People, I’m getting as predictable as a Cathy cartoon. Take out your calendars, tick 28 days from now, and inevitably, this page will be topped with yet another chocolate-supporting confection. All month long, I look at this dark food of the gods, daily, I submit to a bittersweet bite, yet rarely do I desire to transform it into things. Baking disperses chocolate across flour, eggs, sugars and etceteras. It dulls its mighty intent, and personally, I prefer my chocolate potent.
October, 2006 Archive
I have this theory, or shall we call it a personality disposition, that nothing is ever really perfect. While I would argue this pickiness is unfortunate outside the kitchen — “This date would have been even more perfect if I’d ordered the eggplant and not the chicken.” “I love my haircut except this completely unnoticeable thing going on in the back.” — within the confines of the galley walls, I think nit-picking, when done quietly, helps us become better cooks.
At Sunday’s final bread class, I was a little slow-moving after Saturday night’s festivities and the cause of last week’s cupcake extravaganza. We focused on whole-grain breads: semolina, Swiss rye, seeded rye and pumpernickel, and though I was a little, um, dehydrated, I think I did all right, surprising myself by getting all four doughs together before noon. It was at this point that I realized I might just have achieved my goal in this class — which was not, by the way, to effectively knead bread with a margarita headache — but to get comfortable enough with the process that I could dive into recipes confidently and know instinctively what to do if things get off-course (or underslept). I’m almost there, and not a moment too soon, because the instructor dug up a recipe for Russian Black Bread for me with about 20 ingredients and it’s calling to me. No rest for the weary, or at least certifiably insane, I suppose.
A firm believer in balance, or some fumbling approximation of it, if I tell you about the bewildered, exhausted and terrifying, it is only fair that I tell you that today — a day I was certain was Monday the whole day long (as in, “hey, why is the Times updating their food section a day early?”) — was a knock-it-out-of-the-park great day. Sparing you all the driveling details, suffice it to say there has been a raise, bragging rights and even the ability to make someone else’s day. I took this string of greatness to the store (not jeans, or course, I know better than to rub my luck in the face of the narrow-hipped crowd) where I found a sweater I suspect I love enough to wear it until it’s threadbare and a pair of heels that (crosses fingers that they will continue to) almost feel comfortable.