Monthly Archives: July 2007

Tom Sawyer Punch

Planters Punch

Originally uploaded by interchangeableparts

Today we lived the Tom Sawyer dream, embarking on what will probably be a months-long task of priming and painting the various and sundry components of our new garden fence. And after an extravagantly muggy afternoon of wondering why there weren’t any Mark Twain-authored children getting tricked into doing the painting for us, we kicked back with some Planters Punch. The recipe I used for this mixed dark rum, orange juice, the juice from half a lemon, a splash of simple syrup and soda water. I’d be interested to try it with fresh-squeezed orange juice (with no sink yet there was only so much I was willing to prep), but one way or the other, I could drink this every day, all day long. Just profoundly, spectacularly tasty and super refreshing.


Filed under Drinky-Drinky

IPB Believes In Unicorns!

During all those long, lonely, hopeless months we believed hard enough — and were pure enough of heart — that the kitchen fairies finally came and rewarded our faith. That’s right: the countertops are real!

The disco island, with Rollie exploring the perimeter counters in the background.

The perimeter counter, next to the sink, just being the vast expanse of granite we’ve always dreamed of.


Filed under Unicorn Kitchen

Our Fridge Is A Many-Splendored Thing

At last! It’s here! After two months of unreliable refrigeration, and having only a mini-fridge we could count on, we finally have our new, beloved, magnificent fridge! Not only does it have fancy German “bio-fresh” crisper drawers, not only does it make perfectly square ice cubes, but it’s also (totally unexpectedly) magnetic beneath its sleek, stainless exterior! Our last stainless fridge wasn’t, and we are magnet people. It was a hard trade-off we thought we were making, but we should have had known better. It’s been almost two years since we first picked this fridge out, and believe me — it’s even more stupendous than we expected.


Filed under Gene?!

Garden Victory!

IPB Manor boasts a raised-bed vegetable garden, which we’ve used to grow corn, onions, scallions, herbs, zucchinis, catnip, peppers, tomatoes, carrots, tomatillos, beets, radishes, turnips, lettuce, spinach, mesclun, spicy mesclun, and garlic. Today, however, IPB’s garden took a giant leap forward by producing the greatest potatoes the world has ever known. Seriously. We ate one. Gentle Reader, we eat a lot of potatoes. We know potatoes. This potato was greater than any potato that has ever come before it.

The world’s best potato was a Yellow Finn. The pictures on the right show half the crop of Yellow Finns and their garden-potato brethren German Butterball, and the Yellow Finn being harvested.

We had heard many a horror story about growing beautiful potato tops only to discover nothing but emptiness below ground. Braced for disappointment, we slowly and disinterestedly began to dig under our dying potato plants. The first root ended in a depressingly, but not surprisingly, small proto-spud. The rest of the dirt around it gave way to just more dirt. Until… Wait, could it be? What’s this? A potato-shaped, potato-colored… potato? Yes! New potatoes! Everywhere! Potato Victory was ours!

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The Flatbreads I Want To Bake

Okay, flipping through the KAF cookbook to look at crackers, I stumbled onto the flatbread recipes. I have never made flatbread. I think the new kitchen is going to be just the place to try it.

1. Lavash. KAF says this is a basic, easy recipe, which sounds perfect for a first-timer. It also sounds supertasty, and gives me an excuse to buy all kinds of seeds.
2. Rich Potato Flatbread. This sounds like it’s basically fried mashed potatoes. Sounds perfect.
3. Roti. Intriguing.
4. “Soft Wrap Bread”. This claims to be like Taco Bell gordita wrapper. Mmmm…


Filed under Baking Aspirations

The Crackers I Want To Make

I’ve never made crackers before. I don’t normally have patience for fussy baking, like rolled cookies and stuff like that, because I hate piling up rotations of hot cookie sheets and cooling racks and whatnot. But the dream kitchen has miles of countertop — suddenly I find myself atwitter with visions of not being annoyed with space limitations. I could have plenty of room for rolling, cutting, baking and cooling! So now that I’m getting some giddy-up, I’m convinced I’m going to make myself buttloads of crackers. Just think of all the money I’ll save by not having to pay for those fancy olive oil and sea salt crackers once a month (when my Artisanal cheese-of-the-month delivery arrives)! I can be a millionaire! So I’m rooting through the KAF Cookbook and these are the recipes that have caught my eye:

1. Basic crackers. Just, you know, to get the lay of the land.
2. Rye crisps. This recipe suggests using a dough docker; any excuse to buy a new gadget is a good excuse in my book.
3. Curry and ginger crackers.
4. Sesame thins. They say these pair well with hummus. I think I can do that.
5. Thin wheat crackers. Or rather, “make your own Wheat Thins”. Think of the money I’ll save!
6. Crisp seeded mega-crackers.

My crackers are going to rock.

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Filed under Baking Aspirations, Crackers

The Cookies I Want to Bake

1. Molasses Spice Cookies with Dark Rum Glaze(Baking Illustrated)
2. Chocolate Espresso Sandwiches
3. Mudslide Cookies (Baking and Pastry, CIA)
4. Citrus Crisps (Baking and Pastry, CIA)
5. Madeleines (Madame Baker’s recipe)
6. Honey and Spice Madeleines (Sweet Kitchen)
7. Chewy Ginger Oatmeal Cookies (Baking Illustrated)
8. Peanut Butter Cookies (Betty Crocker)
9. Snickerdoodles
10. Gingerbread Cookies (Baking Illustrated)
11. Langues-de-Chat Sandwiches (Baking and Pastry, CIA)
12. Dark Chocolate and Marbled Mocha Shortbread (Sweet Kitchen)
Updated List
13. Gingersnaps (KAF)
14. Ginger Squares (KAF)
15. Choclate Mint Squares (KAF)

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Filed under Baking Aspirations, Cookie, Cookie, Cookie Starts With C

These Are The Things I Want To Make

It’s been since the end of April that I’ve been without my kitchen, and we’re probably still a good month away from full functionality (although our contractor insists the counters will be in sometime next week — if there’s one thing I’ve learned from our habit of remodeling kitchens it’s to never believe how long they say it’s going to take), and I’ve officially hit the antsy phase of this project. Furthermore, I’ve got Fall Fever. It can’t become autumn soon enough. So now’s the time for me to put together a list of the things I’m spending my waking hours imagining baking — in the order I currently want to make them. We’ll just have to see whether my enthusiasm is still running as high when I’ve actually got to put in the work of making these things, instead of just picturing what it would be like.

1. Challah
2. Puff pastry (to be used for mini-pithiviers and palmiers)
3. Chicken pot pie
4. Enchiladas
5. Cookies
6. Pumpkin bread
7. Coffee cake
8. Brotform bread
9. Blueberry muffins
10. Applesauce cake
11. Zucchini muffins
12. Raspberry/cheese breakfast braided loaf
13. Angelfood cake
14. Ableskivers
15. Donuts
16. Whole wheat bread
17. Croissants
18. Cheese danishes
19. Eclairs
20. Pork roast
21. Cupcakes
22. Baked beans
23. Buttermilk biscuits
24. Souffle
25. Almost flourless chocolate cake
26. Pumpkin whoopie pies
27. Earl gray creme brulee
28. Boston cream pie
29. Caramel-topped mini cheesecakes with sea salt
30. Crackers

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Filed under Baking Aspirations