Thursday, March 22, 2012

Vintage Video

It was a rainy night, and I felt like popcorn and a movie. I picked out a bunch on the 5 DVDs for $8 deal at our local rental place, from Tangled to Supernatural, but it was an Indiana Jones kind of night.

After we finished watching Temple of Doom (I'd forgotten how much screaming there was), Jody turned to me and said, "You must have had these in Canada."

"Yes, but they were on video." For some reason this got a huge laugh out of Jody. "What?" I demanded. "They're old movies!"

"You're old." A pause. "I never had any tapes."

Me: "That's ridiculous. Why not?"

Jody: "I never really had TV."

Me: "You're old!"

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Fussy Coffee Cake

Occasionally, the only cure for what ails me is to spend time in the kitchen. I desperately wanted coffee cake, but I didn't want the temptation of an entire cake in the house either... so Tuesday morning, when I didn't work until ten, I made The Joy of Baking's coffee cake and brought it into work. On the bus, I might add, still in its springform pan, in a cloth bag.

Be forewarned, this is a bit of a fussy cake to prepare on a workday morning. I used three bowls and just over half an hour to mix everything together. Whether that's because I was sleepy, or it was a new-to-me recipe, or I had a husband running around me making coffee, I don't know.

In any case, it's best suited to brunch or a weekend afternoon tea. My mom makes a fabulous one but I wasn't sure I could wait to get the recipe from her. I've never made one with chocolate chips in it before - usually just nuts and brown sugar, or alternatively, blueberries - but it was nice for a change. I had to sub in a few teaspoons of cornflour to make up for the lack of cake flour in Australia, but it worked. I had a rather fluffy cake with a beautiful streusel.

Here is a snapshot of the reactions:

"It's still warm!"

"It looks so professional."

"Could I have the recipe? This is the best cake I've had in years!"

"What is it? Is there coffee in it?"

"Are those chocolate chips?"

And finally: [Groan] [Nom nom] [more happy groaning]

Monday, March 5, 2012

An Angel with Purpose

Unearthly (Unearthly, #1)Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It was a tossup between three and four stars for Unearthly, and I've gone with 4 for the following reasons:
1) I'm an adult, and if I were a young adult I would rate it 4 stars
2) It was superior to the other YA angel story I read recently, Halo by A. Adornetto.
3) It wasn't predictable, and I want to read the sequel
4) The writing was good, the main characters actually had some character, and the romance didn't make me want to switch off my Kindle in disgust.

The main character, Clara Gardner, is one-fourth angel, and as she matures on Earth, she must discover her "purpose." Clara rises to the challenge, learns to trust in her abilities even when she doesn't understand them, and doesn't just wait around for things to happen. I found it fun but not laugh out loud funny. Still, quite an enjoyable read, with room for development, and it moved at a good pace.

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