birthday party and we sat in the garden which was true weather witchcraft).

The other night I went to see Sylvie Guillem in 6000 miles away a programme of three pieces: Kylian, Forsythe and Eks. I enjoyed the Kylian, was utterly nonplussed by the Forsythe and fell head over heels for Eks’ ‘bye’. The latter was a sole piece for Guillem who is magnificent and the whole thing blew me away into serious, serious ~feels. And it hurt my ovaries a little to think I’d never get to see Guillem dance a real dramatic classical role live.

But yesterday featured plenty of cake and cocktails to help me get over that a little…

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May 26, 2013 · 13:25

At some point I got sidetracked…

Despite all my grand promises (to myself at least) about being less of a Slack Alice on the blog front, I got a bit distracted by my new knitting project…

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I was in a meeting the other week, idly doodling to keep my focus on what was going on and I ended up with this. My fingers got twitchy, desperately twitchy. The need to rush out INSTANTLY to buy all the yarn and cast on.

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I am really quite excited by this and how nicely it’s turning out. Mostly I can’t wait to finish it so I’m knitting unto like the proverbial loon, which is daft as summer keeps trying to put in an appearance and a great big blanket would be the last thing I’d need right now. Mind you, this is Angleterre with it’s ludicrous weather system so I’ll probably need this in August…

In other news, I hung another year on the line last weekend (not sure how that happened) to slightly misquote Paul Simon. At my grand age birthdays are really just another day, but getting to spend this one with my nephewits was super special – even being dragged out of bed at some unholy hour of a Saturday because they were too excited for me to spend any longer in bed. And they decorated my birthday cake…

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Today I have to make cake of my own to obey the Work Birthday Law (Thou Shalt Bring Cake) as I was parted from my kitchen last weekend. Much as I love baking, I’m slightly loathe to be parted from my knitting for the afternoon. OH LIFE, Y U SO HARD?

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Filed under baking and mixing and kitchen stuff, knitting on pointe, random stuff and nonsense