Skype, stawberries and a storm

Quite a few things have happened this week, from Anton’s first day at Wellington College to possibly the worst storm to hit Wellington since 1968.  We were quite lucky where we were, but others have suffered power cuts and all sorts of damage.

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Cordoned off areas in the Botanic Gardens after the storm

Yesterday, Thursday, was Karl’s birthday.  We had planned to go out for dinner, but due to the weather, we stayed at home instead. Being northern hemisphere people, we are used to celebrating our birthdays in the summer, and for both of us, that means strawberries. Even better than just strawberries, strawberries with cake.  I did see some American strawberries in the supermarket that were expensive, under ripe and probably tasteless, so I went the frozen route.  This worked fine although of course the strawberries were rather ‘juicy’ and soft once they were defrosted.

For the cake, I made a simple Victoria sponge (4:4:4:2 in ounces or 100 g each of butter, caster sugar and self-raising flour plus 2 eggs.  Cream butter and sugar, beat in eggs one at a time with a little flour, fold in rest of flour, pour into a 7″/18cm tin and bake at 180 C for 40 minutes or so).  I used half a bag of frozen strawberries, keeping the other half for my birthday in a few weeks time.  I split the cake and covered the bottom half with mascarpone with a little lemon rind and strawberries.

IMG_0687The bottom half of the cake

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The top of the cake with smear of mascarpone

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More mascarpone and slightly soggy strawberries on the top

While the cake would not have won ‘Great British Bake Off’ in terms of appearance, this fact did not stop this happening…(apologies for out of focus picture…I was full of cake).

IMG_0691What happened to the cake?

After steak, chips, cake and wine I got a few hours sleep before getting up at 4am to have a Skype link to my old job in Copenhagen, where it was graduation day for the multimedia design students I used to teach.  I sat wearing a fleece, with a cup of tea and the storm raging outside, and virtually awarded the ‘team spirit’ award.  I used to do this each semester, and as the graduating class is one I knew well, it was great fun to do and a big surprise all round.  Well worth getting up early for!

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