Posts Tagged ‘pecans’

Diary of a desperate student

Now, I’m quite a strong willed person. I can put my mind to most things and can be strict with myself when necessary. The fact that I get up at 4.30am when I don’t need to attests to this fact. The following is a diary of what a law degree can do to a person in just one day.

07:40 – Woke up. Felt ok. Did twenty minutes of yoga and got ready for my day.

08:05 – Went to the deli in my pyjamas to collect some ripe bananas to make banana bread with. Decide to do it tomorrow. Today I will be focussed and will become the master of Land Law!

08:20 – Had some breakfast. Arranged my notes into a neat pile. Read over the notes I made yesterday.

09:00 – Did the dishes.

09:30 – Put the dishes away.

10:00 – Read over my notes again.

10:45 – Sat down with a question from last year’s exam paper about mortgages. Set myself an hour and got writing. Started out well. Felt good.

11:15 – Got disheartened when I didn’t really know how to move forward with the question. Got up to make a cup of tea. Checked Facebook. Ate a few Ryvita whilst in the kitchen.

11.30 – More Ryvita. More despair.

11.50 – Straightened my hair.

12:00 – More Ryvita.

12:20 – Finally finished all I could on the question on mortgages. The last bit had confused me so I didn’t attempt it. I thought I’d listen to the online lecture to see how to do it. Listened to the whole thing, only needing the end. Four minutes from the end, while finally addressing the bit I needed help on, it stopped, for no discernible reason. I became depressed and went to make tea. I found some hazelnuts and almonds whilst there and ate them all.

12:40 – Started a practise question on freehold covenants and felt overwhelmed just ten minutes in. Found the online lecture instead and figured I’d take extensive notes and try again later. I find the lecture and immediately tune out and start looking for things to buy on Amazon. Ate some dried figs and pecans from the kitchen.

13:00 – WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME! I HAVE EXAMS IN THREE DAYS! CONCENTRATE, LAURA!

13:01 – My concentration is broken by a large fly. I chase it around for ten minutes and eventually kill it with a study book. Also ate a yoghurt.

13:20 – I debate whether to get dressed.

13:21 – I decide against it. IĀ eat a muffin instead.

13:30 – Finished the Ryvita. Found some walnuts and finished them too.

14:10 – Took up coffee drinking, which has never happened in my entire life.

14:25 – Made eggs and bacon and more coffee.

14:50 – Drew fake tattoos on my hands and legs for fun. Mostly pictures of catterponies galloping through forests. Ate some sunflower seeds and a muffin.

15:03 – Laughed because the lecturer said ‘argubably’ by mistake.

15:10 – Tuned in briefly to the online lecture which was running and heard him say something about ‘Prunella’s cows’ and realised, with amazement, that I hadn’t a clue what he was talking about.

15:30 – Something clicks, I sit down with some cases to read and a highlighter and suddenly my concentration arrives out of the blue and, with the help of two cups of coffee and nine cups of tea, stays with me for a few hours.

16:50 – My hand/eye co-ordination fails me as there isn’t room for it to continue operating whilst my brain is attempting to remember everything. I spill tea down my front and all over my leg and textbook.

17:25 – Still reading and highlighting. Have now eaten all the goji berries and pumpkin seeds.

18:00 – It was around this time that I lost the ability to spell or write legibly.

20:45 – Finally finished reading cases and had a barbecue to celebrate…

21:00 – Enjoyment guilt set in and I picked up my case book and kept reading til 22:45.

Vital stats from my day.

Amount of hot drinks I consumed = 21.

Amount of water I drank = approx. 2.5 litres.

Amount of ingredients I have left to put in cakes = 0

Amount of food left in the fridge = a few strawberries, blueberries and a jar of marmalade.

Amount of weight I estimate I put on = half a stone, easily.

Amount of times I checked Facebook = approx. 4000

Amount of times I checked my emails = approx 200

Percentage of time I spent despairing = 50%

Percentage of time I spent feeling ready for exams = 50%


POINTS TO NOTE –

1. I did not change out of my pyjamas all day.

2. I caught sight of myself in the mirror before I went to bed and I looked pretty rough.

3. I created 41 possible alternative careers for myself during this revision day.

Photo diary of my first wedding cake

Due to a torrent of requests (one) I have decided to bow to public pressure (a few Twitter comments) and make today the photo diary of my epic adventure into the world of wedding cakes.

It started with an offer to bake the cake for a friend’s big day. It was only a small affair so nothing amazing was expected. The friend runs a gallery and requested a cake which looked like a picture frame. Ok, I thought, and got to work with my imagination. I got fancier and fancier. A visit to the cake shop had me with armfuls of stuff to put on.

I dipped into the best cake cookbook I know, from the Hummingbird Bakery and decided on two types of cake, in case I just did one and they hated it. It was like a back up option, to have two! I did a red velvet cake (but not red) and a kind of carrot cake but without carrots and with bananas, pineapples and pecans instead. With cream cheese frosting.

And so it started.

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I made lots of little chocolate truffles. I coated some in white chocolate but ended up using the plain ones instead. They’re so simple – oreo biscuits in a food processor then cream cheese added and whizzed until it’s all chocolate coloured and sticking together.

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I made cream cheese frosting. 50g butter and 300g icing sugar mixed together then 125g cream cheese. Whisk until light and fluffy, about 5 mins.

Then made the red velvet cake. I left out the red partly because I didn’t think it would go with the cake’s colour scheme and partly because I’d run out of it. If you’ve never had red velvet cake, the reason it’s so amazing is that it’s the loveliest, softest cake ever. I think it’s because it has buttermilk in it but that’s just me guessing. Try one. It’ll blow you away.

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Then I made the fruity nutty cake, which was unusual because it doesn’t have butter. It uses sunflower oil instead, and has 3 bananas, some chopped pineapple and loads of pecans. It tastes really soft and decadent.

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I then cut them so the inside edges were straight and put a layer of the frosting down the middle and stuck them together to make a square.

I covered the whole thing with the frosting…

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…And put the decorations in the middle, worried that if I did the outside decorations first I might knock them while working on the middle bit.

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Next I put the gold paint into the remaining frosting… And disaster! It didn’t look gold at all! I looked kind of dark and un-food-like. I panicked and ran to the cake shop and burst in, explaining my dilemma. “Yeh it’s really hard to make frosting gold.” It wasn’t the thing I really wanted to hear. Their answer? Gold leaf! Ok. I’ve never worked with it before but I was prepared to give it a go. Back home, I piped on the not-gold frosting in the shape of the frame….

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…And put some of the edible red carnation petals together with a blob of melted white chocolate to keep them in place…

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I then covered the darker area in the gold leaf. I must add that I said the word ‘shit!’ quite a lot during this period because it went absolutely everywhere except where I needed it – on the cake! I covered some of the truffles in gold too.

Then, to cover a mistake in the bottom left hand corner, I put some little white hearts and the petals in the opposite corner. I then dotted a few of the gold truffles on, there wasn’t really space for more. And it was ready!

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The groom seemed pleased with how it looked so hopefully it tasted ok too. Fingers crossed.

Things I learned –

Gold leaf is hard to work with.
Get extra of everything.
It is good to have a cake shop near to your house.

If anyone wants any of the recipes for the cake, just let me know and I’ll post them up.