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Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Before I head off to the gym and come up with new things to complain about for this page, here are a few interstitial thoughts for your consideration:

On Snowball‘s sage advice, I have registered, and as of now you can use it to access this little page.  The old URL ( still works, though.  It’s all about choices here.

Like a fellow blogger ‘round these parts, I have spent thousands of hours at a website called Plastic, where members are invited to write discussion pieces about vital issues of the day, and then discuss them. When I started PTMYB, I put a link to it on my Plastic member page. Because my Plastic-universe name is jenmac (a combination of my first and last names), one of my buddies asked me if I am also nakedjen. Holy cow, dude, how much free time do you think I have? I mean, no, I am not also nakedjen. nakedjen and I live on opposite sides of the country, and I am not nearly as pretty naked as she is. Go visit Jen’s site; you’ll be glad you did.  (Keep in mind, though, that although the banner photo of Jen is beautiful, it is probably not safe for work, at least if you work at a company like mine.)

My most excellent brother (who, until I get permission to use his name, will be known in this space as BOB, not as in short for Robert but as in Brother of Bakerina) gave me an e gift certificate for my birthday, which I used to buy, among other things, this beautiful new book by the Canadian husband-and-wife team of Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid. Even if it were just a collection of excellent recipes and beautiful photographs, it would be a book well worth having. But it is more: it is also a collection of essays on their travels around the world, alone and together, and the introduction contains a loving apologia for home baking, and why it is worth our while to not let this tradition die out. That said, the recipes look terrific, and I am at a loss for what to try first: the rye quick bread? the Silk Country Road naan? kouignamann, the sublime Breton yeasted butter cake? the fascinating Thai tuiles, sweet rice-flour cookies wrapped around a savory scallion filling? the Persian cardamom cookies, made with rice flour instead of wheat? I might just have to call in sick for the rest of the month.

Back in August, I went to Pittsburgh for a week to visit my college roommate, find a neighborhood to which Lloyd and I might like to move, and scout out locations for what was supposed to be my bakery, and now appears to be “the futile obsession over which I spin my wheels nightly.” From the news weasels at Plastic comes this AP story, which states that Pittsburgh is so broke that its credit rating has been reduced to junk-bond status and the mayor has asked for both a “distressed city” designation and a team of state receivers to review the city’s budget.  I went to college in Pittsburgh.  I loved this city from the first moment I laid eyes on it, I love it still, and the thought of this happening to it makes my heart hurt in a way that nothing else ever has.

Posted by Bakerina at 01:15 PM in stuff and nonsense • (1) Comments • (0) Trackbacks

Michael, consider this your first vote.  If you post your nudie pics, I’ll post mine.  Actually, I won’t.  I’ll say that I will, then I’ll wuss out at the last minute.  But that shouldn’t stop you from posting yours.  smile

Jen, you make me smile.  I meant what I said.  I’m sure that I would love Santa Cruz, and heck, I could be persuaded to bake.  I’ll get back to you on the naked.  smile

Vicki, you have summed up the breadbaker’s dilemma in a nutshell.  I would have to compete against grocery stores, which most people think are “good enough,” and because they can take advantage of economies of scale that a small baker can’t, there’s no way I could match their price points, at least unless I use cheap nasty ingredients like vegetable shortening instead of butter, which is not what this bakerina is about at all.  There’s also a lot of customer education involved, like explaining that no, those croissants aren’t burned; that’s what happens to butter when you bake a croissant properly—it gets dark!  That dark means that the sugars have caramelized and the croissant will taste better!  (Sorry.  Can you tell that this is a well-practiced rant?)

You and I need to talk about your wondrous bread.  Feel free to send me an e, if you’d like.  I LOVE talking bread shop.  And do you really make lousy cakes?  I have my doubts.

Bakerina on 12/10/03 at 09:21 PM  
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