Tag Archives: Obsessions

Great British Bake Off Hangover.

For the last 2 months The Great British Bake Off has consumed my life, and that’s no exaggeration. Week upon week I have laughed, cried, rejoiced and dismayed at the baking trials and tribulations of Great Britain’s amateur bakers. There were firm favourites (James), some bungling bakers (Manisha, I mean seriously, what was she doing there) and finally a very deserved winner. And I have been glued to my television each week guided through the emotional roller-coaster of the tent kitchen by the effervescent duo, Mel and Sue. I am now at an utter loss, what does one do with their tuesday evenings? Alas, I allowed myself the remainder of the week to wallow in my post GBBO depression and grieved the lost of my favourite reality show with some appropriate activities.

Firstly, I tried a recipe by the ‘Master Baker’ himself, his unforgiving Eight Strand Plaited Loaf. ¬†Unfortunately, I attempted this before watching his masterclass at the Good Food Show (more on that to come!) which provided me with a tonne of tips that would have made my first attempt a lot less traumatic.

The actual bread recipe is very simple, and nothing I haven’t done before. The plaiting however, left me mumbling numbers like a mad woman for near on half an hour with little success. However, after much perseverance I ended up with a reasonably well plaited loaf (well, all apart from the start, but for a first attempt I like to think it was okay).

After the ‘hard bit’ that was the plaiting, comes the ‘easy bit’ that is the proving and baking. Well, I say ‘easy’, I ended up leaving my bread to prove for too long, which meant my loaf ended up being more suitable for the ‘flatbread challenge’ of bread week than Mr Hollywood’s technical challenge. As my mother would say- it’ll taste fine regardless, and it did. But after my triumph at plaiting I was thoroughly dejected that I had messed up the easy stages. However, bread making is a learning curve, and my next attempt will hopefully be a lot better. That’s not to say that my bread failure didn’t push me further into a post GBBO depression.

 

My GBBO week ended with a trip to Glasgow to the BBC Good Food Show. Other than eating a horrendous amount of samples I also got the chance to meet the one and only Bake Off God’s- Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood. Who also signed my Great British Bake Off Book, a gave me a very cheery hello. After the excitement of watching two reasonably old people use a pen (one of the most momentous occasions for a keen baker, for everyone else, a relatively mundane way to spend an afternoon) I went to watch their masterclass, and got some great (although belated) tips regarding eight strand loafs. As well as some invaluable cake making tips from the Queen of Cakes, Mrs Berry. It certainly took the edge off my GBBO come down.

Here’s a link to Paul’s recipe, and please learn from my mistakes and keep an eye on your bread!

eight-strand_plaited_57815

And fellow GBBO fans, all is not lost, we do not have to go cold turkey, Paul and Mary have Masterclasses all of this week on BBC 2.

 

 

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Study Music, Take Twelve.

It’s the last push for essays and exams, and in a couple of days I will be free. Plus, in a few short weeks, I’ll be enjoying a whole day of folk music at the Lunar Festival. I am indescribably excited to see this man…

Ps. Youtube, stop with your adverts, I hate having Nicki Minaj’s manic face staring back at me every time I watch music videos.

Study Music, Take Eleven.

Currently sat on my bed covered in notes, books and flashcards and the following song popped up on my playlist, seems fitting seen as I’m cramming for an exam tomorrow. ¬†Plus it’s by my latest obsession, The Black Keys, so if you too are revising, whack it on youtube, grab yourself a cuppa and try to keep calm…

Be Kind Rewind.

It’s Saturday, I have one final essay to write before the end of term, thus I am procrastinating. Standard procedure. So I’m taking a few minutes out of my obviously busy schedule to talk to you about a man, a man who has changed my life, a man who guides my every action, who makes life meaningful and wonderful.

No, I am not going to talk to you about Jesus. This man is Mos Def. And what a man he is.

Mos Def has , in my opinion, the midas touch, I will watch/listen/love everything and anything he turns his hand to. Now I could spend thousands of words expressing my love for the The New Danger album, ‘Blue Black Jack’ being my favourite. But this post is going to be dedicated to my love of his movies, in particular Be Kind Rewind ( but be sure to watch possibly one of the greatest movies of all time The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in which he provides , as per usual, a stellar performance)

Co-star Jack Black is possibly the most annoying man in the entire world, yet for some reason, I absolutely love him. His irritating need to constantly sing and inability to stand still just seems to work.Especially in ‘Be Kind Rewind’ where his clearly ADHD tendencies provide him with the perfect skills to re-enact or should that be reinvent cult classics such as Ghost Busters. I’m not going to bore you with a paragraph of plot lines and summaries, when a well placed trailer will do the trick. But I whole heartedly implore you to watch the trailer then watch the whole movie.

The soundtrack to Be Kind Rewind is ridiculously feel good, a few silly ditties that are so catchy thanks to jaunty piano backing and Mos Defs smokey vocals, the best hands down being the cover of Fred Fisher’s ‘Your Feets Too Big’ (which you 90’s kids may recognise as the theme tune to Harry and the Hendersons). The normally abundant Youtube has failed me on this, but if you have spotify, here’s the link the entire soundtrack…

Be Kind Rewind Soundtrack

So bun off any Uni work you have to do, call in sick and spend the whole day watching Mos Def movies, starting with Be Kind Rewind and The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy then just slowly work down his imdb page, a guaranteed good time.

Enjoy!

ps.when watching Hitchhiker’s Guide- don’t forget your towel.

A Case of You- James Blake

I literally can’t stop listening to James Blake’s cover of Joni Mitchell’s ‘A Case of You’, it’s just beautiful, I’d hasten to say its better than the original. His eponymous album was one of my favourites of 2011, his covers are just magically, he has a knack of taking an already amazing song (E.g Feist’s ‘Limit to your love’) and making it his own, but with no detriment to the original. I’d put money on this song being snapped up for a movie soundtrack any day now.

Study Music, take five

 

Essay season is upon us, so in desperate times I look to spotify/youtube to ease my troubles. The song I actually wanted to post isn’t on youtube, it’s a James Vincent McMorrow acoustic track called ‘Like The River’, so if you have spotify get on that. Alas youtube let me down, so I’m going to post a track from my all time favourite band/collective Bon Iver. ‘Towers’ from the recent eponymous album is Justin Vernon at his very best. Having recently saw Bon Iver I can say without any doubt they are the best live band, Bon Iver are the Noah of the instrument world (there were two of EVERY instrument on the stage known to mankind) and Vernon’s haunting vocals were beautifully backed with some amazing instrumental performances. The most recent album takes a couple of listens but eventually you’ll agree it has the potential to surpass For Emma, Forever Ago. So check out the track, and then check out the entirety of the album…Enjoy!

P.S Dear Grammys- Justin Vernon founded Bon Iver in 2007, ‘Best New Artist’ is an absolute farce…