Like to bake? Like this site? Have been aligned with the Luddites? Consider yourself old school? Want to look goood when you step out of the house? Like to keep them on their toes guessing what it is your showing off? Like to look unique? The eggbeater T shirt is for you. It suits many needs and desires.
We've got yer S, M, L & XL all for just $17 each, (unless I know you Real well or it's your second T, then we have a deal to make...) This baby shrinks unless you keep it clear away from the evil hot dryer. So think about how tight you need your shirt to fit...
If you have ever known anyone from Massachusetts you know where almost all of our cranberries, (in the USA), come from. If you've been Touched you have seen the crimson berries on the surface of flooded bogs, water reflecting flat outrageous cobalt skies in the shiny clear cold air of fall, on a thin harsh winter's cusp, and it's newly naked trees. Men in black rubber outfits from the chest down wading slowly through them and the barely industrialized machines whose whale-like mouths scoop up the water and berries, holding only onto the red treasure.
Who is this creature the cranberry? Zesty! Alive! Sour! Thanksgiving staple, drunk with pectin, comes only once a year by the tons. Add all the sugar and water you want but if you leave it alone it molds to the container and plops! into the dish with a definitive thud. The cranberry is the hard working, working class berry. Who else grows in those cold and eccentric conditions? They build a bog, plant the low lying shrub, flood it in winter, freeze it solid enough for my father and countless other hardy New Englanders to ice skate across its protected home, let spring thaw it out, give the bush a little nudge in fall so that those buoyant cranberry orbs float innocently to the top, bobbing along as if they have all the time in the world. Cranberry harvesting is a stunning agricultural ritual.
Cold though, yes, I wouldn't want to be walking through that water, no way, no how.
If you need to see what it's all about check out Cranberry World, in Plymouth Massachusetts, a place I spent way to many afternoons in while visiting the late Alice Joyce Lydon. Not much to do in Plymouth after you've seen all the pilgrim stuff.
I really love this recipe I am about to impart. It's easy. A one bowl operation. It's a pleasing gift, sells well in a bakery, is yum for breakfast, afternoon tea, or a middle of the night snack. I prefer it toasted with butter, but you do whatever you want with it.
Cranberry, Orange & Walnut Bread
Preheat oven to 350 F, butter baking tin (s) well
all purpose flour 3 cups
sugar 1 cup
baking Powder 3 1/4 teaspoon
kosher salt 1 1/4 teaspoon
orange zest from 2 oranges
orange juice 1 cup
beaten eggs 4
melted butter 2 1/2 oz.
walnuts, lightly toasted 3/4 cup
cranberries 2 1/2 cups
Sift drys into a bowl, mix with whisk to incorporate
Make well in center
Pour all wets & orange zest into well
Mix from the center out, gently, with a wooden spoon or spatula
RIGHT before mixture looks uniform, dump in nuts and cranberries
Fold in walnuts and cranberries
If you are using more than one tin it's best to weigh them so that the same amount of batter goes into each one. Batter is clumpy, tap a few times on counter so that it settles better. Set your first timer for about 20 minutes, and when it goes off turn them so that they face the other direction (like suntanning.)
I bake mine in 4 little quick-bread pans so that the toasts are cuter. I always bake everything on a 1/2 sheet pan (= cookie sheet) so, 1. it's easier to take them in and out of the oven, 2. things tend to bake more evenly, 3. turning them 1/2 way through the baking time is easier, 4. I'm anal like that.
These babies are done when a skewer or sharp knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. In my very slow oven this took almost an hour, but I kept a very keen eye on them.
If you want something a little sweeter you can increase the sugar, (a 1/4 cup at a time), or make a little glaze for them. But this is more like a bread with a walloping surprise of tart red berries, gorgeous gratuitous meaty walnuts and the soft cheek of an orange whisper to tie it all together.
"A alligators all around B bursting balloons C catching colds D doing dishes
I have been meaning to post every day, but instead I come to TypePad and change little things here and there. I am trying to learn the ins and outs of computering and, as usual in this incredibly friendly & helpful food blogging world, the best eggs have come forward to guide and teach me. Food Blog S'cool is where I received my first explanation that led me down the right path. Pim emailed me back a thorough long-hand answer to my wacky confused question from over 6,000 miles away. And the fantabulous Jen talked me through html writing over the phone!
So yes, changes are afoot here at e g g b e a t e r. My dormant love affair with photography has drunk a valentined potion and I hope to show off what I can do more and more better. It's really exciting, I kid you not. Even the html.
I have a fool proof recipe coming your way near Monday. Perfect for this time of year with it's chilly crisp mornings and early suppers. Have a delicious and intriguing weekend...
I am trying to understand how to connect my flikr photos to this site. I want one of those nifty box collages that I've seen aroundthe way. Not being the most techno-savvy person I am sorry to say there will be a little delay. If you have any suggestions I posted a question on Food Blog S'cool, I am ready and willing to hear advice!
Besides the rain that I brought back from gloomy nyc with me it's great to be home. Northern California. SF slapped with shocking clear skies, crisp cool breezes brush past the houseplants and then today: a warm lazy Sunday perfect for sitting on the moist hills of Dolores Park, people and dog watching the afternoon away. Lay back on elbows talk about our tiny city and this view of fashionable queers and handsome four legged people happily chasing tennis balls.
Quince picked two weeks ago from a favorite hidden farmscent my room calling out to me in voices, "Rinse us of our soft down, peel, core and simmer our sections in vanilla perfumed syrup. We will not disappoint. We will charm your whole house with elusive steamy elixir and blush until we're the pink of rose petals and freshly spun raspberry sorbet." Temptresses, they.
And Wednesday I plan to step into the temple of produce and mad mad hatter shoppers, The Berkeley Bowl. (I just put on my invisible union jack suit made of no b.s. new yorker + relaxed Buddhist, and then it's fine.) A list and a sharpie is also helpful. We'll eat at Vik's Chaat House first, (see photo on right, they don't appear to have a website.) O yeah, you are so jealous.
I think it may be time eggbeater got cooking/baking again. Apple pies? Gateau Breton? Moroccan flat bread? Brown butter pastry cream? Or Shuna's famous graham crackers? Hmmm.
"How you see a country depends on whether you are driving through it, or living in it.
How you see a country depends on whether or not you can leave it, or if you have to."
Alexandra Fuller, Scribbling The Cat
I don't think I'm supposed to be here, either that or nothing is going to make sense for a long time. My aunt S. described it like this: When you're in a place of crossing a bridge nothing that used to feel good gives pleasure any more, that which used to trouble us slips away, leaving us to feel almost nothing except emptiness, in between-ness.
This is the way I describe it: When I'm in a place where I know I used to feel good or what have you, I reach back into the Shuna library and try to produce that old, appropriate emotion. It is especially pertinent when I'm around strangers or acquaintances. You could tell someone a hundred times why you're sad, but they won't remember if they don't have to.
Grief is nothing you can prepare for. It steals everything leaving you with realistic skeletons,(the stuff you own looks the same but does not comfort), fooling the eye by keeping everything "the same." Dumps flour on the world, leaves you breathless and choking. It dulls pain and pleasure alike, with no end in sight. Makes your own body the enemy, your home brittle and sharp and cold. It's this small monosyllabic word, seemingly completely innocuous.
Now and then there's a moment. I seek comfort and I can grasp it. Two different apples cool and wet from the rain and crisp from early autumn frosts; a Mutsu and a Macintosh. They taste like a childhood sprinkled with picking wild apples, a college surrounded by old apple orchards. Apples are what New Yorkers take for granted until they move away. Every person in every place has this. It's the scent of someones shoulder when you embrace, the way they always dress in childlike stripes, the texture of soft hand-knit sweater and the remembering of holding the ball of yarn when they did so, home is a place so vast with intricate knots and textures, flavours and smells, sour moments and sweet, yet it is like catching a wily slippery fish. Memories sharp and clear torture and delight. Is it possible to go home?
NYC was walloped by continuous rain yesterday starting in the darkest hours of the previous day. I dreamt of waterways and finned creatures. Late last night a sudden shift brought crisp cold air and I proceeded to close all the windows that were only just letting in more still and thickly warm humid air. Umbrellas were abloom but the humans underneath them were wearing wet arms and tank tops, shorts and flip flops.
Last week New Yorkers and tourists alike wondered aloud where Autumn was. October is about bright days, clear views of uptown from Chelsea, royal blue skies that complement the vivid orange pumpkins at the farmer's markets. In October the country comes to the city with decorative gourds on coffee tables, carved squash on cement stoops, hardy trees dropping leaves onto slate sidewalks.
Veselka, with it's hearty Ukrainian soups, Polish dumplings, and buttery challah, called out to me as I sat damp and eating freshly ground peanut butter in my father and stepmother's house. I go to Veselka for a food I could live on: the cabbage soup. Tart with sauerkraut, thick with melt-in-your-mouth meaty chunks, soulfully seasoned with bay and juniper berries, rich with fatty stock. O yeah. And a shared raspberry blintz for good measure. This is what New York is made of, built on. Deep flavors from cultures barely diluted.
This Sunday the chill arrives under blank grey skies. I will dress in chocolate brown and layers. I've had a Comice pear for breakfast, a short conversation with E. about words to describe slow music, jotted down these words here, will take the A to Washington Heights, exit through the park that houses The Cloisters, and have cake with Elias who turns two on this cool autumn day. I'm in no rush, the pace is andante.
It is surreal to visit home from ones new home. Being from NYC, I love all the grimy nooks and crannies, smile at the traffic that has a lane-less driving ethic, open my now Californian eyes wider at the fantastically outfitted humans walking too quickly down crowded avenues and windy streets, and know just as surely that I do not want to live here again. My lankster self never got along with the below freezing weather, cockroaches, rank basement kitchens with vermin of every stripe, the lacking of trees. But like the rest of New Yawkers, I defend these five boroughs like no body's business.
Today I woke up too late to write down and went to have a meal by the pound at City Bakery, with the ingenious pretzel croissant to go. I sat upstairs and read Scribbling The Cat, by Alexandra Fuller, transporting myself through the self-important din of manhattan lunchers to Africa. Fuller's first book is on my favorite list, Don't Let's Go To The Dogs Tonight, about her childhood in Rhodesia. I appreciate the non-American, unapologetic style, considering she's writing about war between two countries in a complicated, diverse and difficult to understand continent.
I ate simple easy fare today because I made the mistake of having some appetizers at 5Ninth last night. I was doing this nice gentlemanly thing of supporting a chef I had worked with at The French Laundry a number of years ago. But the food was mostly disappointing and the service was awful. The meat packing district is being butchered. Neighborhoods virtually untouched by gentrification for years and years are being sold and traded like colonies, integral historical landmarks eaten by famished piranha who rip the souls from my favorite neighborhoods, leaving them flashy and dismembered.
Amid the glass and swank some old New York places still remain. Tonight on an early evening walk with my father, talking about writing and out-of-print words, we stopped at the open windows of Streit's matzoh factory. Two men efficiently received matzoh as it headed towards them swiftly on conveyor belts. One man handed my dad two hot, lightly salted squares and we ate it right there on Rivington in the sticky humid air.
We were on our way to Il Laboratorio del Gelato on a dark unassuming stretch of Orchard street past Delancey. I had freshly churned and supple chocolate sorbet and Dad had a bright and delicious raspberry ice cream.
Tomorrow I plan to take my mother's youngest sister S. to Elephant Castle for breakfast. It has remained on Greenwich Avenue for as long as I can remember. My mother and I used to go when we lived in e.e. cumming's house on Patchin Place.
Because NYC is my home I come here to eat memories. I go back to the streets I walked at every age, and I have private adventures walking on streets and avenues I may have missed.
Well, JFK to be exact. In a few hours I drive myself to the airport and go back to NYC. I thought I would be packing corduroy, gnarly sweaters, soft scarves and felted hats with thick pom poms, but then I looked at the weather for the next ten days. Hot. 80's, with a sprinkling of 60 degree evenings. A nice drive through the Berkeley hills yesterday promised a clear crisp dry autumn with Sugar Maples aflame with hot oranges, deep bloody reds and ferocious yellows, but I am flying 3000 miles to meet more summer. Go figure.
It will be an excuse to go back to Il Laboratorio Del Gelato on Orchard street, meet up with Mark Israel at The Doughnut Plant, eat some more exquisite meals at Prune and continue my unabashed courting of Chikalicious. I may tickle my muse with morning croissant from Cafe Claude on West 4th, sample more wonderful Indian fare at the tiny and tasty Lassi, and satisfy my hunger for the season with cabbage soup from the venerable Veselka. Have any place you think I simply MUST try? Don't worry I am as carnivorous as they come, Lurve sweets, am not afraid of the boroughs, consider black tea and its effects my naughty secret, am bringing a silk tie, and like meeting new people.
I am just making the deadline for Sweetnicks's WDG#3 I just found out about. That's dog blogging to you. And lucky for me I got to see these three handsome people today. All dusty and chewing overripe figs off trees, chasing squirrels and eating loads of gofers. I am a sort of step parent to these partial Mc Nab terriers. They are devilishly good looking, smart, gregarious midsized dogs who all share the same mother but come from various litters. Both Isaac, the oldest, and Babette, the middle, were the only puppies to survive after their siblings had been eaten by coyotes.
They live on a 40 acre vineyard and farm just a mile south of Yountville with their main human P. We used to say that they lived at The dog resort. They eat only the ripest persimmons, small live animals who don't run fast enough, walnuts, and four varietals of cherries.
The first time Babette ever swam was a day when I came to the farm after work and she and P. were on the other side of the creek. When I got out of my car she startled, wagged her tail, looked longingly and wide eyed at me, gazed quizzically at the water, again at me, hesitated, then jumped in the high winter creek, clambered up the bank and we all began clapping.
I have been in love ever since. That sappy sort of make-a-fool-out-of-yourself-in-public-by-flirting-with-every-nice-dog-you-see kinda love. I roll around with these creatures, get bit by fleas, sport paw prints on my clothes, and have been nursed back to health by them.