Sunday, February 24, 2013

Writing, as one should...

I believe that there's something to be said about writing with something permanent. Computers have this great little thing called a delete button (I've used it about 12 times since I started this sentence) but pens and typewriters have no such thing. Once something has been laid to paper, even if you cross it out, it remains in one way or another. There's a consciousness that goes with that. A thought like that hanging over your head not only makes you more thoughtful about what you put down but also makes you less likely to delete a piece of genius you might hate in the moment but realize is superb at some point in the future.

Thus, my birthday present. A 1940's Shaeffer fountain pen. It looks like the green one above, but it is wine colored. 

So when we decided this weekend to jet to the July installment of Brimfield this year I immediately started dreaming about inkwells.  

I think I need one like this.

I'm pretty sure either of these will help to stop this oh-so-permanent ink from it's desire to stain everything around me except my notebook. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Vintage Cakes....

For Christmas this year my brother's wife got me this really irresistible cookbook called Vintage Cakes. The authors have gathered up a bunch of vintage cake recipes that make you want to throw on an apron and red lipstick and cook all day. 

I've been dying to make something out of it but what with all of our jet-setting since the holidays I've not been home long enough to even fry an egg. So, last weekend I decided to go forth and re-domesticate myself by whipping up a Maple Pecan Cake with Brown Butter Icing. 

At noon, in order to force myself to stick to the multi-stage plan of the cake-baking, I invited 5 friends over for cake-eating that evening. They were thrilled (I also made dinner, I figured it would be cruel to just serve beer and cake, that's the worst hangover ever). 

While in the Spice Islands, we picked up a handful of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, the perfect spices for my recipe of choice. The cinnamon has been sitting next to my (unplanted) basil tempting me with its gorgeous scent, so I shaved a bunch of it into the brown butter icing. 

I've had this lovely piece of machinery for about 3 years now. It is probably the best thing that ever happened to my kitchen. My mom and dad bought it for me, in my favorite 1950's color. It is possible the sole reason for this present was their desire to see me squeal like a five year old again, but that's okay. It is worth it (although my lovely husband still enjoys laughing about that moment from time to time). 

It came out of the oven looking deliciously mapled. 

Frosted and ready for guests, perfectly placed on my favorite vintage Russel Wright platter. By the next morning after breakfast, not a crumb remained.