Wednesday, November 26, 2008

thanksgiving prep

listening to selected shorts and spending the day off prepping for thanksgiving. What's on my list this year?

Cornbread for stuffing
Candied hazelnuts
Pumpkin clafouti
Homemade marshmallows
Sweet potato casserole
Tart do
Quince apple tart
Spiced cider zabaglione
Quince syrup redux
Mashed potatoes

Happy cooking to all

Thursday, November 20, 2008

ganaches, may-november

i remember the first time i was asked to make a ganache flavor for the handmolds we do at work. i perseverated over it. should i just make some basic ganache, a 1:1 part cream and chocolate emulsion? should i add some butter to enrich it and how much? what sorts of fillings did we do in culinary school? i dutifully looked through my notebooks, copied out a recipe for some earl grey ganache (we're not allowed to use in-house tea) and substituted chicory for a honey-chicory ganache. i keep track of what we do at work and developed the following list of ganaches for handmolds or for truffles that i have made over the last six months. of course i don't make all the ganache so this is merely a sample of what's been offered. i have always enjoyed the process--i usually like anything where i have an ounce of choice--but lately i've been getting tired of the process as i don't like to repeat something, though i do and have. we're pretty low on liquor options and don't necessarily get a lot of new spices, and certainly are not special ordering something only for this purpose. i was originally going to post this and ask for suggestions of new flavors. recently i found out we're cutting back on our chocolate migniardise selection (is it the economy? is it too time consuming? ). so i guess this is in remembrance of its frequency. unless otherwise noted, ganache was made with 62, 6 or 70% valrhona. jivara lactee or ivoire otherwise.

white chocolate nepotella
white chocolate lavender
salted almond
white chocolate cardamom rose
candied pistachio
milk chocolate rosemary
white chocolate pink peppercorn
malted milk chocolate
white chocolate vanilla-verbena
star anise
milk chocolate peanut butter
milk chocolate lavender
grapefruit lavender
chili orange
vanilla fleur de sel

Sunday, November 09, 2008


i accidentally made granola bars today.

i accidentally made granola bars because i was mixing the granola dries with the melted butter/maple syrup in the hobart, because boss 2 prefers it that way rather than by hand. everything incorporated and then she told me to let it hang out, keep paddling. we were commiserating over the color of my meringues (still figuring out the new ovens at job 2,) when she all of a sudden yelled STOP. apparently we'd started creaming the melted butter and the brown sugar in the granola, in the process crushing the oat bits and making something too broken-down to be called granola.

i pouted. she laughed. they've actually been after us to make granola bars, she said. roll it out on sheet pans, we'll bake it. it'll be great, you'll see.

It Will Be Great Tonight When I'm Not Here Anymore, I said. Yeah I'll Laugh About It Then.

we didn't have oven space to bake them off till right before i left, so i'll see them in a couple days. it was that sort of a day. the sort of day when every diner decides to order the same dessert that you have, oh, eleven of, because you have thirteen ramekins all day. the sort of day when you're baking extra cookies in the middle of service, when you're peering at meringues that have spent all of ten minutes in the oven saying are they brown? do these looks brown to you? how could they, how could they possibly, the oven is BEYOND low it's basically OFF.

i ping pong between a restaurant with a weekly rotating menu and a new (like, bauer-spotting time) restaurant and so every day is a new calibration of what/where. it has been an interesting if thoroughly exhausting couple of weeks thus far.

things to look forward to:
doughnuts. soon-ish.
day off!
actually having time to go return my library books at the library
delicious banana bread for breakfast

Friday, November 07, 2008

peaceful protest to overturn prop 8

it was not like this. there were certainly more than several hundred of us, and we were only blocking traffic insofar as we were continuing our legal protest down the street, from the civic center to the castro, and down to dolores park. see for yourself, if you'd like. along the way, people leaned out of houses to wave no on 8 signs, and of those stuck in traffic, several beeped in support or waved signs of their own.

we were of all ages, abilities, races, genders, identities. we were in drag and we were in work clothes. we texted, tweeted, snapped pictures, updated our facebook status, cheered, yelled, sang, marched, played brass instruments. you might have thought we were happy, oh yes, because we queers, we like to dance.

we weren't happy. having rights of yours stripped away is something we've all suffered through for the last eight years, and though our country voted for change, and our country said yes we can, we still bump up against others' discomfort at our lifestyle choice, or whatever they're calling it these days. i cried when obama was elected and i saw a democratic majority in congress, because i thought we finally were ready to take back our country and to finally end racial discrimination in all of its small, pervasive ways.

tonight we said it again, yes we can. yes we can, yes we will get there. we will get there because it is the right thing. we will get there through the hard work of changing people's minds. we will get there, one day. we will get there because we are not going away, and this is not going away, and even though we live in sf and can feel so snugly protected, we still have a lot of work to do.

start a conversation at work, if you're out at work. (if you're not out, why?) tell your friends, your roommates, your neighbors. tell them because they care about you. because you can't know who they'll tell in turn. tell them so that they can come along next time, because we can't do this alone. we need your support.

i am sure that everyone who voted yes on 8 knows a queer person, even if they're unaware that they actually do. how many votes could we have changed by letting them know their discrimination affects real people?

Saturday, November 01, 2008


financier batter
raspberry truffles
bake off custards
chocolate bread pudding
chocolate sformato
yogurt and pomegranate bombes
roasted pears
olive oil cake
elderberry sorbet
orange-vanilla ice cream
banana ice cream
tart do
lemon verbena semifreddo