File this under “posts where Shannon makes something you can easily purchase at the store and subsequently gets underwear-bunchy trying to figure out why you would ever want the store-bought version when the scratch version is so much better.” What; you don’t have a folder for that? You should. Let’s talk about angel cake. Why, as a human race, are we so willing to grab store-bought angel cake when the homemade variety is incredibly delicious? I blame our current relationship with egg whites. Continue reading →Pin It
Shavuot, congratulations: you are the first Jewish holiday I am on time for! I was late for Purim and Passover, but you; you I managed to not be tardy for. I think it’s because you’re about dairy; all sorts of dairy, evidently, so it’s easy to both love you as a holiday and also find you easy to make food for. I can see why people look forward to celebrating you. Continue reading →Pin It
Two very exciting things happened at the end of April this year.
Emma from Of Agates and Madeleines hand-illustrated a postcard and sent it to me from the middle of the Maine woods, where she hangs out most days. This was part of a previous agreement we had made to send each other postcards from our various locations; my vacation site in Florida versus her work site at the tippy top of the States. I sent her two postcards (I couldn’t decide which exemplified my vacation destination more) but they were not hand-illustrated, attached to a little note, and cuddled into a hand-folded envelope, friends. Only Emma would do that, and this is why I love her. She’s my kind of absolutely nuts, and I like it. Thanks, Emma.
The other thing that happened? These cupcakes. Continue reading →Pin It
Admittedly, this is not my best photo. Simple cakes get a raw deal in that they are so elegant and beautiful in real life, but often difficult (for me) to capture on film. I promise you, it is gorgeous in real life.
In my quest to learn more about Jewish holidays and the foods associated with them, I committed myself to making something for each (major? I’m a non-Jewish person, so I don’t know how to classify these) holiday. Since I am new to this, all of my offerings have been after the actual holiday has occurred. First, there was the great hamantaschen experiment for Purim; I got so caught up in oil-based versus butter-based hamantaschen and homemade jam fillings that those didn’t show up until the week after Purim. Now, here we are at my contribution for Passover, which has come and gone, and evidently we’re just days away from the holiday which falls 7 weeks after Passover, so it’s safe to say that I’m tardy in posting this one too. Please forgive me: I’ve decided to expand my Jewish food exploration to two years in the hopes that next year I’ll be ahead of schedule. Continue reading →Pin It
I posted so many things for National Library week last week; I thought I’d give you all a little breather to catch up. A week has passed, you’ve cleared out your Google Reader (Feedly?) by now, so I’ll resume my post-Easter 2013 food recap, since we still have the desserts to go.
It’s been a little while, but do you remember that yellow sunshine cake I made for the Easter festivities? That was a french butter cake called a “sableuse,” pronounced – so far as I can tell – “sableeeuuuussse.” You know you want to say it like that too, so don’t deny yourself that one tiny pleasure. The sableuse was a very different cake recipe than I’ve ever tried by the manner in which you put it together, so I thought it safe to go about it on a holiday where there would be another cake in place, were this one to fail. Thankfully, it didn’t fail, and what resulted was pretty magical.
I’ve never met a cake that’s this light in weight yet so dense and rich on the tongue. It’s almost impossible to experience, because cakes that are this rich generally have quite a bit of heft to them; you could have flung this one into the air like a Frisbee. Because of this, it’s a great warm weather cake; just throw some fresh whipped cream and berries alongside of it, and you have a lovely dessert that doesn’t seem overdone. It’s sunshine yellow due to a massive amount of egg yolks inside it, and comes out in much the way that a sturdy pound cake would, which means nothing will fall apart on you in the heat. Continue reading →Pin It
Dear past, present and future library patrons,
I feel like we had a really good national library week together, yes? I got cosy with a few cookbooks, made some recipes, and hopefully got a few of you turned on to all your local library has to offer. I was fortunate enough to read about how the library has been a big part of your lives, as well. So many of you already use the library on a regular basis (and love it as much as I do), and that was a delightful surprise. I loved hearing your memories of childhood library visits, and spending tons of time there during high school and college, or losing touch with the library but finding your way back. It seems like everyone has a different favorite thing about the library, and that’s maybe what makes libraries so great; so many things to love. Continue reading →Pin It
So do you see now why I talk about you all the time? We’ve been through a lot together, and I’ll never leave you. When college ended, I threw myself back into recreational reading with full force. With your spiffy online ordering system, your entire catalog was mine, at quite literally the touch of a button. It’s fantastic: if a book I want is really popular, I can even place myself in a virtual line and you will not only alert me when it is available, you will deliver it to my closest branch for pickup.
By the way, your online search and request system is excellent; so much more streamlined than when it first began, Library. You haven’t just sat by and done the bare minimum, no; you’ve continually updated it to make the whole process easy for everyone. I use my online account so much that I’ve memorized my library card number. Continue reading →Pin It
Let’s talk about high school. I wasn’t nearly as studious as I was in elementary school, but that didn’t dampen my love for reading. I still visited you regularly, although I mostly left behind my Nancy Drew in favor of more grown-up books. I never knew what I would find in your shelves, and I liked it that way; quite often, I would wander through your book-stacked aisles and grab what looked interesting. I found Barbara Kingsolver and Ellen Gilchrist this way, both before they were popular. I still read books by those two, and other authors I discovered purely by chance, to this day. Continue reading →Pin It
I’ve talked about my love of libraries for some time now. This week (April 14-20) is National Library Week, and I’m going celebrate it by talking about why the library has been important in my own life for over three decades, and why it should be important to you. Hopefully, your library is awesome, and you visit it regularly. You can use it for a multitude of things, from music to movies to, yes, every conceivable type of book. In this little corner of the internet, you’ve seen it used most often for cookbooks; in fact, many of the recipes I’ve researched, toyed with and practiced on over the past few years have come from none other than my lovely library. Continue reading →Pin It