Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Yesterday ,dinner,just the two of us

Dinner for two  usually conjurs up a small table, maybe  candles, flowers,soft music, an air of romance.Well this dinner for two was different but no less special.The table was a long  green picnic table with two benches . The music came from a parakeet who greeted us with "Let's go to the movies!"It was 1952,  I was ten and we listened to a clock radio which I called my "Baby Sitter",we did not own a TV. Daddy was on the Battle ship New Jersey in Korea and  Mama ,a telephone operator,would have just driven home from work 35 miles away. She and I would have dinner together most every night but we would have this  special dinner once a week, after we visited the Egg Lady, yup.. it was Sunny Sides and toast.The eggs had been plucked from the nests that morning, some times they were double yolkers.The toast was Pepperidge Farms, and the jam was strawberry, home made with big berries, still very red. What made it so special ? Well it was certainly economical,but it was part adventure ,part  awaited routine . When I think about it, it was special because it was the just two of us, Daddy was far away , I had no idea we were creating a memory.
     We drove our very nice two toned 49 Ford up Moose Hill ,traded last weeks egg crates for two or three filled with big brown eggs,I would bake something new with extras. We had already been to Benton's meat market for the bacon and probably picked up the bread there too.
    Now  it was back to  our home, and have percolated coffee,bacon and eggs. That may not sound so special ,but it was still a treat because  it was dinner and not breakfast and also the way Mama showed me how she liked to eat her eggs. They were over easy in butter, slightly crispy on the edges. She ate the white part first, and then very carefully slipped the soft oozy yolk onto the butter knife and slid it into her mouth. I copied her, carefully cutting a circle around the yolk first, then popped it in my mouth. Wow! Warm liquid gold seeped out the corners of my happy smile, that was fun, let's do it again, and happily I did.
Yesterday, see you tomorrow, Signe

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


     What do you do with yesterday? I mean just you, I’m only talking about good memories, the kind that say “ this is going to be fun,” a little giddy, the kind that just pop up and say, "Remember me?  Remember that day  when we…? ooh yeah",  can you see pictures in color? Or do they smell?  Do they taste?  Can you feel them like feathers held against your chin?, Can they crunch and pop in your mouth ? How about the noises, and the music ? Oh, the music, the tunes, not so far away,and  yes, music that tastes... delicious.

     This is what I want to talk about, memories wrapped around tastes and smells and giggles and burned fingers, and chocolate chip  cookie dough smeared on blue denim aprons.  

      For me, yesterday’s memories are wafting out of a closet sized baking corner that housed a mixer, an oven and a tiny sink. Oh, yes, and cookies, lots of cookies, chocolate chip cookies as big as a baby’s face, just  35 cents. Chocolate chip pecan pies, Mumbos (I’ll tell you about them later), Milk dud cookies, and sweet spicy carrot bread. And a chocolate crusted peanut butter caramel pie that was Sooo satisfying !

    Many people from multiple corners of  this beautiful earth have squeezed their way in to my little bakery, juice bar, sandwich shop and for that I am forever grateful. I have been asked hundreds of times how it got started or, where did I learn to bake, or where did I get the recipes for our salads, or how much fat is in the French Almond Peach bread, (0), or what is the secret spice in that lemon bar? Usually I just fidgeted the question away and tried to answer in a self effacing way that allowed me to go back to the hinter rooms of the bakery and hide behind a mound of butter cream or slipped into a tiny office that is in the midst of a bustling kitchen that has been my home for lo these many years.

    The coffee pot is on, the window is open, come on in have a piece of cake,that's where I'll be,

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Today, it's all about the beans.

Beans, beans, good for your heart, I'll refrain from the rest of the ditty because they ARE good for your heart. link (the benefits of beans, 9 reasons why you should eat beans).

I grew up in  New England where beans were "Boston Baked", came in a brown glass jar with a piece of over cooked salt pork sunk in to it and were served with frankfurters and dark brown molasses bread which came in a can. Then when I went to grammar school in Florida I was introduced to chili con carne, which meant mostly over cooked kidney beans with a hint of beef, the Hispanic influence hadn't really hit so who knew what carne meant.

Then, I met refried pinto beans in a taco hut in San Diego (this was about 50 year ago, we and the beans have come a long way), they were a change from the kidney beans but the texture was closer to  a soupy pile that filled the plate from rim to rim. They were ok but I didn't dream about a bowl of pintos.

In the early 80s I wanted to make new and different bean salads for the cafe and found a plethora of heirloom beans from an organically run farm in California: Rancho Gordo. Scarlet runners, Christmas limas, borlotti cranberry beans, flageolets, big giant white beans for cassoulet, wow, beans beans beans! We had great fun exploring these jewels from the pods.

Now I want to pass on the beginners steps to enjoying beans, and please look at all the good reasons we should include these wonder bubbles of protein, fiber and minerals.


What you will need:
Your choice of dry beans
Olive Oil
Coarse Sea Salt

Thursday, February 10, 2011

WEDDING DAY…Wedding Day...

A glorious day, a dream day, a dreamy day, a day that is recorded, photographed, videoed and remembered. It is  a day that I pray for all of my brides that remains forever part of the dream, "for as long as you both shall live”. It is a day of starts, beginnings and pauses.

Photo: Nate Henderson of Open Light Studio

What do I have to do with Wedding Days? Well, I make wedding cakes, and that is a very special job.  I am oh so privileged to make the little or grand cake that is part of that most special celebration.

Photo: Nate Henderson of Open Light Studio

The word “part” here is very important to understand because the cake is only a part of a beautiful picture and my part is to make it fit in seamlessly, stress-lessly and deliciously.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The blogpsphere has another food blogger!

After debating about if I should join the community of food bloggers for months I have decided to do it. From wedding cakes to shrimp and grits to danishes - my daily life is food. I thought it would be fun to share some of what I see, do, hear and at the same time hear from you about what you do in the world of cooking and baking.

I think this will be a lot of fun! Where do I start? I've been in this wonderful food world all my life,  just didn't know my kitchen romance would be so faithful.

Yesterday, Wedding Day, and Today,  join me tomorrow!