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Archive for December, 2008

Cookay tiem

Sugar Cookies

I sort of love baking. It doesn’t chime my bell like cooking does, mostly because baking has to be precise, which I am generally not. And there are steps. Steps that should be in the right order. But I enjoy chocolate, and I enjoy chocolate in the form of cookies. So it was cookie time. Which should not be confused with business time. Because cookie time last longer than two minutes. And I don’t wear socks when I’m baking cookies.

I made sugar cookies, chocolate crinkles, Andes mint cookies, and sablés filled with milk chocolate ganache. The sablés may have the fanciest name, but they were the easiest to make. The surprise ingredient in these tender “sandy” cookies? Hard-boiled egg yolk.

sables

Hello, we are Fronch.

I used the same goddamned receipt that I use every year for sugar cookies and royal icing and this year they broke and they tasted…blarg. Cloying and flat.

broken star

Halp, I am borked.

The chocolate crinkles, a Martha Stewart recipe, were good and relatively easy to make. They surprised me because the batter almost looked like buttercream frosting. After a good chill and roll (which resulted in messy hands that of course had to be licked clean) they baked up into graphic looking black and white cookies that taste like rich brownies.

crinkles

The Andes mint cookies were the most fun to make because you got to unwrap all the candies and put them on top of the hot cookies and then spread the chocolate after they melted. Fun fun fun, lick the chocolatey spoon. Nom.

mint cookie

The End

all boxed up

All boxed up

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Pate de campagne

Pate de campagne1

I’ve been wanting to make a rustic pate for a while, since I had a slice on Cochon’s boucherie plate in New Orleans last Christmastide. I still dream about their quail mousse. Mmm.

Pate2

I used Molly Wizenberg‘s receipt from the Dec 08 edition of Bon Appetit. I followed her recipe to the letter sans the cognac, for which I substituted brandy. I did not detect any taste of brandy in the completed pate, so perhaps I should’ve ponied up the extra cash for cognac. I minced my own pork which made the pate velvety. It’s a very intense final dish, a 1/2″ slice is more than adequate for one person as a meal…the plate above was my dinner and I was very full…I barely had room for cookies!

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Sad news

Day was a hard day.  Had the grandparents and great grandma over for dinner and what we thought was going to be a long weekend (their power had been out all day). Grandpa gave us the news this evening that his cancer has returned. Three years ago he had his kidney removed because of cancer. Ever since then his health has been getting worse and worse. I am afraid that this will be the last Christmas I have with him. I am really close to my grandparents; we eat dinner together at least once a week. Obviously I’m devastated that the one man in my life that has always been there for me is really ill. I just don’t know what to do but cry.

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Smoke

One of my favorite memories from my time in Italy was the distilled veil of incense that wraps around you when you enter a basilica. The sweet smoke a curtain that envelops you, beckoning you to breathe in the sweet perfume and linger. I would imagine that every wisp was a prayer, the curl of the flame from the candles the memory of a votum uttered in urgency.

New people enter your life every day. Most of them are forgettable; a wisp of smoke drifting in a cavernous room. Every once in a while you meet someone who makes you stand still. You find yourself looking forward, not back. Before long you forget they were ever a stranger. They install themselves quietly in your life. You relax and breathe deeply, you linger and get to know them. With a jolt you realize they’ve become a fixture in your day and you would have a pain in your side if they were removed.

I recently told someone I loved them. I admitted what I felt because I had that jolt of realization that my life would be less rich without them in it. That I am happy to stand still and breathe deeply. While I feel the urge to clasp them to my side I know that’s not right. You don’t love people to keep them in your life, you love them because they’ve made your life better, for whatever reason. This person makes me laugh. I’m funny and wild and ridiculous, I experience the profound and the profane when I’m with him.

Love is a fluid thing, it ebbs and flows and one day this person may drift away, leaving only a memory of their perfume behind. I’m okay with that. I accept that right now, they make me feel this way. I have no expectations or demands.

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