Current Issue
BB Past Issues
A Note From Marcy
Complete Recipe Index
Subscribe to BB
Subscriber Sign In
Free BB Classics
About Us
Contact Us
When Bakers Write - Features
Scent of A Baker
Music and Dance
Product Reviews

October 2016 A Note from Marcy


Enjoy Free Moist and Majestic Honey Cake and Free Marcy Goldman's Game Changing Carrot Cake and so much more for the October Issue of BB

Dear All,

Welcome to the October Issue of Here's the special recipe collection - my treat.

 FREE Moist and Majestic Honey Cake 

FREE Marcy Goldman's Game Changing Carrot Cake

FREE Best Ever Deep Dish Apple Cake

FREE Fresh Yeast New Years Sweet Challah

FREE Apple Butter Babka

Everything is free this month just because….why not? So enjoy. It’s also mostly a honey and apples issue but there is a game-changing carrot cake that will knock your socks off. If this carrot cake recipe was an industry, it would be called a ‘disruptor’ because the very concept re-examines something we never even question and was (to my mind) wrong.

For years, I made carrot cake and thought it’s popular, but like a popular girl, it’s all form and no content.  Raw carrots, tasteless vegetable oil?  How on earth, minus a ton of cinnamon and vanilla to compensate could it taste that great? Thank goodness for that cream cheese frosting.

Then one day, after I made my regular carrot cake and was wondering why it tasted bland,  I realized that no pastry chef I trained with would ever, ever have dumped  raw carrots in a cake. And when you make pumpkin muffins, do you use raw pumpkin? When you make sweet potato pie, do you use raw sweet potatoes? Of course not! But here we all were, for years, throwing in raw carrots into an oil-based cake.  I never wanted to admit it because we all love carrot cake but even my best carrot cake, wasn’t what I’d called stupendous in the taste department. And then I woke up. I knew what to do. And now, with this magical recipe, you’ll know my two (actually 3) big tricks to make a game-changing carrot cake. I am just sorry it took this long.

As for my Majestic Honey Cake and the questions about why do I keep changing it and which version is better I can only say this. Change is good. I fiddle. All versions work well. What liquids do I use? I use mostly strong tea, a tiny bit of brewed coffee, cola and orange juice. Sometimes I use gingerale. It's all good and it all works. Lately, I also make a syrup of sugar, honey and orange juice and brush that over the cake like baklavah. Whatever you do with this cake, make lots, give away tons, and share the recipe. It's not just cake: it's soul food.

Other than that, here's my essay of the month which first appeared on Enjoy!

After the Dinner Party: To Clean Up Now or Later?

After the Big Dinner: To Clean Up Now or Later
It’s 8 am on this crisp fall morning and someone in the house may still be sleeping. It’s hard to tell as the nest empties as some chicks linger on the teetering edge, almost leaving, coming back and flying off again. So I try to be quiet empting dishes from the dishwasher and re-loading and overall taking a look at the messy, aftermath terrain of a family dinner. Where to start? Why didn’t I do this last night?
Are you yourself a clean it up now or later sort? Barring putting away perishables, there is no in-between.
When I was married and my three sons were young, my then mother-in-law and then husband would cluck at me whenever I said: “Leave it, I can do it tomorrow when I’m fresh”.  Both of them armed with some form of harmonized OCD and do-it-now-get-it-over-with insistence, they would plunge into cleaning at 11 pm or later, after the boys had gone to bed and the guests had left and coincidentally when I was most tired. “Think of how happy you’ll be when you wake up in the morning and find the kitchen all clean”. I didn’t care. All I could think of was how to get them to stop, have the mother-in-law just go home and the husband just quit. I like my kitchen that way- I can stand a happy mess.
I went through the motions aka a feeble attempt to help (since it was MY kitchen after all?—?was I not queen of my realm as a chef, cookbook author and keeper of the keys of my own home?), but by midnight, I had to beg off, leaving adult mother and son in a wet-rag and Windex face-off. Everything smelled like Palmolive, Vim and briskness.
The truth was, after cooking, baking, hosting and shepherding three boys throughout it all; I had no more energy and couldn’t wait to sink into bed. The foods were amazing; the occasion was grand and tomorrow is another day. I like to revel for a moment anyway?—?in that vibrational aftermath of clan-meets-food-breaks-bread. The memory of those days makes me reflect about those of us that clean immediately and those that don’t (we’re a minority, I think).
 A table, having taken the weight of glorious family dinner or holiday celebration foods, needs to breathe. It gives its own thanks. It doesn’t mind the telling remnants of its finest hour and finest mission: serving. The soiled dishes, the messy kitchen, the clues of food that nourished body and soul, in essence, the art form of my loving and working life, needs to be still the state they were left when the last guest said goodbye or a sleepy child, full of perfectly roasted chicken and thick slabs of fresh bread, went off to sleep. There is a special vibration imparted by a table and kitchen that have been lovingly active.
To me, a messy kitchen like a dishevelled bride. She’s happy, she’s gladly weary and surrendered. And she is never more lovely. One doesn’t want to fix the tendril of hair on her temple or straighten the crease in the wedding dress or put away the white satin dancing shoes?—?even with their scoff marks of wedding dance use. She is fine how she is, where she is.
So now, certainly not a bride myself nor even a wife, in a day or two, as I celebrate Rosh Hashanah for the first time in my new home, I know I’ll survey my night-after kitchen on Monday morning.  As always, I’ll love the disarray and casual subtle way it begins to take order, in bits and small and conscious efforts.  I might start with the dishes or clear the table, shake crumbs out of the tablecloth and fold it for the wash. Later it will hang outdoors and dry in sunlight. I know I’ll appreciate my new energy on this new day, the fresh coffee brewing in tandem with my mindful clean-up. The laughter from hours ago, another world away, still hangs in the air, the half-filled wine glasses give evidence to toasts and raised arms of family love.
I sooner get up at 5 am to quietly clean than work until midnight getting it done in some manic effort to ‘wake up to a clean kitchen’.

Why do people clean up beauty and its companionable energy right away?
 Why do we rush to remove the tableau of love and food? Why can’t it linger?
 What can’t wait until the morrow?
 Why do we see “neat” as the only right and temporary ‘messy’ as ‘bad’ or lazy?
 The morning after a big dinner I don’t mind the mess. I revel in it. It’s an extension of the warmth and occasion and the blessing I have to have people in my life at my table.
Like I always do, I’ll move quietly and deliberately, respectfully removing each symbol of what has been. I’m never in any rush to ‘clean’ and get things back to how they ‘should’ be in their  default state. Plus I’ll have all the energy and leisure to take care of mine?—?in my fashion. And just so we're clear, if you're the sort to clean up the minute the last guest leaves, by all means - no judgement: knock yourself out.

Happy New Year and Happy October to my baking friends - keep things sweet.

Marcy Goldman
Author, Master Baker



Previous Monthly Essays from A Note From Marcy:

Essays to tickle your funny bone, wake up your inner baker, twinge on your heartstrings, or make you smile and say, ‘I’ve know the feeling; I know the place”. If you missed an essay, or a season in baking or inner sensibility, we invite you to stroll through our archived Notes From Marcy.

Printer-Friendly VersionRecommend This Page