One year

Saturday, July 10th, 2010 | All Things, Eats, Family, Friends

Fraisier cake from Ceci-Cela: vanilla génoise with vanilla mousseline cream and strawberries, topped with marzipan… and a birthday candle:

We picked up the cake in the morning and I got my first glimpse of the bakery’s new Spring Street neighbor: The Best Chocolate Cake in the World – the first American location of São Paolo-based mini-chain O Melhor Bolo de Chocolate de Mundo. Can’t yet confirm the veracity of their claim, but the name alone seems an almost too easy set up for some snarky commentary in this town.

According to W Magazine, it’s destined to become the statement cake of the decade — succeeding Lady M Cake Boutique’s Mille Crêpes cake.  I have on good authority that it also makes a fine birthday cake.

For his part, Joshua seemed to enjoy his birthday cake and party — save for the 30 seconds immediately after he attempted to extinguish his candle… with his bare hands.  Ouch.

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…and now we return to our regularly scheduled program

Friday, July 9th, 2010 | All Things, Books, Eats, Family, Travel

Has is it been an entire year?

I’ll admit: once I got out of the habit of posting a blog entry every day, it became ever easier to just abandon the project entirely.  But lately, I’ve begun to (re)consider: perhaps the best way to ease back into this process would be to dash out these episodes, as the mood or inspiration strikes, sometimes including photos and at times, not.  And just see how it goes.

This is what I’ll write today.

To recap the entire past year would be an exercise requiring more time and energy that I’m ready to dedicate now.  But to fill in the most recent highlights:  I spent two late spring weeks in Spain, eating and drinking (and photographing) my way through Barcelona, Bilbao, San Sebastián, Sevilla, Córdoba, Granada and Madrid.  (Glorious!)  In mid-June, I had another birthday (somewhat less so), followed in rapid succession by the commemoration of several milestones: a 70th birthday, a funeral, a wedding, and a 50th anniversary.

And tonight I sit in my apartment on the eve of little Joshua’s first birthday, assessing the 15 pounds of chicken wings I just purchased to prepare for the celebration tomorrow.  (Quite the grisly scene of fowl carnage it is… so you see: sometimes the lack of photographs is a very good thing.)  For the marinade, I’ve settled upon Gourmet’s recipe for “Asian barbecue sauce,” even as its lack of specificity strikes me as strange.  I’ve never come across a recipe for “European sauce,” after all.

Last week, I read through Aimee Bender’s The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, about a girl who discovers she can taste emotions in food — specifically the feelings of those preparing it.  I picked up the book having been intrigued by its premise after catching an interview with the author on NPR.

If this weren’t surrealist fiction, if this were at all possible, what impressions would my family and friends sense in these chicken wings, lingering beneath the tangy hoisin and sweet shaoxing wine?

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A new leaf

Friday, July 10th, 2009 | All Things, Family

Here we are, halfway through 2009.  After experiencing the first game at Citi Field, back-to-back birthday banquets in San Francisco, a tour of Southeast Asia that included Hong Kong, the Forbidden City, the Great Wall of China, Shanghai, rural Cambodia and Angkor Wat and just this past weekend, the Montréal International Jazz Festival, it took someone weighing just 7 pounds, 4 ounces to bring me out of blog hiatus.

Joshua foot

Welcome to the world, Joshua!

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