Thursday, December 9, 2010

The One With My Orthodontist

Those of you who follow me on Twitter probably saw last night a minor questioning of self when I ran into my childhood orthodontist at the library checkout line.

I'm sitting there, minding my own business, probably reading blogs or checking my e-mail or something, and a woman walks up and hands me a book and her card. I scanned her card, not looking at the name (because I rarely do, except in cases where the name catches my attention, such as the family with the last name Buttz or someone with a crazy first name like Kjamashonda, pronounced "Jane").

The book she was checking out was "Eats Shoots & Leaves" by Lynne Truss. It's a book about punctuation and the proper use of it.

(If you haven't heard it, the title comes from this joke where a panda walks into a bar, sits down, has a couple beers, and then orders dinner. His dinner comes, he eats it, and it's a fairly routine visit. Then he stands up, takes out a pistol, and fires three shots into the air. The manager comes running out and says, "What the hell are you doing?" The panda looks at him and says, "I'm a panda. Look it up." The manager goes to the computer in the back and looks up "panda." The entry says, "Panda - a black and white bearlike mammal found mostly in China. Eats shoots and leaves.")
So ANYWAY, I told the lady that it's a really good book, and one I own. She kind of looks at me and says, "Are you Sarah?"

Since I wear my nametag hanging out of my pants pocket, she wouldn't have been able to see it, so she must have actually known me. I said, "Yes?" (as if I weren't certain) and she says, "Do you recognize me?"

(Sidenote: I HATE when people ask me that! Clearly, I do not recognize you, because if I DID, then I would say something like, "HEY! Person I recognize! I haven't seen you forever!")

I tell her I do not, and then she tells me, "Your orthodontist?" and I'm all, "OMG! Hi!"

I'm wondering how often, as an orthodontist, when you run into former patients, they smile really widely to show you that their teeth still look as good as they did last time they saw you.

I may have done that.

She then asked me how my parents are. Not feeling the need to go into the fact that they've gotten divorced since last time I was there, I just said they were fine. (They are.) Then she asked about my sister, who was also a patient of hers (Thinking back on it, she probably KNEW my parents had gotten divorced, since my sister was a patient there, too, and it would have been after that.) I told her she was fine, in college, etc.

And she was all, "You majored in English, right? Remind me where you went to school." I did, but was all, "WTF?" that she knew about the English thing. (Again, probably because my sister was a patient when I was in school, I think.)

Anyway, it was CRAZY that she remembered me, considering I was a patient of hers for approximately a year. I had the braces for 10 months, and then I had a retainer that probably got checked a time or two. But approximately a year.

THEN I started worrying. 12 was my most awkward and hideous year. I was Not Cute when I was 12. I went to her when I was 12. WHY DID SHE RECOGNIZE ME?

(Side note: I put "awkward teenager" into Google Images to find a good illustration here, and about 80% of the pictures that popped up were Michael Cera. Michael, FIND A NEW CHARACTER TO PLAY!)

That's actually the end of the story. There's not real big wrap-up or conclusion. Just me, thinking I grew into my giant ears and awkwardly big teeth only to be immediately recognized by the orthodontist that saw me at my most unfortunate-looking.

I'll end with a question: I have two packages to send out to people I've never met in real life, but who I have met online, and they are going to involve baked yummies. What I wanted to do was have a "giveaway" here (because, you know, I've ALWAYS wanted to do that, but I don't have people giving me things to give away), giving away a third package. But then I wondered, would people want things that someone they'd never met had made?

Granted, if you eat at restaurants and whatever, you don't know who's making your food. But I think you know what I mean.

My question is this: If I offered that kind of thing, would anyone enter? Or would I just have people I know entering, leaving me feeling sad and destitute? I'll tell you, I'm a very clean baker, and I don't lick the utensils (at least I don't when I'm making things for other people. If it's just me and D? I'm ALL OVER IT!)

Let me know, so I can get this show on the road.

Or, if I just get people I know telling me they'd enter, then I'll just make it for someone I know. Either way.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The One With 5 Things I Do Not Understand

1. Why anyone gives two flips what Kathy Griffin says. (Maybe I should change this to "Why Kathy Griffin is famous in the first place.")

2. Why, the day after Elizabeth Edwards dies, on Yahoo!'s "Trending Now" sidebar, "Cancer treatment" is currently number 7, but "Ashlee Simpson" is number 1. Apparently, Ashlee is either A) "urging her sister, Jessica, to start a family" or B) "planning to have another baby to get some attention."

This woman (who I, actually, personally, didn't have a hugely high opinion of, but it always sucks a big one when someone can't beat cancer) who is known for being a successful lawyer, a successful advocate, a not-so-successful politician's wife, and the writer of two widely read books, dies after a long, grueling battle with cancer, and the number one trending topic on this site is the Simpson sisters and their respective uteruses. (Uterri?)

3. Why shows like "Wonderfalls" are yanked after one season, but shows like "Two and a Half Men," which has its moments but is generally sophomoric humor, soldier on.

4. Why people think I believe them when they tell me either that they're going to pay their fines next time they're in the library, or how they're 100% certain they returned that book that's been missing since 2006.

5. Why Christmas is almost here, and I have no money to buy anyone anything. (This one, I may actually be able to answer. It's got something to do with working only one part-time job. A job I love, by the way, but still only a part-time one.)

Friday, December 3, 2010

The One With a French Friday: Cocktail Nuts

I'll go ahead and make it known that every joke, pun, and bad innuendo that could possibly be made about "nuts" has already been made, either by D or by myself, so anything I say within this entry that could possibly have "That's what she said!" after it, consider it already there.

When I made the last update I made, I commented about how I needed to get back into the swing of French Fridays with Dorie. After I finished that entry, I was going about my merry way when I thought, "Um, Sarah? TODAY is Friday." So I went through the list of Things to be Made and pulled out the easiest one: Sweet and Spicy Cocktail Nuts.

Here are the ingredients:

Sugar, salt, chili powder, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, egg white, and nuts. Dorie suggests using perhaps a mix of nuts, but seeing as to how I'm very particular about which ones I'll eat, I went with a combination of peanuts (because who doesn't love peanuts?) (besides those people who are allergic to them) and walnuts, which I had in the freezer, waiting for just such an occasion.

First, you mix together the dry ingredients.

Then you beat the egg white and mix it with the nuts.

Then you add the spice mix. . .

And mix all THAT together.

I should mention here that I was having a tough time with some of these pictures, because I wanted an over-the-bowl shot, but while I'm already tall, I'm not QUITE tall enough to pull that off. It was at this point D built me a little step stool out of two 12-packs of Diet Coke and a large wooden cutting board.


I have to admit here that I didn't follow Dorie's directions exactly. She was all talking about how you needed to take each nut piece out of the bowl individually, "let the excess egg white drip back into the bowl," and separate everything "as best you can."

I saw no excess egg white. Everything seemed to be pretty well mixed, and I didn't have the patience of take each individual one out of the bowl and place it on the pan.

So I just kind of dumped everything onto the cookie sheet and spread it out.

Into the oven they went.

When I pulled them out of the oven, I saw why Dorie had indicated that they needed to be separated. What I had was kind of like a peanut brittle textured creation.

But you know what?

I kind of preferred it that way.


I feel like you could break it into chunks and sell it as some kind of holiday gift basket item.

So, so good.

Chalk up another FFwD win for Sarah!

The One Where I Have a French Friday Disaster

Sorry I've been ignoring you. I kind of feel like one of those parents who go on business trips all the time and then bring back lots of little trinkets and sometimes food to make up for the fact that they just Were Not There.

Unfortunately, I do not have anything with which to bribe you and to apologize for the fact that I've been a lax parent blogger, but I can update you on things that have been going on.

I attempted to make my FFwD recipe for my mom's side of the family's Thanksgiving, which is held the Sunday before Real Thanksgiving.

I've had a few recipe disasters in my day, but none like this one.

I had everything ready. My greased casserole dish held sliced potatoes (all sliced with my new-to-me Cuisinart, which, I'm convinced, could chop ANYTHING), fresh-ish herbs, garlic-infused cream, and a couple of other things. It was lovely.

I did what Dorie told me to do, and that is to put a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet and put the casserole dish on top of that, just in case anything spilled. If something spilled, you don't want it going into the bottom of your oven.


The thing about parchment paper is, NOTHING sticks to it. When I made my parents a moose cake for their anniversary, and I tried to tape parchment paper to an outline of moose antlers so I could use melted chocolate to fashion the antlers, the tape wouldn't even stick to it.

Keep this in mind.

So I'm in a hurry when I'm putting this thing in the oven. I'm in a hurry because we have to leave in 45 minutes, and this stuff needs to bake for an hour. 15 minutes won't make THAT much of a difference, was my rationale.

For whatever reason, I chose to pick up this parchment paper-lined cookie sheet containing my potato thing with one hand. Now, when you pick up a rectangular pan with one hand, it's going to tilt a little to the other side where you (for whatever reason) have no hand. This happened. What also happened, thanks to the parchment paper, was that as I went to put the thing in the oven, the entire dish slid off the sheet and exploded at the bottom of my oven.

The dish didn't explode (thanks, Pyrex!) but everything in it did. It was a fountain of potato, cheese, and garlic-infused cream. So I cursed, grabbed the glass dish out of the bottom of the oven, turned off the oven and then did what any good chef would do.

I freaked out and cried.

D was in the kitchen when all of this was going on, so when I started freaking out, saying, "What do I do? I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO!", he was all, "Just leave. I'll take care of it." I tried for another second to figure out how to fix it, and he was all, "Sarah. Leave."

So I did. I went into the bedroom and cried some more. And then I thought, "I should take pictures of what's going on so I can write about it!" But then I thought that taking pictures while D was fixing my epic, epic error might be considered bad form. So I did not.

Needless to say, this dish did not go to Thanksgiving with us. An apple cake did, though.

This was not the end of the potatoes, though.

D somehow saved a lot of the ingredients in my erstwhile potato dish. They sat in the fridge for a while, and then, the other day, I decided to give it another go.

Rather than carefully infusing the new cream with garlic, I whisked it with onion powder. The recipe said to fill the cream to the edge, and if there wasn't enough, to add milk. I did just that. Then into the oven it went.

This is what happened:

. . .um?

I should note that there were some other potatoes in the dish (it didn't bake as empty as it looks), but I'd taken them out to try them, before discovering the sea of cream in which these things were swimming.

Maybe it's because the potatoes sat in the fridge for a while. Maybe it was the milk. Maybe it was the cream. I don't really know. What I do know is that this dish ended up being an epic fail.

I didn't do the last week of November's FFwD (I forgot, plus we were out of town), but hopefully, I'll catch up soon. I also have other things to write about, but I've been overwhelmed with my new Web site project, I've just kind of shut down, bloggily. I'll get it all figured out one of these days.

And, just so you don't think I'm a total failure, I'll show you my blueberry-cranberry pie I invented:

A little on the sweet side, but D said it was "the best berry pie [he'd] ever had." And he's got Southern grandmas, so I think that's saying something.

If you wonder -- My new blog/Web site venture is going to be baking-centric, so while I'll still be talking about non-baking food here, when the spirit moves me, my baking stuff will be moved to its own site shortly. I'll be sure to post the address for that for those who are interested.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The One Where I Try To Learn Spanish

I know it's Friday, and I know I'm missing (again!) my FFwD, but my excuse this week is that I'm actually making this dish on Sunday (or, tomorrow FOR Sunday) because my mother's side of the family does Thanksgiving the Sunday before actual Thanksgiving, so I'm going to make it and bring it for lunch Sunday.

Also, I just discovered that this blog passed its year-old mark without any kind of anything. So here's a mini party to celebrate keeping this thing going for a year and 10 days with some kind of regularity:

As some of you may or may not know, I've got a background in taking French classes. That's not to say I speak French, but I have a background in taking classes. I took 3 years in high school, and then a total of 4 semesters in college. (Actually, I was signed up for classes 6 semesters in college, but I dropped it twice.)

As much as I love the language, I'm not good at LEARNING languages, as it turns out.

Despite this, when I was at the library the other day, I picked up a CD set, promising to teach me beginning Spanish quickly.

Yes, Spanish. French is awesome, but Spanish is the language that's taking over the country, so Spanish it was.

I popped the first CD into my car player, and listened to a pleasant-sounding man tell me to listen to a conversation between a (North) American man and a Hispanic woman.

So far, so good.

I caught a few of the words, and thus felt pretty proud of myself. Then, the guy started explaining what they were saying, and asking me to repeat things.

The first thing that threw me off was the use of (and if I butcher spellings, please forgive me) Castilano for "Spanish" instead of "Espanol," which everyone knows. I've been getting that confused with "entiende" which is the word for "understand."

So when the guy tells me to say "I do not understand Spanish" (a true statement, by the by), about half the time, I'll say, "No castilende Espanol." I don't even know if "castilende" is a real word, but I keep using it.

The man continues.

"Say, 'Hello, sir. Do you understand English?'"

I respond.

"Bonjour, monsieur. . .crap, no. That's French. Hola. . .Hola, Senor, entien--"

And then about halfway through the fixed sentence, he interrupts me to tell me how I SHOULD have said it. Gracias, Senor.

Then I realize that there seems to be some sexual tension between the Norde Americano man and the Hispanic woman.

"Hola, Senorita," he says. "Como estas usted?"

The narrator explained that this means, "How are you doing?" (Muy bien.) But thanks to the sexual tension I feel between these two people (who don't have names, by the way, so I've taken to calling them Gregor and Maria), I take it more as a Joey Tribbiani, "How YOU doin'?"

Since I'm by myself in the car, taking these lessons, I'm talking out loud. To myself. I always am afraid that people driving by are going to think I'm either A) Crazy or B) Saying nasty things to them. I haven't gotten run off the road yet, so I'm good to go. Conversations usually go something like this:

Narrator: Say "How are you doing, ma'am?"
Me: "Como estas usted, madam? Crap, no. Como estas usted, senora. How YOU doin'?"
Narrator: Tell the young woman good morning, and that you do not understand Spanish.
Me: "Buenas noches. . .no. Diaz. Buenos dias, mademoiselle. Crap. Senorita. No casilende Espanol."
Narrator: "Buenos diaz, senorita. No entiendo Castillano."
Narrator: Tell the young woman you are North American, and that you only speak a little Spanish.
Me: Why don't YOU tell ME why the word for the Queen's Spanish and the word for "understand" are SO DAMN SIMILAR and you taught them in the SAME LESSON?
Narrator: "Soy Norde Americano/Americana. Hablo Castillano un poco."
Me: "Soy Norde Americana. Hablo Espanol un poco."

At this point, I'm not certain why I'm arguing with a recorded narrator. So when he tells me to ask the woman how she is and if she speaks English again, I end it with a. . .

"How YOU doin'?"

Then I turned on the radio.

That's about where my lesson ended last night.

Buenos tardes.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The One With My First Video Blog

I did my first video blog today. It's quite rudimentary, as I've never done one of these before, and I'm still figuring a lot out, but it was kind of fun.

Enjoy. (And be gentle!) :)

(Also, my face looks kind of weird in the screen shot here. I promise, my face doesn't always look like that!)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The One Where I'm Late with Friday

I've had an awesome weekend and due to this, I have not yet posted my newest FFwD. I'll do my best to get to that tomorrow. I'm sure you all understand.

I hope everyone's been having an awesome weekend and has been spending time with people they love like I've been doing!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The One With The Girl Who Distracted Me From Writing

I've fallen drastically, desperately behind my NaNoWriMo numbers. I'm approximately a week behind, and with this kind of project, it's really hard to catch up.

I'm also working on another project. . .a food blog, so I can keep this one for my day-to-day, and that one for food-related things. Once I have a spare few dollars, I'll buy the domain name I want, and then I'll be in business. So if you're not so much interested in food, you can read that one instead. If you're not so much interested in me, you can read that one. Win-win.

(Although, come to think of it, I don't think that you'd be reading this if you didn't have at least SOME interest in me. But I think you know what I mean.)

Part of the reason I've fallen so far behind on my writing is because I've been reading. I started the "Millennium Trilogy" a while back, and have finally gotten to the third book. It took me a while to read the first, ("The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo") and I finished the second one ("The Girl Who Played with Fire") yesterday. Today, I started "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest," and once I finish this one, I'm not 100% sure what I'm going to do with myself. Write, maybe.

The second book had a weird effect on me, actually. It was a really good book. . .but I wanted it to end. I wanted to be finished with it so I could start on the last one. It was good, but I think probably about 100 pages could be cut from it.

Let's see, what else has been distracting me from what I need to be doing?

Food Network. I've been addicted to "The Next Iron Chef" for the last few weeks. It's pretty obvious who's going to win (I HATE when shows make it so obvious who's going to win. . .especially when said person has ALREADY HAD a show on the network) but my favorite guy is still in the running. D accused me of having a new boyfriend, and he may or may not be right. This guy is awesome and badass. Also, he made a dessert last week inspired by his girlfriend's favorite sweets (Aww!) and made his grandmother's potato recipe for one of the challenges. (AWWW!!!) I also looked up his restaurant in New York, and checked out the menu. Super-delicious sounding. Also super expensive.

Speaking of delicious food in New York. . .I don't know if any of my readers are in the Manhattan area, but has anyone ever been to the Antique Garage in SoHo? Apparently, they use word-of-mouth for their advertising, so I'm guessing there wouldn't be any billboards or anything.

I went up to New York last year (two years ago?) with a friend of mine and his dad, because he was checking out NYU. We randomly came across this run-down looking, really pricey restaurant and had dinner there. Since that day, I've wanted to be on that Food Network show, "The Best Thing I Ever Ate," because the dinner I had that night. . .I haven't been able to get it out of my head. I had this thing called the Shrimp Casserole. I'm aware that the word "casserole" brings to mind a heavy thing with maybe cheese and breadcrumbs and stuff like that, but this was like nothing I've ever had. It was light and flavorful and I may or may not be having a foodgasm right now thinking about it. The most incredible thing I've ever put in my mouth. (That's what she said.)

Anyway, I thought of that again today and told D that sometime within the next year, I need to get back to New York and have this thing again, $24 price tag be damned.

(I'm a little worried about starting a food blog. I feel like 75% of my life is taken up by eating, thinking about, and making food, so I'm not going to have anything else to talk about here.)

So what about all of you out there? What's the best thing you've ever eaten?

Friday, November 5, 2010

The One With a French Friday: Roast Chicken

Warning: If you are a militant vegetarian or just incredibly squeamish, you may want to skip this entry. I'm just saying.

Also! I'd like to thank people who've been leaving me comments. I'm not sure how to deal with them, and I want to explain this so people don't think I'm ignoring them.

I read them all (obvs, since I have to approve them), but I don't always respond to them because I'm not sure if people come back to read the responses. So if you've left me a comment and come back to see if I've responded, and I haven't, please don't think I'm a jerk. I just don't know the proper etiquette.

On to French Friday!

Full disclosure: I'm a baker above all else. I love cooking, and I love preparing meals, but baking is where it's at for me. As a result of this, I have never in my life (until this project was completed) cooked a whole chicken. I've eaten many chicken nuggets, and I've handled cutlets of chicken and stuff like that, but a whole chicken, all pieces intact? Never before.

That was until I came into contact with Clyde.

Yes. I named my chicken. I had to. Because otherwise, I never would have gotten through the horrifying, horrifying experience of cooking this whole freaking chicken.

The recipe name is Roast Chicken for Les Paresseux. This translates into "Roast Chicken for Lazy People." So, in other words, ideal for me.

Here are the players:

I'd like to apologize now for the lesser quality photos in this entry. . .D was out working when I did this project, and all I had was my camera phone. Which is a fine little phone, but just not as good as usual.

There's a weird thing in this recipe. Dorie says that if you put a piece of bread in the bottom of your pan, and then put the chicken and everything on top of it, you'll have a lovely treat when all is said and done. And who am I to argue with Dorie?

That's actually two slices of bread. My rationale here was that if it was that great, I'd like to have one for D when he got home. (That didn't quite work out like I'd planned. Read on.)

I chopped up the veggies. . .

And then there was the garlic. . .the recipe said to chop the head in half, horizontally, and to leave it unpeeled. Even though I'm all about not arguing with Dorie, that didn't make sense to me. I don't want papery things in my chicken. So I compromised and took the outer papery skin off and put half the pieces in the chicken, as directed, and half of them around it.

So then we get to the chicken. Now, mind you, I have, as I mentioned, never in my life done this before. I was under the impression that all of the organs would be collected for me in a little bag, and all I'd have to do is stick my hand up this poor chicken's ass (Sorry, Clyde) and pull out a paper bag.

As a side note, I feel that this picture below looks like a bulldog. A one-eyed bulldog. D said it looked like something more obscene. You be the judge.

This was not so. As I found out later, they only do that for turkeys. Not for poor chickens.

So what does this mean? It means I have to stick my hand all up IN this chicken and get all of its innards out. This means that I stuck my hand up in there to feel around, got nauseous, and had to put on rubber gloves in order to finish the task at hand.

(Um, yes. I'm wearing a shirt. It's a tank top.)

I'm scrounging around in poor Clyde to get all the organs out. I think I've got them all, so I stand him up (as you do). . .and his liver fell out, giving it the distinct impression that this chicken had just taken a crap in my kitchen sink.

I dropped him back on the plate like he was a. . .chicken that had just taken a crap in my kitchen sink. At about this point, I was ready to give up and wait for D to get home and take care of this disaster for me. (That's what guys do, right?) But then I thought, no, Sarah, this is YOUR French Friday and YOU will stick your hand into that chicken's inner cavity and remove all of the things that used to be life-sustaining organs before it just became a chicken on a plate from Valentine's Day in your sink.

So I did.

When all was said and done. . .

I had a liver, a gizzard, a heart, two kidneys and. . .two necks.

Two necks??

Clyde was a freak of nature.

Next came the trial and error of trying to get this damn chicken into the pot.

It was done and done with finesse.

He went into the oven. Then the veggie were added. An hour and a half later, Clyde emerged a new man chicken.


(Um, I know he looks discolored and not fully cooked, but that's the light, not Clyde.)

The chicken was moist, and tender, and freaking DELICIOUS. And I survived it. Oh, and D loved it, too. He said it was excellent.

Oh, and as for the bread? What ended up happening there is because I stacked two pieces on top of each other, one side of it was soggy and chicken juice-ladden, and the other was crispy and gorgeous, with the consistency of light melba toast. I was put off by the soggy side, but I decided to taste it (because, hey, I'd already had my hand up a chicken that day) and it was amazing. I was going to eat half of it and see if D would be willing to try it when he came home, but half became 3/4, and then it was gone.

Gone, like Clyde's dignity.

There's the story of my first chicken-cooking experience. I survived it. Clyde. . .well, he didn't survive it, but he WAS delicious. And I'll be back next week for another installment of French Fridays with Dorie!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The One With My Birthday

Saturday was my birthday. It was also the JDRF Walk-a-thon. We got up. . .7-ish and then promptly went back to sleep. Got up again about 8:15. Registration started at 8 and the actual walk didn't start until 10:30, so we weren't late or anything. By the time we got there, the crowd had died down a bit, and registration didn't take long.

Apparently, there were about 7,000 people there. I, personally, didn't reach the goal I'd set for donations, but with that many people, I'd be willing to bet the foundation made quite a bit of money.

We walked 2 miles, with music along the way, and then were provided Jersey Mike's for lunch. The weather? Perfect. All in all, an awesome event. I also saw one of my teachers from high school who had a baby like a month ago. Cutest. Baby. EVER!

We then went home and rested briefly before going to Mom's house to have dinner with the fam. we went downtown to Hi5. Everything on the menu is $5, so it's a good place if you don't have a ton to spend. Mom and Johnny had never been there before, Katie was the one who introduced me to it, and D and I used to go weekly, at least. (Before the, you know, no money thing happened.)

After dinner, it was back to Mom's. She hadn't taken her daily walk yet, so we waited for her (Read: we took naps) until she got back. And then it was time for cake.

Let me tell you about this cake. You know how I make a lot of cakes, right? How baking is kind of my thing? For my birthday, D made me this cake that blew me and everyone else away. Check it out:

Holy crap, you guys. It's a cake! And a stack of books! How effing awesome is that? He made the entire thing from scratch (except, you know, a cake mix.) Made the fondant, built it so it stayed. . .and it was delicious. So awesome, awesome, AWESOME cake.

Then, presents! Money from the parentals, and Katie gave me these:

She made that plate. Or, designed it.

Also, D gave me a kitchen apron that I can't seem to get a good picture of. . .it's black, and has a little V-neck and is pinstriped. I'm sure it will be making an appearance in future posts.

After we left Mom's, we stopped by Dad's to give him a book of cake and to hang out for a while. It was during this time that we watched the "Rocky Horror Picture Show" version of Glee. I've never seen RHPS, but I've had songs from it stuck in my head SINCE Saturday. ("Toucha, Toucha, Toucha, Touch Me," "Dammit, Janet," and the Time Warp song are the ones that have been stuck there.) I've heard from many people that they didn't like the episode because of the "sanitized" changes that were made to lyrics, but having never seen the show, none of it bothered me.

Since then, I've had a Lady Doctor appointment (thanks to an irregular Pap) that has set me back $500 that's going to take me 20 years to pay off. (Thanks, no insurance.) And I still love my job.

Also, I've prepared a whole chicken for the first time. It was horrifying, but if I tell you anymore, it'll ruin this week's French Friday entry.

Oh! And I'm also taking part in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), the point of which is to write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days. I'm up to speed so far, but it's only day 3. We'll see.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The One With a French Friday: Apple Cake

I know I've missed the last few French Fridays, but I'm back with baking! A dessert! My FAVORITE!

The title of this recipe is Marie-Hélène's Apple Cake. The recipe can be found here. Yes, please.

I'll go ahead and tell you how this ends. The cake was FABULOUS. D described it as "elegant" and I'm fairly certain nothing I've made in my entire life has been described that way. But the cake was great. I did have to make a couple of adjustments, as the recipe called for an 8" springform pan, and I only have a 9" pan. I took the ingredients and added half. Like. . .if it called for a cup of flour, I added a cup and a half. The only thing it changed was the baking time, which about made me CRAZY.

That's what I get for starting a project like this at 11 at night.


The ingredients:

Yes, that's rum. Yes, I used the whole bottle.

The recipe calls for 4 different kinds of apples. I made a trip out to the Farmer's Market to get said apples. I mention this because I had to drive on I-40 East, a stretch of highway that terrifies me to the very soul of my being, to get to said Farmer's Market. I did it all for you, Fellow French Fridayers. All for you. But these apples are all of different varieties. (And yes, I'm aware that there are 5 apples here, and not 4. Since I one-and-a-halfed the ingredients, I threw in a rogue apple that was left over from a bag of apples we'd bought earlier. I felt sorry for it.)

I was instructed to "generously" butter a springform pan and put it on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Dorie sure does love her parchment paper. . .I'd never used it before embarking on this project. My apples are peering at the pan in the background, beginning to get nervous.

Dry ingredient mix-up:

The next image may shock you. I apologize if you feel it is inappropriate. It's what I call Nekkid Apples.

And then it just gets more obscene.

Oh, jeez.

It's OK. You can look now. It's all over.

Wet ingredients combined. . .gratuitous egg shot!

Mixing everything (except the apples. . .) together:

Now, here, Dorie is very specific. She says, "Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the apples." And who am I to argue with Miss Greenspan?

Apples folded in. . .

Everything poured into the pan. . .

And into the oven. The recipe said 50 to 60 minutes, but mine took longer. Closer to 75 or 80. I was tired, and not amused.

D actually took that photo, and when I saw it today, I was like, wow. I look SO SAD.

Fear not, sad Sarah. Because the cake is now out of the oven!

And then it's out of the pan.


And delicious.

FYI: This cake is less than 24 hours old, and it's already 2/3 gone. You do the math.

I'm not sure what next week's FFwD recipe will be, but maybe I'll be back for it. Enjoy!