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Anniversary cake this year, for no reason other than I wanted to make it, was a baklava cheesecake of my own creation. I need to do some tweaking, I think, but everyone agreed it came out perfect. Next time I might bake the filo for a short time before putting in the nuts and cheesecake filling and such. Other than that, though, om nom nom. I looked at recipes online, but none of them captured what I was going for. So I used my typical base recipe and excluded the sugar and put in powdered honey instead. It. Was. Perfect.

Will I make it again? Of course I will. Possibly for Thanksgiving. Possibly for Christmas. It was like making baklava only a million times simpler. Part of me wants to try making it in a sheet pan as baklava cheesecake squares. If -that- works well, I might package them and sell them at Roses next year.

Yay for baking experimentation!!
arathreel: (Default)
Thoughts running through my mind.

Latest thought? Cheshire cat: burlesque style. Nothing says hidden smile like feather fans.

Will write up my awesome weekend later. Probably Tuesday since, although we are home, I will be enjoying our anniversary tomorrow by making baklava cheesecake.
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As of 2:01pm yesterday, Johann has officially been outside of my body longer than in.

This pleases me.
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Anyone want to help me study for my exam? I can read the first two in my book, but could always use someone shooting questions at me. The third sounds like 'can you read/make charts', though I may be wrong. And the fourth sounds like 'can you be a leader and not just a follower'.

1. Breeding and diseases of laboratory animals - These questions test the candidate's knowledge of laboratory animal genetics; breeding; immunizations and disease transmission; diseases and parasites; determining the sex of laboratory animals; their reproductive characteristics, litter sizes, and special traits of species used in medical research.
2. Care and handling of laboratory animals - These questions test for knowledge of body sites for tissue sampling and injections; the function of various organs; basic terminology related to laboratory animals; handling techniques; requirements for housing various species; and employee safety in the laboratory animal setting.
3. Record keeping and methods of marking animals - These questions test for the skills needed to take data as presented and enter it on a form according to a set of rules or instructions; to combine or compile the information according to given procedures; and to extract information from the form after it has been given to the candidate. These questions also evaluate the candidate's knowledge of different methods of marking and identifying various species of laboratory animals.
4. Supervision - These questions test for knowledge of the principles and practices employed in planning, organizing, and controlling the activities of a work unit toward predetermined objectives. The concepts covered, usually in a situational question format, include such topics as assigning and reviewing work; evaluating performance; maintaining work standards; motivating and developing subordinates; implementing procedural change; increasing efficiency; and dealing with problems of absenteeism, morale, and discipline.

I think I can do this. If I score well, it will, more or less, be back to working my favorite job again. Sitting in a lab doing what needs to be done with my headphones in and leaving at the end of the day.

It isn't my dream job. My dream job would be doing that for a zoo. But honestly? This comes in a very very close second. And the fact it would mean working for the state? Awesome.
arathreel: (Default)
In other news... I have my fingers crossed for an SLR camera for Christmas. Or... at least... the money to buy one. I think I want that more than a third spinning wheel.
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The feast went well.

I will write it up momentarily. And by that, I mean... tomorrow.
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I'm sorry. I love you all. But I've had this journal since 2001 and we have been through a lot. I'm not going somewhere else. Deal.
arathreel: (Default)
Tomorrow: Mushroom caviar.
Thursday: Cut up everything needed for the kasha and the stuffed onions. Peel and boil onions. Make baklava.
Friday: Last minute finishing up.
Saturday: Stuff and wrap onions - cook
Make turnip and ham
Make creamed beets
Make kasha
Bake fish
Pick up bread
Make sbiten
Cook shashlyk
Re-heat pies/hen/etc
Last minute preparations
Step 3: ???
Step 4: Profit! I mean... feed people!

I know I have to be missing something. I even have a schedule for the oven, the stove, and the microwave. I'm so nervous. I can do this, right?

Hopefully I can hand off the baby to someone all day Saturday. Thank god for quitting breast feeding!
arathreel: (Default)
I need a make over.

If you were giving me a make over, what would you do? What kind of clothing would you choose for me? What kind of hair style? What style of make up? What kind of shoes?

I will take everyone's opinions into consideration. And who know? Maybe you will see me sporting your choice of look for me in the near future.
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I could really use help today for feast making. We could use 2-3 more people. We are heading out shopping right now, but if you can come over, come over around 2pm.
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Oh dear god.. I feel like I need an emotional support group after this last season of Dexter. Hurry up and watch it, people!
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Come on. They always comes in threes. Where is the third? *sighs*
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I need a hobby with friends that may, possibly, be cheap. Something we can do once a week for a few hours in the evening. Maybe just going out for an evening stroll. I need out of the house and away from the husband and baby for a few hours a week desperately.

No matter how much you enjoy something, there is always something called too much of a good thing. And Chris wants his alone time for a few hours now and then at home. And I have Chris all the time... I just need time away from everything.

Any ideas? Any takers?


Aug. 25th, 2010 01:45 pm
arathreel: (Default)
I love your _____ (fill in the blank).

Then repost this and see what other people love about you.
arathreel: (Default)
To respond randomly to the anonymous postings I've gotten recently, to respond to my own question, and then to ask a new question of curiosity.

Man, I need to read that book.

I agree, sometimes childhood memories are the most happy because there was no such thing as stress.

Just remember, honesty is the best policy.

You don't need to train. There are some things that really do come from the heart and get better when in the throes of pure emotion.

You have a good man.

Although contrite and predictable, it is also a perfectly worthy moment.

As long as it is only sometimes and the majority of the time... you do not.

Happiest moment of my life? I recall this time when I was really little and at the Altamont Fair. Dusk was falling, so all the rides and attractions had a myriad of blinking lights and there was just a joyful buzz throughout the whole fair. The sights, the sounds, it made my head whirl. I remember my grandfather leaning down and asking me what my favorite color was. I responded with blue and continued being entranced by all the hubbub that was making a very young very distractable child even MORE distractable. Suddenly, my grandfather told me I won and asked me to pick a prize.

Although I don't still have that large stuffed lion anymore, the memory will forever be with me. Just a moment of joy at everything going on, and the innocence of not knowing at all that my grandfather was trying to win a prize for me. And to be that little girl walking around the fair carrying a stuffed toy larger than herself was rather comical... or at least, it is to think back on it now.

As for my next question, and yes comments will continue to be screened and feel free to post anonymously:

Now that we have spoken about the happiest time in our lives... how about the most embarrassing?

Jane Doe

Aug. 21st, 2010 10:24 am
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I've decided I want to learn more about my friends. And the anonymous thing worked so well, I've decided the best way to learn more about my friends in the intimate detail I wish I knew you all is to keep comments screened and to allow everyone to continue to post anonymously. So I will know a fact about my friends but have no idea which friend it is about. I think it is a fair trade. So expect me to ask you all questions in this manner at least once a week as I get to know you all better and love you all more than I did already.

Let's start with an easy one.

Tell me the happiest moment you can recall in your life.
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Finally finished.

To the tune of: I Don't Want to Live on the Moon by Shawn Colvin

Someday you will fight for the King
You will take up your sword in his name
You'll defend and honor the Queen
But for now it is all still a game

When I look at you here deep asleep on my chest
I know it wont be long before you leave the nest
You have so much potential and so much to share
You can do anything, anywhere

You'll write stories of battles so bold
You will sing of the glories and then
You'll recite an epic or two
But for now you're still learning the pen

When I look at you here deep asleep on my chest
I know it wont be long before you leave the nest
You have so much potential and so much to share
You can do anything, anywhere

You may be just a child but you're starting to grow
It wont be long as time continues to flow
There's so many adventures for you to explore
Can't be my baby boy any more

As I sit and watch you dear child
And I dream all the things you might do
Be the king, a knight, or a bard
You will find many things to pursue

When I look at you here deep asleep on my chest
I know it wont be long before you leave the nest
You have so much potential and so much to share
You can do anything, anywhere

You can do...


Aug. 20th, 2010 10:10 am
arathreel: (Default)
Having just seen this meme, I am considering doing it. I think it would be a lot of fun. I just don't know when I will start.

Day 01 – Introduce yourself
Day 02 – Your first love, in great detail
Day 03 – Your parents, in great detail
Day 04 – What you ate today, in great detail
Day 05 – Your definition of love, in great detail
Day 06 – Your day, in great detail
Day 07 – Your best friend, in great detail
Day 08 – A moment, in great detail
Day 09 – Your beliefs, in great detail
Day 10 – What you wore today, in great detail
Day 11 – Your siblings, in great detail
Day 12 – What’s in your bag, in great detail
Day 13 – This week, in great detail
Day 14 – What you wore today, in great detail
Day 15 – Your dreams, in great detail
Day 16 – Your first kiss, in great detail
Day 17 – Your favorite memory, in great detail
Day 18 – Your favorite birthday, in great detail
Day 19 – Something you regret, in great detail
Day 20 – This month, in great detail
Day 21 – Another moment, in great detail
Day 22 – Something that upsets you, in great detail
Day 23 – Something that makes you feel better, in great detail
Day 24 – Something that makes you cry, in great detail
Day 25 – A first, in great detail
Day 26 – Your fears, in great detail
Day 27 – Your favorite place, in great detail
Day 28 – Something that you miss, in great detail
Day 29 – Your aspirations, in great detail
Day 30 – One last moment, in great detail
arathreel: (Default)
There are many married women out there that feel it is important to be married.

There are many married women with children out there that feel you aren't a real woman without a husband and kids.

There are many single women out there that feel you can't possibly be happy with a husband OR kids.

Here are my thoughts on the topic:

For me, I always dreamed of having children, being married, having a family. But I know for a fact it isn't for everyone. And I find nothing wrong with that. I'm not a baby person. I never saw myself with a baby, only with toddlers. There is also nothing wrong with that.

Single women should not feel pressured to marry someone. There is nothing wrong with concentrating on your career, enjoying being alone or living alone or just having a serious partner in whatever aspect that is. It is important to know yourself, and if you are someone who could never settle down and feel like it would make you, as a person, become more submissive, then you should not marry. You shouldn't feel the need to marry just because others are. The divorce rate is so high that there is no reason to push yourself into something that you don't, deep in your heart, really want. There are so many positives to being single. One of the greatest ones that I can think of is knowing that you are self reliant, dependent only on yourself, and your mistakes will only hurt you. Knowing that you can support yourself and you don't need a partner of any kind to help you keep a home - that you don't feel emotionally needy for someone to always be there every second like a child might. You can do everything in life at your own pace and you don't -have- to use a system of checks and balances with any one else. I know many friends who are single and they are doing so very well for themselves.

Then again, there is nothing wrong with the desire to get married. Whether you want the big extravagant wedding or just something simple like heading to court. It isn't the feeling that you -need- someone. Sometimes it is just the feeling that you have found the perfect someone and you don't want them to slip away. You can see yourself growing old with them. You want to still have contact with them, close contact, after 10-15-20 years... We all know that we have fallen out of contact with a lot of people in life for many reasons. If you find that person, don't let go. I am not saying that single women haven't -found- that person. But not everyone shows their desire for someone in the same way. Some want to share a house as well as their life and have a piece of paper that proves that those matching rings are a tribute to their hearts. Some feel that a piece of paper doesn't mean anything and you can still have a meaningful relationship that is loving and long lasting without needing to share the same name. Single does not mean you are completely alone. Being married doesn't either. So many things can happen. But for better or worse, you are ready to stick through it in the legal sense. Being married, just like being single, has many pros and cons. Kudos to the friends of mine who are married, as well, and doing phenomenal with their lives.

Then there are the women with children. I always pictured myself with children, but let me tell you, darlings... it is NOT what it is cracked up to be. It is not some magical fairy tale where you look in your child's eyes for the first time and fall completely in love. It isn't this amazing feeling having a life growing inside you. Sure, it is different for everyone, but no one should EVER feel pressured to have children. It is an incredible responsibility. It is an incredible time sync. And no one should feel like they have to choose between something like that and other things they enjoy like their hobbies or their career. Because, yes, they do end up going on hold for some time which for some things, can make it all the more difficult to get back into it. But, then again, there are a lot of pros out there as well. Children can be a lot of fun... and they keep you feeling young. It is the waiting that can be a pain. There is no reason to have children. There are so many kids out there that really need parents, that some choose to do their mothering in another way. Be it through adopting poor motherless animals, being a big sister to a little girl in need, or just wanting to teach children something in any manner. There are many ways to enjoy children and still get that joyous feel of 'it's not mine and I can give it back'. And there are many reasons to also have children and enjoy the feeling that you will watch this creature grow and teach them daily. It is an amazing feeling to see all those accomplishments and know that you made that. You helped them become what they are today and they are of your genes.

I guess what I am trying to say is... ever part has pros and cons. I don't -ever- want to hear my single friends diss my married friends saying that they are submissive for getting married. I don't want to hear my friends with kids -ever- tell my childless friends that they are never going to be happy or live a complete life without having children. I don't want to hear anyone tell -anyone- that they are living their life incorrectly. Everyone I know has such an amazing life, be them single, married, or with children. They have accomplished so much and I'm proud of all of them.
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I am putting a call out to everyone that is willing to help me with the cooking. Kitchen is almost cleaned and ready from my OMG NEED TO MAKE BREAD FOR PENNSIC!! and need to bake afterwards. People who have been to my house before know for a fact I can have 7 people comfortably working in the kitchen, alone.

Plans right now:

Mushrooms are already finished, bottled, and marinating.

This Sunday:
Make and freeze the hen with prunes (cooked), the shashlyk (in it's marinating juices), chuchkella (which I've never made before and just have my fingers crossed), and the red wine/cherry sauce.

Next Sunday:
Make and freeze the cabbage pies (I have my mom making the crusts for me (thankfully)) and apple kissel.

The day before:
Make mushroom caviar.
Cut up everything needed for making the next day.
Start thawing things.
Pack everything needed for cooking/baking/etc.

The day of:
The cod, creamed beets, stuffed onions, turnip pudding with ham, apricot dinner kasha, tea eggs.
Oven schedule: turnip pudding - onions - fish.
Pick up bread in Schenectady.
Mild decorating (because it makes the Katrusha happy).
Sbiten? Mint water? Water? Kvass?

Speaking of awesome feasts: the nice thing about doing buffet style, as it should be, is I can also ask if anyone would like to perform during feast and you don't have to worry about being interrupted by course calling. Is anyone interested? I only ask you stick with the Russian theme.

I'm so excited about my feast.

If there is anything you want to help with, any step along the way, please let me know!


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