As a kid, birthdays are amazing spectacles, full of friends, cake, presents, noise-makers, silly hats, and confetti. Fire trucks, magicians, and even costumed superheroes may make an appearance. All in the spirit of celebration.
And then, at least for some, birthdays lose their luster. They cease to be either fun or exciting, but simply mark the inevitable drum beat of time and aging.
I am not there and hope never to be — hiding from my birthday, pretending it has not yet come or gone. Bring on the birthdays! And bring on the cake and presents! Continue reading
The idea of making a roulade seemed, at first glance, somewhat intimidating. There was the rolling, then unrolling, and finally, the re-rolling. The instructions seemed intricate and the cake seemed delicate. Visions of a cake suddenly collapsing and crumbling under its own weight flashed before me, wiping away my mixing and baking efforts in a moment.
But then I stopped, and remembered that this was not the first time that I faced what seemed to be an insurmountable cooking hurdle. There had, after all, been many intimidating cooking projects before this one. I had made flan, caramelizing sugar. I had made oat bread, coaxing the yeast. I had made spanakopita, Continue reading
Caitlin arrived in Cincinnati last Saturday, partly for work, and partly to celebrate her 27th birthday (that Monday).
After picking her up at the airport, we headed to dinner. After dinner, we returned to my apartment, where – as is her custom – Caitlin examined the contents of my refrigerator. After sampling the almond butter and my homemade tzatziki sauce, she concentrated her sights on the large, domed item, carefully wrapped in foil.
It was, obviously, her cake. But what kind of cake, she wondered. Alas, I could not answer the question; it was not yet her birthday.
After a small amount of pleading (it was, after all, her birthday weekend), I agreed to give her a series of hints.
It had pumpkin, I told her, knowing Continue reading
Caitlin and I love our pumpkin treats. And when they’re bite-size and full of chocolate-chips, well, they’re just Continue reading
Pumpkin isn’t just a scary face anymore.
Pumpkins dominate the fall season, their faces appearing on billboards and plastic buckets, their representatives occupying porch steps and window sills. When we think of pumpkin patches and Halloween, we have the Jack O’Lantern variety in mind. And that’s too bad. Pumpkins Continue reading
After making a plain flan, I decided to try a seasonal adaptation. The pumpkin layers a little bit, but otherwise, this pumpkin flan Continue reading
I’ve been feeling a little blue lately.
After making the blue cheese souffle, I wanted to find another recipe for the pungent cheese. With a crisp Fall day on hand, and several pumpkins beckoning, I decided to throw some pumpkin slices on the grill. I marinated the pumpkin slices with ginger, olive oil, salt, and pepper, and then tossed them on the grill. A few grill marks later, I combined the hot gourds with blue cheese and the salad regulars, for a real American salad.
Indeed, pumpkins are one of the continent’s oldest crops, having been first cultivated thousands of years ago by Native American tribes. During the colonial era, the tribes routinely prepared Continue reading