Long time readers and friends will remember that my wife, Denisa, used to be a baker. She made a variety of artisanal breads and would deliver them around town, across campus, and sold them in several stores. When she was baking, there were pluses and minuses. The pluses mainly boiled down to “fresh made bread all the time, literally,” though it also got her out and about and helped her meet a lot of people. The minuses were more varied: late nights baking, early mornings baking, and just a whole lot of time invested in it. Running a business isn’t
Okay, people. We’ve been down a kitchen now for almost a week, and I’ve discovered that cold cereal, while generally awesome for me, doesn’t quite cut it for the family day after day. Especially when it’s getting colder out, and people want actual hot meals. But Denisa has also discovered that cooking without a kitchen is . . . difficult to say the least. Right now, she’s got a set up with a hot plate on a card table. There’s not much in the way of prep surfaces, and perhaps the biggest problem is trying to clean everything in a
Several years ago, my brother-in-law was out and about exploring our property and came across a huge concord grape vine off in the jungle behind our house. It’s spread across a number of other trees and bushes, and ever since we discovered we had it, we’ve been tinkering around trying to figure out how best to use it. The grapes are delicious, but they have seeds. We thought we could use them for smoothies, but that hasn’t proven popular. (The seeds end up making things too bitter.) We made some simple canned juice from them (put grapes and sugar and
Last Sunday, Daniela and I made another foray into co-baking, and it ended with a pretty spectacular fail. (I should have taken a picture of it, in hindsight. Just imagine a half-baked bundt cake plopped upside down into another pan, and then baked again. It was bad.) I’d say it left a bad taste in our mouth, but that would be a lie, since we ate it the rest of the week, and it tasted incredible. This week, Daniela wanted to give it another go. Not with a new recipe. With the same one we’d messed up the week before.
Sunday, Daniela and I decided we wanted to make a cake for our Fourth of July dinner later that day. After debating the merits and proper “Americanness” of various cake and frosting combinations, we settled on a bundt cake (because we hadn’t made one before) that would be chocolate with a peanut butter filling. How hard could it be? (Note: When you’re setting out to try something new in baking, the phrase “how hard could it be?” should usually tip you off that it will, in fact, be much harder than you think. Because “how hard could it be?” doesn’t