October 2016 A Note from Marcy
Welcome to the October Issue of Betterbaking.com. Here's the special recipe collection for October 2016
FREE Moist and Majestic Honey Cake
FREE Blue Ribbon Carrot Cake
FREE Best Ever Deep Dish Apple Cake
FREE Fresh Yeast Sweet Raisin Challah
FREE Apple Butter Babka
Everything is free this month just because….why not? So enjoy. It’s also mostly a honey and apples issue but there is a game-changing carrot cake that will knock your socks off. If this carrot cake recipe was an industry, it would be called a ‘disruptor’ because the very concept re-examines something we never even question and was (to my mind) wrong.
For years, I made carrot cake and thought it’s popular, but like a popular girl, it’s all form and no content. Raw carrots, tasteless vegetable oil? How on earth, minus a ton of cinnamon and vanilla to compensate could it taste that great? Thank goodness for that cream cheese frosting.
Then one day, after I made my regular carrot cake and was wondering why it tasted bland, I realized that no pastry chef I trained with would ever, ever have dumped raw carrots in a cake. And when you make pumpkin muffins, do you use raw pumpkin? When you make sweet potato pie, do you use raw sweet potatoes? Of course not! But here we all were, for years, throwing in raw carrots into an oil-based cake. I never wanted to admit it because we all love carrot cake but even my best carrot cake, wasn’t what I’d called stupendous in the taste department. And then I woke up. I knew what to do. And now, with this magical recipe, you’ll know my two (actually 3) big tricks to make a game-changing carrot cake. I am just sorry it took this long.
Other than that, here's my essay of the month which first appeared on www.medium.com. Enjoy!
The Note from Marcy Essay, just in time for autumn hospitality season, be it Rosh Hashanah or Canadian Thanksgiving.
After the Big Dinner: To Clean Up Now or Later
It’s 8 am on this crisp fall morning and someone in the house may still be sleeping. It’s hard to tell as the nest empties as some chicks linger on the teetering edge, almost leaving, coming back and flying off again. So I try to be quiet empting dishes from the dishwasher and re-loading and overall taking a look at the messy, aftermath terrain of a family dinner. Where to start? Why didn’t I do this last night?
Are you yourself a clean it up now or later sort? Barring putting away perishables, there is no in-between.
When I was married and my three sons were young, my then mother-in-law and then husband would cluck at me whenever I said: “Leave it, I can do it tomorrow when I’m fresh”. Both of them armed with some form of harmonized OCD and do-it-now-get-it-over-with insistence, they would plunge into cleaning at 11 pm or later, after the boys had gone to bed and the guests had left and coincidentally when I was most tired. “Think of how happy you’ll be when you wake up in the morning and find the kitchen all clean”. I didn’t care. All I could think of was how to get them to stop, have the mother-in-law just go home and the husband just quit. I like my kitchen that way- I can stand a happy mess.
I went through the motions aka a feeble attempt to help (since it was MY kitchen after all?—?was I not queen of my realm as a chef, cookbook author and keeper of the keys of my own home?), but by midnight, I had to beg off, leaving adult mother and son in a wet-rag and Windex face-off. Everything smelled like Palmolive, Vim and briskness.
The truth was, after cooking, baking, hosting and shepherding three boys throughout it all; I had no more energy and couldn’t wait to sink into bed. The foods were amazing; the occasion was grand and tomorrow is another day. I like to revel for a moment anyway?—?in that vibrational aftermath of clan-meets-food-breaks-bread. The memory of those days makes me reflect about those of us that clean immediately and those that don’t (we’re a minority, I think).
A table, having taken the weight of glorious family dinner or holiday celebration foods, needs to breathe. It gives its own thanks. It doesn’t mind the telling remnants of its finest hour and finest mission: serving. The soiled dishes, the messy kitchen, the clues of food that nourished body and soul, in essence, the art form of my loving and working life, needs to be still the state they were left when the last guest said goodbye or a sleepy child, full of perfectly roasted chicken and thick slabs of fresh bread, went off to sleep. There is a special vibration imparted by a table and kitchen that have been lovingly active.
To me, a messy kitchen like a dishevelled bride. She’s happy, she’s gladly weary and surrendered. And she is never more lovely. One doesn’t want to fix the tendril of hair on her temple or straighten the crease in the wedding dress or put away the white satin dancing shoes?—?even with their scoff marks of wedding dance use. She is fine how she is, where she is.
So now, certainly not a bride myself nor even a wife, in a day or two, as I celebrate Rosh Hashanah for the first time in my new home, I know I’ll survey my night-after kitchen on Monday morning. As always, I’ll love the disarray and casual subtle way it begins to take order, in bits and small and conscious efforts. I might start with the dishes or clear the table, shake crumbs out of the tablecloth and fold it for the wash. Later it will hang outdoors and dry in sunlight. I know I’ll appreciate my new energy on this new day, the fresh coffee brewing in tandem with my mindful clean-up. The laughter from hours ago, another world away, still hangs in the air, the half-filled wine glasses give evidence to toasts and raised arms of family love.
I sooner get up at 5 am to quietly clean than work until midnight getting it done in some manic effort to ‘wake up to a clean kitchen’.
Why do people clean up beauty and its companionable energy right away?
Why do we rush to remove the tableau of love and food? Why can’t it linger?
What can’t wait until the morrow?
Why do we see “neat” as the only right and temporary ‘messy’ as ‘bad’ or lazy?
The morning after a big dinner I don’t mind the mess. I revel in it. It’s an extension of the warmth and occasion and the blessing I have to have people in my life at my table.
Like I always do, I’ll move quietly and deliberately, respectfully removing each symbol of what has been. I’m never in any rush to ‘clean’ and get things back to how they ‘should’ be in their default state. Plus I’ll have all the energy and leisure to take care of mine?—?in my fashion. And just so we're clear, if you're the sort to clean up the minute the last guest leaves, by all means - no judgement: knock yourself out.
Happy New Year and Happy October to my baking friends,
Author, Master Baker
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, ‘I’ve 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.
- June 2017 A Note from Marcy - June 2017
- June 2017 A Note from Marcy - June 2017
- Babe - May 2017
- APRIL 2017 A Note from Marcy - April 2017
- March 2017 A Note from Marcy - March 2017
- February A Note from Marcy - February 2017
- January 2017 A Note from Marcy - January 2017
- December 2016 A Note from Marcy - December 2016
- Winter 2016 BB Best Gifts Round-Up - December 2016
- November 2016 A Note from Marcy - November 2016
- September 2016 A Note from Marcy - September 2016
- August 2016 A Note from Marcy - August 2016
- June 2016 A Note from Marcy - June 2016
- July 2016 A Note from Marcy - June 2016
- MAY 2016 A Note from Marcy - May 2016
- April 2016 A Note from Marcy - April 2016
- March 2016 A Note from Marcy - March 2016
- February 2016 A Note from Marcy - February 2016
- January 2016 A Note from Marcy - January 2016
- December 2015 A Note from Marcy - December 2015
- November 2015 A Note from Marcy - November 2015
- September 2015 A Note from Marcy - September 2015
- August 2015 A Note from Marcy - August 2015
- July 2015 A Note from Marcy - July 2015
- June 2015 A Note from Marcy - June 2015
- May 2015 A Note from Marcy - May 2015
- April 2015 A Note from Marcy - April 2015
- March 2015 A Note from Marcy - March 2015
- February 2015 A Note from Marcy - February 2015
- January 2015 A Note from Marcy - January 2015
- December 2014 A Note from Marcy - December 2014
- November 2014 A Note From Marcy - November 2014
- October A Note from Marcy - October 2014
- September 2014 A Note from Marcy - September 2014
- August 2014 A Note from Marcy - August 2014
- July 2014 A Note from Marcy - July 2014
- June 2014 A Note from Marcy - June 2014
- May 2014 A Note from Marcy - May 2014
- April 2014 A Note from Marcy - April 2014
- March 2014 A Note from Marcy - March 2014
- February 2014 A Note from Marcy - February 2014
- January 2014 A Note from Marcy - January 2014
- December 2013 A Note from Marcy - December 2013
- November 2013 A Note from Marcy - November 2013
- October 2013 A Note from Marcy - October 2013
- September 2013 A Note from Marcy - September 2013
- August 2013 A Note from Marcy - August 2013
- July 2013 A Note from Marcy - July 2013
- June 2013 A Note from Marcy, Baker's Stash - June 2013
- May 2013 A Note from Marcy - May 2013
- April 2013 A Note from Marcy Baker's Stash - April 2013
- March 2013 A Note from Marcy - March 2013
- February 2013 A Note from Marcy - February 2013
- January 2013 A Note from Marcy - January 2013
- December 2012 A Note from Marcy - December 2012
- November 2012 A Note from Marcy - November 2012
- October 2012 A Note from Marcy - October 2012
- September 2012 A Note from Marcy - September 2012
- August 2012 A Note from Marcy Baker's Stash - August 2012
- July 2012 A Note from Marcy Baker's Stash - July 2012
- May 2012 A Note from Marcy - May 2012
- April 2012 Note from Marcy, Baker's Stash - April 2012
- March 2012 A Note From Marcy - March 2012
- February 2012 A Note from Marcy - February 2012
- January 2012 A Note from Marcy - January 2012
- December 2011 A Note from Marcy, Baker's Stash - December 2011
- November 2011 Note from Marcy Bakers Stash - November 2011
- October 2011 Note From Marcy Baker's Stash - October 2011
- September 2011 A Note from Marcy - September 2011
- August 2011 (1) Note From Marcy - August 2011
- June 2011 Note from Marcy - June 2011
- May 2011 A Note from Marcy, Baker's Stash - May 2011
- March 2011 A Note From Marcy - March 2011
- February 2011 A Note From Marcy, Baker's Stash - February 2011
- January 2011 A Note from Marcy - January 2011
- December 2010 Baker's Stash - December 2010
- November 2010 Baker's Stash - November 2010
- October 2010 Note from Marcy & Baker's Stash - October 2010
- September 2010 Note from Marcy & Baker's Stash - September 2010
- August 2010 Baker's Stash - August 2010
- July 2010 Baker's Stash, A Note from Marcy - July 2010
- June 2010 Baker's Stash - June 2010
- April 2010 BAKER'S STASH - April 2010
- March 2010 Baker's Stash, A Note From Marcy - March 2010
- 2003-2007 PAST ISSUES Note from Marcy & Recipes - February 2010
- January 2010 Baker's Stash - January 2010
- December 2009 Baker's Stash - December 2009
- September 2009 Baker's Stash - September 2009
- April 2009 Bakers Stash - April 2009
- March 2009 Baker's Stash Baking With Mom, Feminist in the Kitchen and some Retro - March 2009
- February 2009 Baker's Recipe Stash - February 2009
- January 2009 Baker's Stash - January 2009
- December 2008 Baker's Stash - December 2008
- November 2008 A Note From Marcy - November 2008
- September 2008 Baker's Stash - September 2008
- A note from Marcy - December 2007
- A Note from Marcy - February 2007 - An Oreo Love Affair
- A Note from Marcy - January 2007 - When Bakers Cook, Recipes deChef
- A Note from Marcy - December 2006 - Shortbread and Other Favorite Things
- A Note from Marcy - November 2006 - Thank Goodness for Pie
- A Note from Marcy - October 2006 - A Salute to Chocolate Chip Cookies
- A Note from Marcy - September 2006 - The Back to School Carrot Cake Issue
- A Note From Marcy - August 2006 - The Sourdough Magic Issue
- A Note from Marcy - July 2006 - The Annual BB Picnic Issue
- A Note from Marcy - June 2006 - The Bountiful Berry Issue
- A Note from Marcy - May 2006 - Pride and Pastry or Tea With Jane
- A Note from Marcy - April 2006 - The Breakfast Baking Issue and Fresh Starts
- A Note from Marcy March 2006 Passion - Gettin' Some - March 2006 - Havana A Heat Wave, Baking with A Latin Beat and The Passion Play
- A Note from Marcy - February 2006 - Memoirs of A Geisha Baking, Valentineâ€™s Sweets
- A Note from Marcy - January 2006 - The You're Toast, A Salute To Slicing Loaves and More
- A Note from Marcy - December 2005 - Bake It Forward, Gift Baking Issue
- A Note from Marcy - November 2005 - Open Hearth Hosting or Guess Who's Coming For Dinner
- A Note from Marcy - October 2005 - It All Happens for a Reason or Sometimes Bread Just Doesn't Rise.....
- A Note from Marcy - September 2005 - Baking By the Code
- A Note from Marcy - August 2005 - The Tao of Pie
- A Note from Marcy - July 2005 - The Journey of the Journal plus Twix Bars!
- A Note from Marcy - June 2005 - A Pastry Chefs Trial by Cheesecakes
- A Note from Marcy - May 2005 - The Frontier Baking Issue/Living Big in a Small Venue
- A Note from Marcy - April 2005 - When Harry Met Salad
- A Note from Marcy - March 2005 - Baking with an Irish Broque; A Romance in the Dairy Queen One Fine March
- A Note from Marcy - February 2005 - She Just Doesnâ€™t Get Him, Valentineâ€™s Day Rebuttal and Cupcakes Galore
- A Note from Marcy - January 2005 - The Art of Changing and Making Space in a New Year
- A Note from Marcy - December 2004 - The Shall We Dance or Shall We Bake, Holiday Baking Issue and an Ode to Dance
- A Note from Marcy - November 2004 - The Bread and Soup Issue and How A Canadian Became Americanized (sort of)
- A Note from Marcy - October 2004 - The Field of Dreams Issue, Baseball and the Baker
- A Note from Marcy - September 2004 - The Catcher of the Rye Issue, What Falls Away, the Sweet Taste of Forgiveness and Letting Go
- A Note from Marcy - August 2004 - Itâ€™s All Greek To Me Issue and The Evils of Multi-Tasking
- A Note from Marcy - July 2004 - The Gone Fishinâ€™ Issue/Summer in the River City, A Bakerâ€™s Musical
- A Note from Marcy - June 2004 - The All That Jazz Issue, How To Scat and Improvise in Wheat
- A Note from Marcy - May 2004 - The Bread and Roses Issue, Goddess, Feminist or Feminineâ€¦and Fudge
- A Note from Marcy - April 2004 - Waiting for Happy, or If I Won the Lotto
- A Note from Marcy - March 2004 - Meet You in the Bookstore, My Love Affair with Books
- A Note from Marcy - February 2004 - Sweets for the Sweet, a Valentine From the Baker
- A Note from Marcy - January 2004 - How To Eat Right or Resolution 2004 â€“ How Not To Diet
- A Note From Marcy - December 2003 - The Sugar and Spice Issue
- A Note from Marcy - November 2003 - How To Weather the Weather, or Keeping Cozy in Late Fall
- A Note from Marcy - October 2003 (Part 2) - They Laughed When I Got Up To Bake, Hotel School Trials
- A Note from Marcy - October 2003 (Part 1) - How I Got Into Baking, A Bakerâ€™s Beginnings Part 1
- A Note from Marcy - September 2003 - Welcome To Wheatland, a bakerâ€™s fantasy or Camelot in Flour
- A Note from Marcy - August 2003 - Notes on Homemade Krispie Kreme Doughnuts
- A Note From Marcy - July 2003 - Memories of Summer Music Camp or Baking to Birdland
- A Note From Marcy - June 2003 - How to Play Hooky in Summer, An Urban Adventure
- April 2011 A Note from Marcy, Baker's Stash
- October 2008 Baker's Stash
- May 2010 Baker's Stash
- May 2017 Big Product Review Feature
- February 2009 Issue Baking by Heart Copy
- March 2009 Baker's Recipe Stash
- April 2009 Baker's Stash
- February 2009 Baker's Stash