Turning 30

Tomorrow I’m turning 30 and, as expected, this has me thinking.
Not about wrinkles and growing aches and such, but mostly about expectations.
Growing up, I had a lot of them. Most derived from the lives I saw my parents lead, as is probably the case for most of us.
See, growing up I listened to my parent’s life stories. I knew they were in their early twenties when they married and that they had their kids, my brother and me, almost right away. They had worked all their adult lives.
My mother had already worked a couple of years as a full-time er-nurse when she had my brother.
This led me to assume I’d have kids early on, as well. I simply grew up knowing how this model of living had worked well for my mother, thinking it’d work just as well for me.
Expectations.

When I was the same age my mother was when she had my brother, I married.
I was still going to university, then, and far away from getting my degree. No way was I having a baby back then.
After finally getting my Master’s, and receiving an A no less, there was no way, again, to start having kids right away.
The compatibility of a career and kids had started to sound just as wondrous as the fairytales part of my Master’s thesis was based on. I knew that having a job and kids wasn’t utopian, I simply couldn’t imagine having kids right out of university, without ever having had a “real” job.

[disclaimer: Like my mother, I too have worked all my adult life. But only part-time, being able to finish my studies and finance them at the same time.]

After having worked in a “real” job, doing various things for a publishing house under the name of “product managing”, my contract ran out and I was back on the job market, looking for work.

They always say there’s no perfect time for having kids.
For my husband and I, things were quite clear: we’ve always wanted a family. We were waiting for a good time and starting to wonder if that would ever come, or if we would just have to take a leap of faith.

That we did, and now, on the eve of my 30th birthday, I’m mother to an amazingly bright and beautiful little girl. Just yesterday we had a conversation about me turning 30 and thus being 30 years older than her.
Looking into her big blue eyes I told her:

“When you’re ten, I’ll be forty. When you’re turning twenty, I’ll turn fifty. When you’re thirty, just as I’ll be soon, I’ll be sixty. And when you’re forty, I’ll be seventy.”
“Doesn’t sound like it,” I told her amazed face, “but that’s still young! And when you’re in your fifties, if I’m lucky, I’ll be in my eighties, just as your great-grandparents are now!”

Then I started to get dizzy and we stopped our conversation at the changing station.

This is what kids will do to you – making you dizzy while you’re again building expectations, having learned nothing in your thirty years, as it would seem…

Happy Birthday Charles Dickens!

While driving through this morning’s -13° cold, I listened to WDR 5‘s Zeitzeichen.

Today they featured a story about Charles Dickens that made this morning’s drive that much more enjoyable.

When I arrived back at the desk I saw this lovely design on google:

 

 

Only then did I realise that today is the 200th birthday of Oliver Twist‘s and David Copperfield‘s father!

 

Happy birthday Chuck,

and a healthy “Bah! Humbug!” to you!

 

Mrs. Prosch’s Olde Bakery IX: Rainbow Cake

Today was a friend’s birthday and she deserved something nice and pretty. Since she got a pocket knife as a gift, albeit a pretty one, something special was warranted, something girly.

In the last months my dreams were haunted by technicolour cupcakes like those:

Oooh, pretty!

When my favourite cooking magazine‘s last edition had a rainbow cake in it I knew I had to try it.

I tweaked the recipe a bit and went for buttercream instead of whipped cream – I just had to call my mother for my grandma’s recipe 🙂

The dough had to be divided into five parts, meticulously measured by yours truly, and coloured with simple food colouring.

Then I baked each layer individually, let them cool off and put them atop of each other. Some cherry marmalade went into the middle parts, so the layers stuck more and the cake was a bit juicier.

Not very pretty yet, right? That’s because the layers aren’t evenly thick, a job only achievable by cutting the excesses off – who has the time for that?

That’s right, I don’t! I’ve got buttercream to make!

Already looks nicer, doesn’t it?

You can almost taste the buttery vanilla on the tip of your tongue, can’t you? Thought so.

The best part of the cake: when still uncut it is pretty on the outside, but it’s nothing compared to the beauty you find upon slicing it open. And you can’t say that for many things.

Lookit: All sweet and virgin-y

The fun part was when the birthday-girl saw her cake and happily exclaimed: “Oh look, a princess-cake!” But then, when it was cut open, her reaction was topped and there were “oohs” and “aaahs” galore, what a surprise!

I mean, seriously: Those innards, peeking out of the cream? Wowiez. Definitely worth the work.

Mmh boy, that was yummy. After this post I really wish I’d taken home another piece… not that there were many left 😉

I could think that it was because the cake was delicious… But I have the nagging suspicion that the guests were only curious to find out if they’d have any similarities with the famous nyan-cat the next morning 😉

 

Mrs. Prosch’s Olde Bakery VII: Birthday Cupcakes

A friend of ours turned 30 yesterday. A gift was in order, but we didn’t want to get the usual CD/DVD.

Why not bake something, with heart and love and muscle-power!

The task was clear, it had to be cupcakes! A birthday cake is so 2004, and cupcakes are just nicer for a party, especially if the birthday boy is a bachelor and you can bet he hasn’t got one cake/dessert plate 😉

So I got into the kitchen, and I went all the way.

Banana-Cherry-Chocolate muffins? Check.

Cherry muffins filled with a dollop of nutella? Check.

Cocoa muffins with chocolate chips? Check.

Regular muffins with red food colouring and chocolate chips? Check.

Once those beauties were out of the oven I let them cool and went on a quest for cupcake cream.

Harder than it sounds, but I have some trusted baking-blogs that I can rely on for recipes. In the end, Bakerella did the trick with her recipe for “Creamy Cream Cheese Frosting”.

I must admit, mixing this huge amount of confectioner’s sugar with the cream cheese felt kinda wrong. But the outcome, oh, the outcome!

It was creamy, vanilla-y, buttery goodness. But a tad too sweet, I think in the future I’ll decrease the amount of sugar. But the red food-colouring was a heaven-sent, it gave some of the cupcakes a lovely pink hue.

Ch-ch-check them out:

In the end I covered some muffins in chocolate, in case the frosting scared someone off.

When they were standing in the birthday boy’s kitchen everyone was like “Wow! Who made those?”.

My cupcakes bring all the boys

in the yard kitchen ,
And they’re like
It’s better than yours,
Damn right it’s better than your’s…

At least that’s what the boys looked like:

And the birthday boy himself? He liked!