Archive for July, 2010

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vacation all I ever wanted…

July 30, 2010

Well, I have to say I’m rather disappointed with my output for July.  Between the heat wave (that just ended yesterday, swear) and several weeks of being sicker than I thought I was, reader request month was slow.  Really slow.  And now, we’re heading out the door at an obnoxious hour tomorrow morning for the best vacation of the year.  So with that, I’ve decided to carry reader request over into August.  I’ll finish up the requests that are outstanding now, and of course you’re always free to send more in.

Catch you in a couple of weeks!

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i’ll tell you what i want, what i really really want

July 25, 2010

Reader C sent in a request for a chewy molasses cookie.  She then clarified that the request was really for her mom, who had been trying for years to recreate her grandmother’s cookies.  Talk about a no-pressure request!  Research was a little frustrating, as it seemed like so many of the recipes I found ended up in crispy, not chewy cookies.  I for sure needed chewy, not only for C, but for myself.  I have memories of my mom taking me to a small bakery near our house, and I always thought it was a special treat when I was able to get a hermit cookie to munch on.  They were flavorful and chewy, packed with spices and raisins, and they were the biggest cookies in the display.  Who could resist?

While the cookie I ended up with isn’t a hermit (no raisins or nuts), it does have a deep molasses flavor, and the spices almost seem to sneak up on you before leaving a glowing aftertaste.  And the chew?  Oh my goodness, these are some of the most satisfyingly chewy cookies I’ve ever made.  Results were sent into work with mrslovey, with a portion set back specifically for C and her mom.  I’m hoping that even if they’re not exactly like Gram’s, they’re close enough to keep the memories fresh and bring a smile to her face. Read the rest of this entry ?

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if I lived here I’d be home by now

July 18, 2010

Looking through the reader requests, S has apparently discovered one of my embarrassing weak spots.  Pie.  Yep, pie.  Believe it or not, folks, I’ve only ever made ONE pie before (not counting things with pre-purchased crusts), and it didn’t come out well.  Pies TERRIFY me, with all their weird crusty mystery.  I had been hoping against hope that no one would request a pie.  I even went so far as to threaten a couple of people who know my secret, warning that they better not request a pie OR ELSE.  But alas, S in all her innocence wanted a peach pie with a sugared lattice crust, so I shrugged my shoulders helplessly and got to work. Read the rest of this entry ?

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not nearly as hard as I make it seem

July 12, 2010

I got some reader-request baking done on Sunday, during a short break in the heat wave.  K had requested Martha Stewart’s Lemon-Thyme Wafers, so I found the recipe online and got to work.  People, let me tell you, it was like an episode of I Love Lucy or something.  Anything that I could have messed up, I did.  (And of course, it wasn’t helped by the fact that I was working on two things at once for part of the time).

The first step of the recipe is to warm up some cream and then add lemon zest and thyme springs, to let the flavors infuse the cream, ooh la la fancy fancy.  I did this no problem, let it sit for a while infusing, and then strained the now-flavorful cream into a glass coffee mug for later use.  Step into the other room for a few minutes while I wait for the oven to be free.  Come back into the kitchen to talk to mrslovey who is using the break to do some dishes*, and I see a soapy sponge – wiping out a glass coffee mug.  Seems I need to label things better.  Out comes more cream, more zest, and more thyme from the herb garden.  I strain it into a measuring cup and say very slowly and loudly, like I’m talking to a toddler, or a dinosaur, or something, “I’M PUTTING THIS OVER HERE, WITH THE INGREDIENTS,BECAUSE IT IS AN INGREDIENT.  WHICH I AM GOING TO USE.  WHEN I MAKE THESE COOKIES, WITH THESE OTHER INGREDIENTS. OVER HERE.”  I’m lucky she didn’t crack me in the head with a glass coffee mug.

Next step was mixing a bunch of stuff together to make the batter, no biggie.  But then, THEN, was the first circus act of the day.  Imagine, if you will, that you are holding in one hand a stainless steel mixer bowl, and are trying to pour and scrape the contents into the open end of a big zippy bag, that is perched in a(nother) glass mug, with a piping tip that is way too big for the thickness of the batter, so everything seems to be either flowing right out of the tip, or trying to pull the bag out of the mug and onto the counter.  Not saying that’s what happened, but just imagine the frustration if that were the case.  Then start piping your cookies out, and realize your piping skills still suck, so you’re dripping batter everywhere and this bag is too big and now the tip is coming out of the bag and batter is leaking out of THAT new hole and OMG is this really this hard????   Read the rest of this entry ?

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heat wave hiatus

July 8, 2010

We’re in the middle of a record-breaking heat wave here in the Northeast.  It’s currently after 10pm and still 90 degrees outside, and this is the coolest day so far this week.  Anyway, what I’m trying to say in a clever manner is that the oven has been taking a bit of a break due to the horrific weather.  It looks like we’ll have a slight respite over the weekend, so I’m going to try to bake as much as I can to stock up for the upcoming week or so of continued stifledom. You can keep submitting requests, they are being reviewed and researched in the meantime!

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July – reader request month!

July 1, 2010

Can you believe how fast this year is racing by?  What’s up with that??  Suddenly, it’s July.  The good news is, that means it’s reader request month!  I’m a little scared, and a lot excited about this experiment!  I’m putting my reputation (ha!) in your hands, so don’t do me wrong!  So, how does it work? Read the rest of this entry ?