More peculiar weather today — thunder and lightning and even a little bit of rain! I know that it’s normal for other parts of the country to have thunderstorms at this time of year, but it’s not normal here! Rain is rare even in winter, and we almost never get thunder and lighting.
Today I went searching for familiar audiobooks in German. I managed to get my hands on “Harry Potter und der Stein der Weisen”, which is so much fun! When I read along with the German text, I can understand almost everything, which fills me with confidence.
Oh, and I was complaining to Elli about the lack of good EN<>DE dictionaries online and she told me about http://dict.cc, which has made all of my dreams come true. It even remembers which words you’ve looked up recently, and you can add words to a vocabulary list and then it will train you, flash-card style! Super!
Today is Henry’s 15th birthday. Hooray! Happy birthday, sweetie, I hope you had a good day!
We’re having a bizarre and sudden heatwave — it’s 107 today. UGH. Opening the front door is like opening the oven door. So, Henry and Chloe and I had lunch at the Studio Diner which was cooler than at home, anyway. And then we turned the air conditioner on in the very back room and sat in there watching things on the laptop, and then we went over to Chloe’s house for a while and played with the cat.
A short, entertaining, interesting video about each of the chemical elements, plus lots of videos on various molecules and other interesting stuff. (Hit the “Extra Videos” link).
Here, for example, is a video in which one scientist makes a birthday cake in the lab, to celebrate one year of posting their videos, while the main scientist explains all the interesting chemical reactions that go into creating a cake!
Monday was Chloe’s birthday. Happy birthday, Chloe! She requested a very light cake with fresh strawberries and real whipped cream. My cakes never turn out light, so I did some googling and decided on a chiffon cake. I used this recipe for the cake: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Lemon-Chiffon-Cake/Detail.aspx. We replaced some of the water with lemon juice, following a suggestion from one reviewer. Next time I would add even more lemon juice. I bought actual cake flour and fresh baking powder, just to be sure, and I really did let the eggs come to room temperature before starting.
We baked it in my two round glass cake pans, at 325 degrees for 40 minutes, though 35 would have been fine, I think. The recipe tells you not to grease and flour the pans — that was nerve-wracking, but I was able to pry the cakes out of the pans when they were cool. *whew* Next time I might try greasing just the very bottom of the pan.
For filling between the two layers, I whipped heavy cream with a little sugar and mixed that with chopped strawberries. We topped the cake with more whipped cream, and then Dan decorated it with sliced berries.
When Bob and Chloe came over to watch Mad Men, we devoured almost the whole thing. It was way better than any store-bought cake I’ve ever had, including my fancy bakery birthday cake! We sent the last slice home with Chloe for later.