Friday, February 15, 2013

Valentine's Champagne & Canapés @ LMH College Principal's home & My First Attempt at Tiramisu

Juliet, Dima, Sapna & Sophie
Valentine's Day this year was quite special. Apparently, Lady Margaret Hall's college principal and her partner sometimes invite graduate students to their home for a cocktail hour. Champagne and canapés at the principal's home, steps away from the college ---it was like being in a novel that is a cross between Harry Potter and Anne of Green Gables. 

Beautiful, antique paintings, green walls, lush oriental carpets, a small terrier, and servers bringing around vegetable, cream cheese, and tuna canapés and delectable champagne was only part of the fun. Juliet and Dima are in my college, as is Sophie, who is teaching full time and taking our course part time, and is now in her second year. As our ALSLA course likes insane intensity, our Tuesday/Thursday classes end at 6:30, so the four of us had to appear late, but were still able to enjoy the atmosphere. Sorry for the poor picture quality - the lighting was tricky and all we had was our Android Galaxy III phones! 

The principal made a point of coming around to chat with everyone and even asked us what our dissertation topics involved. It was really lovely! I feel so lucky to be part of such an adventure. In fact, I felt a little bit like a rich kid in prep school. I'm definitely going to have to buy more dresses to make the most of the rest of my time here at Oxford ---I only have 2!  I find it  kind of ironic that our "student budget" is supposed to include clothing such as ball gowns (for the LMH ball in May), cocktail dresses and smart jackets and skirts.

Seriously? Do I have to be your Valentine every year?
 Arriving home around 8pm ,with my only valentine being my beloved Kiara, I decided to make the most of my evening trying out the tiramisu recipe that Alexandra got from her Italian host family when she lived in Italy. In fact, she is an amazing chef and made it for me a few days after my birthday (since it is my favourite dessert of all time).

  So, I thought, if  tira-mi-su is Italian for "pick me up", what better day than Valentine's for a single person to make the dessert for herself?

My first tiramisu!

What I neglected to realize, however, was that although "5 simple ingredients" are quite simple, whipping egg whites without a mixer is HORRENDOUSLY difficult! It took an inordinate amount of time, an attempt of using all 3 mixing bowls I own with my only whisk, adding lemon juice to increase the acidity (thanks, Google)....and my "whip" still didn't look like the picture! Oh, and  by the way, separating egg yolks from whites without an egg separator = a lot of mess!

Anyway, it did turn out okay, I think, if a little liquid-y. It tasted, yummy, anyway! So, I watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding on Youtube (we used a clip of it for a presentation on Greek-English bilingual's pronunciation that same afternoon), and ate my tiramisu with puppy at my side.  I am definitely lucky to have her ---once again, pup, you are my Valentine! Happy v-day, everyone!

No comments: