We’ve got to be doing something wrong.
There are some lovely cherries on sale at pretty much every place you can buy food around here. Stalls out on the square, produce mongers of the wine-and-cheese and imported meats variety, even plain old supermarkets are all offering beautiful, luscious, juicy, dark sweet cherries from places like Turkey, Italy and even Franconia. They’re good — really, really good in yoghurt or just rinsed and pitted as a snack.
Seems like fruit so excellent like these cherries are would be great candidates for baking into cobblers and muffins and all sorts of things, right? That’s what I thought too. But after two attempts, we’re still having no luck. Somehow we’re baking all the good flavor out of those cherries.
We’ve tried a cherry cobbler recipe (last year, and we had high hopes for it; so high that we were traumatized and couldn’t even speak about it until now). It came out of the oven looking and smelling pretty darn nice, but upon digging in, all we could taste was the oatmeal-based streusel over the top of it. It was very disappointing.
Tonight we tried these muffins and we were skeptical, having tried something similar with some fantastic blueberries lately (and being less than nonplussed with the muffin results), but they smelled great while cooking, looked great coming out of the oven (in spite of our odd oven), and renewed our hope. And then:
Actually the muffiny part of them was much better than we expected and we’ll be using that recipe again in the future. But again the cherry flavor is Just. Not. There. At least the muffins stand up on their own. But how can I bake with these dark sweet cherries and hope to preserve any of their flavor in the finished product?
In other news, it would seem that the English and Germans’ royal relationships* are still manifesting themselves in the school holiday schedule.
Hey, it’s another one of those websites missing a vowel towards the end there! But I’m giving it a look-and-see anyway. There are a lot of trips on the horizon for us — some for both of us, some for one of us, some next week and some next year — and poking around on the dopplr site, it would seem to be pretty slick, allowing you find your fellow travelers and keep track of them — as much as they’d like you to — with relative ease.
So give it a shot…you should be able to find us there under our familiar first and last and user names. And who knows — maybe we could hook up on some future travel together, or at least share some travel tips.
My parents are on the go more and more — and lately, separately. My mom is in Bolivia at the moment (see the map?) and my dad is fluttering back and forth between the main house and their cottage with the dog. He’d been interested, in light of the fuel prices lately, in knowing who was going to be headed up to or back from the little community of cottages up at the lake to carpool. Let’s face it, lots of people are headed up at the beginning of a holiday weekend and headed back at the end of it. The trick would be to know more precisely who and when.
I suggested a pretty standard bulletin board system like phpBB or BBPress to take care of that need, but that might be more overhead than what he needs — just a simple way to keep track of who’s going to be where when. These are already people he knows (they’re neighbors after all) so the information sharing thing shouldn’t be a big deal. Oh, and did I mention it’s free (he’s on a fixed income, ya know) and they have a nice commitment to user privacy? That’s comforting.
This looks like a nice system. Thanks go to J over there in Bonn for featuring dopplr on his blog; that’s how I found out about it.
Every time someone sends me an email and signs it
a tiny little voice in my back of my head goes
I’m totally not baggin’ on anyone who does that. It’s just a thing my brain does, like when you type ––> into a PowerPoint file it gets automagically corrected into →. You know?
In other news, this:
Isn’t it awesomely hideous?
Sarah and I were just watching Barack Obama’s speech. Nice work — not Earth-shatteringly good (didn’t move me out of my chair), but pretty good.
I am a little perturbed at the German TV commentator’s reactions to it. One dude said (and I’m paraphrasing here…no TiVo in my brain…yet):
We were expecting something like a rock concert, sure didn’t get that…
May I ask why? I know they were remarking upon the relative youth of the crowd gathered to hear him speak (one guy guessed an average age of about 25). Do you think that was the reason they thought they were going to get something other than what Obama delivered? Were the German commentators expecting a rock concert atmosphere by virtue of the attendees? Should the attendees feel offended? I think I’d be (am?) miffed that the TV commentators thought a youngish crowd to hear a politician speak would bring a rock-n-roll atmosphere with them. I mean, they attended to listen to Obama — they knew what they were in for. Why were the German newsfolk suprised?
This kind of reminds me of the taste left in my mouth after reading about a potentially really offensive headline over at PapaScott.de a while back. It’s not so much that it’s outright offensive — just oddly wrong and out-of-place, like they’re using words they don’t quite understand or just told a joke they don’t really get.
This looked like a yummy offering to accompany grilled goodies (which we never have – no grill) during the summer (which we’re not experiencing – no heat). We gave it a whirl and were very pleased! I found it on the wonderful food blog Serious Eats and made a few adjustments. As tempting as it is, don’t eat it until it’s chilled for several hours, preferably overnight. The flavors need time to mingle and develop. By the way, this recipe is totally vegetarian – possibly vegan if you’re careful about your peanut butter. I don’t know – I’m not a big label reader.
5 tablespoons sesame seeds
5 tablespoons dark soy sauce
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 inch ginger, peeled and grated
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon Tabasco
1/2 cup hot water
1 tablespoon salt
1 pound fresh Chinese egg noodles (see above)
8 scallions, sliced thin
1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
2 red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and sliced thin
Toast sesame seeds in a medium, dry skillet over medium heat until golden and fragrant, about 10 minutes. In a blender or food processor, combine sesame, soy sauce, peanut butter, vinegar, sugar, ginger, garlic and Tabasco and pulse until ingredients begin to blend. While blender is on low, add hot water in a slow stream until dressing has consistency of heavy cream (you might not need all the water). Set dressing aside.
Cook noodles with salt according to package directions. After cooking, drain noodles and rinse with cold water until completely cooled. Shake water out of noodles thoroughly. In a large bowl, toss noodles, scallion, carrot and bell pepper with dressing until well distributed. Chill.
Attention: fans of “How I Met Your Mother,” “Firefly,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” and others. The Evil Genius is at it again with three acts of whimiscally creepy musical entertainment.
Thanks to Spoon E. B. for the heads-up.