NEW WEBSITE

Hello all you wonderful beings, I know I disappeared out the blue but I promise that it was so worth it. ICYMI: take a quick gander at the URL in your browser. I’ll wait.

YES, I PURCHASED A DOMAIN at thefoodscientist.blog! I have completely remodelled and rebuilt this site into everything I have hoped and dreamed. To be honest, I had finished remodelling about a week ago, but because I’m a perfectionist of the highest order, I didn’t want to say anything about it until I was absolutely sure that it was ready.

Quick side track: My sincere apologies to all my email subscribers who got a blank blog post in their inbox this week. I was still customising the homepage and hit publish on a post by mistake! I’ll do my best to make sure that doesn’t happen again!

You may be asking me what’s next on the horizon. To start, I’ll be posting a new recipe everyday this week just to get back into the swing of things. I’ll be making a greater effort to connect with y’all on social media, so if you don’t have me on Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest then you have got to get with the times! If you’re not sick of me just yet then you might as well add me on Snapchat as well @andym_xxx to catch some behind the scenes of my cooking and see what I’m up to when I’m not in the kitchen.

Thank you for your continued support throughout this journey, I have an immense appreciation for everyone who continues to read my posts, leave thoughtful comments and suggestions and recommend me to other people. I couldn’t do it without any of you, and I am forever grateful. As I take the next big step, the only thing I hope to avoid is disappointing any one of you.

Many thank yous,

Andy

PS I got a new camera this week. Whoop whoop! Shouts to my amazing mother who got me the Nikon D5300. I absolutely cannot wait to start using this guy, you might also catch me updating the *cough cough* less savoury pictures on the blog.

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Actuellement

Salut tout le monde! It’s been a while since I posted one of these so I’d just like to catch you up to speed on what’s been going on in my life. The goal of these ‘Actuellement’ posts is for me to open up to you guys, in order for you to get to know me better. Actuellement directly translated from French means ‘currently’, another fun fact, les actualités are the news. It’s also an opportunity for me to get to know you, as I invite you to get in contact with me about what’s going on in your life, your trials and tribulations, your advice and your stories. So as we set off into 2017, my first question to you is, what are your resolutions for the new year?

Numero Uno

I have a number of goals and targets for the new year, but they are much less resolutions for this year as they are continuations of things I started last year, affirmations that I’d like to maintain- if you will. The first, if you haven’t noticed already, is for me to improve my Spanish. I can already hear the haters mumbling, ‘There isn’t a single African country where Spanish is the official language, why would you want to do that?’ The answer: because it’s a challenge. I also have plans to travel the world someday, and it could be mightily rewarding to have Spanish in my belt when I trek through the Andes mountains. I am naturally proficient at learning languages, I excelled throughout high school and A Level French, and hungry for more, I decided to add an extra language to join the ranks.

Now that I am stuck in limbo between high school and university, my brain is in desperate need of a stimulus, whether that be writing blog posts, memorising the names of las frutas or diving into a new book (we’ll get on that later). And so in December of 2016, I downloaded Duolingo, bought a new 92 page exercise book and sat down to begin my first lesson. A month later, I’m fighting desperately to avoid confusing the French with the Spanish, racking my brain over the difference between ser and estar, and practising my pronunciation everyday with their simulator. It’s hard work and some days I feel like Sisyphus pushing the rock up a hill, but it is so inherently gratifying when I can recognise whole phrases without having to read subtitles or when I manage to piece together sentences without a translator. My mind is at peace with something to do and it honestly just feels so good to learn something new everyday.

Are you on Duolingo? Join my club, or invite me to yours so we can learn Spanish (and French) together!

Numero Dos

Recently, it seems like I am unable to go out in public without having someone ask me about my university plans or what I intend to do until I eventually leave in August.

What I want to say: I’m really enjoying all the extra time I have to work on my blog. My creativity level is at an all-time-high, I’m paying more attention to detail in my shoots and I feel like my writing and photography skills are improving everyday. I would love to take on the challenge of running my blog full-time and expand it to see how far I can go. I might not get the opportunity to do this again until I’ve finished my first degree so I’d like to take full advantage of this opportunity.

What I actually say: I’m not sure… I’ll just wait till A Level results come out (less than a week now!) and wait for responses from universities come in…

It’s almost impossible for me to express myself in front of most people. I am terrified of being told that it’s out of my depth, that this is a waste of time and that nobody ever made a living out of writing. The hard work I have put into this blog over more than a year will be dismissed in a 2 minute conversation. The inner me cowers at the thought of letting my true feelings be known, and scrambles to come up with an unsatisfactory yet socially acceptable response. Sigh, c’est la vie.

On the bright side, I have been offered admission to Seton Hall University in New Jersey for a 3+2 dual program in Engineering and Science. Score!

Unfortunately, before the good news came in from Seton, I had been emailed the dreaded rejection letter from Stanford University. I had been a straight A student throughout high school, achieving 8 A*s and 3 As at IGCSE and 4 As at AS Level (and I would hate to be overconfident before my A Level results come out), I played tennis for the Zimbabwe U19 team, I attended the THIMUN conference in The Hague on 2 occasions, I was a prefect, I was head of quiz, treasurer of the Toastmasters Society, performed at the Eisteddfod Speech & Drama etc. I was the model student, it just felt like I deserved to go there. It was something that I thought would be handed to me on a silver platter. I breezed through the essays, ticked all the boxes, put my feet up and waited for the acceptance packet to come through. But guess what? It never did.

It was a hard pill to swallow, and for days I brooded in my room wondering one thing: what was wrong with me? Did I not fit the typical profile? Were my essays not personal enough, too revealing, or just generally uninteresting? It took 19847 articles and even more videos for me to eventually realise that I was not the problem. In particular, this video from YesReneau on being rejected from Stanford but accepted to Harvard is particularly inspiring. Side note: I love her so much she’s so funny you should totally subscribe. When one door closes, another one opens and I know in my heart that this little bump in the road won’t deter me on my journey to greatness. As I wait for decisions from the other universities I had applied to, I remain with hope in my heart that the future will be bright. I know that this is the first of many minor setbacks I will experience on this journey called life, but I am determined to not let them deter me.

“An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. So when life is dragging you back with difficulties, it means that it’s going to launch you into something great. So just focus and keep aiming.”

Do you have any experiences you’d like to share about going through the college application process? Please share in the comments below or shoot me an email.

Numero Tres

With a new year comes new movies, new series and new memes. Basically everything tv-related I’m excited for is summarised in this video. My top 3 picks from there:

  1. GAME OF THRONES. Shoutout to everyone who read the books and was way ahead of the tv fans until Season 6! For once, we’re just as clueless as everyone else and have absolutely no idea what George RR Martin is going to pull out of his sleeve this time. Whether that fills you with terror and dread or if it thrills you to the very core, one thing is for certain: this season is going to be phenomenal
  2. The Wonder woman movie. I think we can all agree that Gal Gadot was the best part of the Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice movie. I honestly think that she is incredibly fabulous and I’ve always admired Wonder woman’s inherent strength and skill as a warrior. I’m excited for DC to redeem itself after 2016’s trainwreck of movies they produced.                                                    wonderwoman.jpg
  3. Rick and Morty. I only started watching this show 3 weeks ago and was heartbroken when I raced through seasons 1 and 2 in less than 4 days. This show is brilliant and a gem of our time, I cannot wait to see what these creative geniuses bring us in Season 3.

Numero Cuatro

I’ll make this one short before someone stabs me through their computer screen. I have a Facebook page! If you scroll to the bottom of this page, you’ll find a button that will take you straight to it. I encourage you to go ahead and give it a like, leave a nice comment, share it with your friends! Whilst you’re there, be sure to drop your email address in the box below it to receive an email every single time I post. And if you’re still not done with me, you’ll also find a prompt that will take you straight to my Instagram page. Go ahead and give me a follow, ey?

Thanks again for reading and going through all the emotions with me. Don’t forget that if you need to contact me: I’m only one email away. Until next time mis amigos!

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 + ½ 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 60° 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

Actuellement

Bonjour tout le monde! Happy America Day!

I know I haven’t been posting as much as I usually do, and I do apologise for that. As a form of apology for neglecting you, my readers, I have decided to throw together this post for you about everything that’s going on in my life right now. Hence the “actuellement” series is born (Actuellement in French means currently/in the present moment). If I’m being honest, I’m not sure how often I’ll do these posts for you, but if you want me to elaborate on something or would like to learn more about me, you could always just hit me up in the comments box or shoot me an email at thefscientist(at)gmail(dot)com. I do promise to reply, unless you’re spamming me. Then stop reading now, and go to the corner and think about what you’ve done.

Now, let’s get this show on the road.

1:

Perhaps the biggest event in my life right now is my mid-year exams that start on Monday. For everybody new to this blog and for those who haven’t yet visited my About Me page, I am currently in my last year of high school, studying Maths, Physics, Chemistry and French under the Cambridge International Advanced Level syllabi. These will be the last internal examinations I write in my high school career. Speaking truthfully, I can tell you that writing that did not a induce a sense of longing or dread in my heart. It did not make me feel nostalgic for days past, nor did it make me wish I were any younger.

Instead, what it did was strike fear right in the depths of my soul. With exams come results, and being in the last year of high school, these are the results that the teachers will use to predict how well I will do in my final exams, and these are the grades that the universities I apply to will see, this is the ruler by which my intelligence will be measured. But hey, no pressure, right?

A word of advice: numbers do not define you.

2:

Onto more exciting events, it was my mother’s birthday this weekend. This is what was on the menu:

I made my own French bread rolls using this really easy recipe by Mel’s Kitchen Cafe


Then used them to make these Slow Cooker French dip Sandwiches by Carlsbad Cravings-and they are giving me life.



These lemon curd cupcakes that I’ve been threatening to post for a while (I promise I will!)

temp.23fdf14586b0e6d16106

Currently languishing in a food coma. In the event I donut survive, I would like to be berried amongst all my favourite carbs.

3:

On the sidelines, I’m working on an article for a blog by the name of Purple Lipstick. The post will be up later this week, I’ll let you guys know when it does. In the meantime, you can read this really cool article written by a friend of mine for the same blog.

4:
Hiding from my textbooks behind a book by the name of Americanah by a Nigerian author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I read ‘Half of A Yellow Sun’ earlier this year, and I was so moved by it that I’ve decided to read more of her work. I think she writes beautifully and the plots are so carefully thought out that her books capture your interest right from the first chapter. I would recommend this book to everyone I know. Whilst entertaining through her stories, Adichie also manages to tackle issues of race and belonging, and for me, this is an important issue of today’s world that needs to be tackled urgently. Disclaimer: not for the faint hearted.

adichie

5:

Mourning the end of this season of Game of Thrones. Oh Westeros, Winter is not the only thing that is coming for you.

dany on ships

6:

The last thing I have to tell you is that I now have an official email address that you can use to communicate with me! If you would like to get in contact with me, shoot me an email at thefscientist(at)gmail(dot)com. I look forward to your correspondence!

So there we have it, this is me, actuellement! Leave a comment below if you have any ideas. Wishing you all a great week ahead!

I have an obsession

Post Number Three.

If you’re reading this right now then thank you for giving me a chance! Having this special bond that we have, the bond that is only known between a blogger and their readers, I feel that I am ready to take this relationship to the next level. We are moving onto Tier 2. And this is where I tell you about my obsession.

Oatmeal.

Yes, oatmeal.

You probably know it as the mushy gruel that your mother forced down your mouth until you were eight years old. Well, I’m here to change that preconceived idea.

For now, wipe your memory clean of any negative oatmeal-related thoughts, let’s start off on a clean slate. Oatmeal can be delicious. YES, say it with me now, oatmeal can be delicious. Think of the gross unsavoury oatmeal you had as a child as the nerdy pimply twelve year old girl. Now think of this dressed up oatmeal as the same girl ten years later. METAMORPHOSIS! Her braces are gone, her skin has cleared up and she’s finally decided exactly what she wants to do with her hair. She is confident. She is beautiful. She is the oatmeal I am about to introduce you to.

  

 She is Oatmeal 2.0.

At this stage, if you are still unconvinced, let me talk you into it. She’s smooth, silky smooth, her grains roll right off your tongue. She can go from 0 to 60° in just 5 minutes. She can be hot as hell or cool as ice depending on your preferences. She can do whatever you want her to do. Baked? She can do that. Put into a pancake? She got that down. Crunchy and savoury? She was ready for that the day she was born. Face it, Oatmeal 2.0 is the perfect woman- errrrr, food. She is unstoppable.

More on the superhero abilities of Oatmeal 2.0 will come later, but I just thought I would introduce you to my (and soon to be yours too) obsession.