Thursday, January 10, 2013

thursday's lunch

One half-exam is over and done with and thankfully without grief. As I was leaving the classroom, my instructor paused between wishing the departing crowd a good night and discussing class averages with another student to mention that I "did really well" on the half-exam.

Thank goodness!
Now I can finally kick back and relax until, perhaps, Sunday. Sunday seems like a fine time to start studying for another half-exam on Tuesday.

Sunday's also the day that mother bird and I have decided to venture downtown to hunt for a prom dress (for me!). I do have a back-up dress in my closet - (well, really it's a dress that sister bird ordered for me, because I adored it to pieces, and when it arrived mother bird would not hear of me wearing such a thing to my graduation ceremony, and so now she's determined to find me a "better option") - and it's a quaint little thing with cream and raspberry colours, sparse ruffles, and a very vintage look that I absolutely love.

thursday's lunch

There aren't any words to explain how I've been functioning these past three nights. I think the term is "barely there"; lately all I can think about is Saturday's cake. This Saturday's cake is going to be interesting, that is for certain, because it's been the only thing in my head since I decided that Saturday was a day for cakes.

Saturday's cake is going to be a coffee cake. And not a coffee-flavoured cake but an American coffee cake, just a simple, one-layer cake with a crumb topping and maybe a light drizzle or a nice glaze, and I'm a little bit anxious to be going on like this about Saturday's cake when it hasn't even been made yet. I might curse it, you know, with these winded words of mine, and it just might not turn out very well at all.
I wonder if all bakers feel this way when they're about to make something completely new.

and this Saturday's cake is going to be about blueberries,
because mother bird surprised me a couple days back
 with newly bought blueberries.

I've made coffee cake before, and it was a decent jab at the recipe, but it wasn't a very pretty thing, no, and a little dry on the underside.
It's these kinds of memories, the recollection of failures past, that really haunt me when I thought I might've been prepared to try again.

There are a lot of measures I could take to make it all a little lighter on my shoulders, I'm sure, like finding a recipe and following it to the letter, and you know what, I would probably get a very lovely, very tasty coffee cake from all that.
But the idea for Saturday's cake is just not going to go away, not now and not never, and I know this because it's been swimming around in my busy little mind for what seems like ages now, having me excited when I should be focused and having me obsess over getting the details absolutely flawless.

Time is just flying by and I'm aware that everyone says this but it is. Afternoons like this afternoon when a friend offered me a slice of pizza and I thought to myself, "What the heck, I can eat healthy when I'm a university student" and took it with gusto, they give me a kind of unpleasant whiplash because I've only got five more months until I really am a university student! And by then I'll be packing boxes and heaving my bags up to the next town over and living out on my own with brother bird in a small apartment and riding the bus to school and moping around campus instead of moping around the house. There are definitely moments when all of me looks forward to all of this, and is so enthused at the prospect of having such rustic, overcrowded avenues to explore, but sometimes mother bird will tell me that she wishes she could move with me, and I just kind of bite my lip and wish that, too.

After Thursday's lunch I spent a few hours sitting in the library and picking cookbooks off of the shelves to glance through, and most of the books at the school library are old and dusty and hardly ever opened, so they're fairly clean (and new, in this respect) but the vintage cookbooks didn't have many pictures, and oftentimes I had to read the instructions in detail and try to envision the end product in my mind's eye.

I found them simple in the most dampening, unexciting way.

A flummery recipe I likely won't ever try. I especially liked its name though.
For someone like myself, who is always bursting at the seams with ideas, some which work and some which won't, I always appreciate simplicity but not when it's just simplicity for the sake of convenience. A common trend in the older cookbooks was that the selling point to much of their prints were the apparent ease and speed with which a birthday cake or thanksgiving pie could be baked.

And really, what's the fun in speed-of-light baking? This is precisely why I don't enjoy using hand mixers, food processors or pastry cutters. I have arms and hands and tons of time and I want to get the full experience of finding comfort in my kitchen.

I'm not implying in any way that someone who believes or does otherwise is someone who doesn't enjoy the craft. I set myself apart from others because I arrange a schedule for my baking experiments, and not just that all Saturdays are for cakes. I normally know when it is that I'd like to get my apron on, and I plan it ahead of time, like four days ahead, and I'll be giddy with anticipation right up to showtime.

And I may seem calm as I write this, but in actuality, I am giddy with anticipation right now. I am so ready for Saturday's cake!

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