28 December 2009

Tartine's Steamed Gingerbread Pudding

Steamed Gingerbread Pudding (with title)
At my last Christmas party, when everything was just getting started, we were planted idly in front of the local news. The feature story was about a woman whose lover left her 6 years ago (I'm not aware that they shared the reason for the break-up). She was reminiscing about how they adopted dogs together and spent Christmas decorating the tree, etc. Even though they'd broken up, she still decorated the tree and put presents under it (presumably for the two of them), and set up mementos of the two of them together (a pair of Christmas angels). During the entire feature, there wasn't anyone else in her giant house. She said she did all these things in the hope that one cold Christmas night, she'd return and they'd live happily ever after.

"Oh man," I thought, "that is just too tragic."

21 December 2009

Spiced Pear Upside-Down Gingerbread Cake

Pear Upside-Down Gingerbread Cake
Just last Thursday I was able to finally meet the lovely Jen Yu in person, after envying those who were able to attend the recent food blogger conferences. I actually thought I was a little more fortunate since we were able to spend quality time, even if only for a few hours. (My idea of a perfect time would be zooming through San Francisco in search of the best Asian food, heh heh :) From reading her blog and watching her actually speak on video you can tell she's quite engaging, but it wasn't until I met her that I confirmed what others have been saying about her-- her vivacity is infectious. I suppose we all have to exercise a bit of restraint in blogland, so meeting Jen was more awesome than I could have expected.

It reminded me of the time I met Allen and he told me, "You're exactly like how I imagined you." I wondered if that was a good thing. (In case you're wondering, Allen exercises much more restraint in his writing and in person he is a riot.)

14 December 2009

English Gingerbread Cake

English Gingerbread Cake (with title)
When I was in elementary school I once had a friend who, every now and again, asked me what my deepest, darkest secret was. I don't quite recall if I answered the question honestly (after all, what kind of dark secrets do ten year-olds have?), but anyone who knows me, or most people for that matter, will have realized by now that it's probably one of the worst ways to get me to open up.

Many years later, I then had a co-worker who, in the midst of a conversation wherein I was sharing a bit about my family life, told me to not share any of my insights about it because she was still in the process of psychoanalyzing me. It shocked me because I thought we were having a genuine conversation and actually bonding, but in the end it turned out she was just trying to figure me out.

07 December 2009

Claire Clark's Gingerbread

Gingerbread (with title)
Sometimes, just for fun (and not as an obsession, mind you), I like to think about what different things in the world at which I can still be the best. You see, it seems like there's a finite number of things a man can do and at least one person out there has already devoted his life to at least one of those things, so in order to become an authority, I have to think of more and more specific things. Things that are so specific the talent becomes absolutely pointless. For example, no-one has claimed the title of World's Best Cake Baker Using His Feet, so maybe I can work at it until I am that person. That is, if no-one has actually done it already. And even when I do, it's not a distinction I'd particularly enjoy holding, nor will my cakes be particularly edible (oh, they will, if they're not squeamish).