As a living, breathing human being, I do love chocolate. I understand why the grocery store check-out counters are lined with chocolate bars. I understand why Willy Wonka is a great movie. (In fact, I completely understand why Augustus Gloop fell into that chocolate river. I’m with you, Augustus! I’d have thrown on my suit and hopped in there with you too!) I understand why Smitten Kitchen has a killer recipe for a cake called the “I want chocolate cake” cake. And I understand why my mom used to hide the chocolate chips at the back of the freezer when we were little. Honestly, she probably still should.Read More
A winter storm blanketed the city last Tuesday. Emerging from the subway stop at the West 12th stop felt like stepping into a snow globe: delicate, feathery flakes swirled thickly in the air, threatening to obscure the neat rows of brownstones that line the cobblestone streets of the West Village. In this weather, the city looks quietly beautiful—vulnerable almost. The whiteness softens the grit and grime and the crooked roads of the village are smooth and bright and pristine with snow.
Pretty as it is, it’s the slippery sort of snow that feels both slushy and icy under my feet. I navigate the few blocks to the restaurant carefully, placing one foot firmly in front of the other, hurrying to get out of the biting wind. Cold bits of ice land inside my jacket hood, nipping at my cheeks.Read More
I’ve been giving a lot of thought to cake lately, as I’ve been working on—and editing—an article all about birthday cakes for work (tough job, I know). For me, chocolate cake is one of the more tricky ones to nail properly. Let me clarify: chocolate layer cake. Classic chocolate layer cake. The other kinds, like flourless chocolate cake or molten lava cake, are generally more foolproof. (Throw enough chocolate in anything and it’ll taste pretty excellent.)Read More
The famous photographer Yosuf Karsh wisely said that “character, like a photograph, develops in the dark.” We know this, don’t we? That it’s against the dark that we’re able to appreciate the light? Mary Oliver has more to say on this—as she tends to do—and her words are at the end of this post, and worth a read.
I suppose then, since we’re talking biscuits today, you could say: “Po, does that mean that we must go without biscuits for days in order to appreciate them when we bake them?”Read More
My best writing comes to me at night. It arrives within warning. Sometimes it steps politely, almost tentatively, out of the dusky edges of my mind as I’m falling asleep. My thoughts recess obediently, filing out of my head, and the writing pokes its head in, as if it’s the last straggling coworker in the office, as if to say: “Excuse me? Just a few things quickly before I head home.”Read More