Beagle Demands

Posted in The Dawgs by Sandra on September 16, 2009

I did this little “sketch” today. At the moment, the BF is out for an appointment. I have put it as his desktop background.

Also, there is a silly looking bird walking across my front yard. It looks like a pigeon with a mohawk.

Editted for more clarity

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Achtung

Posted in Prose by Sandra on September 12, 2009

The German word “achtung” always causes a little cringe of embarrassment in me. I believe it meant “stop” or “danger”, and is pronounced “ahk-tung”. It is a very harsh word phonetically speaking.

When I was working at the Starbucks in Changi Airport T2, I fancied myself a bit of a polyglot. After all, I had managed to sell a bottle of water to a Japanese tourist using mangled Japanese picked up from watching anime (after about 10 minutes of guess-work). I had made it my business to either learn the local greeting of the international traveller I was serving, or to greet them in their language in the first place. At that time I thought it was a brilliant idea so people could feel a little closer to home. Now, I think they laughed because it was a rather WTF experience having this 17 year old Singaporean Chinese speak Japanese or Spanish to them, however badly spoken.

So, the story of “achtung”.

As you might have guessed, it involved German travellers.

I was trying to make some conversation with this family – parents, daughter and son – while they decided what to eat. They told me they were German, and I cast about for any bits of German I knew. All of them were just looking at the menus, at the food display… not paying any real attention to me whatsoever except for the husband, who seemed to be a bit curious about what I could come up with.

“I know only one German word… I think it was achtung!”

Oh, that got their attention all right. And half of the cafe’s, probably. The wife was the one who was most stunned, shocked senseless that this Chinese girl – how dare I – say achtung! in her presence! In hindsight it was probably more disbelief and surprise… though at that moment all I could think of was how to quickly shrink away and hide in a hole.

I still do. I can’t remember what happened after – either I tried to smile and brush it off as me not knowing the meaning of the word, or I ran off to the back room and got someone else to serve them.

Still, I figured that 3 years have passed since the incident, and hopefully they were too jetlagged to bother remembering it. Which is why I thought it was safe enough to put this up for people to read.

If you happen to be part of that German family – I’m very, very shocked for having shocked you in a foreign country in your own language. I’ve repented and never spoken, nor attempted to speak another word of German again.

Not even in private.

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Cinnamon Bread

Posted in Baking by Sandra on September 1, 2009
Cinnamon Bread: is for nomz

Cinnamon Bread: is for nomz

Cinnamon Bread
Ingredients:
Dry:
250g all-purpose flour
200g brown sugar
9g baking powder
2g baking soda
3g ground cinnamon
6g salt
Wet:
235ml buttermilk
55g butter
2 eggs
10ml vanilla extract
Streusel:
25g white sugar
6g ground cinnamon
27g butter

Steps:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease 9×5 inch loaf pan.
2. Mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately. Make well in middle of dry ingredients, and pour in wet ingredients to mix together.

Cinnamon Bread: Dry Ingredients

Dry Ingredients

3. Using a wooden spoon, mix lightly until just combined.

Cinnamon Bread: Wet Ingredients

Batter

4. Combine ingredients for streusel, mixing until crumbly.

Cinnamon Bread: Streusel

Struesel

4. Pour half of batter into loaf pan, and sprinkle half of struesel mixture over the batter.

Cinnamon Bread: In the Pan

Mid-loaf

5. Pour the rest of batter into the pan, and sprinkle the rest of the struesel mixture over smoothed top.
6. Optional: Using a knife, cut in a light swirling motion to give it a marbled effect.
7. Bake for approximately 50 minutes, or until tester inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool on rack while fighting off dogs with violently twitching noses.

Cinnamon Bread: In the Oven

In the Oven

Adapted from: AllRecipes.com Cinnamon Bread
Recipe Notes (summarized from comments on the AllRecipes site):

  • Double or triple the amount of streusel and put half in middle (which is what I’ve done)
  • Replace white sugar with brown sugar (also done)
  • Worked well with wholewheat glour (with extra 2 tablespoons of milk)
  • Replace vegetable oil with butter (also done – was 60ml of vegetable oil originally)
  • Lower temperature for longer baking time = moister bread?
  • Also bake-able as muffins.
  • Substitutes for buttermilk:
    • For 1 cup of buttermilk – 1 tablespoon of vinegar and fill the rest with milk
    • For 1 cup of buttermilk – 2 tablespoons of sour cream, and one cup of milk
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