You guys: 9 people died over the new year in Japan, with 13 more people in serious condition due to mochi cake. Last year? 4 deaths, with 2 deaths the previous year. Seems as though mochi cake is so dense, so chewy, and so delicious that people consume it en masse this time of year, and sometimes too fast, which can lead to accidental choking.
Here’s the thing: I can see how choking could happen, but if you live in Japan and eat it all the time, I don’t know…be careful with your mochi, people, because it’s a dangerous and uncertain world out there. Japanese authorities recommend you chew it a bunch prior to swallowing, cut it into bite-size pieces before giving it to little kids or the elderly, and – perhaps most importantly – never be alone with your mochi. Continue reading →
In which I demystify an ingredient that isn’t so mysterious. Vietnamese cinnamon: you probably have it in your spice cabinet. You may be using it right now. It’s not uncommon: Penzey’s sells it by its full name as part of their line of fancy cinnamons (you’ll note that Penzey’s declares the Vietnamese variety “extra fancy,” and I would agree), but it’s available all over, in almost any brand, discreetly named “cinnamon.” Sneaky. Continue reading →
Because pumpkin doesn’t have to be exactly the same way each and every year, right? It’s such a versatile ingredient that it would be a mistake to limit it to pie, bread, lattes, and granola. In fact, pumpkin is so essential to our baking lives that Baked devoted an entire chapter to it from their Elements book: a chapter it totally deserved.
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My Wee One headed back to school this morning…for her second year of preschool.
She’ll be 4 years old this week.
When I started this space, she was just a baby; as in literally a baby wobbling around on pudgy legs that had just learned how to walk.
If you need me, I’ll just be right over here inside this cake. It’s not a big bundt – only a 6 cup bundt, more of a petite teacake – but I think if I try really hard, I could curl myself up in it and live there for a few days. Perhaps tunnel my way out by snacking. I don’t know. But that’s the plan. Continue reading →