I almost quit baking, OR: The Versatile Blogger Award

Thursday, June 02, 2011

It has been one of those weeks - again.

I almost quit baking.

Yes, I know, gasp! But it's true. I've learnt a valuable lesson from this week: Don't attempt to bake anything if you've been working 16-hour days since last Monday. It's true. You'll forget to add the sugar to those exceptionally beautiful and pricey cupcakes you've been planning for the Mister's charity bakesale at work.

So, even though they're perfectly iced, decorated and ready to go - they're not edible. Well, I guess they are: they just taste like chocolate ciabatta. And that's enough to put any baker off her craft.

But, okay. I threw a tantrum, and a cook book, and after gathering my wits and scattered ingredients, I put together a delicious hazelnut-and-coffee cake in the wee hours. It went down well, apparently, but that wasn't enough to boost my bruised ego. Oh no. I had sworn off fairy cakes and upside-down tarts. I had forgone three-tiered cakes and baked bread. It was the end of an era.

And then something lovely happened today. Actually, three lovely things happened.
1. FoodBuzz sent me a contract to be all food-bloggy.
2. The UK Food Bloggers Association accepted my application after many weeks of waiting patiently (and I must admit, forgetting about it altogether)
3. The lovely Andrea from Andrea's Apples and Pears gave me an award. A real, bonafide, honest-to-goodness blogger award. My very first. Lookee:

I'm very pleased, of course. I've been really enjoying reading Andrea's blog (here) because it's just very genuine: she's normal doing normal things and she's really, really good at them. She makes the most beautiful things and she bakes - after my own heart. Well, thank you Andrea. You've brought me back.

So, in keeping with the bloggy tradition, I'm supposed to list 10 things about myself that you may or may not know about me. This is not something I usually do, but hey, here you go:

1. I really, really like Giant Squids. It's true. I partially blame my move to London on the Giant Squid: they have one preserved in a tank in the Natural History Museum, and I had already booked my Spirit Collection Tour in advance so that we could go. And, we went. And, I had to try very hard to keep quiet the whole time because I desperately wanted to interrupt the tour with lesser-known Giant Squid Facts. Did you know that the colossal squid has fanged-suckers? They're like circular saws.

2. I've only been baking for about two years. Okay, not entirely true. I baked previously because I had to, but never, ever did I see baking as an art. Now I have a beautiful kitchen filled with beautiful kitcheny things and I bake at least once a week. I'm looking forward to having our new housemate move in at the end of the year because he's a big fan of baked goods and I'm a big fan of baking 'em (despite rantings above). Can you believe that the Mister doesn't like cake or sweet things?

3. I go through hobbies more often than I buy new clothes. That's pretty often. I've done all sorts of things from stamp-collecting to oil-painting, pewter-casting and paper-quilling. Some things tend to stick (like baking, and knitting - for now) and others don't (like origami and sculpting). Invariably I come back to those I once forgot about and recycle collected goods. I really, really needed Etsy whilst living in South Africa!

4. I learnt how to cook an egg on Sunday. I don't eat eggs. At all. But, on Sunday, I craved one. So I jumped straight in and it really wasn't as difficult to cook as I thought. That's my fix for the year, though.

5. I read. A lot. It's very likely to be a throw-back from my university career as part-time student slash part-time lecturer, but there you go. I am always reading about three different books. At the moment I'm reading Eat, Pray, Love, Gogol's Tales and Northanger Abbey. I've just pre-ordered The Disappearing Spoon.

6. I used to wear a lot of black. I still do, but now I'm a lot more twee. And I'm okay with it.

7. I'm South African. I've been living in London for two years, and I've pretty much avoided all other South Africans as best I can for fear that they whip out their vuvuzelas and talk about the poor quality of jerky. Lately, it's not so bad - we have a vuvuzela too - for display purposes only - and I have to admit, jerky is really, really awful

8. I'm getting married. I never wanted to be married. I certainly never envisaged myself in a fluffy white dress walking down an aisle to the tune of here comes the bride. I struggled with the idea for a long time, and I certainly couldn't have agreed to do it with anyone other than Graeme. Plus, the wedding is 9,702km away from where we live and we're trying to plan it with the help of all our family members. For real. 

9. I don't watch TV. Except, I accidentally watched an episode of Britain's Got Talent and I seem to have watched three or four successive episodes. And how can you not?

10. I'm a freelance writer. This is probably the least exciting thing about me, but it has given me a wealth of knowledge on unusual things. For example, I know a lot about cufflinks

Now, in keeping with the tradition of the award-awarding and gift-giving, it's time to pass it on to some other versatile folks. Many of these lovely folks don't really 'do' the award thing but I think it's a nice idea to pass it on anyway. 

Tina from Flourtrader
Wendy from Wendy NZ
Cassie at You Go Girl!


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  1. Thank you so much for the award!It is my first one :)
    I commend you on being able to manage your time to do all the things you have listed here. Also congrats on the the "lovely" things that happened. Sometimes those are just what we need to keep going. Now that you have confessed to a future wedding-we want you to post about it and the bridal shower as well! Thanks again!

  2. Hey Tina,

    It's my pleasure, I really love reading your blog! I'll definitely keep you all in the loop re: weddingnesses, promise :)



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