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What I Know for Sure


What I know for sure

Oprah has a What I Know For Sure editorial on the back page of her magazine.
This is my version. I have a ways to go but I am getting the drift: everything – even certainty – is a work in progress.

Splenda (and stevia and agave) don’t taste or perform like sugar no matter how glorious the Splenda ads or how much my health food friends tell me stevia is better. Give me white sugar or give me a piece of fruit.
A house with a baby sleeping in it is a different quiet than when you are all alone. On the other spectrum of life in the nest, a house with kids recently moved from it is disproportionately larger than when they are out at school all day.

No matter how much people ask you to tell them the truth, they don’t mean it.
When they say: please be honest with me – take that as a cue to say nothing or fib caringly. It’s not really fibbing. It’s another way to rise above. But do not, as tempting as it appears, ‘clear the air’ or be drawn in.
I know brown eggs don’t taste different from white but they look so much better to me that I imagine they do. I think cheesecakes made with brown eggs are spectacular.

I appreciate that shortening is nutritionally bereft but it makes really great fried chicken and my Bakery Style Hamantashen wouldn’t be the same without it. That said, I am an all-butter pie crust person.
Some people are so nice and intelligent and I am drawn to them but have to accept for whatever reason (inner vibe, bad past life), I feel like I just ate bad fish after I leave their company (it’s me- has to be). There’s an ick factor my intellect refuses to accept it but my instincts are dead on. Alas. And you can take the parts you like and censor on the rest. Sooner or later, it catches up with you.

Things made with ginger taste salty even without added salt. Ditto for tomato sauce and tomato juice.
I can be nice and rise above for so long until I need the junk food spiritual experience of gossip. But I am, at the point of this writing, quite far along total recovery.

I know I am naive and out of step but it’s harder being me than looking on from the outside. Trust me. It is 2011 and I feel like I am in 1830. I watch Little House on the Prairie dvd’s and every derivative of Jane Austen and dream that Louisa May Alcott is my sister. We lunch daily with Emerson, Thoreau and Mr. Alcott. I check my Iphone for text messages from any and all. (that’s the part the illusion ends)

I pretend to be shy but it is a ruse to seduce. It is a ruse that never works.
I also pretend I am not a good tango dancer so the (strange/new/untried) man leading me will feel more confident. I lie when they ask me how many years I’ve been dancing. I know it’s shameful but you upset the whole natural balance of the dance if you confess to knowing more than the man. Unless he is under 25 in which case he is just grateful.

I make shortbread the same way as Walkers does but it never tastes the same.
It’s good but it’s not the same. But I am getting there. The good news is, I still have time. No matter how you figure.
When you eat healthy you gain weight. It’s healthy but it’s not fat free.
Just sayin.

I remember times of my life by music – the band Chicago means I am 16 again – Blood, Sweet and Tears means first kisses and Steely Dan is my first apartment, newly married. But I remember people by the perfume I wore in their presence. Infini means a man I never see who left angry and Shalimar means my first boyfriend who I dated again 20 years later, who then remarried (someone else) and had another whole new family. I see him at the hockey arena sometimes and we wave but I don’t wear Shalimar. Some perfumes, not associated with men who have come and gone I still wear. Anais Anais is still ok, as is Diorissimo. Nowadays, great perfumes being so rare, I take care what I wear the first occasions out with someone. I don’t want to risk another perfume departure should the friendship neither blossom or perhaps go bittersweet.

Extra virgin olive oil seems to be getting murkier tasting all the time but light olive oil is almost the same as canola. I’ve learned to blend them.

There is little to differentiate between a tart Granny Smith apple and a raw potato. Unless the apple is having a good day and the potato is rotten.

Back to perfume: there are three sorts of women. Those that have one perfume they will never stray from. Those that hate perfume (and scented candles, incense, jazz and kimchee), and those that change perfume like the Kardashians change their men. Of the women who choose one perfume and never stray, chances are it is an old classic (it would have to be). Chanel 5 and Fracas are among the never-stray-from scents. Nobody makes a great lilac perfume and a perfume called Iris something or other is often nice but a lie because frankly, Iris' have little to no scent.
 When in doubt, dab vanilla extract on your pulse points.


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