August 2010 Baker's Stash
Dear Fellow Bakers and Friends,
Where did July go? It’s still summer of course, as the plethora of peach recipes this month will attest to, but July was a strange and short month. Lots of family things to tend to, writing and reflection – and many nice times with friends, writing at cafes with my journal, lunches at outdoor concerts or strolling the outdoor markets of Montreal and dancing in the park.
I would like to announce at change on BB. It is, as always still here but I am phasing out the Complete Recipe Archive subscriptions. Before it is phased out completely however, I am offering for a limited grace time, (until September 10th) Complete Recipe Archive sign-ons one last time. It is $29.99 and ends December 31st 2010. In other words, you have an opportunity to enjoy (if you are not already a member) 5 months more of complete access.
I will still be offering free monthly recipes and bonus ones via Twitter. The Pay-By-Recipe option remains and of course there are my three print cookbooks available at all major bookstores and Amazon. But the full access to all my recipes online is no longer an option (but you have until September 10th to sign on and have a 5 month window of full access if you like). The BB newsletter is the same and don’t forget you can also follow me on Twitter. For current subscribers, who subscriptions end months from now, nothing is affected; your subscriptions will continue until they expire.
I appreciate the Complete Recipe Archives is a resource for many of you (and for me too). Thank you for your subscribing over the years but it’s just not feasible to offer all the recipes, in this subscriptive fashion, at this time. Beyond that, I want my worklife online and off, more pure and simple.
I still have a vision for BB and after trying to impose that vision on the universe (i.e. I want things done this way and in this time frame) I think I need focus on the logistics of my broader writing and food life and see how it evolves. I sooner leave things as they are and start anew. Think of this as a parent leaving the nest rather than the kids flying the coop. I will leave BB intact (with all its retro design and funky software you've all been so good about) and keep it updated in a modest way. But I also hope to find breathing room, focus, and a chance to write the bigger, bolder works I am so yearning to embark on - rather than splice up the baking with too much romance and tango. Too much heat for one kitchen - at least in this venue. As a parent leaving the nest, I will also likely launch a pied a terre, my own pad, aka a blog, all fresh and new. But let me reassure you, I am always, and as ever, in touch with you, still baking, writing, dancing, and creating scents in and out of the kitchen. How does the song from Dream Girls go? I'm not going but I am definitely changing. And I am taking you with me so don't fret.
Chef’s Tip – Better Vinaigrette
On another note, I mentioned last month I would be sharing more chef’s expertise. As it is still warm and summery, what comes to mind is salad dressing. We all make one or two vinaigrettes and I am sure you have superb recipes of your own. But here’s something I learned in chef’s school that still makes so much sense. When you make vinaigrette, recipes usually say to add salt, spices, etc. to the oil. In other words, you mix vinegar and mustard and garlic (most often) and then blend in oil, spices, salt and pepper. The thing is, salt will never dissolve (nor dry herbs hydrate) in oil. The salt is there but stays suspended, so to speak, in the oil. The best way is to blend vinegar (or lemon juice), salt, pepper, mustard, and dry herbs (or fresh) together. That dissolves the salt t the least. Then, blend in the oil – all at once or in a stream (with that faint hope we all have that it will emulsify). You can try this method in a classic salad dressing such as Classic Dijon Garlic Vinaigrette.
I wish you a wonderful August, warmth without sweat and peachy baking.
Happy baking and sweet times in the kitchen and life,
Peach Smash Pie !!!FREE !!!
Master Baker, Author
Smashingly good, fast and ambrosial – this pie takes a unique method, fresh summery peaches and produces: heaven.
Sour Cream Peaches 'N Almond Crunch Muffins Almonds, oatmeal, vanilla and a shower of fresh peach chunks tucked into a summery muffin. An all-time BB favorite whether you're a Georgia Peach or not.
I’ve made a version of this cake for years – it is one from my personal repertoire of favorites. It’s moist, flavorful and replete with hunks of chocolate, sweet raisins and chunks of both semi-sweet and milk chocolate. Although it says ‘bundt’ cake, do as I do, not as I say –use an angel food cake pan for best results. This only needs a dusting of confectioners’ sugar but melted chocolate is also divine.
Best Corn Fritters
Golden morsels of corn in a light batter. Pile ‘em high and watch them disappear.
Peachy Cobbler Squares
French Bakery Raspberry Buns