February 19, 2015

Happy (Chinese) New Year

First- came the after posting all the Christmas posts slump.

Then came the homework/revision. 

Then came the more homework and revision. 

Then came my birthday- after which I spent several days just drawing with my new pens. 

Then came with rush of homework and revision to catch up after the drawing. 

Then I looked- saw mocks were coming up- and New Years was ages ago- and decided I would give up for a month and post this on Chinese New Year. Because there was really no point- as much as I love my blog- given the choice of revision and blog- I'm always going to pick revision. I have the whole of summer for you guys!

On the bright side- I know what I'm doing for Vegan Mofo this year. And I'm planning to practise my first recipe on Saturday. Now I just need to procure gluten free vegan corn tortillas. Any body any ideas? (And I live in England- the words 'Masa Harina' are not to be spoken). 

So- the first thing that I should probably do on this special New Years issue is... draw a really cool picture of something Chinese to celebrate (joking- but I got manga drawing stuff for my birthday - and it's right next to me (and so I wanna draw right now)) (but it's okay- I wanna talk to you guys too). 

Okay, actually- I think that it's probably a good idea to look back at what I wrote last New Year. (Wow- that was such a long time ago!) (Finds the page so she can has a copy to refer to... WOW THAT WAS ONLY LIKE - 9 MONTHS AGO (or less depending how you count!!!!!) WOW OH MY WOW MY OH MY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Just wow. 

On the bright side- I am less worried about this being late :P 

Wow- I am so different to that short time ago (feeling slightly emotional now)- I mean- I was still on treatment. I wouldn't go out anywhere without my wheelchair. Afternoon naps where a necessity (although I wouldn't mind them every now and then).

Today I've been walking up and down the stairs WITHOUT a crutch. (Not that any one has noticed yet). 

Okay- I'll get over my emotional thing now and just get on with it!

First, shall we look at last years New Year's resolutions? 

1. Learn to use chopsticks ... As in actually learn how to use them properly, not just find a way to make them get food from plate to mouth. 
Okay. Well- I wouldn't say that they were the culinary equivalent of my native tongue- but I've definitely got better at them. I am a lot better now then I was this time last year. Yes, it takes me longer to eat my dinner than if I was eating with a fork, but at least I'm quicker than I was this time last year. I'm sure a 'native' chopsticks user would beet me hands down in a chopsticks using contest- but I did get complimented by a family friend on a recent meal out on my chopsticks mastery. :) We have one pair of chopsticks that has migrated (by my request) from the awkward to reach back of the utensils draw to my (much more convenient) utensils mug. It shares a place with such coveted items as my knife and my measuring spoons. And- the week after half term- not only am I doing a activity based around chopsticks at my Senior Section meeting (I'm scared- these people are MY OWN AGE- argh) but I'm also doing it with the Rainbows (which I am looking forward to so much more!). That's a lot of chopsticks tuition guys! 

2. Try as many recipes as possible from my new cookbook Peas and Thankyou by Sarah Matheny. 
Well. Okay. So. I haven't done them all. My aim is to do 90% of them (cause there are a couple of things that I won't be able to make (can't get the ingredients etc) or don't want to eat (mango salad is not my thing)- so 90% is my goal. Have I achieved my goal yet? Not in the slightest. I have 41 recipes to make before I achieve my goal (wow- I didn't realise that there was that many left!) But I have completed 44. I'm very good with breakfasts- I'm not so good with "sweet endings". I will get there one day people. I mean- I'm having 'tempeh chilli' tonight! (which will be one more down). Some things I've had to adapt more than others. Some things I've had to adapt a lot. I don't have a waffle maker. So I made them into pancakes (I mean- what else was I meant to do?) Recipes that called for tempeh have been made with Quorn. (until now- I finally found a packet of tempeh last week guys!) I seem to have gone through fazes when I did a lot better than others- this has wavered a lot due to how well I was feeling and/or college. A lot of it has been due to college. Plus a bit of it has been that I wanted to make my own thing. Some of it has been because my tastes are still a bit funny- and the thought of having a load of cake around? Not good. (I don't like cake) Another part of it is that I am (generally) the only one who wants to eat what I make- and so I don't want to have a load of leftovers lying around then feeling guilty when I've not been able to eat it in the required time! I'm aiming to get it all done by the end of the year- but I also anxious to try some recipes from other cookbooks- like this, this, this, this and this. I also have a copy of this (thank you to my Aunt and Uncle- it's great) and this to have a go with. Plus I need to learn some good recipes for uni (here's where the student cookbook will become my best friend). All in all- I'm gonna have a load of new recipes to try out. (What else are summer holidays for?) And in all this recipe testing (I can't wait for summer- no exams and lots of fun in the kitchen).  But in the midst of all that- I AM going to get through 90% of the recipes in this book. (Though I refuse to make chocolate chip zucchini bread). 

And my New Year's Bucket List? Shall we look at how I got on with that?

My New Years Bucket List:

1. Go to Ikea

Been there, done that, and I haven't got the t-shirt, but I have got other stuff to prove it!
2. Get a Balti dish (they are so cute)

This one is a fail. They used to sell them in Wilko's. They don't any more. They do in John Lewis though- next time I go one may jump into my bag. (after being paid for- just to clear up any ambiguity in that sentence). 
3. Eat many dinosaur sandwiches

Maybe not many- but definitely quite a few. I took some lovely pictures- and made a (one of my better) bento with them. But then my laptop crashed and I lost said pictures. I need to redo and photo. So no evidence- but I DID DO IT!
4. Make popcorn (a must on anybodies bucket list - to different extremes)

Also a fail. The popcorn maker is at the back of the cupboard. It is not accessible there to anybody- least of all me. Making popcorn- meet summer. You'll go very well together. 
5. Go to Lakeland plastics

Possibly the best day of last year. It helped that I had the best friends ever. (And guy's- you still are the best). And Fred. He is THE BEST railway worker I have ever had the pleasure of having get me on and off trains in my wheelchair. He is THE NICEST of above category. And THE FRIENDLIEST. And all around amazing. He did the Oxenholme-Windemere 'stint' - he was amazing in Windemere, and he was a star in helping us change stations in Oxenholme on the way back. He was just ACE.  6. Spend some money in Lakeland plastics
See here. 
7. Make an omelet (without cracking any eggs)

Yup. I do have pictures of this- but I'm not going to show you them. They're terrible pictures and every time I get to take a picture of my omelet- it always seems to be burnt. And I don't want to show you a burnt omelet. So done it- but you'll have to wait for proof.
8. Go back to college

I've done this. Why did I ever want to do this? WHY?
9. Get an A* on a piece of maths homework
Aced it. (or should that be A-starred it?)
10. Watch Frozen again

And again. And again. And again. And again. And I bought the DVD so now I can watch it as often as I want. 

So before I outline what I'm going to do next year- what do I still have to complete from last year? And if I don't get them done this year- I am REALLY stuck. 

1. Try as many recipes as possible from my new cookbook Peas and Thankyou by Sarah Matheny. 
2. Get a Balti dish (they are so cute)
3. Eat many dinosaur sandwiches
4. Make popcorn (a must on anybodies bucket list - to different extremes)
5. Make an omelet (without cracking any eggs)

You know, 5 out of 12 isn't bad. Not good- but not bad. And two of those I have done- but just need to do better. 

Are you ready for the 'big reveal' for this years resolutions? 

And I know that you're not- or you are but you don't want to be. But I just thought that any one who reads my blog on a regular basis should be forewarned about what's going to come up a lot this year. 

On a tangent-

Looks at Blogger stats page- and sees 25 page views today and thinks OH MY. Then realises she still hasn't posted anything since Christmas and thinks OH NO! 

So, on a tangent- you know that I've had 3164 posts in my all time history? So THANKYOU to anybody that reads my blog. An even bigger THANKYOU to anybody who doesn't just read my blog by accident. And to anybody who reads my blog and then comes back and reads it again. Because you are amazing. To anybody who is actually reading this (however many paragraphs in) and hasn't stopped because you think I am an absolute weirdo- you are amazing. 

OKAY- BACK TO BUSINESS (in capitals so I actually get down to it this time around instead of getting distracted- cause this post is quite possibly already long enough!)

My New Year's Resolutions 2015:

1. Learn Danish (Cause why not?)
2. Write a book
3. Pass my A-levels

1. Cause why not indeed. I wanted to learn a language for the international octant of Look Wider, and it had to be something new that I hadn't done before- so this ruled out German and definitely ruled out French. And I know there are a load of languages that would be more useful than Danish- but also- which ones? I don't need to learn a language for any reason other than I want to. And- why not danish? Denmark: the home of The Little Mermaid and Frozen. It has a Queen- so just like England. (I guess). If I learn Danish I might understand what's going on in IKEA a bit better (and yes, that's Swedish- but Sweden doesn't have the added benefits of a certain Hans Christian Andersen.) And it's the happiest country in the world!!! So, why not? Plus, I really want to try aebleskivers!!!! (Will a cake pop pan work?) 

2. You know- despite the fact that I say I like writing books- the last book that I finished was in 2011. Serious rectifying needed here guys!!!! Also- I think that I'm going to use it for my Queen's Guide Award, so... This one is about... then she gives up explaining. The last time I tried- it just didn't work. 

3. Yeah. And that means pass as in get grades good enough to get me into university and not just get anything above a U. Just to let everybody know- this one comes above all else at the moment. And will be done by summer. 

4. Ooh- this is my favorite. (Takes break to grate tempeh for tea). I, and my Dad, have got hooked on going to a teashop. And yes, a specific tea shop. It's fantastic!!!! :) (Review telling you all about it's awesomeness coming soon!) (Dad is getting tired of me taking pictures every time we go). But- the experience of going most weeks has convinced me that I need to drink more tea. I mean- it's good for you!!! And it tastes nice! And it means you have a study break- unless you REALLY need to study in which case luckily it is an activity that is fortuitously complimentary to multitasking. So I am going to DRINK MORE TEA!!!

My New Year's Bucket List 2015:

1. Make popcorn with nooch/golden sprinkles/nutritional yeast
2. Make Sushi
3. Make a Disney Princess Apron
4. Have my hair in a hair elastic. Just once. 
5. Make some really awesome bentos. 
6. A super secret thing that I'm not going to tell you about yet. 
7. Go swimming
8. Master making muffins
9. Finish one Octant in Senior Section
10. Take an ABRSM exam. Even if I have to take the prep test. Or maybe the performance assessment... (i.e. two exams that would be way more than stupidly easy for me) :P 

And yes- you will be painfully subjected to updates throughout the year on how I'm doing. And yes- I will probably fail at quite a few of these. (again). And yes- they will probable be late and sporadic. 

On another, completely unrelated, topic. I'm using my blog for my Bronze DofE. Which means that I will most definitely be posting at least once a week. For three months. Even if it kills me :P So- they will all be labelled with Bronze DofE. Just if you're wondering why/what on earth. Also- if I manage to get more than one a week written- I'm gonna save it up so I do- most definitely - post one a week. 

Wish me luck x 

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