Saturday, 30 April 2016

THIS IS NOT A DRILL | A Poem About Misogynoir

A note from Joelle... 

Sit up straight
And listen up,
Because this is not a drill and
I will only say this once:
I am not ebony -
A piece of decorative wood.
Nor am I chocolate-
Ready to melt into myself with the heat of your touch.
Please don't call me “sista” –
We are not related.
And I’m definitely not your “gurrrrl”.
Because we never dated.
I will tell you what I am:
You may want to take a deep breath now…
I am a Black woman.
Yes, with a capital ‘B’.
I am a Black woman
who is exhausted because
everything I do is silently political.
Whom I choose to dance with in the club
Is political.
The way I answer the question:
“Where are you from…?”
“No, where are you really from?”
Is political – “You look different from me, so I need to put you in a labelled box and prod at you with my mind.”
Like saying I’m from near your ends isn’t a good enough answer.
My accent?
Political – “Why is she so well-spoken? Who adopted her?”
 It confuses you, because my Sloaney slang doesn’t match my South London skin tone.
The way I choose to style my hair
Is political – I wear weaves because I want to be European and hate myself. I wear afros because I hate Europeans and love myself.
How I pronounce my own surname
Is political – Do I simplify it to spare your blushes when you don't even bother trying?
The music I proudly declare to enjoy –
Political - Because I should just stick to my people's roots and keep my ears shut.
And my body...
I must be a secret bloke – like that Serena fella of that tennis show.
‘Cause no woman with thick thighs deserves success.
And my fragile frame?
Only a fragile home life can be to blame.
You say: “I don’t see race – we are all one.”
Good for you.
But, I cannot afford to pretend to be colorblind because
I am a Black woman-
Shoved to the bottom rung.
I am affected and I am exhausted.
I am a Black woman-
But you see, that is not all I am.
Are you still sitting up straight?
Can you hear me in the back?
Because this is not a drill
And this woman is Black.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

The Self-Love Playlist

A note from Joelle... 
girl, music, and black and white image
Here are some tracks you know and some you don't.
I like these track because they buck the trend of songs about putting people or themselves down. 
There are songs in this list about survival, love or just sheer ecstasy after realising that it's okay to do your own thing and by yourself.
They are not all 'happy-clappy', but they are all unapologetically positive, which is so refreshing. Click the links and have a listen:

Have I missed a track that you think people should know about? Let me know! 

Thursday, 7 April 2016

The 'Deen Scene: Spring Menu Tasting at Revolution Bar

A note from Joelle... 

Once again, apologies for the camera quality. I dropped my camera, so have to make do with crappy iPhone 4s quality until I get a new one!
At night, Revolution Bar (or "Revs", to students) is a haven for colourful cocktails, loud music and endless trays of flavoured vodka shots.
But during the day, it's a beautiful kitchen restaurant with live music with a summery terrace feel to it.
I have not been dined in the Aberdeen Revolution Bar for a long time, and the revamp was a lovely surprise.
Spring Menu Tasting at Revolution Bar

Food highlights: 

Lobster ravioli - smothered in pesto, the ravioli is perfectly cooked with a generous amount of lobster and ricotta inside. I can't lie, I was a bit greedy and didn't really want to pass this dish round the group!
I didn't expect such a fancy, yet affordable dish from Revs, if i'm being totally honest!

Buttermilk-fried chicken strips - Really tender and golden chicken with a tasty mayo dip.

Macaroni cheese burger - you don't think it's going to work, but it actually does!

Calamari - Really tender on the inside and crunchy on the outside. I wasn't keen to try it at first because I've have some pretty dodgy calamari before, where it was all chewy and oily. But this was cooked to perfection and the garlic mayo dip complimented it really well.

Goats cheese bon bons - move over mozzarella sticks, it's all about another cheese. 

Whilst we wined, dined and chatted away, a guy with his guitar serenaded the terrace with his chilled renditions of current pop songs. It was such a nice atmosphere.
I will definitely be coming back with a few pals to try more of the menu.
Thanks for having me!

Have a look at the menu HERE to see what else is new on the menu.
Check out Part I: Cocktail Masterclass


Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Baking with Betty Crocker

A note from Joelle... 

♫♪ 'The Tide Is High' - Atomic Kitten ♫♪

Because of intense uni work, we never really got an Easter break and won't actually get time off until before graduation (in JUNE!).
So, my flatmate, Claire and I decided to take a few hours out to relax and do a spot of home baking.
The lovely folks at Betty Crocker sent us a red velvet cake mix kit (both our favourite cake flavour!)
Betty Crocker Red Velvet Cake
Our Red Velvet masterpiece made from the Red Velvet cake mix kit.
It looks a bit more Valentines-y than Easter, to be honest!

A few months ago, I bought a (cheap and dodgy) red velvet cupcake mix and made the WORST cakes in the history of mankind. It was brown, weirdly bitter and the butter frosting I put on top had curdled...
So with this cake, I was keen to redeem myself!
I was happy that I only needed to add a few "wet" ingredients: 3 eggs, water and oil.
Note how there is no raising agent or butter - the Betty Crocker mix has everything in it already.
The red colour remained in tact and after the cake cooled right down, we sliced it, filled it with cream cheese.
Neither of us are huge fans of cream cheese all over the cake, so we opted to smother the top of the cake with melted white chocolate and sugar sprinkles instead.
The chocolate coating adds more flavour and a lovely crunch, so we were really happy with the finished cake!
Isn't it a beauty?

If baking from scratch isn't your thing, but you still want a slice (sorry, my puns are getting worse and worse) of the baking action, Betty Crocker kits are for you!


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