Before I left Oxford back in December, knowing Kevin was coming back with me and wanting to be a nice sister, I purchased an air mattress. Thank goodness I did because it has already been used by someone other than its originally intended user, and it gave me a great opportunity to hang out with a friend and help her out a bit.
My friend Dorothy, now that I think about it she was my first friend in England since we met in the airport on our way over here, was one of those unfortunate Oxford students who had to completely move out of her room during the break but had to return for rowing training camp two weeks early and so has no room of her own. The poor girl has basically been a nomad for a week now (she gets to move in to her room tomorrow), bouncing around people’s floors and “nests” though I’m still not entirely sure what the nest situation was. Before she asked to stay with me, she was staying with some of her teammates, essentially crowded into one room with a bunch of GUYS. Now, we all know that I have nothing against guys and the fact is that most of my friends over the years have been guys, but I’ve also spent about two months over the years practically living in a room with guys so I know that sometimes you just need to stay with a girl. The two nights she stayed with me were the easiest I’ve had with a houseguest in a while! More than anything she was just grateful to have a bed, even if it was just air and plastic covered in a blanket, and I had someone to drag me out of my room a few times so that I didn’t become a shut in. And last night I had someone to cook dinner with 🙂
Over the past few days, I’ve mostly been hanging out with Dorothy when she isn’t in practice and my friend Janosz. It’s mostly been running errands together and sitting around talking, but Janosz and I did go to see The Artist, a film I highly recommend. My mom was shocked that I liked it since I’ve never seen a silent film before and as a kid I hated black and white films, but I thought it was extremely well done and had wonderful movement from both the actors and in terms of the film as a whole. I can see it being up for an Oscar. I think what was so refreshing about it was that it was a film that didn’t rely on special effects and technology to tell its story. It was literally stripped down to the base elements of picture and music, beautiful in its simplicity.
But today was the day I have most been looking forward to all weekend. Sitting around Oxford with nothing to do begs for some creativity. And what could be more creative than baking cupcakes! Well, lots of things probably considering we made simply vanilla cupcakes with chocolate cream cheese frosting, but neither of us have baked in our kitchens so figuring out the process took some creativity. Plus the weather is kind of gloomy out right now so no one really wants to be outside, making it perfect baking weather.
Now I’m just making excuses.
I’ve been blog-stalking this one cupcake blog called The Cupcake Project for a few days and Janosz loves to bake too, so we decided to figure out how to work my oven using her recipe for the “Ultimate Vanilla Cupcake” and her frosting. We ended up mixing all the batter and frosting down at Janosz’s place on Dawson Street then walking over to my place with two full bowls to use the ovens, which probably earned us some confused looks from passersby. The challenging part of the whole thing was converting American measurements and temperatures into British ones, something made a lot easier by Janosz’s investment in a food scale and access to internet.
Oh. My. God. The cupcakes are awesome! Super moist and vanillay (is that a word?) and the frosting is perfect. I really think that the other blog was right, these are the ultimate vanilla cupcake. Even with having to improvise on cooking utensils, they came out delicious and are going into my future family recipe book. Cupcake gush 🙂