OK. Enough is enough. I have been stuffing my face for the last two months using the excuse, “It’s the Holidays”.
Something to know about me (and probably it’s not surprising, being as I have a baking blog and all): I have a very particular, very focused and very powerful love of all things bready; if it’s floury and filled with carbohydrates, my will is weak.
Here’s another thing: it’s not my fault. I’m convinced that this love is hereditary, passed down by previous generations; I also believe this love is now being passed on to the generations after me. I say this with confidence, as I have proof.
Here’s my case: below you’ll see photo of two delicious children. The little girl is my niece, Ms. Thing, and the boy is her brother, Mr. Boo. This story is about Mr. Boo.
I grew up in a family that loved traditions during the holidays. We routinely went to see the Nutcracker around Christmas time. We would stay up late and eat shrimp cocktail on New Year’s Eve! This was a real treat – we never ate shrimp any other time of year. I don’t define myself as a person that keeps with tradition. Whenever I would give my father grief about why we do the same thing every year he would start quoting from “Fiddler on the Roof” and singing “Tradition!” One year, when I was hosting Thanksgiving dinner, I thought it would be fun to have Mexican food. Wow – that rocked the family tradition boat and I made turkey the very next year.
I have been making a brioche recipe for several years now adapted from “The Village Baker” by Joe Ortiz and I thought it was the best until… I made the brioche dough in Dorie Greenspan’s book “Around My French Table”. The two recipes are very similar but the “Around My French Table” version has twice as much butter, hmmm, now I know why it is so good!
So, those of you who have moved to a new, unfamiliar city will understand this… I just got invited to a holiday party by a co-worker. This was very kind of my co-worker, because I know *no one* in Seattle. I consider myself to be a bit of a fake extrovert; as much as I love to be social, going to a party where I don’t know anyone makes me a feel a little anxious.
How to cope?! There’s only one way, of course: bring a fabulous dessert! Something homey, delicious, and crowd-pleasing (this means chocolatey, obviously). And, pack it in a bakery box. Somehow, the presence of a box makes everyone take you seriously (I don’t know why, but if you are in doubt, try it; you’ll see what I’m talking about).
From “Baked Explorations, Classic American Desserts Reinvented” by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, the owners of “Baked” in Brooklyn, NY.
I love this book!
Yeah – It’s December! What month is better for baking than this one? To celebrate, I made it snow here at Strudel & Streusel! Not really seen any snow here in Denver yet this year. The weather has been quite balmy! I am sure Strudel is missing the lack of snow in Seattle…especially driving in it!
Fire up your ovens! We have some good baking posts in store for you…