Baking, Celtic Thunder

Chaos and Insanity

My first week of the semester wasn’t quite what I expected. For starters, I didn’t think it would only entail two days of classes. You have to hand it to Mother Nature for making my school close down on the day I have three classes. Kudos to her, but missing classes means the course work has to be made up somehow, which brings me to my main complaint. I just had to rework the days that I would hand in assignments in one class, and it did not make me happy one bit, especially the fact that a paper due date was moved to the same day as for another paper. This semester is going to test my abilities to stay on task more than ever before, which means I need to learn how to NOT PROCRASTINATE. I have so many assignments in all of my classes that there is absolutely no wiggle room whatsoever. If I don’t stay on top of everything, it’s going to be disastrous, and I wish that was just an exaggeration.

In preparation of this week, I decided to not honor my decision to avoid baking for a little while and made some blueberry muffins to eat for breakfast as I’m going out the door in the morning. I made the To Die For Blueberry Muffins on Allrecipes.com, and I must say that they really are “to die for.” This also marked the inaugural use of my new muffin tin.

I made some of my own alterations to the recipe, and they turned out wonderfully. I did not use the cinnamon/sugar/butter topping the recipe suggested, but I did sprinkle a tiny bit of sugar on top before I put them in the oven. I also subbed in a half cup of whole wheat flour, and I couldn’t even notice that I did that. Next time around I will probably use half all purpose flour and half whole wheat flour, just to make them a bit healthier and more filling. I didn’t have it at the time, but I’ll also use applesauce in place of the vegetable oil, just because.

Unfortunately, the recipe only yielded 11 muffins, probably because I tried to fill the cups too high. I also wish they could have had a more golden coloring, but I didn’t want to leave them in the oven, for fear of drying out. I’m not sure how long I left them in, but any longer and I would not have been happy because they would have been dried out. I took them out at the perfect time to obtain maximum moisture, so in the end the coloring is just an aesthetic thing.

This snow day also yielded additional unfortunate news, beyond the changing due dates. I went to check on Fishy this afternoon to find him floating immobile on his side. He had a good long life, for a little fish, but I will miss him swimming around in his bowl on my desk, blowing bubbles up at the surface along the sides and then popping them. RIP Fishy, May 2010-January 2011.

After today, I really want nothing more than to listen to some Celtic Thunder and bake up some Best Cocoa Brownies, which I think I’ll do as soon as my suitemates clear out.

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Pictureless, Sad Business

The heatwave that plagued NYC last week claimed more than just the lives advertised on the news. Early last week, I had to say goodbye to Fishy-Fishy, who perished in his bowl because I could not keep the water cool enough in my boiling room. Late that night, my suitemate and I had a funeral for him, expressing our anguish at his loss and our anger at the heatwave for taking him from us. Fishy-Fishy was a good fish. He served my classroom well, and provided companionship for his bowl-mate, Fishy. At the moment, Fishy seems to be doing okay without his friend; he’s eating and swimming, so I won’t be too worried about him. He’s a tough little fishy.

In other saddening news, the heatwave also claimed Catherine’s life. I’m sorry to say that she didn’t stand a chance against the unbearable heat in my dorm, which resulted in her leaves essentially being fried to bits, even though I watered her profusely. I wanted terribly for her to pull through, but it was all to much for her to handle. She was such a young kidney bean plant, and I was so pleased with her progress before the heat hit. She will also be missed. Her side of the windowsill will remain empty for the time-being, as a testament to the emptiness which I feel when I look at that section of the window.

I hope that the remainder of the summer will be free of loss, as this has been a lot to handle recently.