Sunday, August 31, 2008

Pineapple Downside Up Cakes

John's favorite cake is Pineapple Upside Down cake. When looking for things to register for the wedding, I saw a pan that makes mini cakes in the shapes of pineapples and immediately registered for it (as well as a cast iron skillet to make the cake in). Well, at the shower, I was very happy to unwrap the pan and it was given to us by one of John's siblings. His brother then gave us a tin of pineapple to facilitate making the cake. :)

John was so happy to get this pan that one day while I was at work and he was cleaning and putting the presents away, he decided to try out the pan. Below is the making of the cake, as taken by John.

The left over pineapple turned into his dinner.

His trusty beer was his baking assistant.

Then he waited patiently for dessert to be ready.

And finally his efforts were rewarded. :)

And the cakes were tasty. We think we can find a better cake recipe (we used the one that came with the pan) but I think that we are definitely up for the challenge.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Warning: political post

This is an election year but we will be on our honeymoon during the election. It will be quite interesting to hear the results and election coverage from half a world away. For the first time that I can remember, I really care about a candidate. Now, I have always had a preference and hoped that the "other candidate" didn't win but I was more voting against someone than for someone.

This year, I care. I care deeply. I care enough to want to donate to a campaign for the first time. I respect the candidate even though he is a politian. I am also watching the political rhetoric and choices for VP from the candidates. Obama chose Biden, who has been in politics for ages (too long, I think) but balances any perceived in-experience on his part. Today McCain announced his choice, Palin. She is a young candidate who has been governor for two years. Therefore, she also balances him in the opposite way. No matter who wins, history will be made with this election and I find that really exciting.

Lately, I have started reading Ravelry's political message boards. I checked out the McCain supporters group to see what they were saying about Palin and if they thought she could help McCain get former Hillary supporters to vote for him. What I found most interesting, though, was an idea to make her a community blanket. One of the supporters is going to sew all the squares together that other supporters have knit or crocheted. In contrast, the Obama supporters are knitting and crocheting things to donate to homeless veterans. While I like the idea of cooperative knitting, I don't think that supporters would be making a male VP (or presidential) candidate a blanket.

If women want to be treated equally, we should treat each other equally. By immediately doing something nurturing for a candidate and not doing this for other candidates, these people are saying that the woman is different. That does not help the cause of equal rights for women. Now, don't get me wrong, I think it is great that these supporters want to show their support. I just question if it really helps the bigger cause of equal rights/perceptions of women. Or maybe that isn't really the goal here...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


A couple weeks ago, my sister generously hosted a bridal shower for me. For readers not familiar with this tradition, the guests to the bridal shower bring presents for the bride, aka shower her with guests. The tradition started when trying to build up a woman's dowry before getting married. Sometimes women have multiple showers. The relatives of the couple may have showers, work, friends. John's mom, niece, and sister-in-law came to my shower in addition to some of my aunts and cousins. J also came (remember her?). I felt so bad for J because she got a speeding ticket on the way!

The shower started off with a few bridal shower games. We played a word unscramble game, got points for various items being in our purses, and my sister asked me questions to see if I answered them the same way that John answered the same questions. We then ate a light lunch and I opened presents! Most of the pictures were taken by J.

ETA: the KitchenAid box contains an ice cream maker. :) I already had a KitchenAid (John was very nice to me one year for my birthday)

Sunny summer

A month ago (where did the time go?), Aileen came to visit. While she was here, I took her to multiple yarn shops (with some major stash enhancement) and to explore the city. The day that we went downtown was sunny (but hazy) and hot. As we walked around the city center, I was reminded of how interesting the architecture is here. I had forgotten how varied the buildings are, and yet they work together well.

I have to say, it is wonderful to have a summer again. Last summer in Ireland was so rainy. Even during the nice summers in Ireland, they don't compare to summers here. However, now the sun sets sooner, there is a chill in the air at night, and autumn is coming...

Monday, August 11, 2008

Where's home?

Periodically, people ask how we are settling in after our move. People often ask how it feels to be "home." This is something that I have been giving a lot of thought to lately. See, when Aileen came to visit, I found myself referring to Dublin as "home." I did this without even thinking. For example, when we took her to an "Irish Pub" for dinner (for the humor value since it is NOTHING like an Irish pub), I looked for the bathrooms and upon finding that they were downstairs, I thought, "oh, they're downstairs, just like at home." My next thought was, but I am home. I also referred to Dublin as home during conversations with her. I thought is was maybe because she is from Dublin so it made sense. When talking to my sister this weekend, I also referred to Dublin as home a few times. This seems to be happening more since we've moved, rather than less. I'm not really sure what this is about. I wonder if it is because we aren't truly settled yet (and I don't think we will be for a while). We haven't "laid down roots" yet.

Anyway, these references and my thinking has made me wonder, what is home? Where is home for us? Do we have one? has 31 entries under the search home! The one that I think is at play with me is this one: "the place in which one's domestic affections are centered." See, we have multiple places with "domestic affections." Does that mean that we have multiple homes since I don't think there is one place where the affections are "centered?" The old saying says that "home is where the heart is" which means that, yes, I have many homes. One is where I grew up, another where my sister lives, another is Dublin, and finally where we are currently living!