I’m patting myself on the back right now–no, not for finishing NaBlo, because I think we have already established that an 86 percent effort doesn’t count–but because I have finally made the fennel ice cream from the October Gourmet and it is absolutely wonderful. You have no idea how many things have had the balderdash to get in my way.
November, 2007 Archive
Ah, NaBlo… It wasn’t enough for me to fail you once (friends over into the wee hours), twice (came home to heat not working, cannot blog while burrowed under ten blankets) or three times (I had already blown it twice, what’s one more?)–I have to go for a nice even number like four. Why no new recipe on Wednesday? Well, if you skip to question six, your answer awaits!
Until that situation rightens itself, I will have to bore you with one more Q&A, this one still leftovers from questions asked a few weeks ago. Hey, I promised I’d get to them, wouldn’t I?
Picture this: You’re toweling off after your morning shower, your oatmeal in the microwave, looking into the mirror and thinking as per usual, “my god, am I pale. When is vacation again?” when you hear this noise from the living room. As you get closer, so does the noise, a fluttering, scratching and absolutely frantic in every little way sound. Is it (groan, another) mouse? Why does it sound like a bird? How could there be a bird in the wall? What if it’s stuck? It really sounds spazzed out in there. Calm down, Deb. Surely it’s nothing. It’s probably just a bird on the outside of your thin circa-1870 tenement walls. Sit down, eat your oatmeal, everything is going to be… #$%!!!! BIRD! BIRD! BIRD! BIRD! A BIRD FLEW OUT OF THE RADIATOR. Omg, it is THROWING itself against the window. Halp! HALP!
Thanksgiving usually marks the end of my yearly fall fanaticism, and the beginning of the inevitable resignation to winter that goes into full-swing after the New Years. I’m no longer obsessed with the myriad of fall flavors, its squashes and medium-body soups and wines, I just want to stay warm. I hibernate, so to speak. I start cooking meals at home with more regularity; I find excuses to stay in.
Last Saturday was my darling Jocelyn’s birthday and you just know I wasn’t going to even think about showing up without birthday cake. Fortunately, just about everyone we know agrees that two of the best desserts on earth are cannolis from Venieros on First Avenue and homemade tiramisu. I was actually kind of obsessed with figuring out a way to make a cannoli cake, but in the end copped out, not feeling daring enough to invent a recipe and having waited until the very last minute (3 p.m.) to actually start baking.
Not for the first or last time, Dorie Greenspan came to the rescue. As if Baking: From My Home to Yours wasn’t awesome enough, it actually includes two cake sections, one devoted solely to “Celebration Cakes,” or the exact type you’d want to bring to a birthday party. But all are so much more exciting than just yellow cake and butter cream frosting, such as Black and White Chocolate Cake, Big Carrot Cake, Perfect Party Cake and Tiramisu Cake. I stopped right there, and started this:
About five years ago, I brought an apple pie to Thanksgiving from some recipe I had made up while I was going along–feh, who needs a recipe for apple pie?–and my aunt declared it the best apple pie she had ever tasted. While this should have been the best news in the world, in the years since, in my mind, at least, it has brought nothing but chaos because, without having written down my “little of this” and “little of that” approach, I’ve had a terrible time recreating it.