Sometimes on Fridays, my fingers actually get too tired to type even one more word and I am forced to do prehistoric things like pick up a phone to have a conversation. Seeing as it’s been one of those weeks–and I don’t have all of your numbers–I hope you’ll accept some gratuitous photos of these blissful muffins I made earlier this week in lieu of more than a two word description.*
Muffin/Quick Bread Archive
Oh my god, people. Just OMG. Let’s just make this one succinct, for once? Surely, I am capable of concise thought, right? These muffins are the shockingly good. Make them.
That’s not enough? Fine. Two lemons worth of grated peel are muddled into a paste with sugar, and that sugar is used to bake a simple buttermilk and vanilla muffin that is topped with a whole fresh raspberry. If it sounds simple, that’s because it is, but the flavor is anything but. The lemon peel gives what should be a sweet, harmless muffin a bitter, intense edge, and the raspberry, an almost sour contrast whose impact rivals the best blueberry muffin you’ve ever had. What I once thought was my favorite approach to lemon cake is no longer. There’s a new muffin in town.
Some days, I’m pretty sure this site is turning into something of a Dorie Greenspan Fan Club. Let us review, shall we? Dorie brought one of my favorite surprise Paris treats into my very own kitchen, directed us to the most amazing chocolate cookie, ever, her deep, dark ganache tart was the kind of easy dinner party dessert that nobody complains about and just last week, her lemon sables were the ideal palette upon which I could paint my margarita cookie aspirations. Everything you might think you like about my baking, you really like about hers. Today, her latest book ushers in another recipe that I am certain will be a repeat hit (once, of course, I get over my addiction to the shiny and the new).
I was incapable of resisting. Despite the fact that the last New York Times recipe that burned such a hole in my monitor that I had to try it ASAP was a caustic disaster, I hold no grudges against the Gray Lady. Not when she, or more specifically Melissa Clark, graces the pages with what she considers the ultimate soda bread, “baked in a heavy iron skillet so that the top and bottom crusts become crunchy and browned while the center stays tender and pale, studded with treacly bits of raisins.”
I’ve never made Irish soda bread before and eaten it almost as rarely, so I can’t offer a review with any authority, but what I loved about this article is neither could Clark. She was told by a friend married to an Irishman and living in his country that though her version was rich and lovely, it neither looked nor tasted like the real deal. Apparently, nobody in Ireland serves real soda bread anymore, she said, and even if they did, it would have no raisins, eggs, butter or caraway seeds. After trying a version faithful to the original and finding it delicious when warm, but hard, dry and bland when cold, Clark decided being authentic was overrated, and went back to her old formula.
To celebrate my sister-in-law’s swearing in to the New York bar on Monday, we went to Blue Smoke for lunch. I ordered a pulled pork sandwiched stacked about as high as my chin, and in a frightening act of who-is-this-girl and what-did-you-do-with-Deb, finished all but one or two bites of it. Later, we (mercifully) spent some quality time at the gym, and at the exact moment that Alex said “Mmm… leftover applewood-smoked chicken for dinner!” I realized not only was I still full, I had the dreaded Meat Hangover.
We all detox differently. Some of us imbibe themselves with (I’m sorry, somewhat frightening) Master Cleanses for weeks on end, others eschew breads, starches or noodles for as long as they can keep away, and a good lot of us chug water and chomp crudites till the bad feelings pass. But my Meat Hangover, like all of my other afflictions, came with very specific instructions: fruit salad, yogurt and whole grains, and I was too glutted to argue.