Daily Archives: 28/11/2010

Weather update

I was promised snow.

There has been no snow.


Under Attack: London / Coventry / Dresden


Yesterday afternoon Alex and I took advantage of our membership at the London Transport Museum to stop by and see a new exhibit all about the bombings of World War II, and the effect of those bombings on public transport. I thought it was really fantastic that the museum didn’t simply focus on the London or Coventry bombings; to include Dresden, the German city that the allied forces nearly obliterated, was really a nice touch by the curators.

The exhibit was a bit text heavy, and not very interactive (unlike the rest of the transport museum, which is a fantastic blend of information).  But there were some amazing stories and photographs. There were first-person interviews with people who sheltered in the Tube during the Blitz, and there were photographs of the equipment that the people were provided for to protect them against gas attacks.

This photograph was accompanied by a poster that warned residents that Gas was expected, they should put on their masks. I didn’t get a picture of it, unfortunately, but later in the gift shop, I found the perfect gift for Cora.

I don’t mean to make light of what was a terrible event, but you have to admit that it’s pretty darned cute!!

The results of the Pumpkin Pie-off

Having never baked before in my entire life, I was pretty pessimistic about my chances in the pumpkin-pie-off we had at work on Friday. The competition was pretty stiff, there are 4 Americans in the office, and each brought at least 1 pie, although a few people brought 2.  We ended up having 2 categories: pumpkin and pecan.


This is my pumpkin cheesecake. (I didn't add the whipped cream!)


I decided to make a pumpkin cheesecake pie, and while it was the crowd favourite, the judges had their doubts as to whether my entry should be accepted because it wasn’t strictly pumpkin.  So I won an honorable mention, but not the top prize (which was a bottle of rum!)


The competition. There were a few more pies to be added to the table, but this gives you an idea of the spread!


I also decided to make a pecan pie, because when you’re going to make a mess in the kitchen, it might as well be a big one!  Unfortunately my pecan pie didn’t turn out very well. I followed a recipe on the internet for SoCo Pecan Pie, because I figured that everything is better with alcohol in it, and considering the way the Brits drink, it might get me a few extra points.  But I think I must have made a mistake somewhere, because my pie was really dried out and crusty. It wouldn’t cut nicely, it just crumbled. Now, there was some debate because the recipe called for corn starch, which doesn’t exist in this country. After consulting the experts (thanks Mom!) I decided to use corn flour instead.  I don’t know if this had anything to do with the pie failure, but I doubt it.  I also may have translated the recipe wrong. You see, they don’t have tablespoons or cups or ounces here, everything is done in grams.  And as you all know, I’m not so good with the maths.


This is my pecan pie before I baked it. Doesn't it look yummy?

This is my pecan pie after baking. It got all dried out and crumbly.



Anyway, we all had a fantastic time eating the pumpkin pies. There was a lot of variety and flavour, and we pretty much all went home in a sugar-induced daze. I spent about 15 minutes trying to explain the concept of Black Friday to a co-worker, but he didn’t get it.  Also, no one really understood the pie to whipped cream ratio, which I believe is a firm 1-to-1.