Saturday, July 20, 2013

29 Years/1 Year/6(ish) Months

We've now been in the States for a whole year! It's been a long and interesting year. I'm glad we're settled and have made it this far.

In a whole year we have done so many things. The list of States I've visited is still only 4 (AL, GA, FL and MS) but we've travelled so far. Still think about those first few weeks in Jacksonville, AL and time spent in Florida before settling in Auburn.

I've watched more football and baseball than ever, but have enjoyed some great sporting events from afar (Olympics and Wimbledon). Sometimes I think it's better that way. I've experienced a lot of new foods and learnt how to drive (again).

It's still very much interesting to other people that I'm here and I've got an accent. I probably get told once a week that 'I love your accent'. Though I'm glad that my colleagues and friends here are not fazed by it at all. I sound American to my family though, but I think that was to be expected. I never held much of my own accent, it's like my handwriting, it changes depending on who I am with and what I am doing. There's the occasional y'all and extended 'i' sounds (fiiiive, piiie) and I have changed my vocabulary depending on who I talk to. Children are the easiest to do this with, as I don't expect for them to understand me if I'm talking in an English accent. I know I still get the quizzical look, but eventually we can communicate.

This week I began the last year of my 20's! Ha ha ha, oh well. I'm excited for this year ahead. What it will bring and all the possibilities. And so to 29!

Here we are at 24 weeks into pregnancy, just shy of 6 months.
Nothing to report apart from the regular kicking and now hiccups the baby gets. He's growing and growing and I'm waiting impatiently to meet him.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Red, White and Blue

It's been nearly a year since we landed in America. As always with years going by, lots happens. I'm not about to reflect on a whole year. Too much to think about. It has be great overall.

I was writing to share my latest baking accomplishment. First, the teaser photo... Here is the completed cake. Ready to be transported to work for the ladies to eat. I'd been wanting to try this cake for a long time. I've seen this design loads and each time I had to find a reason to do it. Turn's out the day before 4th July is perfect!

To the Red, White and Blue. The cake was easy to make. I did cheat. I decided that I didn't like the idea of trying to make 3 different cakes from scratch. As I was running out of time (Picking up Robert from the evening shift, doing food shopping and eating reduced my time) and didn't want to worry too much about dry cake. I even reduced the baking time because I've finally learnt about my oven and it's ability to super heat! Many cake burnt along the way. These particular ones turned out great.

The Pi├Ęce de R├ęsistance! Sorry couldn't think of a better phrase! Here's a capture of the middle of the cake, which disappeared in it's entirety. It's a little different than I envisioned, due to the lack of small baking pans I have. But it tasted great, and it was impressive. Betty Crocker is my new nickname at work! I think I bring them something baked at least once a month. I normally wait for a special occasion. So far I've stuck to holidays.

 The Original Inspiration. There are 3 or 4 different sources that I can site. I don't remember where I saw it first, but here are a few links if you want to try it yourself.

How I learn. I always view baking as a bit of a learning experience. I wish I could say the same about other things I do. I think I would find life less frustrating. Anyway, I learned that I needed to have made all white cake, as inconvenient as that might have been. I wanted to colours to be more vibrant, but because I used yellow cake for my colours, I used a lot of blue dye (oh and I learned where food dye is kept in Walmart, you know, it's not where you think).

The best kind of cake making is where you have left over cake to eat!!! And I think I need to find a use for it next time, but for this time, I'm happy eating the scraps. I just wish I had chocolate spread or cream or jam or... ok the baby wants cake a lot of the time.

Letting cake rest is important if tedious. I can't say enough about the day I waited to ice the thing. It's much easier to work with cold cake. Also, flipping the cake to the uncut side will help with icing. I had to use another tub of icing, and it still had flecks of cake in it!

I'm glad I have this cake under my belt. The logistics of it were fun. Next time; more cake (more left overs) and maybe smaller pans.

I learn by doing. No mistaking that. I'm not a passive learner.

Baby and Cake Well the boy loves his food. Definitely a lemon cake fan, a bacon fan and a salad fan! Not all at once.

Celebrating the USA's independence is fun, but nothing will ever top Great Britain and the Queen!