Speaking of friends:


I had the pleasure of watching the movie Julie and Julia twice, and both occasions were very special. As soon as the movie was released in the USA, I had been desperate to see it. When it FINALLY came out in Germany, I had left the country that day and when I returned, it had come nad gone. I was going to have to wait for the DVD release, which really really really bothered me, because I have never been known to be a lady of patience!!!

Nonetheless, one afternoon late November I think it was, I was dreadfully miserable and home sick with the flu. It was dark and rainy and cold and miserable outside and it seemed as if nothing was going to shake me out of my misery. I did not want to read, had no desire to write, and since I do not have a TV, that was not an option. I decided that I would just return to bed and sleep it off. After twisting and turning in bed, and being bored of being bored, I decided to get up and call any family and friends that I may be able to catch over Skype.

Yes, I live on Skype and honestly do not know what I would do without it. I have family all over the world and it is the perfect, cheapest, most wonderful way of keeping in touch…in close touch at that. The distance between just disappears in an instant when I can see whom ever on my computer screen.

I called my friend Crystal from NY and the first thing she told me was that she had just seen Julie and Julia on video the previous night!


I literally wanted to jump through the television screen, grab the movie and watch it right then and there. I went on and on and on about how anxious I was to see it. I began scheming ways to have her send me a copy via post once they opened. And while I was thinking about how to obtain it asap, my friend came up with the most brilliant idea of simply playing it on her television and placing the computer screen in front of her TV screen. I had to pause to think about it for a moment, got excited thinking the idea absolutely brilliant, but then thought again, and said that there is no way that could work. The sound and quality of picture would be horrible, and I would not really be able to see anything, hear anything nor really follow what is going on. My excitement left my body like a hot potato out of a (non-cooks’) hand. Crystal, in her usual manner, just told told me not to be silly, wait a minute and she will show me. Typical Crystal, always making things happen!!

She put on the movie and we watched it together; me for the first time and Crystals’ second. She left on one occasion to drop her son off to school, but returned after about 30 minutes. So, there I was in Berlin, Germany unexpectedly and excitedly watching a long-desired film with a close friend in NY, USA via Skype.

Thank-you SKYPE!!!!!

We laughed together, interjected the film-conversation a few times to chat about something which caught our attention, paused the film every so often to enable us to go into our respective kitchens to grab a snack. And munching away, we continued watching the film. I really felt as if we were in the same room together and it was wonderful!

I have been friends with Crystal since college. In fact, we were roommates for two years and we lived in my very very first flat ever. She reminded me that she wanted to room with me during my freshman year, but my parents were not at all having that! I was a very young freshman student, and my parents thought it best to remain on campus for at least two years before venturing out “into the real world”. So, as soon as I was allowed, Crystal and I got a flat!

I am not sure that I can even begin to count the number of calories that we consumed during our time together, but the combination of “us” resulted in an extra-ordinary amount of food-consumption, and an even greater degree of candy consumption. I cannot recall any other college student having eaten, cooked, baked, absorbed food /candy the way we did.

She was really my culinary partner in crime!

And now here we were, more than 15 years later, me in Germany and Crystal in NY watching Julie and Julia, eating away and talking once again, about food.

After the movie had ended, I closed my computer and just sat there with a huge smile on my face. I was so happy to have seen this movie. But I was even more happy to have shared this moment with Crystal…I know, I am rather sentimental, but it just brought back so many fond memories.

I headed into the kitchen, finished eating my veggie soup to ward off the flu and made some mini chocolate cakes to close, what had become a most wonderful day!

This recipe is from a friend of mine.  Enjoy!

Basic Vegan Chocolate Cake
  • 1 cup of flour (I used spelt)
  • 1 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 170 grams of dark chocolate cut up into small pieces ( for easy melting) or grated
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 8 tbs of potato starch dissolved in 1/8 cup of warm water or coffee
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar
  • 1/2 cup of nut milk ( I like almond milk) mix in with
  • 1tsp of apple cider vinegar or 1 tsp of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  1. Grease and flour your cake tins.
  2. In a bowl, sift the flour, baking soda and baking soda and salt together.
  3. Set aside.
  4. Melt the chocolate and over low heat in a saucepan.
  5. Remove from heat and let it cool down a bit.
  6. Add the oil
  7. Mix in the potato starch dissolved in water or coffee.
  8. Add in the sugar and continue mixing.
  9. Now, add the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture bit by bit, adding a bit of the nut milk (mixed in with apple cider vinegar) in between and mixing well.
  10. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pans and bake at 375 F or 190 C for about approximately 20 minutes (if you are making mini cakes or 35 minutes if you are baking a cake). To do the cake test, take a toothpick or the tip of a very sharp knife and inset it into the middle of the cake. if the knife or toothpick comes out clean, then your cake is ready. if there is batter stuck to it, it needs to be cooked longer.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Lora Wiley May 27, 2010 at 5:04 pm

Those cakes look so sweet and I love the Skype J&J story…

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