OSP

Let me start out by saying I am not a very good writer. Truly. I haven’t done a terrible amount in college believe it or not. . .most of my assignments consist of music related things which aren’t always essays. However, for the sake of my time in England and beyond, I shall begin a blog. I have been here since Wednesday and so much has happened already. Everyone in my program is so kind. I haven’t even known these people for a week but it feels like much longer. I guess that’s what happened when you put 25+ college students together in one house.

Arriving into Oxford I was very sick and tired. I had motion sickness from the bus ride/hunger. I was also very tired. I couldn’t really sleep the 11 1/2 hours I was on the plane. That was a little stressful. The next two days I woke up at 4:30 am but was able to go back to sleep. Now I am adjusted (I believe). It’s weird knowing my family is all asleep when I wake up and in the middle of their day when I end mine.

I went to London last week. We took the tube from Oxford to the Marble Arch and then the Subway to the Globe Theater. We were able to get 5 pound groundling tickets for the show, As You Like It. We got in line right away and were so close to the stage that we were able to kiss it. Sonia and I actually did kiss it. When the ladies spun their big skirts around they were close to brushing us in the face. It was said to be sold out online but the box office said some people cancelled their ticket reservations. The actor who played Von Trapp in The Sound of Music recieved an award after but wasn’t there to accept it. Sad!!

After the show we took the tube to 221b Baker Street and reveled in the awesomeness. Then we went to where they shoot the actual BBC Sherlock which was close by. After that we went to Picadilly Circus where we had italian food on Shaftsbury Avenue. It was an all around great day. It involved us tiredly getting off the coach way too soon outside of Oxford which then led to us needing to scrounge up change for another bus at 10:45 pm. When the bus dropped us off where we parked our bikes, Kate made contact with a double decker bus. It grazed her and caused her to slow fall forward on her bike. We were laughing because it was so anti climactic-and because we knew she was okay obviously. The bus driver slowed down then but then drove off. The drivers are a little crazy here. I’ve seen or heard of 4 OSP students almost getting hit by cars. I’m not one of them or anything.

Today I saw the Escher Quartet. They are a chamber group based out of New York. They played a beautiful Mendelssohn quartet which really struck me with it’s power. It was the last quartet he ever wrote. We also got to talk to the violist Pierre after who was super engaging and even let Rebecca hold his viola. Sunday we went to evensong at Christ Church. It was so wonderful to hear the male choir. After evensong a group of us went to The Eagle and Child. Elena and I shared a spinach potato pie and a hamburger. Our time there ended with someone’s gravy and vegetables on the floor. LOL.

Everything here is beautiful. America is young. The west coast is especially young. I am so glad to finally have seen the River Thames. Saturday I also had black snot from riding the tube so much. Kind of gross. But it’s lovely here. I miss my family and wish they could be experiencing this with me. I will probably jump for joy when Mary and I meet up in July.

xoxo,

Liz

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Berry Muffinz

So the last month or so all I’ve really been making are chocolate chip cookies and banana muffins. The last thing I need to write is a another banana muffin recipe so I haven’t posted any of that. Also, I’m not ready to disclose my chocolate chip cookie recipe. That’s a special post. Plus if you guys knew how to make them then maybe you’d attract hungry people and then I wouldn’t be special anymore. JK. I’m only. . .JKing.

Anyway, I have been baking but if the recipe isn’t great I’m not going to share it.

This however, is pretty great. I believe this is my first ever try at berry muffins.

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Bake them for the people you went to high school with and the people you didn’t go to high school with. And save one for your little sister because even if she has the stomach flu she will find the strength to stomach one down.

Adapted from the lovely Joy the Baker

Yields 10 muffins

6 Tablespoons of unsalted butter

1/3 cup milk

1 egg

1 egg yolk

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cup berries of choice (I used blueberries and blackberries)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare muffin tin by spraying with PAM or by setting muffin liners.

Melt butter in a sauce pan and stir continuously. Wait until to it begins to foam and bubble and keep stirring. Eventually the foaming will stop and at that point the butter begins to brown. Keep a VERY close watch on it because at this point as you will need to see when you can transfer the butter. Once the butter has a brown layer underneath and is a golden brown on top, you will transfer it to another bowl to cool. It’s important to pay attention to this process because the butter can easily burn.

While the butter is cooling combine flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar in a large bowl. In another bowl, combine milk, egg, yolk, vanilla extract, and cooled butter. Add this mixture to the flour mixture until just combined. Next you will fold in the berries.

Divide among the muffin tin and bake for 17-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Wait 15 minutes for them to cool then serve to your band friends.

Notes:

I was almost tempted to call this “cornbread” because mine tasted like cornbread muffins. That’s not really super correct, so I didn’t name them that. Just a note.

Be careful not to overmix because then we have gummy muffins. We want nice, soft muffins.

Ovens are so dang temperamental and everyone’s oven is different. Keep a close eye if you know your oven runs hot. Better to check early and see them under baked than find them hard from being baked too long.

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All I got for ya.

PS, I love when the animals model. So presh.

Have a berry good day!

Liz