Speed, Looks and Seasonal Baking Update

We went to Simon and Neva’s native Amsterdam this week where Simon had an appointment to donate his hair to cancer patients.

on the train to Amsterdam
a new pb on the 6×6
and, perhaps more importantly, a new pb on the 3×3!

Sub 22! You know, J perm is truly the best PLL!

Simon’s first real World Cube Association competition got cancelled because of the covid-19 regs tightening again in The Netherlands. On the upside, he got more cubes for St.Nicholas Eve. Neva got a smart cube. Its app has a built-in timer, scrambles and many fun games.

Neva trying out her smart cube

This Monday, Simon also challenged himself to solve all his nxn cubes (2×2 through 9×9) in one go. He says he has never felt as mentally exhausted and proud of how fast he is.

I’ve never felt like oh-why-did-I-do-this and am-I-really-that-fast at the same time!

It took him nearly as long to solve the 9×9 alone as the 2×2 through 8×8 combined, and a total of 1 hour 48 minutes 39 seconds to do all of his nxn’s.

All of these had the same moves applied to them, but they look wildly different
(3×3, Mirror Blocks, Mastermorphix, Fisher Cube, Windmill Cube, Axis Cube)
Can you tell what’s wrong with this cube?
the time it takes Simon to assemble a normal vs. wrong cube

We celebrated St.Nicholas Eve with the grandparents, since we were no longer contagious 🎉

Simon reading the questions from a presents quest (based on a potpourri from our recent conversations/his newest interests like maps,
color cones in the retina, how long are moon days and the history of Tetris).

Baking traditional Dutch St.Nicholas Day pastry called “pepper nuts” (pepernoten). Scroll down for the recipe.

Simon “making pixel art with pepernoten”

Spices for this traditional Dutch seasonal treat:

Mix 8 tsp cinnamon, 2 tsp clove, 2 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp coriander, 1 tsp anise (optional), 1 tsp ginger, 3/4 tsp cardamom (all powdered)

Gluten Free Pepper Nuts (Pepernoten) Recipe:

Mix 150 g gluten free flour, 75 g unrefined sugar, 90 g soft butter, 2 tbsp milk (I use oat milk). Add 10 g of the spice mix. Refrigerate the dough in a plastic bag for at least an hour (or overnight).

Roll into little balls and bake at a low temperature (150°C) for about 1 hr 15 min.

(I got my Dutch recipe here and we have been using it for years).

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