Monday, 26 October 2009

What a weekend!

When I decided to go to university, I wasn't really prepared for how different a learning style it is. There are the lectures, but other than that, and the odd items which get put up onto our Web area, it becomes essentially a teach yourself thing. You do have to be very strict with yourself, and I'm finding that with midterm exams looming, I'm beginning to struggle.

As much as I am loving the university experience, I'm not the kind of person who finds it easy to sit down and do work under her own steam, especially after a pretty awful day, and I'm finding myself struggling to put in the necessary personal study time - I'm lucky if I find 2 hours a week of study.
This is probably going to become a big issue for me unless I really start to get to work on it, so this week I'm setting myself a target of at least re-reading and writing up my notes from my lectures. I've started a little glossary thing at the back of my notebook for anything I need to look up on my own - anything I don't understand from the lectures, so I'm hoping to be able to get that sorted out too.
Hopefully, if I start out reasonable, I'll be able to build it up enough to get a decent amount of study in, and hopefully pass my exams, be happy that I'm doing enough work, and maybe still have a bit of a social life.

Monday, 5 October 2009

I ♥ my food

I simply adore cooking, or baking - especially baking.

In the fairly limited student kitchen it can be a bit of a challenge for me to want to cook, and for me to eat the right things.
A lot of people say that it’s a good idea to cook up batches of one pot meals so that they can be frozen and reheated as and when you need them. My problem is that I have very little space in the freezer, and with only one shelf in the fridge and a tiny cupboard for any tins or packets etc, it becomes nigh impossible for me to do this.
I also don't have a great variety of pans. I even had to borrow a frying pan from someone tonight since I still haven't gotten around to buying on of my own yet (they're so expensive!) So making one pot meals in a small saucepan is less than easy.
I have an electric cooker here too. After learning to cook on a gas stove, and loving it, I am finding it a real struggle to see any good points in the electric one. But I have to grin and bear it I suppose.
Having said that, tonight I made a curry. My brother came over for his tea and to steal my TV for a while - I refused him access to the PC for the night.

He's a vegetarian, and usually I will just get a jarred korma sauce and Quorn pieces and leave it at that. Some microwave rice and I'm done. However, today I was feeling a little sick of my lack of vegetables and home cooking, so even though I still used a jarred sauce and Quorn pieces for some protein I decided to throw in some potatoes and broccoli, mushrooms and onions. I was quite impressed with the result. It had a homemade touch to it, had some veggie goodness (at least from a student point of view) and it managed to bulk it out a bit too. I have enough left for two more meals - usually the one jar just does the two of us.
I struggled to fit it all in the saucepan I have, but eventually managed it, and put it with the microwave rice. For a meal made in a student kitchenette I think I did pretty well. I even have enough mushrooms left to throw in with pasta next time I make it.

Bruv seemed to enjoy it - even if he said it tasted more like a Chinese curry than an Indian korma.

I have also managed to bring my baking goodies with me, so I have been baking a lot of cookies (which have been eaten as fast as they cooled - my flatmates love that I bake so often). In fact, one of them is so impressed he's asked me to teach him how to make a proper steak and ale pie. I figure since he wants it made from scratch that I'll make it with shortcrust pastry - its the one I know best, and there's no way I'm going to attempt any puff pastry any time soon.

I'll let you know how it goes - when he decides he can be bothered to buy the stuff for it lol.


(Image from

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Two weeks in...

Hey folks!

Well, I’ve been at University now for two weeks. It’s been fantastic so far. Fresher’s week was amazing and I think I’m just about settled in. I’m starting to get a little homesick, but I’m sure that will pass soon, as I still see my family a lot, and I purposely didn’t move more than half an hour away.

I’m living in a flat with 3 other people, and so far they all seem really nice. It’s a mixed flat, so I’m sharing with 2 guys and the other girl. We haven’t had any arguments yet, but we’re probably still a bit early for that, I can see a few arguments brewing though (the guys don’t really get on with each other very well). Probably mainly about football though.
Speaking of football, I’ve started watching Soccer Saturday on Sky Sports News. I’ve never been a big fan of football, and really, the only times I can say I keep up with it are when my brother and sister are arguing over the merits of their respective teams. So it came as a pretty big surprise to me that I actually enjoy this program. I don’t find myself going out of the room just so I don’t have to listen to it; I actually seem to be interested.
It probably has more to do with the actual program than the subject – often you will hear the different reporters shouting in the background as they watch the individual matches, and the main presenter seems to be able to keep it all fairly light hearted – less of a life and death thing than most. I still don’t think I could tell you even the basics about the game, never mind keep up with all the changes that go on. Neither could I ever explain the offside rule.