Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Brown butter. Vanilla. Sauteed apples. Almonds. Toasty sandy tart crust, just | this close | to being too brown. Raisins, just for the heck of it. And to show you what I have to work with when J taste tests for me - his assessment of this was "good." By good, he means he didn't forget it (always happens...), commented especially on his love for the tart crust, and it was gone in two days. Boy's got a talent for understatement. Then again, it's good that he taste tested given my absolute 100% commitment to the standard apple pie with pie crust made with shortening. Something tells me that my stubborn affection for good ol' apple pie will cause me to think any other version just isn't as good.
Similarly, it turns out that I have a go-to chocolate cake. It's not Martha Stewart's one bowl affair (which seems to be nearly everyone's go-to chocolate cake), oh no. That would be too easy. No, it's this chocolate stout cake, made in a bundt pan, and requiring a plethora of bowls, measuring cups, whisks and spatulas. But it's good. I mean, really really really good. So good we buy Guinness just so that we can make it (although the time we made it with double chocolate stout? swoon). This was the cake that J chose as his mini cake for the wedding reception, and I've made it about a dozen times in the past couple years. That in itself is impressive, given my general aversion to baking cakes and also my aversion to making something multiple times unless it's a family recipe. Which is all to say that I have this cake baking away while I'm writing this post, and it's distracting. Very distracting.
Unfortunately, what's also distracting (besides this schizophrenic post, oops) is the end of the semester. Luckily, my ducks are pretty well lined up. I have funding for next year, research plans for this summer, and am down to the last few little details in most of my classes. But by last few details, I mean that I'm running about like a headless chicken. Well, like a slightly more crazed than normal headless chicken, because I think that running about like that comes naturally to me. In the meantime, I actually got the chance to meet up with some of J's coworkers last Friday night, trying out the more tourist-y barbecue joint in the area (although Allen & Sons still has my heart, because they didn't try to take all my money in the process. or make me wait an hour for slightly dry chopped pork. darn you Pit...). Anyway. I was immediately told that they were glad to finally meet the source of the baked goods, and we had a wonderful time chatting about how I really need to give up this whole more education thing and just bake all the time. Ah, if only. It was nice to get out of the lab, away from the desk, and back to interacting with people for whom work is not a lifelong passion. Don't get me wrong, I have the utmost respect both for people who make their living with their passion and those who just get their work done, go home, and live their lives. It's just that after being surrounded by the former for the past year, it was pretty nice to remind myself that other types of work ethics do exist. And hey, when they come with shots of moonshine (not even on the menu...), I'm totally there.
Last Week: Strawberry Rhubarb Double Crisp (which not only disappeared in 30 min at J's work, he immediately emailed me to ask for the recipe for a number of his coworkers. win, yes?)
Next Week: Cornmeal Shortbread Cookies (double the lemon zest. seriously. or sub in orange or lime. double those too. heck, double the recipe.)