Lavender Week 4, a few buds have opened.
Lavender Week 4, a few buds have opened.
I’ve been getting lots of recommendations for books on baking, thanks! The most recommended is, understandably, Baking Illustrated by the Editors of Cook’s Illustrated Magazine. Also on my list now are On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee, The Professional Pastry Chef by Bo Friberg, In The Sweet Kitchen by Regan Daley, Cookwise by Shirley Corriher, and I’m Just Here for More Food: Food x Mixing + Heat = Baking by Alton Brown.
The Inside Scoop, Slate reviews ice cream makers.
How To Fold A Fitted Sheet a photoset on Flickr. Thank you catiecake!
Daymented made the Hi-Hat cupcakes mentioned a few days ago and found both the taste and the process less than satisfying. She documented the process here on Flickr (warning: a word in the title of the Flickr set is not really work safe).
follow up from the next day: “they were SO MUCH EASIER to dip in the chocolate after refrigerating overnight”
Tonight we’re going to grill a little and spend the long evening on the back deck watching it slowly get dark, hoping the loud crows nesting nearby don’t try to attack us, and sipping cocktails. We stopped by one of Washington State’s depressingly utilitarian liquor stores and picked up supplies to make my favorite cocktail, The Jasmine:
Shake hard over ice and serve up.
I’ll be making cupcakes for Scott’s birthday so I’ve decided I want to learn more about types of cake (or, more specifically, cupcake) frosting. I got The All New Joy of Cooking from the library, and The Cake Bible is on it’s way. I’m trying to learn more of the basics of cakes so I have a solid place to come from when I, say, want to fill them with goopy cream. Are there any good baking books that start at the begining I should consult? I’m interested in the chemical process stuff as well.
And I want to wish the best to those I know who travelled all the way to NYC to sell at the Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn. If you anywhere within driving distance you gotta go, Amy Sedaris is baking the cupcakes!
Last week I tried to keep the house as clean as possible. I told myself it was because I need to develop better habits but I knew it was because I knew the landlords (who are spectacularly nice people) were in town and if they wanted to meet I wouldn’t have to rush around hiding dirty dishes. I failed except for one five minute period where all the dishes in the house were simultaneously clean for the first time ever.
I have been trying to summon up the energy to clear out the stuff we don’t use anymore. It’s not going well.
Lavender Week Three update — I think the lavender is ready! I’m ridiculously proud of this, which is strange because I have never done anything to care for the plant and a month ago I didn’t even know what it was.
Here’s fresh cut from last weekend, Week 3
Then yesterday I noticed that just a few of the buds on the plant had popped open into flowers so I cut some more. Here is Week 3 And Five Days:
I’m interested to see how the new batches dry. I am paying attention to see if there is increased bee activity around the plants but so far the bees seem to be ignoring them. According to a tag on some lavender at a garden shop, the type growing in my front yard is Lavender Grappenhall. (The cameraphone is really handy for recording things like this.) Some new tips people wrote in with were to wait until the lavender is showing as much purple as possible, with that in mind I think I can go another week perhaps. Also, Jake wrote to tell me about an Alton Brown method (also mentioned in this article at Wired) that involves sticking herbs beween air condioning filters, strapping those to a box fan and letting it run two hours per side making your house smell nice in the process.
Cupcakes Take The Cake has been teasing us with photographs of these chocolate-covered hi-hat cupcakes since last week, and mercifully there is a write up including recipes about them here at Gothamist Cooks. The recipe is from the book Cupcakes! by Elinor Klivans which I’ve been seeing all over the place and must get for myself.
Last week I posted asking if my lavender was ready to cut. I got a lot of responses (thank you to everybody!) and the hive mind seemed to agree it needed another week if it was a sunny week. Well, it wasn’t sunny but for the purposes of experimentation I cut some more. So far the fresh cut lavender smells more lavender-y but I suspect it’s still too early.
week 2 cut:
week 1 is still drying, and not looking so hot:
Other bits of advice included wait until the very first of the flowers pop open, cut only on a dry day, for best potency cut in late morning or afternoon, hang in a dry dark place, cut just above where the leaves or side flowers (??) branch off, about eight inches, and wait until you notice more bees than usual paying attention to the plant.
Check out this Star Wars cookie made by Blair Fukumura. So cool.