Back on Track on a Monday
Oh these late summer mornings….! That 10 degrees cooler, the mist, the sunrise being a little bit later every day…..delicious.
- I had a terrific night last week – we met my Dad over in Westport, NY for dinner and a show. Both were fantastic. The Westport Yacht Club (the name makes it sound a whole lot fancier than it really is) has re-opened this summer under new management and they have made a bunch of great changes. The menu is small and interesting and fresh, the service was great, everything was really tasty. Full thumbs up from us. And then we went to the Depot Theater to see Ain’t Misbehavin’. I’ve been driving past this theater for as many years as I have lived here and my Dad has lived over that direction and we have never gone to a show but have always wondered about this place. The theater is actually in the train station (which is also still a working train station) and the show was great, the train station setting is kind of magical and to top it off, the Essex County Fair was last weekend so during intermission we could watch the tractor pulls from the train platform. Like I said, terrific night out.
- I read about these book reviews written by a prisoner over a century ago and they are funny and smart. Yes, the prisoner himself committed horrible crimes. But it just got me thinking about how and when and where we find glimmers of humanity. And somewhere in the past few weeks I heard one of those statistics about how many books the average American picks up to read in any given year and I don’t remember that statistic but it always shocks me. I have no grand pronouncement to make here, I just wish more of us read more often and that we had more compassion for one another.
- Speaking of compassion and putting it into action, I read about this restaurant, Emma’s Torch. They are specifically working with refugees to give them culinary skills and an entry into employment in this country. It’s based in New York City where they recognize that restaurants struggle to fill cook jobs and new residents struggle to find employment and connections and security. They provide an eight week training program of skills, ESL classes and job readiness instruction. Another in my mental file of jobs well done and inspiration for how to contribute or give back in this world.
- As I mentioned last week I have started experimental baking, specifically for breakfast baking and I’ve already had some success and failure. More details will come. I have one idea that needs some work, one that really didn’t work and one good success! I’ve been asked to make gluten free muffins with some regularity and am loving working with King Arthur Flour and Bob’s Red Mill – both of whom have a ‘one for one’ substitution flour. For a long time you had to use a non-gluten flour but then had to make other ingredient adjustments to get the flours to act even close to regular flour. These one-to-one type are just that, a direct replacement. I find the texture a tiny bit noticeable, but that’s probably because I know what I’ve just baked with, for the most part you honestly would not know the gluten free from the gluten full, and that’s a real win! This morning I sent these gluten free Raspberry Orange Muffins to Buxton’s General Store. I’ll be making this recipe again, both with and without gluten.
- What I really need is a way to keep my experimental baking ideas in order. I’m an old-fashioned list maker and I’ve very organized. But I’ve got recipe ideas from books, from online sources, from my brain, and I jot things down and bookmark tabs on the computer and stick post-it notes in books and I need to get more methodical. I’m afraid I need an computerized method but I’m having a hard time giving up my paper and colored pens and doesn’t this make me sound old?
Off I go to make my lists for this week – a much calmer week than last week but I have some wedding baking to do and then a wedding to attend! I ran into old Inn customers when I was out to breakfast this morning (Have you been to The Wheel Inn for breakfast? That is a good breakfast!) and they were missing banoffi pie and as we drove off I realized that I also need to up my marketing game, because I had business cards in my wallet, and I can still make pie…..duh! Oh well, I’ll learn eventually!