Tuesday, February 28, 2006

"Bon Appetit!"

As you might have guessed, my week has again been filled with baking, rather than sewing. I baked more Madeleines and also perfected the basic Financier recipe. Initially, I found most of the recipes for Financiers to produce a batter that was more heavy in texture than I personally preferred. Therefore, true to my nature, I abandoned the standard recipe and began experimenting. I combined several recipes and incorporated my own ideas to achieve a Financier that still has a nutty almond flavor without a mealy texture. Yes, again I'm baking with the BBC to keep me company. Both my usual lemony Madeleines and the chocolate ones were baked while listening to a BBC Radio 4 broadcast of a discussion of the 1963 book Beyond the Boundary, a sociological commentary and philosophical study of society and the game of cricket, written in memoir format, by CLR James. But by the time the final batches were in the oven, I was listening to beautiful, melancholy pieces from Bach over on BBC Radio 3.

All of this talk of batch after batch of Madeleines would give the impression that I must have an abundance of these precious little tea cakes in my kitchen. On the contrary, Daniel made quick work of devouring nearly all of them in one sitting. (Lucky for me, I taste as I cook, so I was able to have a few also.) He has already discovered the Financiers, so I'm sure I'll be baking more soon. And he is happily anticipating my upcoming Ladyfingers. Yes, my former somewhat finicky-eater-of-a-husband has become an official, self professed, "foodie." (With the exception of our, "date-night-out dinners," all of our evening meals are homecooked as well, so it's great for the both of us now being foodies, traveling via recipe to all sorts of interesting places.)

It seems that I've somehow discovered this latest preoccupation, accidentally. It happened as I was planning on making sewing my latest endeavor, but instead became sidetracked in the kitchen. But I don't perceive all of this cooking business to be mere hobby. On the contrary, it is more serious for me. It is an honorable duty to my household to become the absolute best possible cook that I can. Which of course, means considerable culinary research and experimentation. Julia Child was my age, when she enrolled in Le Cordon Bleu Cooking School in Paris. And while I do not have any future formal culinary education plans, I'm not too old to take the occasional specialty course now and then. In the meantime, I do however, plan to continue reading, studying, and cooking. An adventure already, cooking will become even more challenging and exciting once I become completely immersed in my vintage 1961 copy of Julia's Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

Until we meet for coffee,

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