Sunday, July 17, 2011

Flourless Orange & Almond Cake

Today: a confession. I love weird recipes. Anything that involves an unexpected method or bizarre ingredient immediately catches my attention. I remember years ago watching slack-jawed as Nigella Lawson confidently boiled a whole ham in Coca-Cola and thinking first “Is she bananas?” and then not long after, “I have got to try that.” Honestly, I wasn’t even that excited about making bagels until I found out that it involved poaching the raw dough in boiling water before baking—but when I did find out, I couldn’t wait to get started.
I’m not exactly sure why I’m drawn to these sorts of strange, seemingly-illogical recipe components, but generally I have a feeling that if a trusted source is telling you to do something crazy with your ingredients, it’s often because there’s a good reason behind it. Also, I think of my sister’s often-cited observation of me, characteristically made through gritted teeth: “You’ve always got to be different, don’t you?”

Monday, July 4, 2011

An American in London

My internal celebration clock went off early in the morning on Sunday. I sprang out of bed and started to contemplate what sort of feast I could prepare that would compliment my jubilant mood. I should note that something similar happens in the third week of November as well. I wanted messy, drippy sandwiches, piquant coleslaw, creamy potato salad and a home-baked crumble for dessert. And fireworks. And margaritas. And general drunken, patriotic merriment. In short, by 7:30am, my expectations for the day ahead were through the roof.
It wasn't long before I realized that I was in the wrong country to celebrate American holidays--i.e., anywhere outside of the US. The kicker: I would have to go to work on Monday while friends and family would be kicking it poolside back home. Sad face.

Never one to be deterred by as minor an issue as international borders, I set about making a 4th of July feast for a few hungry friends regardless of it being neither the 4th (but close enough) nor being in the correct hemisphere (again, close enough).