Saturday, December 19, 2009


I was going to blog about how I completely trashed our kitchen making Ebelskivers (oh wait - I am blogging about that) but I don't have the correct cable to get the photos off the camera. What the hell, I'll keep going...

I've been wanting to make ebelskivers for a couple of years now but I couldn't bring myself to buy the pan. The pan that does only one thing. Then I lucked into finding out about a sale and was able to get the pan for $20. I went for it.

This morning I made them for the first time and they were delicious. I'll definitely be making them again. I discovered that practice helps in making successful ebelskivers. Also that 5 on my electric stove is too hot and will burn them. One fun thing I did was use some of the pear compote I made last year as filling. I would have no idea what else to do with this compote otherwise to tell you the truth. I also used bittersweet chocolate chips in some and commercial strawberry-apricot jam. There were no losers. Pete and I decided that when making these it's a good idea to always make a few chocolate ones just for what the chemicals do to your head: chocolate adds a pleasant little caffein kick. Not that we didn't have coffee too. It was a very fun and satisfying breakfast.

There are a couple of slight drawbacks to making them though. The recipe is a bit utensil-intensive so there's quite a bit of clean-up. For example you need three bowls and two whisks in your set-up (if you don't use a mix - I haven't tried a mix) Also, they are the kind of thing that the person cooking them doesn't get to eat until after everyone else because they should be served immediately while they're hot. I ate most of mine standing up. I hate eating standing up. I don't hate it enough to not make more ebelskivers though.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

More Photos From Last Week And Cookies

My mom and I are reflected in the convex mirror in my aunt's apartment while enjoying our breakfasts.

Here are the ladies before lunch. My mom's the light-haired one.
Both my mom and my aunt changed their shoes before we went. Mom wore real shoes and my cousin made my aunt wear shoes with a bit of red in them. It was a good choice. None of us were bumpkins.

My cousin is a wonderful photographer of people because she says truly funny things just before taking the photo.

And here are my shoes.
Cue the harp music and imagine clouds of red hearts and rose petals flying around. I love these shoes. I'm going to have to think of other places to wear them. They put me over six feet too, which I love. I'd happily be taller if I could be.

Here I am towering over my cousin's adorable daughter, Ryan.
She is so awesome.

Today I made the Chocolate Snowstorms from the Food Network pull-out booklet (actually, I got the recipe here because the booklet is in Cambridge and I'm not) and I have to say that they are de-friggin-licious and easy to make. I think I've already eaten six of them. The recipe made me about 50 cookies.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Cookie Photos

I was just looking at my browsing history so I could find the link to the cookie recipe I used for this year's cookie exchange. Not only did it contain cookie recipes, it also contained my attempt at researching a new hand mixer. It made me chuckle to remember that day.

Below are the un-baked Chocolate Cherry Gooeys I made from the December Food Network magazine special pull-out booklet. Yields are not mentioned anywhere in the booklet. I had to make four dozen cookies. Fortunately the recipe produced almost sixty cookies so I was all set.

Here they are baked and dusted with powdered sugar for the sake of festivity:
On the left in the photo is the red bag of Lust Blanket yarn.

Finally, here's a shot of all the cookies I came home with:

Four dozen cookies seems like a lot to make when you're looking down the barrel of the Christmas gun. When I get the cookie plate home at the end of the night I always wish there were more than two of each kind though.

The Chocolate Cherry Gooeys were very easy to make (go for the drop cookie recipe - it takes fewer motions to make them) and very tasty. I wish I had some with me right now, come to think of it. I'll definitely try a few of the other recipes in that booklet too.

Friday, December 11, 2009


New York is a strange place. At first you get there and you see all these wild things, people, contradictions. Then the wildness doesn't stop and it starts to seem normal.

Tonight my mom, aunt and I had dinner at a restaurant called Taste. Philip Roth was at the next table with a friend. Later Nora Ephron and her husband came in with Tom Brokaw and his wife. By the end of the meal everything felt normal normal normal.

Which, ultimately, it was. My life is unchanged and famous people have to eat dinner too. Even intellectuals. I just don't normally see them do it.

My Aunt's Apartment

I am eating an honest-to-god New York bagel right now. There's nothing like it.

I could live in New York if I could live in my aunt's apartment. She's got a great view and even a little terrace. I could just sit and look out the window all day.

The only catch about my aunt's apartment is that, boy, is she a tidy person. Everything in here looks brand new. It looks as if someone cleans the inside of her refrigerator every day. It is sparkly. I was afraid to drop a sesame seed into the toaster oven. It's really nice and beautiful to stay here but my mom and I are terrified to make a mess!

We're getting over it though. I wonder how she does it and would it be possible to do at my house? Somehow I think I'm not willing to invest the time it would take because I probably wouldn't be able to do anything else besides clean.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Rainy Jumble

Today is a good day to take the T if you need to go anywhere.

I needed to go somewhere because my hand mixer died. That put a crimp in my cookie-making plan.

So I made a quick trip downtown to pick up a new one. I was almost blown off my feet crossing Copley Square. On the way home the rain was blowing so hard I couldn't see through my glasses. Also, there was a fantastic guitarist in the red line section of the Park Street station playing samba music and Christmas songs. Unfortunately I was on the wrong side of the tracks to give him some $. That man should be encouraged.

Now my first twenty cookies are cooling, the second twenty are baking and the last twenty are chilling in the fridge. I'm going to have to figure out a way to festify them though - as it is they look like brown blobs. Hello powdered sugar.

As for the dead mixer, I think I bought it at Bradlees in 1987 or something. It wasn't a spring chicken and it owed me nothing. My new mixer is red and has super powers. If that's not Christmassy I don't know what is.

And as for Pete, he's snowed in up in Vermont. They got over a foot up there. And Fay has the runs. So he's having a good day.

Unseasonable Growl

The last couple of posts illustrate my attempts at seasonal festivity. Unfortunately they've just been attempts. Mostly I'm really on a low-grade growl.

Yesterday we had to have our furnace replaced in the apartment. I spent many hours on the Lust Blanket while the men worked about a foot away from me. It took them all day and the apartment got pretty cold. They were good guys though. The worst part was when they had to use the PVC pipe cement and stunk the place up.

Today I'm making cookies for my sister-in-law, Kristen's, cookie exchange. Then I'm off to NYC for a holiday luncheon with my mom and some other relatives. Mom is coming out to visit her sister so I said I'd come down and meet her.

Because I'm traveling, Pete has Fay with him. It feels really strange not having her around. What's stranger is not having both of them around. I really miss having someone to check in with every forty-five minutes or so.

Oh my God? What if I'm imaginary? If a Mel's alone in an apartment does she exist?

This luncheon is kinda fancypants. We all used to go back in the '80's. It's a big buffet. In the olden days Ivana Trump was there. I haven't been since the early '90's. It used to be fun and festive. This year I'm intimidated. I don't want to be a bumpkin so I went shopping for some updates.

The shopping should have been fun but it wasn't exactly. The good news was that, thanks to Maya, I'm on the smaller side. I didn't know. The bad news is that now that I'm older I like nicer things which cost $$$$$. I don't really have $$$$$.

I did alright in the end. I got a pair of beautiful, classic shoes on sale and a dressy sweater coat that I can still wear when I'm 82. (Notice the rationalization? It wasn't cheap.) Those items will work well with things I already have and I don't think I'll be the bumpkin. I just wish I enjoyed it more.

If I play my cards right I'll have some photos of the lunch, and maybe the cookies, for later posts.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

More General Interest Than The Last Post

Is that the most festive cable box you've ever seen or what?!

I did a little Christmas decorating in the Cambridge apartment yesterday. Don't worry Pete - it's all cheap-o from Target and T.J. Maxx and not too much. Just a little something jolly, small and easy to store. I'm pretty proud of the "snow." It's marabou ribbon for gift wrapping.

We're not in one place for long around the holidays (or at any other time) but I had to do something.

Last year I began my Christmas tree collection, never imagining that weeks later we'd decide to sell the house. There's not much room for a tree in this tiny apartment. Of course as I'm writing that I'm spotting a space just to my right that might work... Hmmm...

This place needs some serious personalization. It's kind of getting me down. I'm going to try to do something less seasonal about that this week.