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Everything posted by Lindacakes

  1. Gee. I'm really sorry to have to tell you this, but Poppin' Fresh passed away. His obituary follows. Please join me in remembering a great icon. Veteran Pillsbury spokesperson, The Pillsbury Doughboy, died yesterday of a severe yeast infection and complications from repeated pokes to the belly. He was 71. Doughboy was buried in a slightly greased coffin. Dozens of celebrities turned out, including Mrs. Butterworth, the California Raisins, Hungry Jack, Betty Crocker, the Hostess Twinkies, Captain Crunch and many others. The graveside was piled high with flours as long-time friend, Aunt Jemima, delivered the eulogy, describing Doughboy as a man who "never knew how much he was kneaded." Doughboy rose quickly in show business, but his later life was filled with many turnovers. He was not considered a very smart cookie, wasting much of his dough on half-baked schemes. Despite being a little flaky at times, even as a crusty old man, he was still considered a roll model for millions. Toward the end it was thought he'd raise once again, but he was no tart. Doughboy is survived by his second wife, Play Dough. They have two children and one in the oven. The funeral was held at 3:50 for about 20 minutes.
  2. I really enjoyed your piece, Dave. I grew up in Ohio around the same time and I found that part of the story to be almost visual for me. I can see that parking lot. Reminded me also of grocery shopping with my mother as a kid, something I took great pleasure in and I still find the grocery store to be pleasant and calming, a real treat, even though, like you, I pluck my goodies from a variety of birthing grounds. I remember the plastic PICK AND PAY logo on the cart, and the rack with the Jack and Jill magazines and the crinkle of the wax bag in the Barnum's animal cracker box . . . Sigh. My mom also had an affair with the Jolly Green Giant. That guy gets around!
  3. Ante up the recipes, mateys!
  4. I'm a New Yorker and I have to say, 99% of all black and white cookies suck. Think salad plate sized cookie, hard and with hard icing, in a cellophane bag, tucked next to the register at the deli. You can almost smell the macaroni salad odor clinging to it, can't you? Check Chowhounds, there's a thread there. I did have some that I thought absolutely hit the bell and rang it dead. In the school cafeteria of the Rochester Institute of Technology. They were about the size of a silver dollar pancake and the icing was soft. The chocolate half was delicious, tasted like a good chocolate cake. The white half was also delicious, and it was white, not yellow. I would try the Martha Stewart version. Because I think she'd be fussy enough not to be a purist (read description above) and I've tried cookie recipes of hers that I really liked the texture of (cakey). However, I would ask many specific questions of your friend to find out exactly which version of the black and white she pines for. I can imagine myself years from now, waxing nostalgic about the deli version.
  5. Is there an objective point of view about cookies being good? Isn't the beauty of the cookie in the tastebuds of the beholder? If you like them, then, they're goooood cookies! I've made some cookies from recipes people tout that I threw in the garbage. And I've sent cookies to my father that he just-doesn't-like. He won't tell me which ones these are, I find out from my brother. Who loves the same cookies my father warns him about. Some people will actually eat a cut-out cookie flooded with icing in garish colors and like it!
  6. I haven't read all of the threads in the links above, so it might get a mention there. I'm nutty for Sir Cricket in Orleans. The best fried scallop roll you will ever eat. Good in the parking lot, better at the Fort Hill Overlook. I like Cafe Edwige in Provincetown.
  7. For anyone who is interested in Bake Offs -- Cookoff: Recipe Fever in America by Amy Sutherland is an excellent book. Very interesting, very entertaining. It's about competitive baking, who sponsors it and why, who enters the contests and why, and what goes on there. My guess is, the folks who compensated for the altitude are regular cookoff circuit people who know the ropes. I'm guessing the contest made it known, but only in the fine print.
  8. Fruitcake. I've kept peel for a year, it's okay, but it loses it's oomph. Not frozen, just wrapped well.
  9. Thank you everyone who helped -- it is Tiptree's Little Scarlet. And ever since I posted this question, as it would be, I've seen it everywhere. Especially after I ordered two jars online. I'll hit Dean and Deluca anyway, as I've had other flavors recommended to me now (medlar . . . ) and I want to try them.
  10. I find the denouement to this story quite fascinating. I don't believe that anyone even considered a compromise, and I believe you got that compromise by being honest. I think it's best to be honest and professional and keep your sense of self untainted by the shortcomings of others. I believe when you developed the recipes for your employer, you did that from an honest position, too, you were doing your best. I'm delighted that your cat returned, there's a lesson there, I think, about not giving up hope. And I sincerely wish that your biopsy comes back clear. And I hope that in the future you'll be able to work somewhere where quality matters and your creative talents are appreciated.
  11. Somewhere I read about an expansive jam from Britian, can't remember where I read about it (Here? Gastronomica? The Saturday Evening Post?) but a woman described it as teeny tiny whole strawberries and oh-so-delicious. Cannot google myself into it . . . The preserving thread, which captivated me yesterday, made me remember it. Can you help me?
  12. Too late to do any good (Best of luck, Ling!), but I have a recipe for a fresh fig and thyme pie I've always wanted to make. Getting that many ripe figs at one time has been a problem. But I was thinking thyme shortbread . . . That photograph of figs is absolutely . . . provocative.
  13. I can't help you there, but if pumpkiny cookies are something you wish, Martha Stewart has a terrific recipe for pumpkin cookies with browned butter icing that are irresistable. I got it from her Christmas cookie magazine this year, but I think it's repeated in the baking book. Surely she dreamed of these while she was in jail . . .
  14. I am going to make this cake -- you've indicated red and yellow fruits for the light cake, but nothing for the chocolate cake. I'm thinking dates, figs, apricots . . . what else? I'll marinate the fruits for several months -- okay, or longer? Is this a fruitcake that needs to age? At least a month? Or do you eat it immediately? Thanks for your help.
  15. Ooooo, this is really nice, thank you -- my scale does the conversion for me. I've been curious to try a chocolate fruitcake -- I have a small sort of gift book of fruitcake recipes that is quite marvelous, the author gathered a lot of big name cooks' favorite recipes together -- Maida Heatter offers up a chocolate pan forte I've been curious to try. I'm going to end up with dozens of fruitcakes this winter, I'm afraid . . . Can you post the address to your blog? I'd love to read it. I'm a big fan of Gastronomica, do you get that? Food culture mag, fascinating.
  16. I wouldn't want a stranger to find that bucket. In another thread I bagged a recipe for making one's own candied cherries and I'm going to try doing that for another fruitcake I make -- I don't have time to do it for this one. Another source I like is Sunnyland Farms. Good nuts. Black walnuts.
  17. Thanks for the explique -- if you are willing to share that recipe, I would be interested. I understand if you don't. Regarding the mother/daughter sharing thing, that is the craziest case of recipe tightness I've ever heard of. It makes sense, though, in the oft seen paradigm of mothers being jealous of their daughters. My mother never bakes any more, and loves it if I make something of "hers" so that she can taste it again. It's a real compliment to me to have her say that mine is as good as hers. I ordered all of my fruit yesterday -- from Vine Tree Orchards. One stop shopping there, and their fruit is quite nice. I think this year I'm going to try a very good port to see how that would affect the flavor. I also do the big plastic bucket thing. Imagine what someone who didn't know what it was found it? It's very exciting glop when you know what it's going to turn into, but pretty scary when you don't. I actually don't like the black cake until it ages for four months. I don't like a directly boozy taste, personally. So I don't feed it, either. Which is good. When you've got a pile of fruitcakes going, feeding them must get very time consuming! Regarding the wedding cake -- steamed fruit cake? Eee gads. The only home videos blooper things I find funny are the wedding ones -- I suppose because the whole weddding display is pretty false and rife for a foible . . . What does a marriage need more than a lack of pretense and a sense of humor? Yet the symbol of the union is quite the opposite . . .
  18. Howdy, neighbor, glad to meet you! I think we should form the cult of the black cake -- how did you get involved? Laurie Colwin? I'm behind on my maceration, but I'm going to order the stuff this weekend. No nuts? You don't use ground pecans in the actual cake? Thanks for the rum tip, I'll give it a try. I have the sort of twisted desire to always up the quality ante and try to get the cake better and better. Do you stir your fruit? I've heard people advocate for truly mashed fruit, untouched fruit, stirred fruit, unstirred fruit, the whole shebang. I don't see any harm in stirring the fruit once in a while to keep the alcohol evened out. Do you feed your finished cake on rum? Last year I had seven fruitcakes, two kinds, aging in my closet and I felt rich.
  19. Would love to know what makes a Silpin good. I have a Silpat and I don't use it anymore, not since I learned to love a pastry cloth. I have a marble rolling pin and I don't like it -- it's too heavy, makes my back hurt. What is a "complete set" of tart tins? How many sizes? How many of each size?
  20. I'd look at the one King Arthur is selling, although I think that might be the model that someone above had beater problems with. I'm on my second Cuisinart, the chrome one. I don't have a stand mixer, so I use it for everything. I have a large mixing bowl, so it works pretty well. The first one died in the middle of a big thick gob of dough, I was pushing the envelope. I think I got ten years out of it. I have to admit, I like the shiny chrome, I'm a magpie. I lust for a set of All Clad strainers. I think there's three or maybe four, they're 99 bucks. Ridiculous if you are buying them for yourself but they make a dandy gift. Incredible craftmanship, like all All Clad products. Another nice thing for $200 is a 5 1/2 quart LeCreuset dutch oven, but that's not a baking toy. If you're a pie person, a solid maple rolling pin sets a body back about 45 bucks and can't be beat. I have a Salter scale I got from King Arthur that is just tops, sets you back about 70. Ditto for an instant read pen thermometer (also from King Arthur, also about 70 bucks). You have nice coworkers.
  21. Lorna, your cake has the color! Very tasty-looking. The frosting is different from mine -- more cream colored, mine is quite white against the red. I never use the chopped nuts, myself. Which recipe did you use? One additional word on chemical ingestion: (keep in mind I use two bottles of McCormick's and I eat it once a year) It would be a good idea for all of us to limit our exposure to as many chemicals as possible. I don't think that means running around in a spacesuit, or forgoing a hot dog at the ballpark. It's about overall exposure from the atmosphere, cleaning products, foods, etc. I'm too lazy to go bag the facts right now, but they are easily researchable. We are all guinea pigs in the current environment. There are hundreds of chemicals in use that have not been properly tested, not tested over time, and not tested together. When your body exhausts itself trying to fend them off, you get multiple chemical sensitivity syndrome. I know someone who developed this. It isn't pretty. She developed it during a work project in which she spent the day in a small conference room with a brand new rug. The off-gassing of the new rug over a six month period put her over the edge. All the food I buy is organic, I try to eat at home as much as possible, I do my own baking. I also live in a big city and try to offset that unhealthy atmosphere as much as possible. Except when I have me a big slice of RVC!
  22. My recipe calls for two ounces of red food coloring -- that's two bottles, depending on which size you buy . . . I'm perplexed by everyone's fear of large amounts of food coloring. Red dye number two was taken off the market some time ago. Most flavors and perfumes are now made in a factory in Elizabeth, New Jersey. I'd be a lot more afraid of most packaged food than a bottle of food coloring. We ingest all sorts of chemicals thoughtlessly -- hairspray, Windex, air freshener, Cool Whip, etc. but food coloring has people really running. Maybe I missed something on the six o'clock news, though. I got my recipe from one of those employee recipe books that a vendor mailed to us one year -- I work in publishing, so they made a little cookbook slash type catalogue. It was like, the six o'clock shift proofreader's recipe. It's basically the same as everyone else's.
  23. Guys, can you tell me where I can find this delectable cake vs. pie thread? I spent hours looking for it yesterday and came up zip. I want to know who won.
  24. I support Jaymes' support of red velvet cake for all the same reasons. There's something about the flavor of a good red velvet cake that can't be beat. It's all in the buttermilk/vinegar thing, and as an oil-based cake, it's extremely moist. Ditto on the cream cheese icing, very tangy. As far as the 2 ounces of red food coloring goes: I eat this cake once a year. on Valentine's Day. I make it myself, I'm not interested in someone else's version. My sweetie and I each take a fork and work at meeting in the middle. I've eaten this cake in the bathtub. By candlelight. I've made this cake in small heart shaped pans and arranged them in an outward-facing circle on a magenta plate. I have large heart-shaped layer pans for it. I love this cake. The red color is very important. It does look like velvet. Deep, rich, sensual. Exquisite. So what if it all comes down to a red poo.
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