Alice and the Wonderful, Delightful, No Bad, Very Good Day

Because sometimes you just gotta say “fcuk it” to the writing and bake a birthday cake for a horse instead.

annie cake_apr17
Why yes, since you mention it, that IS a 4-layer coffee-chocolate cake with lemon curd filling and a cardamom buttercream frosting! Good call. Your eye for detail is impressive.

And what about you? Tell me something good that’s happening in your world right now.

Or, equally delightful, tell me something absurd…

* * *

[Recipe adapted (only very slightly!) from this original.]

Well. That was certainly bracing.

It started with a klaxon bell at 4:30 yesterday morning.

From a distance, I understand it looked like this:

The tall building behind the smoke? Yeah. That’s where I live.

[If you’re anything like me, you’re feeling awfully nervous at this point in the story. Lemme jump ahead a moment and reassure everyone: I am okay. Hildi and Nathan are both okay. Everyone else is okay too: no lives were lost, either among my neighbors or the firefighters.]  Continue reading “Well. That was certainly bracing.”

In Remembrance of Desserts Past

julia licking

What is it people say about pleasure?

That it is “found first in anticipation, later in memory”?

Although many sites on the Internet (that waggish rapscallion!) attribute the line to Flaubert, the author may actually be Julian Barnes, who gave this line as a thought to his version of the verbose flâneur in Flaubert’s Parrot.

This detail is neither here nor there.

(Though pleasure may reside in both.)

But let me get to the point: crowdsourcing!

My friend M organizes the greatest dinner invites. Once a month, she has me over for a meal, to which I bring the dessert. At the end of the night, we negotiate the following month’s menu: I pick something interesting and/or challenging for her to make, and she decides on some parameters for my part.

We felt a bit lazy last night and didn’t get beyond the food theme of “Mexican(ish).” So now I’m looking for recommendations from any culinary types — of either the cooking or the eating variety — out there: favorite Mexican (or Tex-Mex) desserts? Preferably something with a bit of a wow-factor, be it taste, presentation, or culinary skill required.

[This is how anticipation gets going. As for the memory side of pleasure…] Continue reading “In Remembrance of Desserts Past”

A Horse’s Pastry Chef

Today, on Coffee and a Blank Page:

The part of The Writer will be played by “Alice Channeling a Food Blogger.” Regularly scheduled programming will resume shortly. We thank you for your understanding. 

Management would also like to acknowledge that The Writer has been particularly remiss of late in reading and commenting on other blogs, due to what she is terming a “dense period” lasting several weeks. We anticipate this will remedy itself shortly.

♦ ♦ ♦

This is Annie:

Annie is a horse.
Just to be clear, Annie is a horse.

This is A, Annie’s human companion and best friend:

[Hint: A is the one wearing the blue jeans.]
Hint: A is the one wearing the blue jeans.
‎‎And this is a slice of the cake I baked for this year’s massive BYOF (Bring-Your-Own-Friend) party, which A throws every April in honor of Annie’s birthday:

[Annie, I'm sorry to report, never gets to eat her own birthday cake. But I am assured the oat pail she gets at the barn is extra special on this day.]
Annie, I’m sorry to report, never gets to eat her own birthday cake. But I am assured the oat pail she gets at the barn is extra special on this day!
The rest of this post is going to be partly about that cake — and partly about the path I traveled to become the official pâtissière to a horse. In true food blogging fashion, the recipe and directions — as well as other baking whatnot — will appear at the end, so please feel free to skip to the bottom if you’re here just for the espresso pastry cream!

Continue reading “A Horse’s Pastry Chef”