Sunday, 14 April 2013

A Poetic Week!

This week was a lot of fun! We had the project of finding a poem we really like and then analyzing it. This project brought back childhood memories because I chose to do a poem from Shel Silverstein's 'Where The Sidewalk Ends' book. When I was younger, my aunt would read my cousins and I the goofy poems from that book and it has become a beloved memory of mine. Anyways, for the project I chose the poem called 'Sick' by Shel Silverstein. I really liked this poem because it is about a kid who is trying to get out of going to school because she's too 'sick'. It is a really cute and funny poem, but I also found it pretty easy to relate to. 

In my Lit class this week, we have also been looking at poems, but more importantly, how to write them. My teacher showed us a really neat tactic of writing a poem. He had us pick an emotion, then an event you'd experience this emotion, and then write a paragraph about it. Once you had written a paragraph, you cut out unnecessary words and made it into the structure of poem. I chose the emotion 'Excitement' and the situation 'Amusement Park'. 
This is what I had done:

I walk through the gates of the amusement park, taking in the smells of buttery popcorn and tasty snacks. The rays of the sun beat down on my back, warming my body as a move through the crowed space. Entering the line for the roller coaster, I hear distant screams of the riders before me. Anticipation runs through me like a trickling brook, flooding every nerve and thought. I pass the old tired ticket man my crumpled ticket, and step onto the coaster. Making that slow vertical climb to the top, a smile creeps up my face as I enjoy looking down and watching the people down below turn into ants, scurrying around. My stomach flips as we fly down the tracks. A scream of excitement escapes my lips , but is lost in the bellowing 'whoosh' of the wind. 

And then I converted it (as best I could) into a poem:

Walking through the gate,
I take in the smells of buttery popcorn and tasty snacks.
The rays of sun on my back
warming me as I move through the crowed.

In line, I hear distant screams.
Anticipation runs through me like a trickling brook,
flooding my every nerve and thought. 
I pass the ticket taker my crumpled slip.

Making that slow vertical climb to the top,
a smile creeps up my face. 
Looking down, watching the people below turn into ants
scurrying around.
My stomach flips as we fly down. 
A scream of excitement escapes my lips
but is lost in the bellowing whoosh of the wind.

So this was my week! I learnt a lot about poetry and am really excited to learn more!

Until next time! (with hopefully another tasty trial to share!)

Monday, 8 April 2013

Let's Pop Into It!

This week I had my first cooking/baking attempt of my independent project! I was looking for something fun and seemingly simple, and I came across the idea of doing Cake Pops. I referenced a lot of different recipes and Youtube videos before beginning. I have to admit, I was super excited to start this baking project since the end result seemed so cute! A lot of websites threw out great ideas for decorating that I was so stoked to try! Here are the ingredients I used:

-Betty Crocker chocolate cake mix
-Betty Crocker chocolate frosting
-Cadbury Milk Chocolate
-White Chocolate Bunny (Easter leftovers!)
-Sprinkles (and other decorations)
-Food Colouring
and then of course, the tricky to find lollipop sticks!

The steps needed to complete this recipe were not tricky, however I did hit a few bumps in the road...

My first big mistake was not letting the cake cool down enough. Before you can form the cake pop balls, you have to bake the cake and let it cool. I only waited about 40min before I started making the balls, causing them to be too moist and quite crumbly. Something important I learned about cake pops from this trial was that; how far you push the lollipop sticks in will affect its outcome. Too far in (more than 2/3) and it will just break in half. Not far enough in, and the cake pop will just slide off the stick when you're dipping.  My next little 'oopsie' was not buying enough chocolate! I only bought 1 bar of the milk chocolate, so I was only able to coat half of the cake balls I had formed. The dunking went pretty well (only two cake balls broke during round 1!). The trick to not losing the cake pop in the chocolate (it falling off the stick) is not twist it, but just simply dunk straight in and then straight out.

I had a lot of fun with this recipe! Decorating was a lot of fun, and seeing the outcome was really cool for me. However! It was a LOT of work and can cause a lot of frustration at times. I would not suggest this recipe if you're short for time or if your house is infested with teenagers (if it is- all your hard work will disappear in one gulp!).

I will share some pictures of my experiment, and if you want to try some cake pops as well, I will add a couple links at the bottom for video tutorials I found helpful.

But first! Strange, but interesting facts I learnt during this experiment!

1. Adding water to your melted chocolate will NOT making it more running, it will throw off some sort of a chemical balance cause it to clump into a paste (and waste $5 worth of chocolate)

2. Do not attempt to flush melted chocolate down the toilet as an easy fix to get rid of it.

Hope you found this funny and helpful! Feel free to post your thoughts in the comment box below, and if you try Cake Pops, please send me a picture of your tasty snacks and share your trials with me! :)

Divas Can Cook- Cake Pops
Bakerella- Cake Pops

That Awkward Moment When...

Have you ever experienced a point in your life where you were so excited to do something, but then when it actually came time to doing it, you didn't know what to do or how to start? That is how I have been feeling this past week! If you have been keeping up with my blog, you'd know that I have decided to do cooking as my independent project. However, deciding what to cook first? Yeah, that has not been easy. Not only has deciding what to make been frustrating, but choosing when to make it has been a battle as well! It seemed like any night I would offer to make supper, something would get in the way. So how do you move forward in these situations? I really started not liking my project at this point because it felt like it wouldn't work and that I wouldn't be good at it.

 However, I sought guidance from my teacher and my peers, and they helped me regain my confidence in this project. So mainly the week (back in March..This one is a TAD late!) was filled with research and learning about each other's projects. Some of the project topics my peers are doing include, psychology, building design, oil sands, and many more fascinating things! My research mainly consisted of searching for cooking/baking blogs and recipe tutorials on YouTube.

I learnt a lot about different things this week, but probably most important thing I learnt was that even if you lose your confidence or interest, you need to get back up and persevere. When you do this, the tainted glasses you were looking through before -distorting your talents and interests- fly off your head and you regain that love and interest you had to begin with.

So hopefully this down week will not be followed by another!
Until next time, friends!


Sunday, 7 April 2013

Under The Overpass

New book time! I started reading Under the Overpass by Mike Yankoski. If you haven't heard of this book, I will give you a basic rundown. Mike and a friend of his feel called to experience true trust in God and gain a better understanding of homelessness in America. So Mike and his friend Sam spend five months going moving from five different cities to see if their faith in God was real- if they are the christians they claim to be outside of their comfort zones.

I am at the point in the book where they have completed their first month in Denver and have begun their journey in Washington DC. I am finding it hard to write about this book, mainly for the fact that it doesn't really state opinions or newer concepts often. There are some things however that stood out to me that I will make note of in this PCR.

First thing that I want to say is how impressed I am with their faith thus far. It's incredible! How many of us would willingly choose to live on the streets for 5 months? I know I would have a hard time with that one. What I like the most though is how they rely on God for their everyday needs. Thinking about my life and how I can get food when I want, how I want, and whatever I want (mostly), and then comparing it to a person living on the streets who has no idea when their next meal is, there is quite a substantial difference! When Mike is talking about this on page 58, I thought of the Bible verse from Romans 15:13:

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit"

Another thing I really enjoyed was Mikes thoughts on 'mercy' on pages 61-62. At this point in the book, Mike and Same are panhandling and watching people pass by without even a glance at them. Mike is starting to get upset with the fact nobody is showing them mercy and then he says:
"I felt my frustration rising until I realized how unentitled I really was. No one deserves mercy. And no one walking by owed us a dime. Mercy is, by definition, undeserved, or else it isn't mercy.
Every coin in  the case looked different after that."-Pg 62 

Why I liked this so much was because of a recent intercity experience I had with my classmates. We lived on the floor of a homeless shelter for a week, and we were complaining a LOT ! (not all of us, mainly me). And usually our complaints were about how/what we were being served or that the floor hurt our backs and that it was cold. But also a minute after, I would feel so awful for complaining because it could be so much worse. Yes I woke up cold, but at least I was inside and not out in the snow. No that was not the most tasty meal ever, but at least I was blessed with a meal! So when Mike had that realization the money he was given was undeserved and merciful, I connected with him because I had realizations like that a lot during my week at the shelter.

I am finding myself truly enjoying this book and the connections I have been able to make since i've been on the Inter City Experience trip. The author's story is so intriguing and the lessons learnt are worthwhile to keep for your own life and experiences.

Until next time!