21 February 2009

When the sun shines, all of London can be found in Kensington Gardens

I feel bad that I don't have a lot of photos or exciting stories for this week. I became ill on Sunday and I pretty much stayed in bed, Monday through Wednesday, rekindling my love for Arrested Development. 

Monday I did go through the Tate Modern with Hilary and I stopped by Shakespeare's Globe Theatre and looked in the gift shop. 
That was pretty cool. 
They also had Croque Monsieur at the cafe and it was my lunch. I fell in love with these super cheesy sandwiches while I was in France. Here's a photo of the first one I ever had. Delicious.
 I was really tired after going into town so I rested for the duration of the evening. I did finalize my travel plans to Scotland though. It's going to be awesome. 

Tuesday I stayed in my room. I napped between Disney movies. I was invited to attend the Superior Pastry Tea Party at Le Cordon Bleu because a friend of mine is in that course. So I went to school around 3 and had the most amazing tea party experience ever. Everything was amazingly delicious. It's too bad I wasn't allowed to take photos because you would never believe how beautiful everything was. Something I thought was really neat though was that the things they were creating had foundations in what I'm learning in Basic Pastry. It gave me a glimpse of what it means to be a Superior Pastry student. I was so imbibed with sugar though that I had to stop to get something salty and delicious on my way back to bed: Marylebone Sausage from a tiny sausage shop.
Wednesday I felt better off and on. I decided to do an easy run to the grocery store (1.5 miles) and then take the bus back. But the sun was shining and I walked home. London is so beautiful when the sun shines. It's hopeful. I was planning to send a box home of a lot of my extra stuff, like extra uniforms and clothing that I no longer need, but a 7kg box to be sent to the states would have cost me £80 or $120! Ridiculous! Though I'll probably have to do it anyway because with my knife set, and uniforms and other little things I've purchased, there is just no way it will all be able to fit into my suitcase under the 70lbs standard. I had class this evening and we just talked about how the final will be set up. We have a written portion and a practical portion, in which we have to have 3 memorized recipes and when we enter the kitchen they will tell us which one to make. It will be a little scary, but fun, I think. 

Thursday I was finally feeling better. Though my alarm didn't go off and I woke up at 8.15, and had to literally run to the tube stop to make it to class in 30min. I did make it on time though. We made genoise spongecake with raspberry jam and buttercream frosting. It didn't look too complicated, and honestly it wasn't. But I was behind, so I didn't whisk the eggs just enough and then i folded in the flour too quickly, so my spongecake was dense and dry. Sadness. It looked beautiful, though I couldn't get that stupid buttercream frosting to spread just right!
 It was just altogether frustrating. And when I got home I put it away and went on a 3 mile run to dispell myself of my annoyed/frustrated energy. It was a good run, and it definitely made me feel better, though my foot fell asleep and I don't think that's a good sign. 

And my cake was pretty good... with milk. 

Friday was a better day. I was planning on going to the temple, but the people who were going were just endowed members, so they didn't have room for me... sad. But because I thought I was going to go I was able to take the early class and get out at 4 instead of 7. We made Black Forest Cake today.
 I thought it was going to be difficult, so I worked efficiently and carefully, but I was fine! My cake was beautiful, moist, delicious, and I frosted it perfectly. I was so very pleased. My only complaint is that the cherries we used for the filling were soaked in alcohol. And even though I rinsed them, there was just no getting rid of that flavor. I know that when I recreate this at home I'll just make a simple syrup with cherry juice and tinned black cherries. Or just use frozen cherries and make a quick jam. Either way it will be less alcohol-y. I had a piece when I got home, and if I just picked out the cherries it was fine. Actually, more than fine. It was delicious! There was a miscommunication though between my landlady and myself. She wanted to know if she could feed the Elders some of my cake when they came over for dinner. I told her to feed the chocolate one to them and just have them pick out the cherries. She thought it had a lot of alcohol still in it so gave them the dry genoise one! Ah! I was embarrassed. Good thing I didn't have to be there to see them try to choke it down. 

I didn't have any plans for the evening but a friend called and said she had an extra ticket to Twelfth Night if I wanted to go. Heck yes I did! It was in the gorgeous Wyndams Theatre, and it was really really enjoyable. I love seeing Shakespeare performed live. The actors were quite famous, some have been in movies I've seen. And it was absolutely hilarious. We had booth seats and I felt so special. It was really quite the experience. 
 When I got home I stayed up a bit and talked to dear friends online for a bit before falling into a very happy sleep. 

Saturday I woke up to the sun shining over London. I did laundry and prepped myself for a real run today. I ran 3 miles to Hyde Park and then spent a little over an hour walking through Hyde Park and Kensington gardens (2.5 miles) then I ran the 3.5 miles home from Kensington. When the sun shines, all of London can be found in Kensington Gardens. It was lovely to see children running and laughing and dogs romping about playfully biting each other. I think every person who enjoys running was in that park. I couldn't look at people enough. I just wanted to soak in their joy over the sunny day. It was just a picture of loveliness. And there were flowers starting to spring up from the ground. The sunshine was warm, and there was a feeling of spring coming. Too bad it's only February still and a month until spring (and my birthday!). I always get my hopes up in February about spring. 

On my way home the Elders stopped me and introduced themselves and the Church. I laughed and told them I was Mormon too! They were really excited because one of them is from Virginia and went to the highschool that was featured on the track shorts that I was wearing that I received from a friend last year at BYU who also attended that highschool. Hah. Small world. We talked a bit and they were the ones who had eaten my cake. They assured me it was good, but they're missionaries and very polite. 

Even over double the length I usually run I maintained my 10min mile and I'm very pleased with my performance. My shin acted up a bit, but it is healing and sometimes stretching helps it. I've now reached the halfway mark of what I need to run for Prague. And I have 5 weeks to get up to the full 13 miles. 

Tonight I'll head to Reading for a date. Should be fun. :) 


Anonymous said...

Wow. I just finished your entire blog. We're going to have to hang out when you next come to Redding.

It's almost lunch time and I am wanting some of these incredible dishes you've shown me. You always did make the best plastic meals when we played house. ^_^

love and things,
M. Daniel Hayes

Kristy/"Grammy" said...

Your pastries look divine! Can't wait to taste some of your delectables...you make your Dad's & my mouth water with your beautiful photos. It's awesome that you will be running in the marathon in Prague...please don't forget to let us know how to track you during the race. When are you going to Scottland? That will be a wonderful trip. Hope you are feeling better...we've been under the weather a bit ourselves. Your dad was sick for about 5 days, went back to work last week and this week but now he is starting to get a sore throat. This year has been a sickly one for him...he usually never gets sick. Anyway, have a great rest of the week and an even better weekend! ♥Dad & Kristy

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