Seek and You Shall Find

I feel like this cat sometimes. It seems we are all forced to forage at some point tsk, tsk. I did come up with something though!
I would wander far, go the distance (I live up North, away from everything and everywhere I want to be) to where I can be still with coffee and cake, notebook and pen. I'd seek out the quiet, homey, really small ten-table (max!) cafes. For years it was Fleur de Lys. Later, just about anywhere that has great brewed coffee, cakes that make me pause and bide my time in the eating, with a ritual of cake slowly drawn off the fork and left to linger a bit on the mouth to figure out what-all is in it and whether its a feast or a bust. The notebook and pen is for a diary of sorts, sometimes for work, but often for the other diners' sake: yes, I am preoccupied; yes, I am comfortable eating out alone; and no, thank you, company not required. Anyways, I like the off peak past-lunch-but-not-quite-dessert hour or so where the lull allows "leisurely" dining and affords the wait staff a chance to dawdle and just pop up to top off my water glass or serve an extra order. Wait staff, like salespeople, should fade in the background, which is a feat in a teeny, weeny cafe.

One baking challenge led to another. A crinkle (recipe right off the Pillsburry pack)progressed to a date bar. A brownie morphed to a flour-less cake. My dad's friend, a personal carer and chef whose employer lives half the time in the US and some in an exotic island villa -daughter-less and with half a mind to teach me something- began sending recipes, baking things, and the bible, Larousse Gastronomique, which my "real" chef friend says is too expensive for most of them to own. Dad's friend, Tita E., also sent a Cuisinart Supreme Commercial Quality Ice Cream Maker, which I've used once or twice, since cream,half and half and nuts are mostly found in specialty stores, duty-free shops, and membership shopping (S&R)where "dear" is not an endearment but a curse on my wallet. So experiments are few and far between, depending on my spare moneybank.

So! I make do with whatever is there, including an old Elba gas range which rubber gaskets have fallen off (letting some of the heat out, replaced by rolled up sheets of foil taped round the oven door) and the hand-me-down baking things. The nice thing though, is that when the baked goodies come out nearly perfect, I forget I burned whatever skin got in contact with the heated oven window glass, door, or tray. I forget that that's (woefully)hard-earned freelance money I'm burning on ingredients and such. I forget hours spent making it look right and taste great. I forget that I have... am making do! When they come out real good, I feel I got good at something! The bonus is, I get to eat the.. uh ..cake or pie of my labors, and share it with my nephews, family and friends who make quick work of it down to the crumb that barely survived the scrabble. I love it when they scrabble! Why ever not? I foraged! :)

P.s. This is not a dessert or baking blog, just looks that way for now. I will ramble on, just wait and see.


Popular Posts