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December 25, 2007

Bûche de Noël: It's done!

buche de noel with candied rosemary sprigs

Well it isn't the world's best picture and I went for simple decorations, but here it is. A minimalist Bûche de Noël with candied rosemary sprigs. The weather report says there may be snow before it is served. But what do the weather folks know, they predicted mushrooms! Merry Christmas (if you do that) and Happy Tuesday (if you don't) - see you all in a day or so with the rest of the photos of the madness.

December 24, 2007

Merry, merry, merry!

If you are anything like me, you are just starting a rather complicated dessert and have no time for blogs...and therefore you probably aren't reading this.


Maybe I need another lede.

clears throat

Continue reading "Merry, merry, merry!" »

February 13, 2007

Help! My very first Burns Supper

Ever eager to explore new cultural traditions (except, in this case, for maybe the main course) I've happily accepted an invitation to my first ever Burns Supper this coming weekend. This is later than traditional for some reason, perhaps it took a while to type up the three page single-spaced invitation/instructions/tourist guide that we also got. Mandatory tartan, bring single-malt scotch, assigned speeches...all in all it looks like it should be quite the event.

Not being the least bit Scottish myself, I have done some research and feel like I have a handle on the public/common knowledge. I have my work cut out for me: must buy the tartan (and spin a tale about the clan connection...should be fun) and some single-malt scotch, and then prepare some Burns to read. What I would like is personal input from anyone here who has any experience with this thing, particularly:    

  • Suggestions of which Burns to read (there are two of us so we need two things, or something for a couple)    
  • Something to show we went to the effort to learn something, like a traditional greeting or toast.    
  • Good single malt scotches? I don't drink Scotch so I am clueless here. (Can I take Drambuie or is that too chi-chi?)    
  • Things to avoid doing/saying so as not to look like the neophyte I am.    
  • Good original Scottish yarns.

Thanks for any and all help you can offer. I'll post about the bash afterwards, at least what I can remember after the Scotch tasting.

December 03, 2006


I always like watching people stretch their comfort zone in the kitchen, so I had to share this. Picture one of those "make candy/pastry/gingerbread house" competitions except that, instead of 2-3 person teams with a few hours, you let the teams take as long as they needed and use as many people as they wanted. Then, just to keep it interesting, and since it's Gingerbread houses and such, ask architectural firms to do the design and building.

Ah, the possibilities!

Well, the Toronto Star did just that and they are auctioning off the results. If you happen to live in Toronto, maybe you'll get a chance to see them. For the rest of us, Gingerbread Cities has galleries of the creations.

It's been absolutely forever since I made a gingerbread house. At this point, I'd have to build something a bit less Victorianish and a lot more designer.

November 21, 2005

Thinking out loud about Thanksgiving dinner

After the party last weekend--which somehow grew from not-quite 36 hours to about three days--I find myself blinking at my not-quite-recovered house (and my very not recovered self) and wondering why someone scheduled Thanksgiving for his week. My feet still hurt from the last orgy of cooking and my creative juices seem at an all-time low. Somehow I doubt this will be a convincing argument for why I am serving sandwiches on Thursday. (Oh relax, I am only kidding.) But you know, with an alter ego named kitchenMage, one can't exactly afford to slack off on the greatAmericanEatUntilYouDrop day.

Continue reading "Thinking out loud about Thanksgiving dinner" »

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