Photo an hour: 19 November 2016

A slightly abbreviated photo an hour this time as I only took photos until 5 p.m.! We were at Jan’s mum’s birthday celebration for most of the day so at least there was something to photograph…

9 a.m. Reading while I wait for the shower to be free.

10 a.m. Getting ready to go. Do I have everything I need?

11 a.m. In the car. Snapshot of the view while moving.

12 noon. Almost time for the buffet. We were sitting in front of dessert so I took a photo of it.

Bonus noon photo! Inserting this to preserve symmetry later. My plate of food.

1 p.m. After the food, they brought out coffee.

2 p.m. The celebration took place in the cafeteria at Jan’s mum’s workplace, and after brunch we were given a tour. The photo was taken froom the roof terrace – pretty autumn colours!

3 p.m. When we got back to the cafeteria, cakes had appeared.

4 p.m. It took me another hour to actually fetch myself a piece of cake.

5 p.m. Admiring the table of gifts.

We arrived back at Jan’s dad’s house (where we were staying) at 5:55 p.m. so my 6 p.m. photo should have been taken there, but it felt weird taking random photos of somebody else’s house so 5 p.m. ended up being my last photo. The rest of the evening was spent watching Jan sort something out on his dad’s partner’s computer, eating more food (buffet leftovers that we had taken along) and drinking a beer.

How was your Saturday?

Caaaake

Yesterday, we were invited to the post-wedding celebration barbecue of one of Jan’s colleagues (the couple actually got married almost a year ago). I was told I could bake a cake if I liked, so I decided to find something new, but fairly easy to make.

I chose this from BBC Good Food: Blueberry Soured Cream Cake with Cheesecake Frosting

The batter was fairly easy to make. Place most of the ingredients in a bowl and stir until combind. Add the eggs and ssour cream and stir more then stir in half the blueberries, saving the other half to decorate.

After baking, the cake looked like this:

Blueberry cakeIt sunk a little in the middle (should have baked it for longer!) but not too badly.

Here it is the next morning, after removal of the baking paper:

Blueberry cake 2It had sunk even more and also now had a ring around it where I turned it upside down on a plate to remove the paper. Ooops! Good job there was still icing and decoration to come…

Blueberry cake icedAaah, much better! Here’s a view from the top:

Iced cake top view

I also made brownies as a back up – I know my brownies recipe always works! I even experimented this time, mixing the plain chocolate with a little orange chocolate and adding the juice of one orange. The verdict: Delicious, but I could have added slightly more orange. Jan’s colleagues have begged me to send in brownies to work with him soon , so I’ll count that as a success!

The blueberry cake tasted good – not too sweet, and it was cooked through despite the sinking in the middle issue. It didn’t disappear as quickly as the brownies, but with two entire tables of cakes to choose from that’s not really surprising! And by the end of the party, it, too, had been demolished. Success all round! Now to decide what my next brownies experiment will be. The addition of some ginger, perhaps?…

Let there be light!

As of yesterday, Jan and I have been together for 7 years! Time really does fly… it doesn’t feel like that long. We started the day with a nice breakfast together… scrambled eggs on toast. Mmm. Then, after we’d both had showers, Jan suggested we go to Bauhaus (DIY type place) and see whether we could find a bathroom light we liked this time. Amazingly we actually did! It’s only about th 6th time we’ve looked and either not found anything suitable or just plain hated everything available. We picked up a few other things as well, including a ladder so we don’t have to keep borrowing the one in the cellar, and ordered a mirror for the bathroom. We have to get a special size cut so we couldn’t just take one of the ones that was there. Then we came home and Jan set to work. First he put up the kitchen light, which actually came with us from my old flat, so it’s been sitting around for 9 months waiting to be put up!! We need an extra piece of cable for it, which we also picked up while we were at Bauhaus. Then he went and installed the new light in the bathroom. SO now I’m no longer relying on clip lamps for any room. We have proper lights all over the flat. Not a bad anniversary present 🙂 We finished the day by going out for a meal at a lovely restaurant just round the corner from where we live. We’ve been saying for about 3 years that we should go there at some point, and now we finally have. And it was certainly worth the wait! My starter was a rocket salad in some kind of white wine dressing with gorgonzola cheese, slices of fresh pear and roasted pumpkin seeds. For the main course I had the best duck I’ve ever tasted with ginger potatoes (delicious!) and vegetables, and I finished things off with orange parfait on chilli-chocolate sauce. Also fantastic.
Here’s hoping we last another seven years! 🙂

Anticlimax

Yesterday I was sent home early because it was my birthday. Today I was sent home early because the boss wanted to go home early. I think he was bored. It was an incredibly quiet day at the office. Between 8:30am and when I left the phone rang twice! At least I had a translation to keep me occupied.

I haven’t really got anything to write about at the moment. The day after a birthday is always a bit of an anticlimax really. You have a whole day of everyone paying attention to you and being nice then you’re supposed to just forget about it and go back to normal. I get to be the centre of attention again on Saturday though so I can’t really complain 😉

I’m currently busy trying to plan my birthday picnic, but it’s proving to be rather difficult. I asked people to let me know by today whether they could make it. So far I have 4 people who are definitely coming, one who probably is and two people have told me they definitely can’t make it. The four people who are coming are two couples, so that means I’ve technically only had 5 responses. And I sent a lot more than 5 emails. So one of two things is probably going to happen. 1) I’ll make food for the people I know are coming. Ten more people will turn up. I won’t have enough food for everyone. 2) I’ll make enough food for all the people that might be coming. Five people will show up. I’ll be living on left over picnic food for the next two weeks. I think I’ll go with scenario number two – at least that way I’ll have stuff to take along for my lunch next week 😉