May 25, 2013 § Leave a comment
The move has happened, albeit in pieces, as I type this back at my parents’ for the night to retrieve a few left-behind items…like, oh, my cat. The new job has begun, and I haven’t messed anything up royally yet. I do feel that the people I’ll be working with are all very helpful, and we can get along in the midst of the craziness that is cookbook publishing, apparently. I’ve yet to cook or bake anything noteworthy, as the last few days have focused mainly on sustenance derived from my meager pantry at the preordained times of day.
As I packed up a few more things today, I came across a book of food writing and fortuitously turned to Laura Dave’s essay “How to Cook in a New York Apartment.” It rings true for any city, I feel. Her words convey the comfort that we seek in situations that change and morph around us.
“Eleven P.M. The silliest time to eat by yourself.
All the windows in your New York apartment are open. Your stereo is tuned to country music. You are cuddled on the couch in your thick white socks with your soft blue bowl of chicken Parmigiana.
This is when the phone rings. This is the most important part.
You don’t answer it. Even though it may be the blue-eyed person. Even though it may be something about work. Even though it may be flowers or promises ready to be kept or the hope of an easier tomorrow. (It does turn out, in a way you couldn’t have prepared for, that tomorrow will get easier. That there is good news on the other end of that phone. That your dreams, if not coming true, are coming closer.”
But know this. Even if someone tells you it is corny later. Even if someone tells you that it is a coincidence. Good things happen, because right then, when you need to most, you sit still. You sit still in your seat–Willie Nelson and Loretta Lynn dueting in the background; the fast May heat swimming around you. And for you–for nobody else–you take a first, great bite.
May 12, 2013 § Leave a comment
Two tastes I know my mom loves, ginger and lemon. As today is the ultimate day to honor moms, I and my limited budget decided to make her a few treats. Cracking open a Barefoot Contessa cookbook, I was reminded of her Ultimate Ginger Cookies and Lemon Yogurt Cake that I had spied before and logged away for safekeeping/forgetting. The ginger cookie lives up to its name and is pleasingly soft and chewy, not brittle like a gingersnap, which I was happy to discover. And, it marked my first time using crystallized ginger, which was a plus for the baker who likes a challenge. The lemon cake is cooling as we speak so I can’t talk about its deliciousness yet. The lemon zest and the creamy yogurt combination is sure to please my mom, and that’s what today is all about, right?
I am blessed with a loving and thoughtful mother, one who, as I was struck last night, I should tell that I cherish more. I pray for all the mothers I know and love today: those who have been extensions of my own to me, those who are new at this experience and may be struggling, the soon-to-bes who wait impatiently for the day, and those dear hearts who have not yet known but so deeply desire motherhood. I pray for hope and grace and mercy and peace to them all.
May 2, 2013 § Leave a comment
I found an apartment with my new roommate this week, and we’ll move in soon and I’ll start my new job then too. Change is afoot, though it doesn’t really feel like it yet. I warmed to the new apartment slowly, after seeing 3 floor plans at the place we’d decided upon before being completely convinced. The kitchen has me feeling, well, challenged. As many a food blogger has proven, you don’t have to have excesses of square footage to develop flavor and deliciousness. But, I am a little hesitant about the size of the appliances, namely, the oven. At first glance, it’s definitely smaller than my parents’ gas range, but I must keep in mind that that is probably a skewed barometer. I might have to invest in a few half-size sheet pans and the like. Perhaps these thoughts have reinvigorated a desire to cook and bake this week in familiar territory, as it were.
These Lamington Cupcakes have been in my mind and staring at me from the cover of The Craft of Baking for a year or two now.
I don’t know the history of the name, and haven’t taken the time to look it up. I do know that this creamy cake batter puffs up appealingly, and yields to the slightest pressure when warm. I do know that the cupcakes are delectable plain, but indulgent trussed up in cocoa glaze and toasted coconut sprinkle. I do know that I’ll be making these again and probably rolling them in mini chocolate chips, truth be told.