[vanilla cake]

Those who know me, know I love cooking. I find it a good way to unwind and relax. Mindless stirring does wonders for my soul. Recently, I've been expanding my baking repertoire. I did a lemon cake, some scones and today I thought I'd try a vanilla cake.

I basically made my lemon cake with vanilla rather than lemon and instead of milk I used buttermilk. Steve says it's very good... The icing is a meringue style. I first dissolved some sugar (I used about 3/4 of a cup) with three egg whites in a double boiler. Then I whisked them up with a touch of salt and tartar powder in my new Kitchen Aid stand mixer (I've only wanted on for about 10 years!). Just as stiff peaks were forming I added 2 tsp of pure vanilla extract.

The final product:



[lake louise]

Supreme gorgeousness:

People skating, skiing, and playing hockey on frozen Lake Louise.

Yup, that's right. That's me, standing on frozen Lake Louise!


[Panel on new formalities @ #interventions]

Moderator Lance Olsen, Steve Tomasula, Charles Bernstein, Erin Moure
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D Kimm on interdisciplinary art @ #interventions

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Jen Bervin @ #interventions

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[panel on reading today, #interventions]

Moderator Al Fillreis, Kenneth Goldsmith, Steve Tomasula, Stephen Osborne

[literary in(ter)ventions]

Interesting talk by Christian Bok (of Calgary uni.) on language as a virus.

How to encode poetry on genomes of bacteria to act as secret message/literary artefact.

[nick monfort at #interventions]

Nick Monfort at the interventions conference talking about literature at the edge. Think of edges in graph theory and how endges act as connectors.
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[technology and teachers]

I just glimpsed this ad. while waiting for an educational site to load. I love the tag line: "no teacher left behind." Precisely. If the educators don't know how to use new media technology, how can they help the students? Educators, in general, require more support from heads of institutions (and probably governments for funding assistance too).

Although, of course, I don't think we should be scared of technology as intimated in the above image.


[snow scenes]

[baking: scones]

A friend came over for tea today, so I thought I'd relieve my cream tea experience from Montague Arms in Beaulieu, the New Forest (England). I set the table with tea cups and had the teapot warming before I made the tea. I tried my hands at some scones (first time) and they went down quite well.

What you'll need:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour 

  • 1/4 cup white sugar

  • 2 ½ tsp baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/4 cup cold butter

  • 1 cup milk

  • Before you start mixing, have your oven heating up to 400F. Then get your baking trays ready (greased and floured). 

    Basically you want to sift and then mix your dry ingredients together so that's the flour, sugar, baking power, baking soda and salt. Add your cold butter. It helps to dice it first so it's easier to blend. When you have floury breadcrumbs you're ready to add in your milk. You don't want your dough too sticky so add just enough milk to get a silky smooth dough. At this point some people like to add sultanas....not me! 

    Now it's time to shape your scones. You can roll out the dough (about 2 cm thick is good) and then use cookie cutters to make your shape. Usually scones are circular but I had some maple leaf cookie cutters so I tried those. Some patriotic scones. Bake for about 12 minutes. When I took my scones out of the oven I brushed them with butter and then sprinkled with icing sugar. Decadent and quite delish.


    [portrait practise]

    Yes fine these are photos of my cat...but for photography practise!





    [sunny moments captured]

    Yesterday in Edmonton it was a beautiful sunny day. Just gorgeous.


    I like this image because it looks like the cloud is trying to grab the tree and the tree is bending in towards the cloud.

    Just look at the blue blue sky!


    [winter walk]

    At the end of our crescent there's a little pond (which locals call a lake) in a treed park. I love this spot as there are lots of trees so our new area feels a little older and worn in. 

    Besides a few others walking, there was a cross-country skier and a family toboganning down a small hill. Now this feels like Canada.

    [lemon cake with chocolate buttercream icing]

    Yesterday, in between some lesson prep., a telephone interview and journal article editing, I found some time to bake a cake. Here's my lemony light cake with chocolately frosting:


    Yes, you'll notice that a few slices are already missing...it really is that light and fluffy. Note, this is not for those of you on a diet...you need a bit of butter for this but it's good!
    For the cake:
    3 eggs
    1 cup of butter (I used softened, room temp.)
    1 cup of sugar (I used caster suga)
    Zest and juice of one lovely lemon
    2 cups of flour
    2 tsps baking powder
    Dash of salt
    I creamed the butter, then added the sugar. Slowly I sifted in the flower and then stirred in the eggs (which I'd beaten seperately) and the lemon juice and zest. With a mixer I'm sure you could just throw all the ingredients in.

    Pour into two round tins (that's what I had but use whatever tins you have available. You might need to adjust the timing) and bake at 350 for 30 min. 

    For the buttercream icing:
    1/2 cup of butter
    icing sugar (enough to reach your desired consistency)
    cocoa powder (to your taste)

    I creamed the butter and added in my sugar and cocoa powder. I added about 3 tbl spoons of cocoa to ensure a velvety chocolate taste. We weren't disappointed.


    [your amazing brain]

    I came across this inspiring video via @ontarioliteracy on twitter:


    [new media & innovative curriculum]

    Via New Media Literacies Blog:

    New Media Literacies Newsletter
    NML Announces its Monthly Webinar Series

    Webinar Series

    NML has recently partnered with New Hampshire's Department of Education to facilitate a year-long professional development initiative using the new media literacies as a springboard for developing innovative curriculum. Our goal is to help foster a broader perspective of what it means to be media literate in the digital age, and offer tools for translating the social skills and cultural competencies outlined in the white paper Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century (Jenkins et al., 2006) into meaningful and engaging learning experiences in the classroom and beyond.

    These NH educators are exploring the urgent challenges that 21st Century learners face by expanding their own learning experiences using a participatory, digital model of professional develmopment. In this context, educators are able to practice their own skills as teachers by creating, collaborating, connecting, and circulating with one another in an interactive, multi-media environment. Not only are they developing new materials for their own schools and districts, but also an 8-part webinar series focused on a comprehensive, practical understanding of the NML skills for the larger educational community.

    The 8-part series will begin on February 11th and share the framework of social skills and cultural competencies which shapes the work of New Media Literacies, and illustrate the skills by looking more closely at learning through such cultural phenomenon as computer game guilds, youtube video production, Wikipedia, fan fiction, Second Life and other virtual worlds, music remixing, social network sites, and cosplay. Each webinar will examine closely new curricular materials which have emerged from New Media Literacies, Global Kids, Harvard's GoodPlay Project, Common Sense Media, the George Lucas Foundation, and other projects which are seeking to introduce these skills into contemporary educational practices and leave participants with plenty of opportunities to take the material, information and methods back into their classroom.

    We will host the first webinar on Thursday, February 11, 2010 at 7pm EST and focus on the new media literacies, judgment and appropriation as well as copyright, fair use, and creative commons.

    Our special guests will be Flourish Klink, a graduate student at MIT's Comparative Media Studies Program, and Erin Reilly, NML Research Director.

    See the full listing of upcoming webinars and get information on how to join the sessions at http://projectnml.ning.com/page/nmls-monthly-webinar-series.


    [literature relationship manager: employment opportunity]

    For those living in or near to Nottingham, this looks like an excellent opportunity, there's even a specialisation for the digital and creative economy.

    Job Description

    East Midlands, Nottingham
    Relationship Manager, Literature
    Salary up to £35,000 plus excellent benefits package
    Contract: Permanent working 35 hours per week
    Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in art that enriches people’s lives. Our mission is to deliver great art for everyone, whatever the economic circumstances around us. Following a recent restructure, we are passionate about transforming our organisation to ensure we continue to deliver our aims. There has never been a better time to join us.
    The closing date for this position is 08 February 2010.

    A bit more background on the role:

    The relationship manager role is a new role created as part of the organisation review restructure. We require relationship managers to have a depth of knowledge and expertise in one or more particular specialism. At the Arts Council we have identified 11 different specialisms or areas of expertise. The specialisms are:
    • dance
    • literature
    • music
    • theatre
    • visual arts
    • combined arts and touring
    • engagement and participation
    • learning (children and young people, or learning and skills)
    • diversity in arts practice
    • digital and creative economy
    • regional planning
    In addition to this specialist knowledge our relationship managers will also need to be able to lead on relationships with artists and organisations, help to develop Grants for the arts applications, be an advocate for the arts and contribute to the Arts Council’s commitment to equality and diversity.

    Read more here and here.