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A Note from Marcy

A May 2005 Bonus Newsletter,

The BB Summer Recipe 'Wedding' Collection

Summer weddings abound and this collection of recipes is by request of the many visitors to BB who have asked for one or another of my ‘best’ summer entertaining or wedding recipes. Here they are, in one package. Wedding in sight or not, these are super summer recipes to have on hand. Add a quiche or two, a grand Caesar salad and leeks 'n Hollandaise and you will have a feast they will talk about long after summer fades!

Stay tuned for the June issue!

Marcy Goldman
Editor and Host
www.betterbaking.com

Wedding Recipe Collection

Classic Poached Wedding Salmon Poached Salmon for a Wedding
Wedding Devilled Eggs
Bride’s Boon Ice-Box Rolls
Italian Cream Cake
Emily Dickenson’s Wedding Cake Emily Dickenson’s Wedding Fruit Cake
Red Velvet Grooms Cake Groom’s Red Velvet Cake
Tiramisu Wedding Cake with BerriesTiramisu Wedding Cake
Pink Champagne New Year's Eve Cookies Pink Champagne Reception Cookies
Wedding For Bella Biscotti Wedding For Bella Biscotti

 

 

Free Apple Pie Filling Cake and more – Special May Edition of Scent of a Baker – from electronics for Her to the Girlie Girl Finds on the “M” List

Hello Fellow Bakers and Friends of BetterBaking.com,

Just a short note to offer some extra recipe inspirations, including a freebie, Apple Pie Filling Coffeecake recipe, in case you have a post-Mother’s Day brunch planned. Speaking of which, some of you emailed saying you did not receive my Scent of a Baker Mother’s Day Scent and Gift Round-Up. You can check it out here:

http://www.betterbaking.com/viewArticle.php?article_id=91.

This most recent edition is huge! It is literally chock full of the newest in neat gifts such as the incomparable Creative Zen portable music maker, the best in fragrance from designers and perfume houses, as well as my personal favs in fragrance suppliers. You will also find some appliances of note and a miracle hair product (and dryer) that will transform your life (yes –no more bad hair days I promise)  and the very best red lipstick on the planet.

On other fronts, I am hard at work on A Passion for Home Baking, my third cookbook and will keep you posted. Like all cookbooks, it is along process but this one will be a doozie. As selected recipes are tripled tested, (and more new, exclusive ones are created and added) go into the print collection of this cookbook, understandably, most of them, by publisher agreement, are removed from the website. That said, we all seem to agree that a print cookbook beats reams and reams of printed-out recipes. Preserve your printer, save a tree, and buy a cookbook.

As for the book, we have assembled a fine test baker team that is feverishly testing and fretting about extra calorie intake, while praising the goods they make. We are honored to have an editor/nutritionist/dietician Ellen Fuss (not fussy by nature but she is awfully exacting!). If we need more testers up the road, we will put out the call.

BetterBaking.Com Cookbook Almost Sold Out!

Random House Canada reports the end of their supplies of The Best of BetterBaking.com so if you were considering ordering a copy, now is the time.  (try Indigo.ca in Canada, and Amazon.com or Ecookbooks.com in the States or in your local bookstore).

And in the BB Test Kitchen, I am finally testing Silpats more thoroughly for those who have been asking about them (and an ice-cream machine and a panini grill) for the baker's nitty gritty on these baker’s mats.

On a personal note, it is graduation time as my eldest son is off to a career in Jazz/Music at university in a couple of months, and all three sons prepare to take the diamond (which means I will be catering three baseball teams, aka the BB unofficial taste testers of summer).  I am, playing hooky every chance I get which is rare but mostly, as always, baking, writing (trying very hard to get used to a laptop for my fiction work in my café writing days!)  and currently on Tango Partner #11 who, it seems, also cooks. I think we’ll keep him. More fortuitously, he also dances rather well.

The extra recipes are also at the top of the Note From Marcy page.

 Isaac Newton Apple Cake A freebie! Enjoy.
Chewy Cinnamon Sticks Why resist?
Also good with sundried tomato pesto
Pull Apart Monkey Bread Company coming? Your turn at soccer?
Yin Yang Cream Cheese Stuffed Brownies Gotta have something chocolate
Starbucks Orange Oatmeal Scones Rustic, but sweet, orangey goodness in each bite.

As always, my warmest wishes and happy baking,

Marcy Goldman
Editor and Host
www.BetterBaking.Com

REGULAR MAY 2005 ISSUE

Cowboy Cookies  !!!FREE!!!



Empire Biscuits

Golden Cracked Wheat Bread
Old Fashioned Pie Tin Crumb Cake
Drive Thru Chicken Crunch Tenders
Dueling Apple Pie

The Essay Feature From Marcy
The Go West, Young Baker,  New Frontier Baking Issue

From the journal, aka a ‘blog’ of Emily Hawley Gillespie,
Home on the Range, Cathy Luchetti

May 1878
“Felt blue today. Will bake some bread, pies and cookies. Children will read".

I am sitting here with freshly roasted (cast iron skillet), freshly ground (little wood mill with steel burrs) coffee. I have Wood Smoke incense burning (as well the softly churning Fabreze Scent Stories unit I am testing), and candlelight to warm the dreary day. Outside, overhead, there are a few flocks of Canadian geese making their way North. I have that twitchy cowboy feeling again. My heart, head and hands are all equally restless. I want to reinvent bread, conquer a better brownie and become the Jane Austen of the new millennium. It is that go west, young baker time.

May is that mother month thing too – what with Mother’s Day, spring flowers, spring marathons and such. In this issue, I salute the feminine feminists, goddesses, mothers/sisters/daughters/lovers among us, who, are often, coincidentally, baker gals as well. It all makes me think of May, circa 1800’s, when the West was being settled.  My head fills with images of life on the Chisholm or Oregon Trail and the women who loaded up their wagons and installed entire kitchens in a mode of transport that for all their rustic origins, are the pre-cursors to the family van that grace the mall parking lot.  Can you imagine baking without refrigeration, dry yeast, potable water and a steady 350 F oven? Can you imagine tending the home fires even if you would have preferred to be the one blazing the trail? One woman writes of losing twenty years of youthful vitality, ‘gobbled up by the oven’!

If you read the journals of those women, what is remarkable is that over 150 years ago, the ‘blogs’ are most often about their husbands not understanding them, appreciating them, their overwhelming domestic demands, or having ample opportunities just ‘to be’. You can read about Annie Greene who ran a ‘secret bakery’, hiding her success from a husband that tried to close her down (she won out). Other women, like Emily Hawley Gillespie (above), write repeatedly of their fatigue, their love of their families and their inner reflective worlds. What is most notable is that these voices from the past resonate with words and wisdom that could have been penned an hour ago. Any of these women would be someone you would want to call sister or friend.

Of course, the frontier is not just about baking or feminism – it is a concept. Just the word is sets your spirit revving. When I was younger, my ‘frontier’ was the stories I had yet to write, the recipes I had not made once, (let alone tweaked and perfected 20 times over), places to see, people to meet – you know the drill.

I wanted to capture the moon and bring it home. I still do and it is a low-grade whirring I spend a great deal of time trying to hush. Once it all seemed about a grander toss of a wider net to harness the wind. But life got way huge and ‘the more you know’ expands into the more one wants to know, exponentially. As you evolve there seems to end to what you can do or choose. Possibility becomes this organic thing that seems to have taken fertility drugs. Possibility seems to give birth to endless, more possibility, all mothered by Unfulfilled Potential. Only time seems finite. Plus –and this is a big plus: the proliferation of the various mediums, the Electronic medium being the hugest culprit, compounds it all.

As each previous generation has felt in their time, many of us similarly feel a agog and in a whirl with the Internet and the new technology. I figure in a few months (which is a decade in the new millennium sort of time), we will all wear bar codes and be scanned in order to quickly input financial, personal, and medical information, and you will be able to program and network every facet of your life, from miles away, with the touch of a mini-mouse, installed in your index finger in the delivery room when you are born.  There are CNN specials, radio shows, and magazine features on how we all rush and must slow down and kids aren’t reading, etc. and how that must change back. But you know what? It ain’t gonna happen. Younger people do not notice the whirl as we do and that is as it should be. No, it will never go back….which might be in fact, why I like to bake. Bread is slow to change and acres of silpats, latex bakeware, mountains of faster yeasts, dry sourdough cultures and convection ovens with built-in TV’s and satellite radio are not going to speed up a slow-rise bread!  It is a strange comfort.  Fact is, I do not need a new horizon in bread – I can spend ten lifetimes, perfecting one recipe and still bake a new bread by the hour.

Everything is bigger and better and as my colleague Nigella Lawson would say, very ‘moreish’.. There are a million stories in the night, a trillion stories of the city, and then some zillion more voices all wanting their 15 minutes of fame. If you imagine all these competing voices, you also need to figure out (without stopping what you want to do in life) that it is not possible to have your voice heard or be visible in the way you might think you deserve or need to.

There is no middle class anymore –there is A list and the rest of the world – in a manner of speaking. You are either splatted or saturating the media for your brief expose or a larger than life personality (for good or bad) directing the ultimate reality show: This Life, These Times. For me, as a participant who needs to feel like the creative frontier is manageable, this means hacking off a tiny hunk of gold and mining it with the love and care things that are small but precious deserve. It is also a way to survive, but to also thrive and regenerate. Between not making the best sourdough in the world and Pillsbury Dinner Rolls, there are eons of choices and levels in-between. Knowing who and where you are and what makes you happy (which is what makes you successful) is cogent, savvy stuff. It offers me stillness in a racing world.

Similarly, the frontier of self-hood can be overwhelming – the roles we all have, the hats we wear and the techno era has made our to-do list formidable. What’s great about Endless Possibility and Unmet Potential is that it is creative and exciting. What is bad about it is that you never arrive. There is no finish line and that clamor of possibility segues into a contemporary cocktail – that unhealthy mix of two parts chatter of saturation and one part chaos of stimulation overload.

It’s taken me all this time to figure out a personal solution: in order to feel arrived, I mindfully have opted to lasso only half the moon; sometimes, only a fraction of a star. I keep to ‘the program’ whether it is a spat of domestic tasks or writing deadlines. Not always exciting stuff but it does offer the reward of that sense of being finished with something. Completing something, even small, results in serenity which spawns a bit of clarity and focus. This focus in turn offers a bit of new energy. Now order and focus don’t sound like the touchstones of creativity but they are. I do not have to write my novel all today or bake up every Definitive Butter Cookie all today. The bits and pieces I manage contribute to a mosaic, which becomes a mural. In the meantime, I am engaged fully – and reveling in a certain soulful harmony.

I haven’t stopped wanting to discover the frontier. I just no longer try to chase the horizon – lest I lose my energy or discover it to be, which the horizon often is, a mirage – sometimes, not even a mirage of my own making.  

The story I tell myself lately, which is working (lately) is that I have opted to ‘live big in a small venue.’ Thing is, it was never about getting there; it is indeed, about the journey West of my own spirit. No more huge map with expansive borders. It is now about carefully going over where I have been, lovingly coloring in and shading the places I want to tarry over, making art of the details, not enlarging the outline or challenging the borderlands. 

The greater frontier was never 'out there'. There is no there, there. The greater frontier, resides, as it always has, within. It is the landscape of my own passions and those passions, map or not, I can meet up with anytime I like. I know the terrain like the back of my hand.

Here’s to living big in a small venue, inventing frontiers in your own backyard, and forging your own trail. If I see you on the trail west, please wave. I will tip my toque and bid you Godspeed.  Meet you at the A-Ok Corral, where the biscuits are hot, the coffee is scorching, and there is always an extra place set at the table.
 
With spirit and stillness both,


Marcy Goldman
Editor, Host, Maverick Baker
www.BetterBaking.com

P.S. A Note From the BB Home Office
This May 2005 Issue of BetterBaking.com was also brought to you by the efforts of Benjamin Goldman of Wheatland Publishing. We wish to thank Ben for his contributions, when he was our office intern and test kitchen associate on Take Your Son to Work Day.


Previous Monthly Essays from A Note From Marcy:

Essays to tickle your funny bone, wake up your inner baker, twinge on your heartstrings, or make you smile and say, Ive know the feeling; I know the place. If you missed an essay, or a season in baking or inner sensibility, we invite you to stroll through our archived Notes From Marcy.

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