Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Hardcore domestication

The older I become, the more I enjoy creating things. My love of cooking developed as a single gal in my 20s and has grown over the years. I like the challenge of a recipe, especially of a dish I've enjoyed in restaurants (mmm, homemade Vietnamese hoagies) and I will admit failure when a dish bombs (damn you, fish cakes). I also like making things though I tend to get discourage (I'm looking at you, unfinished sock), but I keep trying. I finished the skirt I started in my sewing class and wear it to work with pride. I'm working on zabutons (floor cushions) and need some stuffing and a good zipper to continue. A couple of Sundays ago, I ripped apart a pair of old, holey jeans and made a rocking jean skirt. I feel so satisfied when something turns out right and always hopeful when I try something new. I'm now knitting something on circular needles, a first for me. I will definitely show it off no matter how it turns out.

In the meantime, feast your eyes on these beautiful cookies. Drool at their splendor! Bask in their golden hue. Now, here's the recipe and replicate them youself.

1 cup unsalted butter at room temp.
1.5 cups of creamy peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp of vanilla extract

1. Cream together butter, peanut butter and sugars with a hand held mixer until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time.

2. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and powder and salt.

3. Slowly stir flour mixture into batter, a bit at a time so you don't overheat your mixer like I did the last time I made the cookies. Put batter in the fridge for a minimum of an hour. I usually make the batter in the morning and bake the cookies in the afternoon.

4. Roll batter into 1 inch balls and put on baking sheets.

5. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes or when the yummy goodness of peanut butter balls turn a golden colour.

Bonne chance!

Monday, 5 April 2010

Wife.Bride.Life – Revealed! Conclusion

Sorry for the cliff-hanger. Life has been bananas to say the least.

Anyway. Our journey to the altar. Sometime in August, I sent my mother our marriage application and Dave’s birth certificate and she took that, my birth certificate and the nominal fee and went to the courthouse to file the paperwork. We asked for a date just prior to Christmas and when given a choice, we chose December 20. I think our flights were booked at this time and it worked out that I would be back home in the first week of December and Dave would arrive a few days before our date at the courthouse.

Now, in November, I interviewed for a job and two days before I left, I found out I had got it. I was so happy as I had not worked since late August. However, my papers were a bit off at the time. My working holiday visa was set to expire in September of the following year, but I had used up my 12 month work allowance. Then I got this job. So that meant I would have to apply for my spousal visa which would allow me to work for an additional two years ASAP. But I could only do this one I had my marriage certificate. But this small matter did not detract from marrying my love.

On the day of our wedding, we woke up extra early to ensure that we’d get there way before out 11:30 kick off time. I turned to my soon-to-be-husband sleeping in the bed that had been mine in high school and felt so happy and so sure. My mom was up too (thank god, she takes African time to a new level!) and we all got ready in a stress-free environment. He wore a suit (old) and I wore a new shirt and skirt I had picked up with my mom at a Jewish apparel-cum-yard sale. We wore our kick ass winter boots and brought along a change of shoes. We picked up our other witness, the awesome Uncle Solomon, and headed to the Palais du Justice.

The salle de celebration was lovely and our Justice of the Peace was so nice, but it was a little bit nerve-wracking. Dave was so nervous he messed up his mother’s maiden name. But we walked up the aisle together, said our legal bits and promised ourselves to each other. We had to hold hands at this part and I cried a couple of tears and then we kissed. To me, it was beautiful. The second best day of my life.

We signed the legal papers, as did our witnesses, and had a mini photo shoot outside the courthouse (my mom was our photog). A while later, we bid my mom and uncle adieu and went for a walk by the old port. It was freezing, -12 at least so we went to the Marché Bonsecours and I changed into warmer jeans. We made our way to one of my favourite Chinese places, V.I.P., and had our wedding lunch (oh General Tao’s Chicken, how I miss you!). We wandered about town for a while and decided to catch Slumdog Millionaire at the Cineplex. It was bliss.

So that was our (first) wedding day. And I wouldn’t change anything.

Shortly after we returned to Scotland, I started my new job and got busy sorting my paperwork. Our marriage certificate got sent to me promptly and I sent my spousal visa application and the exorbitant fee (£475) to the UK government. I was then subjected to biometric tagging (photos and fingerprints) and in April 2009, I finally got my leave to remain in the country until April 2011. It was such a hard slog and I also got a bit of stuff from a higher up at work due to my immigration status plus I was sent to France for a work trip and had to frantically get a temporary passport from the Canadian consulate, but all in all, it was OK. I wouldn’t change meeting Dave, moving countries or marrying him for anything, but I’m so freaking happy I won’t have to do it again.

So C7, from the time it took from me submitting my paperwork to get married to get my new visa, it took about 8 months. It took 4 months of waiting to get my visa which apparently is not so bad. We could have done things faster, but we were going on what would work best for us.
And there you have it. The story of how I was a wife before I was a bride.