Monday, May 02, 2005

Play It Again, Sam

There are some recipes in my repertoire that get trotted out but once a year:

gratin dauphinois
Pie in the Sky

And then there are those recipes that, either due to popular demand or to my own cravings, get made much more frequently.

This weekend I made cinnamon/Mexican brownies once again, including the "wicked" variation, for the end-of-the-year party for the Tech Gods. I was just itching to perfect the recipe, including cutting the base recipe by half (resulting in a thinner, lighter layer of shortbread) and trying a slightly different recipe for the nuts... and I think it's safe to say that the results were favorable.

On top of that, I made the lime-ginger squares for a second time, doubling the quantity of lime juice and ginger to make a more decisively-lime-flavored and mellower treat. I've also been inspired to consider adding fresh mint or mint sugar the next time around, to give it a more summery edge.

Both of these treats bring to mind a wonderful quote I found recently in The Language of Baklava (p. 188): "The thing about cinnamon and ginger -- they're pretty, yes, but they also bite, which is more interesting and can be dangerous."

I like having a hint of excitement and mystery in my baking.

Usually I bake for other people, but on this recipe, that little voice inside (which sounded strangely gravelly and called me Sam, I don't know why) told me, "You made it for her, now make it for me."

So I did.

And it's the beginning of a beautiful friendship.


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