Thursday, February 21, 2008

Cocnut Cake!

Coconut Cake

Isn't is just lovely? I'm just so impressed with it myself. I mean, this was the very first time I've ever made a cake! And this is a four layer cake, from scratch! Not only did it look good, it also tasted damn good too. Yay. heehee.

Some process shots:

1) The cut layers
cake in progress
Two coconut cakes, very moist, very dense. I was amazed that I managed to cut them so evently without a guide!

2) The 7-minute icing
7-minute icing
This icing sure was a workout for my arm. If you don't think 7 minutes is long, try holding up a hand mixer and mixing that long, not so easy! It turned out well I think. Though sadly, it didn't stay moist, not sure why.

3) The layers being icinged
cake in progress
(Is icinged even a word? oh well) It sure was hard to tell how thick the layer of icing was! Worked out ok though.

4) Done! (and getting measured)
Measuring the Cake
Chris was so impressed with the coconut cake and it's height, he just had to measure it. 4.5 inches high is pretty dang good for a cake I'd say.

5) Done! (and sititng in Chris' fridge)
Cake in fridge

I am a bit of a nighthawk, and I tend to do almost all my baking at night. By the time the coconut cake was done, it was rather late and we were both tired, so it went into Chris' fridge. We restrianed ourselves and had it for desert after dinner the next day.

Cake with slice out

Slice of Cake

Lovely isn't it? I think it looks a good deal like the orginal. Yay me!

Better than looking good, it really did taste good. Oh so good. Chris and I ate half that cake in 2 days. *blush* This would by why I took it home and have been trying to pawn it off onto family and friends. If I'd left it there I'm sure he would have eaten it. Not that I could blame him! It really is damn good cake.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Trip to the Zoo

Chris and I decided to boycott, or rather ignore Valentines Day. Neither of us like the idea of being forced into something that wasn't our idea in the first place, and that's just what this over-commercialized holiday feels like. There is also the sleezy, misogynistic overtones that displease us both (buy her something pretty and expensive and she'll sleep with you).

Anyway, enough about the unpleasant! On to the pleasant business of our trip.

I've never been to the zoo in winter. Chris had suggested it a couple weeks ago and the 14th was the first day the weather permitted. We left early, took the subway to a bus, got a little lost, but managed to get there all the same. We were actually one of a handful of late 20s early 30s couples that had chosen the Zoo that day.

Now I have to make a confession: I'm terrible about taking pictures; I almost never do.

I did manage to take a few pictures though. I wish I had gotten some pictures of the wild Mongolian Horses though, they were having a ball running around in the snow and freaking out the Canadian Geese that had taken up residense in their space. ha. That was just priceless.

One of our mutal favourites was the African fish. There is a lake, I can't remember the name, that has more than 700 species of fish in it! They were so colourful and beautiful.


I was also thrilled to see the meerkats. I just love them. I think they are so damn adorable.


They seemed really fascinated by the snow, and were totally ignoring me to stare out their windows at the white stuff.

meerkat and surroundings

Another cool group of mammals were the Asiatic Wild Dogs. They were very pretty, and looked like large foxes, we both thought so.

Asiatic Wild Dogs

They were also staring us down like we were dinner! I mean hard staring here people. (click through to flicker to see what I mean) They were also standing on this rock on the edge of their space looking out at us. Chris said they were guaging the distance, to see if they could jump and get out to eat us. They really looked intent on it actually. The eating us bit anyway. Very strange feeling. I tried to get a picture of that, but as soon as the camera came out they weren't so intersted.

I've saved the coolest bit for last: we got to see the Boa eating his dinner!!! It was so so cool! I've never seen a snake eat before. It was so cool.

Boa eating dinner

Chris said I earned girlfriend points for not getting all girlie and freaking about the snake eating. He was very proud of me. I'm sure I lost some points with the African cockroaches and millipedes. I just... I do not like bugs. But at least I did't scream or squeal. Just a little squeak, and I turned my head resolutely. The tarantuals were cool though. For some reason they don't freak me out. Perhaps because they are so big and furry? I'm really not sure.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Late Night Posting

Since I'm up and can't sleep, I figured I might as well post as not.

On the knitty front I'm almost half-way done my current project, or rather the one that's getting all my attention: A Klein Bottle tea cosy, of my own design. It's for my dear man's brother. I was tickled pink to learn, when spending time with him and Chris Christmas eve, that he was not only geeky enough to know what a Klein bottle was, but was actually geeky enough to get excited about the prospect of someone knitting one for him! heh. So here I am making a tea cosy in a nice superwash wool in dark green. I guesstimated the yarn requirement badly though, and will have to go back and get another ball. Doh. That's what I get for not wanting someone else to have to pay for yarn they might not need. Lesson learned: it's just always a good idea to get one ball extra!

On the health front I've been to see a Neuropathology specialist on account of my regularly losing feeling in my fingers and hands, especially my right hand. When I went to my GP he said that a) I likely have arthritis in a disc in my neck which was causing part of the trouble and b) I could very well have carpal tunnel. So off to see a specialist I went, after having x-rays done to make sure it wasn't just my neck, of course. I have to say Dr. Derby was thee nicest doctor I have ever visited! He has just excellent bedside manner. He was so friendly, kind, gentle, and professionally helpful. What a pleasure. His secretary was equally nice. I wish all doctor visits could be so congenial. Anyway, the point: I do in fact have carpal tunnel in my right wrist. My left is fine now, but might develop it later (as in years from now) as that is common amongst his patients, he said. The treatment is surgery. Ack. It's elective at least, but I have to have it within the year he said, otherwise I'll be causing myself permanent nerve damage. He's arranged for me to see a Dr. Patterson, who "does very nice work", as he put it. His secretary will call me in a few weeks once she's booked an appointment for me.

I'm thinking of waiting until the summer to get it done, or at least the spring. Dr. Derby said golfers tend to book it in the winter for convenience. I'm a knitter, 'knitting season' is when it's cold outside. I don't want to lose the rest of this season if I don't have to! Chris and my mom think I should just have it done now and get it over with. So this is definitely something I want to discuss with the surgeon, i.e. recovery time, special treatment after surgery, how it will effect my work (both my current retail or future hopefully bank-related work), etc.

I have to say, working retail and therefore being completely without benefits, I'm really glad to live in Canada, and Ontario for that matter. Our Health Care system may leave much to be desired, but not having to worry about how on god's green earth I'm going to pay for this surgery is really, well, just wonderful. All I'll have to pay for is any meds I'll need during recovery. And really, considering my total lack of income, that's just aces.

On the jobbery front, speaking of, no actual movement. Still working very part time, but at least it's a wee bit of money coming in. Better than nothing that's for sure. Need to get my ass in gear. I think this is why I've been having so many nightmares lately. I'm trying to avoid what scares me (the job hunting thing really freaks me out), so this fear and avoidance are manifesting themselves in my dreams. Hence the chasing, and entrapment, and other scary-ass stuff.

On the domestic front I made pizza (from scratch) for Chris and I today. Very yummy, even if I do say so myself. We totally pigged out. It's about 6 hours later now and I'm only just feeling a little peckish (usually I need to eat every 4 hours). So yay me. heh. I'm also obsessing about Coconut cake ever since seeing the Good Eats episode for it. It just looks so damn yummy. I MUST make one. Trouble is, if I make it here at Chris' we will for sure eat the whole thing, and really, two people shouldn't eat that much cake. Sooo.. I need to find me a reason/occasion to make such a cake, like the gang getting together or something. My other thought is just to make a mini-cake. That would require mini-pans, but if I were to make it at Chris' place I would need pans anyway, as he doesn't have cake pans. And really, the mini-pans could come in handy. They'd allow me to make cakes for the two of us without the worry of us being total gluttons. I do love to bake after all. I'm all domestic like that, don't you know.

On the social front it feels like I haven't seen my friends in ages. I think the last time I saw most of the gang was at Bob's band's gig on the 27th of January. So not that long ago at all really. It just feels like it. Probably because I haven't even had much of a chance to talk to any of them since. Nor really that night seeing as we were all in the loud club and such. We haven't had a good get together since the weekend before that. Maybe I just miss my Neda... We need to hang out, we haven't done that in ages. I would happily hang out with all the girls though, we need a good clucking night. Yes, we sit around like hens and cluck. That's our thing. But really, what else do girls do when they get together but cluck? ;)