Friday, April 9, 2010

in which there is CAKE!

Today is PB’s 23rd birthday! God, 23 seems old, even though I’m 22. 23 seems too close to MID-TWENTIES, and I am so not ready for that. But at any rate, today is The Day, and so I spent yesterday afternoon creating a birthday cake. Like a real cake, one with layers and everything, mainly because I feel sheet cakes are only alright if they are from K-Mart (yes, K-Mart) and whipped cream icing, and I didn’t feel like risking my life at K-Mart to get said birthday cake. I just cannot bear the old sheet cake you threw together in a foil pan (unless it is a Paula Deen butter cake and unless it had to travel 6 hours in a car to get to its destination like Lia’s cake did). I just think it looks like Fido’s hind end.

To begin the process of birthing The Real Cake with the Layers and Everything, I first put on my fantastic apron that I got for my birthday from my dear friend J.

Mainly, an apron is a confidence booster, because who wouldn’t feel like Betty Flippin’ Crocker in that getup? But also, I am not one of those people who can cook without making a giant mess. I don’t mean a few dishes in the sink, y’all. I am talking about dirtying up every dish and utensil in my kitchen because I will invariably pick up a spoon/knife/spatula, stick it in whatever sticky/messy mixture I am concocting, and then promptly decide that everything about it is just WRONG for what I need to do. Furthermore, I will make the stickiest, most terrible mixture in the world and then promptly get it on the walls, the floor, the counter, in my hair. It’s great. The apron helps with this. Minimally. But mainly, I feel fantastic whilst I wreck the kitchen.

Making the Real Cake with the Layers and Everything is a serious process, like I said, which makes it difficult for me because I am neither patient, nor do I have any sort of manual dexterity. One needs both of those things. First, I baked the layers, which smelled like delicious oranges (as it was an orange cake, that was not a screw-up). Then I let the cakes cool in the pans for a bit. But apparently for too long, because then, dammit, one of the cakes stuck to the bottom of the pan and OH NO, I thought it was all going to be ruined.

But I flipped them out onto wire racks, swore a few times, and everything seemed to be alright. I could cover that crap up.

Then the real test of patience comes in, in which I must wait for the cake to cool before I split the layers. Now this, my friends, might be easy for you, but for me (as I am clearly faint of heart), this is the true test. So I get out my fancypants Henckels serrated knife, and I take the plunge. I try to hold my mouth just right. And JUNK FALLS APART. I mean literally, there are cake crumbs on the counter, I am swearing at the cake, I am touching the cake for 2 seconds and then jumping back, afraid I am making it worse. Now children, there are no pictures of this part of the process because whilst I built those layers, the sweat was on. I ended up picking cake particles off of my (freshly cleaned) countertop and putting that cake back together like a jigsaw puzzle. I am hoping this does not result in absolute bedlam when I try to cut it tomorrow when we have people over for PB’s birthday.

But on the outside, it turned out beautifully:

I’ll let you know if it crumbles into a million and one pieces when I cut it. Fingers crossed!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Happy Easter Monday!

The lake was lovely. I can't say I really did anything to speak of while we were there - we didn't even go so far as to put the boat in. PB and I went down with some of our friends and my parents came down too, and it was pretty much sitting on the dock, and getting up to reload the cooler. The sunset was beautiful:

Then yesterday I was a heathen and didn't go to church for Easter, but that's because we go to a big church downtown, which is all nice and pretty and somewhere you'd want to go if you never go to church. So that means I'm sure there were 9 million and one people there, and that just takes away my Easter spirit and makes me want to start punching people.

So instead, I stood on the dock and flashed people! It was great, I walked down by myself, towel, soda, and Kindle in my arms, in what I like to refer to as my Little Mermaid bathing suit. It's one of those from the evil empire of Victoria's Secret, and it's a seafoam colored bandeau top with a seashell in the middle. And whilst I have all of this stuff in my arms, and am facing out toward the lake, my top just flies off of me. I don't mean it shifts downward a little, I don't mean it nearly comes off, I mean the thing FLIES OFF, and everything just pops out, kind of like when you open up a can of biscuits.

So I stood there stunned for a moment, and the guy on the jetski in front of me sat there stunned, and finally I threw the rest of my stuff down and picked up my top. It was a moment that made the baby Jesus happy on Easter, I'm sure.

Speaking of bathing suits (disjointed alert here), I am in love with the new Liberty of London stuff at Target. I may have to go procure a new bathing suit today.

This is my particular favorite. NEED. WANT. MUST HAVE.

Also, if anyone is looking for a good read to start off summer, here's my recommendation of the day:

Try The Motion of the Ocean by Janna Cawrse Esarey. It's a memoir about how she sails around the world with her new husband - it sounds weird and terrible, but it's got a very chatty feel, and she'll seriously take you to amazing places and make you want to buy a craptastic sailboat, grab your significant other, quit whatever it is you do, and go sailing forever.

It's already 76 degrees here, lovelies - I hope it's beautiful in your neck of the woods. Just call me Al Roker. Time to go out and enjoy the sunshine!

Friday, April 2, 2010

how to tell it's Friday

Here's how:

I open my giant bag at 9am to start out my day with constitutional law class, and lo and behold, there is a big bottle of wine in the bottom of it! And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how we tell it's Friday. I would like to tell you that I did this because I'll be pouring it in my travel mug and having moscato (yes, I only drink cheapie sweet wine) during class all day, but alas, I am not that cool. Junk was in my car yesterday - again, not because I am cool, but because it had escaped from a grocery bag or some such and I thought tossing it in my school bag would be a good way to get it into the house. Clearly though, I am not responsible enough to actually get it in the wine rack and thus, I have wine at school. A+ to me.

Last weekend, we went to DC for Lia's birthday! Turns out it also happened to be peak cherry blossom weekend, which was so pretty I nearly died.
I just heart this picture due to the miles of cherry blossoms behind us.

This weekend? It's lake weekend, y'all. Down here in the South (a word I usually capitalize), it is supposed to be EIGHTY flipping EIGHT degrees today and eighty-six tomorrow. This means my hind parts will be planted firmly on the dock, beer in hand.

Thank goodness that los padres have a lake house and don't mind me mooching off of it all the time. For now though, we'll see if I can resist cracking open the wine during professional responsibility, fight traffic home, and then start the weekend. Adios, chickies.