15 April 2017

Tell Me What You’ve Done That Hell Yawns Before You.

And speaking of blasphemy, heresy, and general poor form, I rarely post anything related to religion or politics. I rarely speak of such topics, except among my closest friends. And Rusty. Rusty loves to hear me grumble about politics . . . or perhaps not.

Anyway, it's the Easter season, or Semana Santa here in Costa Rica. Most commercial enterprises close, and tourists flood our little village. But let's not forget that it's also Passover, without which we'd have no Easter . . . and no Ramadan, which begins next month. We'd also not have Eid al-Adha, aka Tabaski, which, in my experience, is the best party in West Africa. True, sad though it may seem, the massacre of a sheep or lamb is often involved.

And speaking of massacre, on with today's tale. In thinking about springtime religious holidays I realized that most of my friends are either Catholic or High Episcopalian. I have a few Jewish friends in the U.S. and several Muslim friends in Africa. I, myself, tend to embrace all religions with my any excuse for a party ideology; but the reality is that Easter isn't as special for us as is National Pet Day, which was Tuesday.

06 April 2017

Ain't A Thing I Can Do About It.

Our new puppy is a terrier. We often tell Penny that her behavior is tenacious, which it is, though the animal could not care less whether we notice. Penny is going through her "make me" stage, though sometimes it's a "you can't stop me" stage. All we can do is remain firm in her training and love her to bits.

I understand Penny's persistence. My own tenacity simply will not allow me to walk away from a baking failure. Having perfected the cream puff . . . having posted the recipe here with specific instructions that cream puffs absolutely cannot be made without bright light . . . what did I do? I tried to make cream puffs in the dim evening light of our kitchen. Complete failure. So naturally I had to make two more arrays just to confirm that indeed I can make cream puffs . . . in a brightly illuminated kitchen filled with afternoon sunlight. 

And then there was the brioche calamity . . . and the biscotti nightmare . . . and my reproach of Paul Hollywood's recipes, which is neither to impugn Paul's kitchen talent nor The Great British Baking Show -- I'm merely saying that Paul's instructions failed me when using primarily Costa Rican ingredients. So I ran far and fast from Paul's recipes and sought the advice from good ol' U.S.A.'s King Arthur Flour. Mulligan! Now I won't say that it was the best brioche in the land, but I definitely made genuine brioche à tête as well as white chocolate & cranberry biscotti that actually resembled biscotti

Then I triumphed with my chocolate-mocha cream horns. They were worth that battle for puff pastry. And my Pastel de Tres Leches with the Italian meringue topping was so good that I believe Rusty only got two slices. Suddenly I'm an Italian meringue expert.

Anyway, with so many sweets swarming in our home, my shorts are noticeably tighter, which should come as no surprise. I need a mumu . . . thatand a new hobby that doesn't involve sugar, eggs, butter, and cream. I chose sewing.