Friday, August 27, 2010

cake dreamer

Dear Elise,
Usually, we write about some thing we have made, or something we have baked. But I haven't been cooking very much lately. Tired from training and not too much time and lazy about going to the store. Hence all the dinners of frozen green beans and scrambled eggs. But there are a lot of things I want to make. I ride along on my bike and fantasize. A dessert that was composed entirely of peaches; peach ice cream and peach cake and peach caramel sauce and a grilled peach on the side. But I would never make that. Way too time consuming.
Remember when we took that tremendously long hike up to some distant lake and for the final few miles we talked ravenously about what would be the perfect meal to be waiting for us when we arrived? It's like that, for hours on the bike.
But I also plan meals and design dishes and invent new twists on old favorites.
Since I am such a fan of the corn and tomato pie, I started there. One of the things I love about that pie is the biscuit crust, so I started to think about what else could go in a biscuit crust. A sloppy joe could work. A gooey burger, perhaps? I wondered about sausages with red peppers and onions, the sort of ragout that is usually served with polenta. I wonder if polenta is a better accompaniment? Maybe sausages with onions and apples? Then I thought maybe my famous meatloaf. I think I would have to saute the meat loaf first, at least the meat and veggies part, then add the flavorings and bread crumbs and put it in the crust. I think the biscuit crust would be burned by the time the meat cooked if I just put it in raw. But this sort of opens all sorts of possibilities, beef stew, pot roast, short ribs, all good with biscuits, so why not in a biscuit crust? I realize we are entering beef pot pie territory, but it would be different because the crust is thinner and crispier and also there is a bottom as well as a top. And really, does it matter if we have one more beef pot pie?
And because it is nearly fall, I am back on the spice cake quest. There is a marble spice cake I want to make and I still want to make the perfect spice cake. A cake that is aggressively spicey, perhaps with a soft filling and a caramel frosting, or maybe easier to go with caramel filling and whipped cream. I love cream cheese frosting but it tends to run right over anything you put it on. Maybe a spice cake with a roasted apple filling, a caramel frosting and whipped cream on the side. I just read a quote in the NYer where a Chinese high school student said, "Americans have a way of taking a good thing and adding to it." Words to live by, and as soon I start cooking again, I'm going to put them in action.
love, Marg

No comments: