Wednesday, December 06, 2006
The End is Near...Let's Bake!
There may, indeed, be something wrong with my brain. I have finals this week and next and I've spent all my "spare" time baking and cooking rather than studying. I just can't get around to it. My daughter's 6th birthday was today and making her tasty cupcakes and setting up a make-your-own pizza dinner was more important to me than doing well on tomorrow's nutrition test. And they *were* tasty cupcakes (recipe below).
I had my first final on Monday in Skills Lab. I had a horrible night's sleep the night before and I barely studied. I really felt like I knew my stuff. I've been watching the DVDs (Hygeine! Asepsis! (Oh No, It's) Bowel Elimination!), I've done the reading. But the test was horrible. Horrible! It had questions on the manufacturing instructions for glucometers. What are trocanter rolls and what do they have to do with patients in a coma (the question of the day)? After the test I asked one of the instructors. "Oh, you'll learn that *next* quarter." Um. It was, apparently, a test on premonition skills. But the worst part was the random skills part of the test. This was the doing part of the test and I thought I had it down cold, had it wired, had it in the bag etc. But the instructor handed me the card with the instructions on it and the four (hey, they told us three, see, here in the syllabus...) skills I had to perform and then snatched it away from me and gave me grumpy looks and muttered comments while I did my thing. I asked, "Um, aren't rectal temperatures contraindicated for end-stage AIDs patients?" and she grumbled something and had me do it anyways (I think she was hoping I would miss that so she could pounce on me for it.). Let me back up. Some of us were doing our skills on another student, but I got the mannikin (complete with place for rectal thermometer!). So while everyone else was chatting w/ their fellow nursing students and happily doing vital signs I was giving a bed bath to a mannikin with Growly Instructor glaring away at me. I knew the night before that I would have to make an occupied bed. I worked so hard on making beds (I'm not, uh, by trade, much of a bed maker) and it was the one skill I really improved on. I've nver practiced making a bed with gloves on (AIDs patient, er, mannikin, though, remember?) and it must have taken me a half an hour. It wasn't terrible. You should have seen some of my mitered corners before, though. I was so flinging proud of 'em. These just hung there like lasagna noodles stuck to the pan. Growly was not impressed and told me so. I tried to look at the instruction card and she was trying to hide it from me. Then she told me to write something down. "What?" "Here," she said, flashing the card at me, "you have to document it." Um. "Document...it? uh, document what?" And the card was waving around again, but she wouldn't let me look at it. I wrote down 300 mL of urine ( I had to empty a "Foley" - the bag that catches urine from a catheterized patient. A skill that I never practiced and was shown once 2 minutes before class let out one day in October). I wrote down (on a scrap of paper, mind you) 38 degrees C, rectal temp (I figured that's a good temp for a mannikin w/ a fever) and I handed it to her. She scribbled down something in my permanent record and I went into the other classroom where the untested students were sitting. "Geez, what did they have you do in there?!" people asked. I was in there for an hour and fifteen minutes. And, just chatting with a group of people I started randomly crying. Does that ever happen to you? You're just chatting all of a sudden tears are slipping out of your eyes before you can stop them. Not about the test. I'm just overwhelmed which leads me to the cupcakes.
Make These Cupcakes
I stole this recipe from Epicurious.com, but it's for some sort of cake w/ apricot this and such and I've turned them into the perfect kid party white cupcake.
8 oz imported (read: Lindt) white chocolate (I don't like white chocolate either, but it works in these cupcakes)
2 1/4 cups cake flour
2 1/4 tsp non aluminum baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
10 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups milk (I used low fat)
preheat oven to 350.
spray oil muffin tins (will make more than 12 cupcakes, maybe even 24)
Melt white chocolate in a double boiler (my "double boiler" is a smaller saucepan in a larger saucepan with the flame on the stove down low). Sift flour, b.powder and salt. Cream butter and sugarin mixer 'til fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add vanilla. Add dry ingredients alternatively with milk in 3 additions, beating after each one and blending until well-combined after each addition. Add melted white chocolate. Fill muffin tins 3/4 full and bake for 15-20 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in tins for 20 minutes before removing. I frost 'em with cream cheese frosting, but you can use your favorite.
Picture is of my daughter's cake from her party Sunday.