Tuesday, September 27, 2011

September 2011 Daring Bakers Challenge: Croissants

Mandatory Blog-checking lines: The Daring Bakers go retro this month! Thanks to one of our very talented non-blogging members, Sarah, the Daring Bakers were challenged to make Croissants using a recipe from the Queen of French Cooking, none other than Julia Child!

Ummmm.  Has it really been two whole weeks since I posted?
Has it really been ONLY two weeks since I posted?
Wait, first I need to swear you to secrecy. 
I am NOT on the internet, m-kay?
I am packing up the piles and piles of junk on my desk.  The tapping Mr. Boom thinks he might be hearing is simply the clacking of items falling into boxes.  That's my story and you have to help me stick with it!
You see, we've made an offer on a house, and that offer has been accepted.  It's a foreclosure, so we couldn't make the sale contingent on selling our current house.  Ergo, we really must get this one cleaned up and sold ASAP.  No time for blogging.
Or baking.
I had already made this month's Daring Baker's Challenge before we ever lay eyes on the new house. That's the good news.  The bad news is that my attempt failed.  It sucked.  It was awful.  It needed to be redone but I never did it.
I'm sure if YOU tried it, though, you'd meet with great success.  Please please please don't let my failure sway your own judgement about whether or not to try.
You can find the recipe we used right here.


Now, I know the recipe is from good ol' Julia herself.  But honestly?  While I was going to give it one more attempt for the sake of the challenge, in the future I'll undoubtedly use the recipe I've used before from Julie at Willow Bird Baking.  That recipe is here.  And you can see my results on her blog here.
Excuse me a  moment, gentle reader!
(Yes dear, I'm most certainly packing!  Things are flying into boxes!  Honey, how do you spell croissant?  No reason!  Just curious!!!)
I'm back. 
For my definitive croissant post, go here.
For the world's most definitivest croissant post ever, go talk to Audax.
I'm outta here!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Another year gone by

Make new friends, but keep the old
One is silver and the other is gold.

Do you know this song? As a young Girl Scout we sang it all the time as a round. Some would say the tune is old and worn out, but I've never fallen out of love with it's simplicity and straightforward message.

Today I broke a beautiful new mug that I purchased only last Sunday. It was a porcelain travel mug with blue swirls and brown dragonflies. Sitting on the shelf of the kitchen shop it sparkled, it called to me, I was instantly enamored and smitten and head over heels. It was expensive, but resistance was futile and the purchase was made.

But today, after using it twice, I dropped it on the sidewalk outside my office. The pretty mug shattered into a jillion buhzillion little pieces.

I'm sitting here now, in front of my computer at home, drinking a mug of tea. This mug is old. It's practically from another lifetime. It was one of two that my dear friend Bet (Hi Bet!) sent as part of a care package when my first husband came out of remission from cancer. This mug isn't pretty, but it's solid. I've had it and used it excessively for nearly twenty years. I love this mug.

Today Mr. Boom and I looked at a house. I'm pretty sure the house was designed and built by Mr. Brady. Planters are built into the stairs on the inside of the house. The wallpaper in the laundry room is bright! and yellow! with flowers! and ribbons! that blind! It's kinda like this.

We're making an offer on the house, and I hope we get it. At the same time, a brick sided split level is quite a change from a 1910 Victorian. But who can argue with acres, and a pond, and a pasture, and a totally huge woodshop? Be still my heart, but there are ducks on the pond that the realtor assured me would come with the house. Did I mention the realtor has known me since I was eight years old? She patted me on the arm as she assured me the wild mallards would definitely want to live with me! Of course, she winked at Mr. Boom at the same time...

All day long I've been racking my brain, looking for something to say or do to celebrate another blog-o-versary--our 2nd! I might come up with something later on in the week, but don't hold your breath since we have all kinds of ducks to get in a row (get it?) to make the offer and get things straight with the bank.

All I have is this: thanks friends, old and new. Some are near, some are far, but I think of all of you as gold. True gold.

Friday, September 9, 2011



I'm the mother of a high-schooler. Part of me keeps thinking "how the heck did this happen?"
The snarky/romantic side keeps answering "well, a man and a woman got together..."
This plays in my head over and over.
When Chirp chirp was just a babe, people, older ladies in particular, would constantly advise to enjoy it now, it goes by so fast. I'm a freak of nature, or something, because it hasn't felt fast at all. It just feels odd that now I'm one of those people who has high school kids--and I'm not sure how I reached this point. Wasn't there supposed to be a manual handed out or something? Shouldn't there have been an official letter in the mail? "Hey Lady--your daughter's going into the high-school!"
I don't know. I just have this discomfited feeling.
Chirp-chirp, on the other hand, is rockin' her new status and making me proud. Changes aren't her strong point, but you'd never know it to see how she's handling it all. I am SO proud of her!

This past week, I've made three fail foods. The first was zucchini frit-foo-young. That's when you try to make zucchini fritters for a crowd, but omit the flour from the mix. The second was creme bruleaky. That's creme brulee that doesn't set up, but it's your aunt's birthday and everyone at the table is dying to see what incredible treat you've made for dessert. The third fail food was coconut ice crud. That's where you take a lovely recipe for coconut ice cream and forget to put the sugar in. That was for Grandma's 89th birthday, a mere three days after the creme bruleaky incident. With the same crowd. I tired to hand over my baking crown, but no one would take it. Maybe that has to do with the crusty smears of ravioli stuffing gone awry decorating it?

Grouse season has started. This means that turkeys can be viewed at every turn in the road, but the grouse are invisible. This shouldn't be confused with turkey season, when grouse fly up from under your feet with every other step you take and turkeys don't seem to exist. Turkey season does start here in a couple of weeks, at which point I'm sure we'll see lots of something else. Of course, I don't hunt for anything else, so I'm looking forward to it!

We did see a badger the other day. Thankfully, the badger saw us and decided it was easier to melt back into the trees than to stake a claim on his territory. Also saw a couple of snakes that day engaged in a little bow-chicka-bow-bow. But no grouse, of course.

Today I'm attempting this month's Daring Bakers challenge. Hopefully my streak of bad performance in the kitchen is over and I'll meet with success. Of course, it's such a yummy challenge that I won't mind repeating it over. And over.

Neither will the resident high-schooler! (Gasp!)