Sunday, July 29, 2007

bakery roundup of the last week more or less

Dianda's, where I went because of all the people of Chowhound who can't stop going on about it. Or maybe just those one or two. I had an eclair. Basics: vanilla pastry cream, ganache or some kind of chocolate frosting on top, choux. The pastry itself was okay but there was something violently wrong with the pastry cream. It was really cold and fairly grainy in my mouth. About the only good, enjoyable facet to the eclair was the chocolate on top. I don't think I'm going back, not even to give them another shot. I tend to shy away from places with gaudy or scary looking pastries. Maybe it's just the snobbishness of my French training rubbing off on me. But I don't think so. In Poughkeepsie I used to go to the little Italian bakery right by the train station and get a big box of assorted cookies, and one morning Jes and I went there for cake, and the cakes were quite nice. I forget what that place is called, which makes me sad, but I can still see the interior, the parking lot, the neon sign, the Poughkeepsie streets leading down to the water, where many important conversations were had with loved ones. Caffe Aurora, I believe, was the name.

Delessio, where I went because I was starving and it was across the street from the DMV, where I went this week to change my car over to California plates after a good three and a half hours of waiting. This Delessio outpost was tucked into an Italian foods shop and my first thought was that everything looked amazing. But I was totally starved. I bought an excitingly crunchy looking pastry with intriguing red fruits inside, which turned out to be a plum (or pluot?) muffin. I'm not a muffin person but this was quite good and the fruit almost tasted spiced. I was intrigued also by the little cupcakes. They had so many and they were all very elaborate and cutely decorated. I got a lemon one, with lemon curd inside, and coconut-kissed lemon frosting outside. The cake was dry (sigh) but otherwise it was great! Same thing with the banana cake...banana cake, cream cheese frosting perhaps(?), and butterscotch chips. Lovely tastes, dry cake. But I won't let that stop me from going back and trying oodles more, although the large-style pyrex pans of bread pudding, tres leches, etc...totally unappealing.

Mission Pie, where I went because I wanted some pie and book-reading. It was cute inside. The pieces needed a little love. Either in the decorating department and lord knows I'M hardly one to talk there, or in the size department...they seemed to have deflated loads on their way from oven to store. And for 3.50 for a piece of pie, I want a piece of pie bursting with fruit, nuts, flavor. They did win me over by offering me free whipped cream and even bagging up the whole operation so I could carry it and still walk cutie pie. And also by having compelling food writing on display and lots of postcards about sustainable agriculture. The pie was good, not too juicy. The peaces were pretty flavorful (suncrest if I recall). But I missed the complexity of the peach pie I made last month.

I've got blackberry ice cream in my freezer and I keep stealing bites as I walk by. It tasted just like blackberries and cream with a slight graininess but the most gorgeous creamy mouthfeel. I kind of want to make it some chocolate sauce. Would that be wrong? And since I've got milk that expires soon and lots of heavy cream it seems time for more ice cream...

Cupcakery's been pretty zany lately. Busy today, but also lots of confusion about who is responsible for what. What gets done when. And last week's words are forcing me to be on best behavior. Communication keeps changing even barely after it's been established. All day I kept telling myself I wasn't going to own any of their stress. I as just going to pretend I was on a desert island, drinking tropical drinks and playing cards and watching a gaggle of bikini-clad girls play beach volleyball. And that worked, for a while. I really function well in places where there is clear communication. Or when I'm the one in charge.

Spent some time tonight reading submissions for the journal I'm involved with, Fringe. I'm working on a review of The Hours for the Fringe blog rollcall of our top/most influential 25 books in counterpart to all the standard-bearers by old white men. It's hard to say why Michael Cunningham is one of my favorite authors, but to talk about it in a detached way. I was never very good at nonfiction. I got one of those encouraging-rejection letters from a journal of note, too, today, which about made my day. The issue is that when they ask you to please send more, usually you've sent them your best piece, so you just kind of slink away. Note to self to get back to writing. It can't be all food all the time...

1 comment:

CarolynVB said...

Yes, it is Caffe Aurora...here's the web site avec neon sign.

http://www.caffeaurora.com/


I was looking for a local apple pie thing and found your blog.

Happy eating!