Disasters Archive

Friday, September 29, 2006

gut, and other ignored things

a giant cupcake in twenty-four parts

It’s a terrible thing to ignore your gut instincts, though I’m sad to say this wasn’t my first time. There was the otherwise-engaged record store Rastafarian, a pair of overpriced, excruciatingly uncomfortable shoes I never wear (fine, several), and now there is this, too.

Bypassing your cooking intuition is a torturous affair. On one hand, what are all of your hours in the kitchen for if not to understand your recipes on a more base level, to inherently comprehend that creaming butter with the sugar, not over-mixing your flours, getting your ingredients to room temperature make for the best cake foundations. Yet, on the other hand, we want to learn new things; who really knows everything there is to know about kitchen-crafting? Maybe the cake will be improved with more salt or baking powder, maybe three cups of sugar in a batch of cupcakes isn’t too much, maybe this recipe makes the kind of cake that doesn’t rise very much, so filling the paper cups to the top as the recipe clearly dictates is a good idea.

this one's almost pretty

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Thursday, August 3, 2006

roasted baby artichoke failure

baby artichokes

Nearly seven years ago, my best friend bought me a subscription to Martha Stewart Living magazine as holiday present. Tearing open the wrapping paper, I caught a glimpse of a pyramid stack of rigidly squared off Rice Krispy Treat-style cereal bars on one of those ever-upbeat and brightly lit covers I recognized all too well and protested, “But I don’t read Martha Stewart!”

“Of course you don’t,” she said. “Of course not.”

Martha Stewart was fussy and domestic and a grueling perfectionist who doted on the most inane stuff and I, I, I was all of those things; I just hadn’t come to terms with it yet. I would buy the rag for long train rides and chuck it when I got to my destination; nobody had to know but me. My dirty little magazine-stand secret had dewy, dimly lit pictures of ripe melons all over it, oh yeah, but the authentic kind.

I don’t know when I stopped subscribing (odds are, I haven’t, I just move too damned much) but Martha don’t come round no more, so when we were finally reunited on a New Jersey Transit bus last week, I nearly ate the pages, most pertinently the one with the roasted baby artichokes recipe [link removed as page seems to have disappeared] as I will cook or eat anything in the whole world as long as it involved a single iota of artichoke (“even boogers?” my husband asks and I’ll spare you my answer). I love them that much.

quartered artichokes

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