Friday, January 14, 2011

purity of heart means to will one thing - soren kierkegaard

Today, I am intermixing random quotes with general updates. Some quotes are famous, some are mine, none are both of those, and some are ones I never thought I would hear.

Quote One: "Julie, we can smell your bourbon around the office." (This was the unexpected one. But, except for the fact that I probably broke some sort of rule, my coworkers greatly appreciated the bourbon's purpose and put up with having the leftovers.

I made Buttermilk Bourbon Chocolate Cake. We ate it at our New Year's Eve dinner party and everyone loved it, so I thought that I would recreate it for a surprise birthday party today. Everyone loved it again. (I also used some high-quality cocoa powder in it - thanks, Debbie!)
My suggestions for her recipe - it was really rich when we ate it on New Year's, so I tried to tone it down. I split the batter into three cake pans rather than two so that the two layers of cake were a little thinner. I think that was a definite improvement. My filling was also definitely not as thick as it is in her picture, so that could be my substitutions... but I used neufchatel cheese instead of cream cheese (I think that makes it healthy, right?) and it tasted splendid. I also used a cheap bottle of bourbon, making my first trip into a state liquor store ever! Other comment - I had a lot of filling and icing left over, so I wouldn't make as much next time. It's tasty and we've been dipping our graham crackers in it, but there's a lot. (With the third layer of cake, I spoon some of the "filling" on top as a topping.) I think this is kind of like a chocolate-bourbon Boston Cream Pie. Like Texas Sheet Cake with bourbon-chocolate pudding in the middle. Like an empty long-course pool in the middle of summer. Oh, oops. My metaphors switched into my happy places there.

It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like "What about lunch?"
-- Winnie the Pooh

Food has been an integral part of my life. I eat it to stay alive, literally. I also bake when I'm stressed (I seem to remember plates of cookies baked at 11:00pm the night before the team went to the Conference meet...) and now I'm going to learn how to decorate because that's what people do. Make things that look pretty. Especially when you already don't follow the recipe and things don't a) always turn out or b) can't be recreated. Look at our other New Year's dessert: Times Square Cake-ball (okay, you caught me - donut holes) cupcakes!

And I suppose I should include something beyond food because that is not the only part of my life worth talking about. It might be the only part worth drooling over, though.
1) I graduated! This may come as a surprise to many of you, because I apparently didn't tell anyone, seeing as how my grandmother recently called to tell me that she found out I had graduated and was working full time - but yes, it's true. Currently, I'm working full time with the same team that I worked with as a grad student: teaching a course on child development, researching evidence-based practices in education, drinking at bachelorette parties, maybe teaching preschool for a few weeks - but I digress. (Piqued your interest, though, didn't I?)
I'm breaking from the research world to enter back into teaching this fall. Between the amount that I regretted not trying it and the comfort that I have coaching swimming for high schoolers, I feel completely affirmed in my decision. I'm willing to fail in my attempts to be perfect or have it all sorted out, but I want to try it. I'll be applying for jobs starting in the fall, wanting to teach high school math or English. I want to teach at a project-based school, because they fit my personal teaching/ curriculum agenda perfectly and I think they'd be a great support. That's about all I know. Got somewhere exciting for me to live? Feel free to fight over me.

"Our business in life is not to succeed, but to continue to fail in good spirits." - Robert Louis Stevenson

2) I bought a new car, and it makes me smile. It's a Honda Fit. (Yes, insert your joke here. "That fits you," they all say, either because I am fit myself (if I do say so myself) or because it's a perfect fit. I've seen plenty of personalized license plates on fits that make me smile. (e.g. 'fitty' or 'perfct'.) Also, I am currently driving with non-expired tags. That's been nice too, now that I know you have to replace those little stickers with dates on them. At least the title is actually in my name, rather than waiting six months to find out that I didn't actually do all the steps.