Saturday, May 21, 2011

Post Thirty Four: Baking things

Friday!!!!! Still finishing things up. Seems like once the semester starts ending it continues to 'end' forever! and I took the time to count, I sill have 18 classes left! That is alot for only two weeks! I have 20 left if I actually went to all of them, but I have sadly ceased to attend the lectures for one of my classes since the lecturer is so boring!

Let me take a moment to explain that last bit. I have finished all of the graded assignments for two of my four classes. However we still have class until the 3rd of June. I continue to attend all the lectures of one class just because I like it so much, I would not choose to miss it! But this other class, the lecturer speaks in a monotone for two joke, same same tone, same inflection, same rise and fall of the voice nonstop for two hours. The material is interesting, but I would rather spend the two hours to read a book about it than to sit in a darkened lecture hall (which is in such bad shape that the arm desks for the chairs don't work and there are...unidentified stains on all the chairs...) trying not to fall asleep. I can download the lectures from the school website so that if I ever feel I really was missing something I can go back and listen. I am still attending the mandatory tutorials (smaller discussion classes), but I just can't bring myself to go to the lecture for this one class any more. To conclude, yes I do feel a bit guilty, I have never before in my college career skipped a class merely because it was is just a waste of my time...which is too bad because it could be really fun if the lecturer was not so abysmally bad. Oh well, a good learning experience, teaches me to appreciate the other profs more!

That being said, on to the Munchkin and, more importantly, BAKING!!!!!!!!

I talked with the Dean of Residents (DOR) about a referencing system for one of my papers once upon a time and noticed that he owned the game Munchkin, when I remarked "oh you have Munchkin!" he looked at me brightly and said "you know of this game?!?!" we then proceeded to have a small conversation about the wonders of this silly card game. This was back in late February I believe. About a month ago he approached me again and said "how would you like to play Munchkin? Please oh please? I am so bored and I have never found anyone to play it with" or something to that effect. I said yes, but playing with two people would be kind of boring, perhaps we should get some others. Then, a couple days later I was talking with my friends at dinner and James asked if I was planning on making cookies again (I had made some fairly ok ones in the microwave before break). I remembered that the DOR had said he had a full kitchen in his apartment that he and his wife let students use for baking on occasion. So, putting two and two together I said I would love to make some cookies or something, I could use this kitchen so that microwave wouldn't be needed, IF we would all play Munchkin together! My friends agreed to this and after much scheduling and re-scheduling we finally decided on Friday evening the 20th. The baking pool decided on peanut butter cookies and molasses/ginger cookies (for some people who don't like peanut butter) and Angie wanted to introduce us to Missouri Gooey Butter Cake a St Louis specialty.
Andrea and Karen entertain us

We all had fun in the kitchen laughing and baking, it was cramped but we managed. I had trouble figuring out the beater because the way it worked was that it was automatically ON unless you held this trigger, but holding the trigger made it go faster if you squeezed too hard and turn off completely if you pushed this little button (also on the trigger)...anyway, it was difficult but I got it to work enough to mix everything.
attempting to use the blender...

Some of the Chefs

Grating cinnamon, the lesser of two evils
We also had no pre-ground cinnamon or cloves so we used a grater...this worked fine for the cinnamon sticks, but, have you ever tried to grate cloves!!?? if not, try, and let me know how it goes. Karen and I found it exceedingly difficult to grate them and not our fingers or knuckles. Thank goodness we only needed a half teaspoon!

Our final troubles lay in removing the cookies from the pan. The pan was not sticky, but the spatula was, so we had more cookie pieces (for the peanut butter ones) than we had cookies. But they still were pretty good if I do say so myself.

The butter cake was a bit singed on the edges (not Angie's fault, the oven was not very good, it did not cook things evenly, even some of the cookies suffered. Still better than a microwave though!), and since there is no such thing as yellow cake mix here (one of the ingredients) she had to improvise and use vanilla cake. Even so, the cake was delicious, absolutely fantastically wonderfully marvelously stupendously scrumptious, and HOMEMADE!!!!! I shall have to try making it again sometime, since according to Angie it is better with the proper ingredients and no black edges.
Alicia is an expert at scraping molasses

The cookies turned out pretty good too! and thanks to Alicia, they were all expertly criss-crossed.
peanut butter cookies pre-baking stage
Butter cake
Once all the baking was accomplished, we all joined Sean, James, and the DOR Eli to play a long game of Munchkin. Using our spiky knees, ghoul-lashes, and boots of running really fast to defeat the wight brothers, the gelatinous octahedron, flee from the bullrog (and its mate), and of course backstab our buddys with ducks of doom, sex changes, and big feet all whilst munching our delightful baked creations.
you are now an orkish wizard

 All in all it was a lovely night with friends eating good homemade food, an excellent way to spend a Friday night!

"Ariana, while you were in the other room we skipped your turn, but you gave Karen your crabs"

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