i've moved.

>> January 13, 2010

i started working on a new blog for a class that i'm TA'ing, and i've thus moved my blog so that i can manage both more easily.

go here! http://jenntwentyten.wordpress.com


on achieving.

my academic schedule for the past 19.75 years (i went to "moms and tots" when i was two, for crying out loud) has been grueling. even in pre-school, my teacher was my mom's best friend so i was already the favorite. my mom dropped me at kindergarten on her way to work (across the parking lot at the pre-school), so i was 30 minutes early every day. (i remember sitting on the floor with my teacher, playing with the cash register -- the coveted toy that i got all to myself -- learning how to count money... ironic that i now work for an accounting firm?) since day 1 of elementary school, my mom put me in gifted classes where i carved mayan heiroglyphs and invented a new spoon to eat spaghetti (it had a little bag in the bottom... it was ridiculous) while the other kids read books, one chapter at a time, and did word searches. in middle school, i took advanced art (i still have my collage in my bedroom at home) and a music composition class. in high school, i suffered through all honors/AP classes and one year even took two math classes at once because moving put me behind. it was insane. i was insane (i still might be). needless to say, the past 7 semesters here have been jam-packed with 16-19 credits, summer internships, volunteer positions, and enough leadership roles to fill an entire page on a resume.

this post wasn't meant to brag. i want to shout my joy and celebrate my new take on "achieving." i don't consider myself "underachieving" because that implies doing less than is necessary to just succeed. i define "overachieving" is doing way more than necessary for the task at hand. for college, the goal is graduating and getting a job. to graduate, you need 1 major, to do fairly well in that 1 major, and to have a bit of experience (an internship and a leadership role). i feel that i've gone beyond the minimum for quite some time (1 major, 2 minors, 3 internships... you get it), and now, because of all of that hard work, i can finally just "achieve."

i need 1 law class, 1 political science class, and 2 science classes to graduate (and to keep my job). this semester, i am taking 1 law class, 2 science classes, and dropped my 400-level political science class down to an intro-level course. hey, i just need 3 credits, there was no level requirement here.

being an achiever feels really good. i'm going to make some soup. =)


guess who's back?

>> January 10, 2010

here i sit, on my lopsided bed, hunched over my laptop (using my spiffy new laptop pad with slide-out mouse pad), on the last night of my last winter break. ever.

exclude, for the moment, the fact that i might go to graduate school some day... this is the end of my last bit of childhood. no longer will i be given nearly a month off to celebrate christmas, seven days of mindless leisure in march, a few days here and there at thanksgiving, and definitely not four months in the summer. while i never really did get my summer off (three internships, which probably contribute to the job i have after graduation making sure i don't have breaks), i did enjoy every mindless, cozy moment spent on my couch at home not thinking about school or economics or about how i have to walk nearly a mile in frigid weather.


so, i will end my winter break with a few pictures to remember the lovely past 4 weeks.

the output of a very efficient, very fabulous pizzelle assembly team (mom and me):

christmas (1 of 5)

my hallmark ornament for 2009:
christmas (2 of 5)

my hallmark ornament from 1988:
christmas (3 of 5)

this is a little embarassing to admit, but that's for five people. don't judge me:
christmas (4 of 5)

oh, canada! eaton center, which is like times square if it cared about its electric bill:

christmas (5 of 5)

and we've saved the best for last. my father's first attempts at flying this remote-controlled helicopter (my mom regrets giving him this):

tomorrow is the beginning of the end. sort of. i don't have classes on mondays, but shh. =)


the new year starter

>> January 07, 2010

i think it was 2 years ago that i saved a glass jar from used up tomato sauce (about the same time we stopped buying tomato sauce and started making our own) to make sourdough starter. i carried the glass jar with me to my sister's house where i stayed for the summer and it stayed unfilled. it migrated with me to my townhouse, where it emptily watched me complete my junior year of college. i wrapped it up in newspaper (probably a remnant of my crossword puzzle habit addiction serious, life-consuming problem) and brought it back to vp's house, determined to fill it during my second summer there.

yesterday morning, i got the incredible urge to fill the jar. i thought about it, sitting idly, waiting for me to put some yeast and water inside to grow happy, yummy bread (so to speak). i also thought about how i had no idea where it ended up. i vaguely remember not bringing it back to school with me, but i also vaguely remember seeing it in my baking box... i searched the black-hole of all the crap that's fallen off my moving truck on trips between school, summer housing, and breaks. to no avail, my poor little jar is gone.

luckily, my father has an array of jars full of old paint from our various houses on a shelf in the basement. as if just waiting for me to come, one sat clear and clean between the "taupe 03" and "light summer forest 06."  happiness.

bread (4 of 4)

after doing some googling, i came across a few pretty solid, reputable, well-tested recipes. i combined parts, but the general form is based mostly off of this wild yeast sourdough starter, using regular unbleached flour instead of whole grain or rye. we had a spiral ham with grilled pineapple on sunday, so i strained out some of the juice from the leftover pineapple.

bread (3 of 4)

today and tomorrow, i will add another 2 tablespoons of water and 2 tablespoons of flour to sally (yes, i've named her sally). on saturday (day 4), i am supposed to stir it down (assuming it does something), reserve 1/4 cup of the glop, and mix that with 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup more flour. i should repeat that step on days 5, 6, and 7. by that point, i will be able to store it in the fridge and feed it (day 4-like) once a week! i'm very excited. progress will be noted.

before i made sally, i tried out the basic white dough recipe from the dough book i mentioned earlier. easiest dough, and i used the easiest rolling. mine looked a little bit like naked mole rats when they baked, but they tasted fantastic!

bread (2 of 4)

thoroughly pleased. and, BONUS, these rolls fit in the new "12g of sugar a day" thing that mom and i are trying out. apparently you have to limit your carbs, too, but if you're going to make me stop eating cookies and fruit (FRUIT! what kind of diet eliminates fruit!) and my kashi go lean, i will need bread. happy, happy bread.

=) please think good thoughts about sally! she would like to be very yeasty. and tall. very tall.


welcome, twenty-ten, only a few days late

>> January 04, 2010

i'm not even going to try to apologize for not posting in so many days. nor am i going to try to explain what i did. because that's long.

buttttttttttt. happy new year!

i do not like to make year-long resolutions. i am resolving one thing each day.

today's resolution was to make croissants. but my mom wanted me to make split pea soup out of the ham bone from last night's dinner, so i decided to make crusty rolls instead (i got a bread book for christmas). they're hot and steamy under a towel right now, waiting for another hour for us to eat them.

i also got some other cookbooks christmas that i'm dying to try out. i know how to cook and julia's kitchen wisdom should keep me busy while i'm not having class (oooh, yeah second semester senior!) on mondays, wednesdays, and fridays. and i <3 macarons will be a fun adventure in perfect little desserts.

on the non-food front, santa surprised me with a gorgeous kate spade purse, a new burberry scarf, and the most fabulous strand of tiffany's pearls. i didn't expect any of that. thank you, santa and mrs. claus... i will miss christmas at home.

it was my last christmas at home, per se, and decidedly my last winter break. the latter depresses me. i want to grow up and be an adult in the real world, but i do NOT want to give up my vacations. i'll have to make the most of my 25 days off.  shh. i know that's 5 weeks. shh. let me wallow.

i am tired from all the baking/cooking (though soup and bread are two of the least involved and demanding things you can make). i think it's time for my daily nap.

photos from christmas/toronto up soon.


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