Wednesday, October 17, 2012

PESTO PARMESAN PINE NUT RUSSIAN ROSE LOAF

WORLD BREAD DAY WITH THE BREAD BAKING BABES & BUDDIES

That's the thing about girls. Every time they do something pretty... you fall half in love with them, and then you never know where the hell you are. 
J.D Salinger 


Sometimes a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. You know what I mean? I am the kind of person who is often discombobulated, missing dates and deadlines, forgetting those teeny tiny obligations I have committed myself to. I am often flustered and flummoxed, running out of time, down to the last second as I attempt to reorganize my day and jump into something that I should have attacked and taken care of ages ago. My life, albeit like so many others’, is cluttered, confusing and complicated, a life spread out between two apartments as it is squashed between demands of family, career and renovation, leaving me unorganized at best, distracted at worst. * sigh *

Sunday, October 14, 2012

CHOCOLATE COINTREAU FONDANT CAKE

DÉJÀ-VU ALL OVER AGAIN
- Yogi Berra

I would say to housewives, be not daunted by one failure, nor by twenty. Resolve that you will have good bread, and never cease striving after this result till you have effected it. 
If persons without brains can accomplish this, why cannot you? 
Housekeeping in Old Virginia, 1878 


I can always sense when something has gone wrong. I can divine when my expectations will be dashed, my high hopes and excitement evaporating into thin air right before my very eyes. Dismay and disappointment wash over me, intermingled with confusion, a thousand little questions popping up like so many bright, blinking fireflies. I peer through the oven window, suffer the blast of damp heat that swallows me up as I tug open the door; I turn my head away and count one-two-three as the mist fades from my eyeglasses and turn back again to observe. I gently press my index and middle fingers down onto the cracked, sugary crust and hear that sssssssss of foamy, undercooked cake and feel the mousse-like quality of puffed yet wet batter. Will this cake, a creation that began as something so chocolaty, so orangey, so sexy, so promising, result in a calamitous failure?

Monday, October 8, 2012

BETTER-THAN-INSTANT VANILLA CUPCAKES

MINI TREATS & HAND-HELD SWEETS (a review)


A bottle of half-drunk wine sits on a rumpled, faded tablecloth on the coffee table in front of the darkened television set, silent remnants of a meal eaten late in the evening by a family too tired to carry everything into the kitchen when it was done. Old, scruffed and battered moving cartons, decades-old packing tape, yanked off and pressed back into place too many times to count hanging loosely off the sides, are piled willy-nilly in the foyer, bags of paperback novels are lined up like soldiers down the long shelf-lined corridor. A move is imminent, the house groans under the weight of too many belongings, the pressure of time tilting in the wrong direction, coming perilously close. Neither focus nor energy to cook or shop, just barely enough time to dash to the other apartment and back again, stopping off on the way to pick up prepared foods and that necessary bottle of red or white, depending upon our mood.

Monday, October 1, 2012

LEMON PECAN ALMOND QUICK BREAD

SOMETIMES YOU FEEL LIKE A NUT…. OR A SEED OR A GRAIN 


The entire population of Nantes must spend Saturdays at Ikea. We show up at 9:30 a.m. sharp as the doors open, and already we are pushing through a babbling, excited throng of young couples, pregnant women, retirees and families. They stroll through the aisles as they would an art museum, simply admiring and casually enjoying their day out, or so it seems; they gawk and point as if at the local zoo. We, on the other hand, are there for one reason, and one reason only: to buy a kitchen. And we mean business. Husband sprints ahead and I trail in his wake, jogging to keep up, weaving in and out of bins piled high with sheets and pillows, rows of beds and sofas just beckoning my shins, hoping to make contact, dangerous mountains of glassware and dishes. I skirt around screaming children who have dropped to the ground in a call for attention, bored and tired, as angry, insistent mothers grab them briskly by the arm and pull them up and along. Fathers and husbands push huge, unwieldy trolleys as wives pause to study potted plants, cutting boards and price tags. Couples discuss, debate, compromise, stopped dead in their tracks, oblivious to the rolling waves of humanity clogging the aisles, attempting to push past them, myself included. I spot my husband somewhere up ahead, his head bobbing up and down in a determined trot. What has brought this mass of mortals to leave their warm beds, their comfortable homes to come to this cold, harsh, crowded spot at this ungodly hour on a Saturday morning?

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