Saturday, March 29, 2008
Monday, March 24, 2008
The name simnel is derived from the old French word simenel via the Latin term used to describe the finest flour for baking cakes, simila.
There is a suggestion, however, that simnel comes from a legend when a man named Simon and his wife, Nell, were debating whether to bake or boil the cake for Mothering Sunday. In the end, they did both and modestly named the cake after them Sim-Nell!
OK class, so which theory do you prefer? I'm no Delia Smith when we come to the subject of cake-making, but boiling? Baking AND boiling?
Check out the recipe I found, by Mary Berry. I don't see where it says 'now boil your cake', do you?
It's interesting how Mary Berry used 11, not 12 marzipan balls atop her cake. The balls symbolise Christ's Apostles, and people use 11 or 12 depending on whether they think Judas should be counted or not.
Our one (pictured) had 12 balls. I guess Supermarket chains don't like to leave anyone out.
Now, chocolate eggs!
Yes, my one is huge, and white, the best chocolate made by my favourite English chocolatier, Thorntons. They ice any name on your egg for free. These are our Hawaiian names (if all that chocolate wasn't sickly enough to make you nauseous) iced on my egg, and Eric's brown bear. It's a Canadian thing.
I got to see my cat, Sam, on Easter Sunday.
He resides at my folks house (he's set in his ways, plus another hungry mouth to feed right now etc. etc) and is neither a chocolate nor a simnel cake fan, so was pretty moody. He likes to bite my huge beady necklaces like teething rings lately.
On Monday, I got up early and, deciding against going to an audition which would mean relocating to Tokyo, hauled my behind to the gym to work off some of that white chocolate. My gym is on the top floor of the Bentall's Centre, known to all Saaf Laandiners with no elocution lessons like myself and Amy Winehouse as the 'Benoo Cenaah'.
There's something really foreboding about a mall with nobody in it.
In other news, sometimes it snows in London. This is Wimbledon station,
and this is snow.
Yes, I know many Canadians/Norwegians etc. will scoff at my statement, but these kind of swirly snowy situations are rare for March in London.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
This is 29 Acacia Road, and this is Eric, a schoolboy who leads an amazing double life.....for when Eric eats a banana, an AMAZING transformation occurs.....ERIC IS BANANAMAN! Ever-alert for the call to action!
Little did I know that at the age of uh.....VERY, VERY YOUNG, I'd end up living with my very own Eric/Bananaman! Right...
or why these two people are dressed as an airline pilot and flight attendant (not SUPER heroes. They can bring you booze, sure. Or direct you to you nearest exits 'herehere&HERE', but they're not SUPER)
We did find a nemesis to both our powers. Our powers of alcohol consumption, that is. It's a Chilean drink called a Pisco Sour, which Eric assures me is nice usually and is a liquor made from the skin of the grape,
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
The atrium building is awesome, check out the open-mouthed man on the left!
As I mentioned, it's free to go in, the only thing you could buy is a guide map in any language you can think of, but to be honest you don't really need one as everything is really well signposted.
I made a bee-line for Ancient Egypt, where I'd been promised mummies. Ever since my trips to Carnack Temple and the pyramids in Egypt I've had a hankering to see an actual mummy, and lo and behold, the Mummies are out on display here!
There's this man, preserved in the traditional way, which is well documented throughout the exhibition. Check it out.
Apparently there were 3 main methods, but generally the whole process took 70 days, 40 days of cleansing/preparing the body and 30 days of wrapping it.
Let's look closer at his face. Amazing.
There are also mummified Bulls
Cats and kittens (the cylindrical one at the front is a kitten!)
The exhibition also features Shabti, little models of servants, which were buried with you, to take into the afterlife.
This man was preserved simply by being buried in sand.
He's still shading his face from the sand-storm, it's actually quite touching and reminds me of something I saw at Pompeii (except obviously with ash, not sand).
So we mooched on to Mesopotamia, which I learned basically covered modern Iraq and Eastern Syria. This was a civilisation from 8000-1595C, with most densely populated, prosperous time being around 3500BC. Uruk was one of the city centres, and grew to 5km square.
The first writing appeared sometime before 3000BC in Mesopotamia, and was triangular tablature called Cuneiform.
This was a regal library. Again, the speechless man...Images of the Flintstones spring to mind (because of the stones-slab 'books', not the man).
Mmm...Mesopotamian bling. I'd like these.
So, we carried on through ancient Greece, where we found this ancient game called Ur, Cyprus and the Roman Empire.
The most, er, unexpected thing I found were these.
The plaque underneath the rings (worn mostly by children!) explains it all, way better than I could. Those thoughtful Romans, eh!