Oreo butterfly cakes 👍
Also a smashing afternoon en amité but largely it was about Oreo butterfly cakes.
Feeling shamed into updating after being pimped by the excellent adultbeginner, I hereby bring you a post entirely about cake what I have made lately.
Earlier this year I accidentally got promoted to my first management role, it was an internal promotion so luckily the panel knew me – probably too – well. One of the questions was about how I would lead my team. “Cake,” I said without even thinking about it. I didn’t think the answer needed any further qualification but apparently it did so I made some stuff up and concluded “but I’d still use cake as a first resort.” For weeks after m appointment every time my director rang up he asked if he was missing out on cake…
I once saw a quote that said “a party without cake is just a meeting” so our team meetings are accompanied by cake. It started in conjunction with challenging myself to make one recipe from every cook book in the kitchen – I thought I’d completed said challenge last weekend but I’ve just acquired my Big Gran’s (so named because she was a good foot taller than my Little Gran) Good Housekeeping recipe book which is a beautiful thing…
As are some of the cakes I’ve made of late:
Okay, a couple of them are biscuits but I still made them with my own fair hands… (And are why I have to take ballet as often as I do or I’d be the size of a house)
Also meringue frosting is the cats whiskers. Absolute bugger to make but so worth it!
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:
Tell me three good things about January, my colleague implored me mere hours into our working lives of 2014. I got as far as ‘the days start to get fractionally longer’ and ‘cheap post Christmas chocolate’ before I ran fresh out of ideas.
For one of my Christmas Snowman (family tradition, long story) presents I was given a beautiful Cath Kidston notebook which I have designated ‘The Big Book of All Things 2014’. It means, lucky for you, I can tell you all the brilliant things about January…
Books read: 23 (vg, although 7 of them were by Laura Ingalls Wilder…)
Books bought: 9, ish. I’ve not really kept track of my amazon spending. Ahem.
Ballet classes taken: 16 (good). I was a couple of classes behind schedule owing to a delayed start back because one of my studios is undergoing extensive refurb (it’s JUST like hogwarts at the moment and that is great).
Ballets seen: 5 (excellent). I saw the Royal Ballet in the Nutcracker (now want to drink pink gin cocktails with Laura Morera’s Rose Fairy), Jewels (Morera perfection in Emeralds and Natalia Osipova/Steven McRae/Melissa Hamilton KILLED it in Rubies) and Giselle (oh. My. Holy. Osipova). I also saw ENB’s Le Corsaire (Daria Klimentova = totally darling) and Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake (jolly good fun).
Knitting projects completed: 2 (fail), a stripy slouchy beret and a blanket for my Impending Nephew.
Times I left london: 0. Total fail.
Teevee I loved: Sherlock. Call the Midwife. The Musketeers.
Teevee I continue to have a complex relationship with: Dancing on Ice
Culinary adventures: mostly soup related for lunches but I have instigated ‘Cake of Scientific Inquiry’ at work to try and make us like things in cake that we shouldn’t. So far I have converted at least two people to carrot cake. My next project involves apricots which I claim have no redeeming features…
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:
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”.
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.
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!
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…