Sunday, April 25, 2010

To tarte or not to tarte? That is the question.

Greetings, fellow bloggers...the small community of followers who read and love me.

It has been a long while since I've blogged. And I am sad for that. I get such a charge out of reading myself. There is no particularly good reason for not having done this...

So, here I go...trying to make up for the whole...not blogging...thing.

The smell of cinnamon, brown sugar and toasting pecans wafts enticingly from our kitchen. Somewhere in my brain, the neurons responsible for control of my culinary neurons have exploded and taken over the rational parts of the rest of my brain.

Thus, the coffee cake, loaves and loaves of garlic and herb bread and two tartes aux chocolats practically flying from my oven

It started with the Easter tarte au chocolat. The first.

Tarte tracker count: 1

I was playing on the Internet...instead of doing, you know, useful things when I came across the late, great Julia Child's recipe for tarte au chocolat.

Whenever I am looking at recipes, I always, always, always think, "oh, that looks so easy. I can do that." Ha-ha. How easily we underestimate our culinary abilities when staring dreamily at those glossy cookbook photos, dreaming of silken, creamy chocolate.

And so begins my ongoing internal war.

What they don't tell you in these beautiful, drool-inciting books is that there was someone who actually did all of the prep work before this chef just nonchalantly tossed his creme brulee aux amandes caramelisees together. Which is why Rachael Ray is never ever covered in flour in her recipe book photos. Bitch.

Anyway. Back to the tarte au chocolat - for which I tempered my very first egg (eggs have a disposition? Really, they should just get on with it...realize that they are part of something more beautiful than themselves. Like angry make-up sex that leads to beautiful, perfect babies). Yay! I've found that the trick to tempering eggs is to sweet talk one's husband into doing it for you.

Thank goodness for Saint Husband.

I am confident enough to say that my tarte was the star of the show. Without a doubt. Best finish to an Easter dinner in the history of the universe. This of course is a shiny "after" picture of the real thing, which went something like this:

Me: Did you like it, honey?
Saint Husband: Yes, it was wonderful. So good.
Me: Are you sure, or are you just saying that?
Saint Husband: Yes, darling. I am sure. It was wonderful. Fantastic! I promise you.
Me: You promise it was're really not just saying that.
Saint Husband: I promise. It was very good. *Followed by forehead kiss. Which, by the way is a lot sexier than you'd think*. My love, it was wonderful.
Me: You're just saying that.

Fast forward one week. Birthday party for family friend. Family friend is a known chocolate fiend. Presto! Home made gift. And who doesn't like home made gifts with inherent potential for rapid onset diabetic coma?

Tarte count: 2.

At said birthday party, hosts of Easter dinner who claim that the tarte was so good they want another one

Tarte count: 3.

Saint Husband, keen on desserts, especially those made by his wife, wants a tarte of his own.

Tarte count: 4.

Star date: 2010 - the night before the party. Here's the scene:

The countertop is covered in flour and beaten eggs. I am panicked; downright frenzied at the thought of being unable to finish all of these tartes before I have to slag off to work and leave Saint Husband to clean up collateral damage.

Just for fun, insert a screaming, fire-like pain in my neck and shoulder with every pass of the rolling pin. I am determined to finish these tartes, and present them with just a flush of pride, and a graceful whisper of, "oh. It was nothing really. I love to cook. I really hope you like it."

But it was something. God Almighty in Heaven. It was bloody well something!

What it was? A separated shoulder, and swollen neck muscles. Doctor, staring at me increduously, says: "why would you make three pastry dough in one night?"

And I say, "would you like some tarte, doctor?"

If the proof is in the pudding, the answer is in the tarte.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

All you need is love...

Hey, there, bloggers!

I now know that just because people aren't commenting on the outright hilarity of my blogs, doesn't mean that you aren't reading them. Yay! People are reading me.

So, thank you to those who are reading me, and thank you for finding me funny. If your partner finds you funny, its likely they're just hoping you'll do that thing they like. If other people laugh, then it must be funny. It's kind of like the old addage says, "if a man washes a dish, and no one sees it...did he really wash it?"

It is yet another gorgeous sunny day, of which I have chosen to waste inside, blogging. Biting the solar system that feeds me, I guess. Ah, well. Plenty of time to be outside when I am dead and buried.

Dear, Sainted Husband is out with his other mistress, the Geriatric Crap Machine (aka our dog), cementing their bond. Yesterday, I thought that she'd warmed up to me a little when we were playing catch, but then I inadvertently tossed her tennis ball over the balcony, thus quickly snatching that little glimmer of hope from my grasp.

I guess this means I am firmly ensconsed upon the I-hate-you-but-will-take-food-from-you-in-an-emergency" list.

So close, yet so far. I shall weep and moan in shame.

Saint Husband insists that she doen't actually hate me, she just loves me differently. Right. I'll keep that in mind the next time she pees on my feet.

But, his insistence upon protecting me from her urinary hatred makes me think. How often do we overlook the little things that the people in our lives do to remind us that we are loved, and special?

Consider yesterday: I was able to get several cases of carbonated beverage for the upcoming Redneck Rodeo (aka our wedding). Dear, Sainted Husband and I are crossing the street en route to our humble abode.

Of course, our "indestructible", eco-friendly, reusable grocery bags split clearly down the center, dumping  four cases of carbonated beverage on the street. So much for going green.

For whatever reason, I found this whole scenario to be contagiously, outrageously funny. I coud not stop laughing, hard as I tried.

I am sure that there is something morally reprehensible - laughing uncontrollably at someone carrying 40 liters of liquid.

But, it is what it is.

Fast forward to our livingroom. Present day, present moment....

I watched poor, Sainted Husband heft four cases of My Preferred Carbonated Beverage from the ground and haul it all home....grunting and sweating all the way.

And I have left this blog for nearly a month, so now I have forgotten what it was that I wanted to say, and the witticism with which I planned to craft them.

I do believe that the synthesized thesis of this message was that there are some people on this Earth who would do just about anyting to see you smile.

If you can....reach out. Touch that person, and their heart. Tell them how you feel. There might not be another chance.

Even if it means a belly laugh in a parking lot...surrounded by cans of liquid cancer.