Ad hoc Trifle

It’s Easter and that means a four day weekend. Days of lie ins and family and spring finally being here. To celebrate (and because I haven’t seen my family in a while), I cooked yesterday for my Dad and Grandparents. And I made an ad hoc trifle, that I’m super proud of so have an ad hoc recipe


Ad hoc, home made trifle

Stuff You Will Need

Jelly cubes, fruit, Swiss roll, jam, blancmange powder, custard powder, whipped double cream

Stuff to do

Okay, so as you can see in the picture I used Highball glasses, so everyone got a mini trifle each. Obviously you can do this in whatever dish, glass or receptacle works for you.

First things first, make the jelly- I used strawberry. It’s gonna take a while to set so you need to make it first. Though be warned, you don’t want to let it set completely, because you’ll need to pour it in a bit.

It’s probably a good idea at this point to make the custard and blancmange as well, because they need time to set too. I ended up with a pan of custard, a pan of blancmange and a dish of jelly all cooling at the same time, which took up a lot of room. But at least it looked colourful, with yellow, pink and red.

While everything’s starting to cool and set, you can put jam at the bottom of your dish, glass or receptacle. Then put a layer of fruit (I used strawberries, raspberries and blackberries) and cover that with swiss roll. If you’re using a glass, one slice’ll probably do. Then put more fruit on top because fruit is delicious and trifle should definitely count as part of your five a day.

When the jelly is starting to set but is still kind of runny, pour it over the fruit and Swiss roll. The fruit may rise a little bit, but the more set the jelly is the less this will happen. Stick the trifle in the fridge and wait for the jelly to set.


Fruit, Swiss roll, strawberry jelly, blancmange makes a very pink dessert. 

When the jelly’s set, you can layer the blancmange and then fridge the trifle again. When the blancmange has set, you can layer the cold custard on top and then fridge again. Finally, before serving, add the cream on top.


Looking glorious.

So I used packaged versions of everything (namely custard and blancmange) and shop bought Swiss roll, and it tasted like childhood parties aka delicious. You can, of course, make everything from scratch, including the jelly, Swiss roll, jam, blancmange and custard. But if you don’t have the time or the inclination, the packaged versions work great.


Super great.


Easter Holidays, part one.

I spent the first week of the Easter holidays in Dresden, visiting Manda, who you may remember from several posts before Christmas. As always, it was epic, especially as when one has a whole week to play with, one can do so much more stuff.

So I got there on the Monday and after chilling in Manda’s new flat for a while, we went back to her old flat, because she’d been invited for tea and her old flatmates very kindly invited me as well. It was lots of fun, especially with a German language only rule imposed, that one of the German guys flagrantly disregarded. The highlight of the evening was definitely me and Manda letting England down, when neither of us knew that you’re meant to leave the tops of asparagus on. Seriously, who knows these kinds of things?

Tuesday was a very chilled out kind of day. After first going via an English foodstuffs shop and a bakery, we sat in the park for ages, soaking up the sunshine. Then we went to the military museum, which had lots of swords and armour and interesting things. In the evening we went out, having fantastic cocktails in various bars, before going to student night at Katy’s Garage. Totally didn’t end up on the dance floor because of Call Me Maybe. No. Never.


A fabulous helmet

On Wednesday, we shopped.

And then in the evening we went to the cinema. So one of the Dresden cinema’s does a “sneak peak” showing of a film soon to come out, which is what we were at. We saw Legend of Hercules. Don’t bother. Seriously, seriously, don’t bother. It’s terrible and not even in a good way.

Thursday was a day of adventure. We went to the Kulturinsel Einsiedel, which describes itself as a theme park without the rides. What it actually is, is awesome. There’s a wizard’s word and an enchanter’s castle, treehouses at every corner and tunnels running underneath the site. I’m not sure pictures really do it justice.


The wizard’s wood.


We had a lot of fun exploring and moaning about how many kids were there. There’s a festival there in summer, which looks like insane amounts of fun, and you can even stay there in treehouses. It was crazy good fun and just…yes. Though I don’t think Manda’s ever going to forgive me for suggesting we climb the windmill and go through the connecting tunnels. They perhaps weren’t built with twenty one year olds in mind.


Crawling through a wire tunnel several feet above the ground was actually scarier than i expected.

On Friday we went and sat by the Elbe for a couple of hours, which I think was something we managed to do almost every day. Friday was special in that I fell asleep for a good hour. Did I mention the weather was beautiful the whole week? When I’d actually woken up, we headed to Zwinger, which is a palace in the old town. Nowadays it houses an art museum, that we did not go into, but we did look at the postcards, so same thing, right?

Following our cultural excursion, we made apple crumble and then we went to a restaurant whose name I have totally blanked on. It began with a V. And it was like Subway for pasta. Delicious, cheapish and they make it in front of you. Though that last one is a little awkward, especially when the chef is cute and bored.

Saturday we chilled, sat by the Elbe and then I headed back to Ilmenau. Where the weather was most definitely not beautiful. But Dresden was so much fun, though as ever, it was down to the company.


Seriously. So Much Easter

So Monday was spent not doing a fat lot. I really don’t remember what I did particularly. I assume tutoring prep like every week. Mondays are not the most interesting days.

In my first class on Tuesday, we sang a song about spring time and then the kids made a book out of a work sheet about eggs (because it’s Easter). It then turned out that neither of the other English teachers were in school, so I wasn’t needed for the rest of the day.

Tutoring was on Tuesday instead of Wednesday this week, because of reasons. The kids told me what happened in Fanastic Mr Fox, and we did some colouring and a wordsearch and it was generally fairly chilled. Then I pelted it home to get to the Café meeting on time.

My first lesson on Wednesday was cancelled because of an absent teacher. So in my second class I was in the class I’m not normally in, where we made Easter cards. My third class was also cancelled, and then my fourth class was making Easter cards again.

Thursday I did German with class 3/4c on the computers, which they proclaimed super easy, and I was actually, for once, inclined to agree with them. And thus ended the term. Which I’m super happy about, not because I hate school or anything, but 1) I need to catch up on sleep, and 2) it means I get to see Dad in two weeks.

Thursday afternoon, I actually went to the BC café not for a shift but to actually use it as a café, which was novel. And also pretty cool.

Friday, I forgot it was Good Friday, until Facebook reminded me, so I spent most of the day watching Game of Thrones series 1. Seeing as everyone seems to be talking about the new series which I can’t watch yet, I wanted to feel a little involved. Also, Game of Thrones.

Saturday, I realised an hour before all the shops closed that I actually needed to buy things in town, so got dressed in three minutes and legged it. Made it, bought things and then spent the rest of the day watching Game of Thrones series 2.

Easter Sunday I realised I had no Easter eggs. To get over that, I packed my suitcase, ‘cause I’m headed to Dresden tomorrow to see the ever lovely Manda. 


An Abundance of Easter

(Note: My internet is still down, hence this being super late. Apologies if anyone is desperate to find out how my week was.) 

So as I spent Monday travelling back form Bruges, my week begins on Tuesday. This week it was reading week at school, so there were lots of things going on, like book sales. And kids reading, everywhere. In my first class I talked about Easter, which included giving the kids a cadburys mini egg each. They thought that was fantastic, but what kids don’t like free chocolate. In my second and third class, we were doing about Easter as well. It basically boiled down to ‘do you have easter egg hunts?’, to which my reply of ‘well, I’m twenty so no’ went down fairly well.

I didn’t go to the BC Café meeting, because I super needed to catch on sleep from the weekend. Travelling’s tiring, yo!

Wednesday my first class had maths instead of English, because of the reading week (no, I don’t understand how that works either), but it meant I was helping in a class that already had a teacher and two teaching assistants. My second and third class was cancelled, because again, reading week, so I had a couple of hours of finishing off tutoring prep for that week. My final class were again doing about Easter. The easter rhyme they’re learning is ‘Easter eggs are yellow. Easter eggs are blue. Easter eggs are red and green. Here is one for you.’ It does not rhyme in German, as every class thus far has told me when they’ve translated it.

At tutoring we read a heavily edited version of Fantastic Mr Fox. I made them stop halfway through to do a wordsearch and both of them moaned so much, because they wanted to know what happened. That’s the first time they’ve ever wanted to do actual work over fun stuff. At the end of the lesson, Luka asked if he could borrow the book, so I let him. Whether or not he’ll get all the way through it, I’m not sure.

Thursday I got to help judge the reading competition. It kind of felt like being back in a listening exam, but at least for once, it wasn’t me being marked.

On Friday, all of my classes were doing Easter again, so there was much talk of easter eggs and chocolate, and not much else. Friday evening was the start of the BC Café’s birthday week, which began with an electroswing night. It was all kinds of fun, even if I didn’t do any dancing.

Saturday evening, I was out again, at a flat party. Again, lots of fun, but this time round, I did all of the dancing.

Then on Sunday I went to brunch at the BC Café, before leaving to spend the majority of the day bemoaning my lack of internet, especially as I was meant to be skyping England. Then in the evening I helped Therese translate something from German to English, which really hurt my brain. You would have thought I’d be better at this by now. 


Illness, Illness Everywhere

Monday was a day spent doing prep for lessons on Easter. This mainly involved finding pictures of Cadbury’s crème eggs and getting them printed off in town. I also whinged about having a cold, because I am a massive whinger, and what are colds for if not to be whinged about?

Tuesday I was at work, despite the fact I felt like my brain was made out of cotton wool. This meant thinking in German was harder than it normally was, and this was not helped by one of the kids having a tantrum because I said her name wrong. I try very hard to say people’s names right. It’s just difficult when the names are spelt the same as in English but pronounced differently. Michael as ‘mish-ay-el’ I can cope with because it’s very different. Saying ‘Ashley’ as ‘Eshley’ is a tad harder. But yes. Despite the cotton headedness, I taught both my classes about wild animals, fairly successfully. Although I’m not sure if the kids were playing up more than usual or if my temper was shorter than usual, because ill.

Wednesday I was at work, and in my first lesson, I was meant to be doing a lesson with one of the guys on placement. However, he’s been ill (are you sensing a theme here?) and although he was in school on Wednesday, his voice was basically non existent, so I did the lesson by myself. I accidentally put up a picture of a goose instead of a duck, but other than a couple of coughing fits and the kids laughing at my pronunciation of English words, it was alright.

As an aside, on both Tuesday and Wednesday kids laughed at my pronunciation of English words, and I think it’s because my voice is so much lower than usual at the moment, thanks to the aforementioned cold. What I don’t understand however, is why that’s funny. They’re laughing at words they’ve never heard before said by a native speaker. That’s like me laughing the first time I hear someone say Hörsaal (lecture theatre) or  Verkehrkreis (roundabout). Ah well.

Three quarters of the way through that lesson, the teacher insisted that I go home. I insisted that I was fine, and she told me that I looked ‘blass’ – a word I can only assume means ‘terribly terribly unwell’. (Sidenote: it actually means ‘pale’, but that’s not as interesting.) And then she sent me home. So the rest of Wednesday was spent half watching films and half sleeping. What an exciting life I lead.

Thursday again, I wasn’t at work and spent most of the day preparing for my trip to Bruges, by packing and watching ‘In Bruges’. I also went on a wander through the woods when I got bored of being inside and all the trees turned into the monster trees from Snow White, so now I have some fantastic scratches. I was feeling better, and the plan was to go to work on Friday. And then I didn’t fall asleep till half two. Four hours sleep do not a functioning Kathryn make, especially when she’s still not fully healthy.

So Friday has been spent checking and double checking my packing and generally not really knowing what to do with myself. But I’m headed to Bruges in a few hours, and a nine hours on trains will at least give me something to do – namely panic that I’ll miss my connections.