Friday, 18 March 2011

Who Nose?

So if you came to my class today, you would have thought my students were perhaps a little odd. Here are some phrases I heard more than once today:
"Whose nose is this?"
"There's a nose alone on that table and I think it's Tom's"
"Has anyone seen my nose? It's a monster one."
"Watch out! That's my nose on the floor; don't step on it!"
"May I use some sellotape? My nose tore and I'm trying to fix it."
"Miss, he took my nose."
"Miss, I lost my nose. Have you seen it? It's a nerd one."

And you might have also thought that perhaps I was a little odd, as I said the following things today:
"Who threw that nose? Please return it to its proper owner."
"If your noses are going to disrupt this lesson, I will have to put them in the 'Drawer of No-Return.' Don't worry. No noses were harmed in the teaching of my lessons.

Yes today was Red Nose Day and my school took part in various fund raising activities for Comic Relief, including selling and wearing red noses.

I'm proud to say that the middle school raised £742.31, €7.00, 1 US quarter and 1 Canadian penny. We are an international school based in London, after all.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Political Commentary from Mom and Dad

Tonight was the first time I had spoken with my parents in weeks. Actually to be honest, I think it was more than a month. Anyway, I asked them about all the union busting and general nastiness happening in Wisconsin as well as other states. We spoke about that for a while and then they summed up the workings of the Republicans and the Democrats in the following manner:

My dad: The problem is that Republicans really don't have a voice of their own. They are lead by Fox News and Rush Limbaugh and are too afraid to do anything that might go against them. So, they wind up behaving like idiots.

My mom: And the Democrats don't have a strong singular voice because they're like cats...or Unitarians.

We all laughed.

My parents are Unitarians...and generally vote Democrat.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Pear and Raspberry Loaf Cake

Life's been a bit topsy turvy and I've been a bit distracted and perhaps not really myself, but I'm still baking. Last week I took a recipe I found online and modified it. It was quite yummy. Here is the result:

Pear and Raspberry Loaf Cake


  • Filling
  • 2 medium pears, peeled and cored, chopped
  • 1/4 raspberries (preferably frozen and thawed so that there is a bit of juice to accompany them)
  • Crumble
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 4 ounces butter, cold, cut in small pieces
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans
  • Cake
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk, whole or low fat
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 ounces butter, melted


Grease and flour a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan. Preheat oven to 350°. (Gas mark 4)

Toss chopped pears with lemon juice in a bowl; set aside.

In another bowl, combine crumble ingredients, except pecans, with a fork or whisk until crumbly (of course because it's a crumble), or pulse with food processor. You can also pulse with a hand held mixer. Stir in pecans, if using.

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt; stir to blend.

Whisk eggs in a mixing bowl until blended; stir in milk, vanilla, and butter. Add to flour mixture and fold with a wooden spoon or spatula just until dry ingredients are moistened. Do not over mix. Spoon half of the batter into prepared loaf pan; spread out to cover the bottom. Sprinkle batter with half of the pears and half of the crumble. Spoon remaining batter evenly over crumble, spreading carefully to cover. Sprinkle with half of the remaining crumble, the remaining chopped pears and then the remaining crumble.

Bake for 70 to 90 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted into centre of cake comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife carefully around sides; invert the cake onto plate. Turn the cake, crumble side up, onto a rack and let cool on a rack completely.

It makes a yummy (and one could argue slight nutritious) least that was my justification to eat it every morning.