Actuellement

Hello lovelies! Due to the success of my last post, I have decided to continue with the ‘Actuellement’ series, just for you guys to get to know to know me better.

1

The biggest thing that is happening right now is the launch of my YouTube page! I’ve uploaded 2 videos there so far, titled ‘When 1 + 0= 2‘ and ‘How Tos: Ricotta cheese in under 30 minutes + WHY?!‘. I’m really excited about this and if you guys could take a moment to subscribe and, I would really appreciate it!

My goal is for this channel to primarily be about food preparation and the science behind everyday food phenomena. I’m doing a Q & A in my next video and would love it if you guys could send me any questions you have, whether it’s about the blog or about me or cooking. You can comment your questions down below or you can email me- thefscientist(at)gmail(dot)com

2

I’ve been doing a lot of baking and you guys may remember in particular this gravity-defying Kit Kat cake for my best friend’s birthday. It’s my most popular Instagram photo to date

I’ve had a lot of questions about how I made it and ohmygoshletmejusttellyou

I started with this French Vanilla Cake by Miss Homemade. I doubled the recipe to make 2 cakes. Then I whipped up some chocolate buttercream (1 cup butter + 4 cups icing sugar + ยฝ cup cocoa powder + 3 tbsp fresh cream + 1 tsp vanilla essence) and layered the cakes one on top of the other, making sure to sandwich them with icing.

I then broke 2 family sized Kit Kats into individual fingers and lined them up all along the circumference of the cake. You’ll notice that 2 bars isn’t enough to go all the way around the cake, but it didn’t turn out to be a problem for me. If you’d like yours to go all the way, then you should make sure to grab an extra 2 family sized bars (you won’t use them all but it’s great to have some around the house to snack on!).

I made a mistake with the first cake I baked, and it came out with this massive dip in the middle; the second one rose perfectly. I didn’t want the first cake to go to waste, so I made sure that that was the cake I put on top. To cover up that horrendous dip, I emptied out 2 large Smarties boxes and just poured them straight onto the cake. Can someone say diabetes?

To get the gravity defying effect, you’ll need a skewer, a bendy straw, 50 g of melted chocolate and another box of Smarties. Start by sticking the skewer in the cake at about a 60ยฐ angle (total approximation. Stick it in at whatever angle you want). Slide with straw over the skewer. Empty out the box of Smarties into a bowl, but don’t throw that box in the bin! Grab a Smartie and brush a little bit of chocolate on the back of the Smartie and use the chocolate as a kind of glue to attach it to the straw. Repeat until all of the straw, except for the bendy part, is covered in Smarties. You might have to take breaks in between to make sure that the chocolate sets before you continue, because if you go too quickly then some of the Smarties will start to fall off the straw. Gently place the Smarties box on the bendy bit of the straw such that it hangs over. Slice and enjoy!

3

A couple of weeks ago I went to a friend’s house for dinner, and made sure to raid their library for new books to read. My favourite take aways are The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway and The Fall by Albert Camus. Both these books are just over 100 pages and are easily devoured in an afternoon.

old man and the sea

This was beautifully short and sweet. I started and finished this book whilst doing my hair (which, mind you, only took 2 hours). If you’ve ever read Hemingway then you’ll know that he hardly ever uses adverbs in his writing. The language is therefore manageable and and the story flows quite easily despite it. He still effectively manages to create suspense and convey anticipation surrounding the hunt for the fish. If you’re a Moby Dick fan then you should definitely read this book, the plots are quite similar in the sense that we have experienced fishermen hunting ‘the big catch’. However, this book won’t leave you in nearly as much frustration. The relationship between the old man and the boy is sure to make your heart flutter, although they are the only 2 human characters we get information on, the book doesn’t need to introduce anyone else.

My only criticism would be that the story is slow in some places, especially when he’s sitting in the boat staring at the sky. If you’re not familiar with nautical jargon then you will get lost in this book. I had to google a few of the terms myself. Otherwise, it’s a neat little book with a straightforward story. This book won Hemingway a Pulitzer prize and contributed to his winning of the Nobel Prize in 1954. Whilst trying to decipher the characters and events in this book, I came across an interesting fact: Hemingway repeatedly stated that there was no symbolism whatsoever in this book. As much as you can try to psychoanalyse the old man and his obsession with the fish, Hemingway was adamant that this was just a story. Nothing more to it. My sincerest apologies to my fellow literature geeks.

If you’re not keen on reading the book or can’t get a copy, then I would advise you to watch this short film summarising the events of this book. I think it’s an excellent film and captures the soul of this book perfectly.

the fall albert camus

I apologise for not having as detailed a review for this book as I did for the one before, but at the time of writing, I am only 50 pages deep into this book. All I can say to you is, wow. Having read ‘Les Justes’ in French and ‘The Myth of Sisyphus’ in English by the same author, I can confidently say that Camus never ceases to impress me with his writing.

This story is narrated by and is centred around Jean-Baptiste Clamence. The plot concerns his fall from grace, as told by Clamence himself. My favourite part about this book so far is the conversational tone in which Clamence speaks to the reader. The first person narration is set up in such a way that Clamence speaks to the reader as though they are his drinking partner in a bar. The reader also gets the opportunity to walk through the streets of Amsterdam with Clamence and feel as though they are standing right next to him whenever he tells a story about something that happened in the past. The buildup just until the point where he reveals what happened on that fateful evening is stellar and I promise that this book will keep you right on your toes.

The short philosophical rants add to the story and encourage the reader to look deep inside themselves and question whether or not they themselves also emulate some of Clamence’s less favourable attributes. I’m loving every word of it and I only wish that I had access to the original French copy because the language is absolutely beautiful and the story so beautiful that I can only imagine how much more beautiful the story must be in the language it was originally written in. C’est la vie.

4

If you are a female of African descent then you will know the struggle of getting your hair done. My friends, this does not just happen.

And neither does this.

There is about 28728 hours of unseen work that goes into my hair. Whether it’s sitting in the salon for 6 hours whilst 4 different people pull at my hair during the braiding process or going to bed at midnight because I’m oiling my scalp and twisting my hair, the black woman knows no rest.

Lately, I’ve been leaning more and more to letting my hair go natural. I’ve been trying to avoid it for the longest time partially because I’m lazy and also because I am terrified of all the things that could possibly go wrong. I’ve been warned that it will involve frequent haircuts and told that it is a mountain load of work. To any black girls out there reading this, do you have any advice for whether or not it is worth it? What would you say to someone in my predicament? I would love to hear from you about the process! Drop any words of wisdom you have in the comments or shoot me an email!

5

Gearing up for the US Open tennis tournament that begins this week. Who are your favourites to take home the final grand slam of the year? I’m ready for Milos Raonic to win a grand slam after coming so close at Wimbledon earlier this year. I’m also keen for either Kei Nishikori to take it for Japan or Borna Coric to show us that he’s more than just a pretty face!

borna coric

On the women’s side, I’ve got to go with my all-time favourite Serena Williams. I love her. She exudes strength and power and all things excellence. She is the Queen of the Court. I wouldn’t mind Angelique Kerber or Caroline Wozniacki taking it either. Kerber in particular has had a very good season, but as much as I love her, I can’t bear the thought of anyone taking the #1 spot away from Serena.

serena williams

Thank you for reading this! The point of the ‘Actuellement’ series is for you guys to get to know me better, but I would also love to get to know you guys! Comment below or send me an email thefscientist(at)gmail(dot)com. You can email me to tell me about your cooking adventures,  about that cool thing your dog did the other day or to discuss sports! I would love to hear more from my readers. I think you guys are pretty awesome, you help me to keep this train moving on track. Hats off to you, my readers

x AndyPandy

Author: andreamakamba

Proudly Zimbabwean. Food lover. Book reader. Fact hoarder. Dream chaser

2 thoughts

  1. So excited about the US open, but my favorite, Sloane Stephens might not be playing, I think she got a for injury.
    Black girl hair
    It only seems hard before you start but it gets easy. My blog has some fun tips. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

    Like

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