Archive for December, 2009
Question: What is tiramisú?
Hi, all. I hope everyone had a happy and fun holiday. And I hope that the gifts you all got were the meaningful kind, rather than the costly kind. Sometimes, those two things overlap, but far too often, people buy expensive gifts just because they’re expensive and not because they really mean something to the recipient. I know several couples who opted to make donations rather than send out Christmas cards and buy gifts. I know one family who sponsors needy families in other countries by buying important items for them. For example, last year they bought a goat through Heifer International. This year they bought a goat, a flock of chickens, and a flock of ducks. If you visit Heifer International, you can choose your gift and they send it to those who need them.
Hi, gang. Well, the holidays are upon us. This past week was Hanukkah and this coming week is Christmas. Then, on December 26, begins the 7 days of Kwanzaa. Whether you celebrate one of these holidays or the winter solstice or nothing at all, we’re all confronted with the same thing: lots and lots of food. We have those family dinners to attend and/or have our own gatherings. And even if you avoid both those events like the plague, chances are that you have to attend your company soiree. So, very few of us escape the trap of delicious, tempting food.
Hi, all. Well, I got word the other day that my cookbook will not be ready to be released by Christmas. This means that I will miss out on potential Christmas sales. So, for example, anyone who’s browing Amazon or Barnes & Noble for a gift for Aunt Mary might say, “Oh, look at this cook Italian vegetarian cookbook. Aunt Mary would love that. But, oh, it won’t be available by Christmas. Let me look for something else.” (By the way, I don’t know what’s up with my book cover here. Either it comes out cut off, or I have to make it teeny tiny. )
Actually, to make Christmas sales, it should have been out by now. My publisher, which has a very small staff, had some set-backs in their schedule and they’re struggling to catch up. And, unfortunately, that’s the way it goes in publishing sometimes. People get inundated, schedules go off-track, and unanticipated problems arise. There’s not much to be done about it except to make the best of the circumstances. Although, I’m not really sure what that means right now.
I’m determined to finish the testing of my second cookbook by the end of the year. Or, at least most of it. I’m sure I’ll have few remaining recipes after January 1, but I can deal with that. I’ve spent so many years working on this one that I’m sick of it. I want it done. I think it’s going to be a really good book, but, seriously, enough is enough!
I have a couple more book ideas on the back burner, so I’m anxious to get on those, too. I’d be happy if I could spend my life developing recipes and writing cookbooks, but I’m not Julia Child so I don’t foresee being able to pay by bills like that. So, I’m focusing this weekend on some resumes and cover letters. Doing those always depresses me because I know that each job I apply for will have hundreds of others vying for that same position. And I always end up wondering, “What the hell are they looking for? What do those other people have that I don’t?”
Resumes and cover letters are not easy. Each one has to be tailored to each specific job and it sometimes takes me a couple of hours to tweak them for a particular job. And I get the sense that I’m doing it all for nothing. I always feel that my resume will just end up on the reject pile along with the others. Over and over and over. At the end of a “resume day,” I always end up depressed and, sometimes, crying. Then, I dread doing it again. I mean, it becomes like torture to sit down and do them. So, I put it off. I’ve put it off for a while now. Mind you, there hasn’t been much available, which depresses me even more.
But a couple of job openings came up that I can handle, so I’m going to spend some time applying. I have to. Because when the question “Have you been looking?” invariably comes up, I have to be able to honestly say “yes.” Certainly, nothing will happen if I do nothing.
On a more pleasant note, I made gluten-free chocolate-hazelnut cake and chocolate chip-hazelnut cookies, and even people who are put off by the term “gluten-free” had to admit that they were damn good. Alas, I neglected to take pictures of them. I decorated the edge of the cake with mini nonpareils and put edible holly in the center. It was really pretty. Oh, well.
So, that’s where I am right now. I hope you all have a great weekend and coming week. See you next time.
Nonpareil photo: www.Dylanscandybar.com
Hi, gang. This week, I spent a lot of time testing recipes that required coconut. The recipes are mostly Indonesian and African, and call for shredded coconut, chunks of coconut, and coconut milk. It’s not that I was jonesing for Southeast Asian or African food, or even coconut—it was a decision of practicality. I decided that if I was going to go to the trouble of cracking open a coconut and working to get the meat out, I’d might as well do two coconuts at once and have enough for all the recipes that require it. So that’s what I did. Now I have some in the refrigerator and put a container of it it in the freezer.