Friday, April 13, 2007

knife bliss

I got a new knife today! Finally used up my Sur La Table gift certificate after work, to buy a Global Santoko. I tried the Shun on the staff's insistence, but I can't use a Shun. Reminds me too much of the grim old boss, plus the handle's too big. The Wusthof handles were likewise weird, overly large in my small girlish hands. I just went to the kitchen to pick up my bread knife and even that feels odd in my hands and that is the sexiest knife I own.

My Global's really awesome. I'm not into them for being trendy, and if I were into trendy knives I'd get a Shun or something, but it fits so naturally in my hand and it's really lightweight esp. when compared to my chef's knife. Knives, boring, right.

The last Fauchon in NYC's closing. I read the Beard dateline pages for three cities now, Boston, NYC and SF. I was thinking yesterday about what my life would be like if instead of coming west I'd gone back to New York to beg a stage out of Claudia Fleming or someone else. How I'd be crashing on the apartments of friends, how I wouldn't have gotten the chance to see a Michael Pollan reading like I did last night, and how I probably wouldn't have been as writerly as I've been here. Enjoying myself.

Today at work, I made quince-rhubarb upside down cakes, using David Lebovitz's recipe. The fruit part is yummy, but the cake is stiff and sort of flavorless. I'd like more of a brown sugary, burnt-buttery cake, but it's hard because I've onyl got one day to make anything I could want and even then a good chunk of that day's spent prepping for the standards and baking things off. Still, I've got a good five hours to do ANYTHING I WANT. What else did I make today...Maura's strawberry lavender cream tarts (got to try one tomorrow, that's been on my list to make for a long time). Pastry cream for fresh fruit tarts. Shortcakes for blood-orange and quince shortcakes.

I'm thinking of a Bavarian for next week. Still haven't tried one. Maybe with the asian pear chutney, or a caramel and apricot marmalade, or a lemon bavarian with something, maybe strawberry plum jam. The caramel idea is my favorite, but do those things all go? According to my handy flavor profile list, cardamom, caramel, vanilla nuts and stone fruits all go well with apricots. So vanilla bavarian with caramel and jam layer. Also some poppy orange cookies with blackberry jam. The strawberry tiramisu (Paul Bertolli's recipe, I presume) if Becky does fax over the hot milk sponge recipe.

I should just make larger batches. I made the shortbread today and it made 18 cakes. Enough for two weeks, but I could have made double that and frozen most, but the recipes really don't indicate quantity at all. I'd just like to be more effective. I'd like to not have to spend so much time baking tart shells and cutting up fruit and more time making muffins and custards and cakes and cookies. I'll get more efficient with time. Today was only day three. Sheesh.

Bad thing: I got a chicken burrito from the cart outside my street last night and i was SO SICK today. ugggh. Like, really I shouldn't have been working kind of sick. That is until Rafael made me a magic drink. Sparkling water, salt, half a lemon and baking soda. He promised me I'd feel better and I didn't believe him. I don't want to think about what meatiness founds its way into my burrito: pork skin, brains, tongue...this, and I'd daydreaming of bacon ice cream and foie.

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