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May 2014 A Note from Marcy

It's the baker's birthday and that calls for tea and scones with you. Enjoy Free Hong Kong Milk Tea(Yuangyang) and Free Buttermilk Vanilla Scones With Strawberry Hunks among other treats like Macaroni & Cheese Muffins with Soda Cracker Crumb Topping and Cheesecake Truffle Bombs



Dear Friends and Passionate Bakers (and cooks),

Not only is it May, it’s a pivotal birthday for me: one of those new-decade birthdays that makes one very reflective. As I am reflective to a fault, trust me when I say this birthday is a cause for quantum introspection. That said, every thirty days or so, when you and I are together for a few minutes (when the new issue of BB comes out and we collectively spend two minutes in the same virtual place, at virtually the same time), it’s like I morph into a whole new version of myself.  April’s version has no resemblance to May’s version and I am just glad, frankly speaking, I am done with March’s version. That was a rather horrid rendition of said self. Mostly, as each month births, matures, rises and falls into a new one, I am flooded with things to share with you. It’s a battle to pick and choose both what to write and what recipes to offer.

Just like recipes which are evolving all the time, retaining but traces of their origins, so all of us are moving and transitioning. We often say to someone, ‘I’m in a transitionary stage" but that is just as true, minute by minute; cold comfort to someone (me) who dislikes change so much.  In fact, resistance to change is one of the reasons I chose baking. Sure, over the years yeast has gotten better and people are fussier about good bread and better mixers (if not rejecting flour altogether), and probably few people care for candied orange peel and citron, but overall, no matter how the world races by, baking, calm, sweet and old-fashioned, does stay somewhat the same. A new loaf pan from Target or one from a flea market is still good, old loaf pans. Banana Bread still reminds us of Grandma and Tollhouse Cookies, no matter who makes them, are solace for what ails you. Take flour, sugar, butter and vanilla and whether it’s 1814 or 2014, you can make magic. Baking! How could you not fall in love every time you gaze on that canister on the counter?

Which brings me to the falling in love thing; as a rule, I don’t fall in love easily but when I do, it’s quite the tumble, which only makes it harder when the things (and people) I am smitten with, disenchant (our tastes change or things can disappoint), disappear or my palate alters and what once tasted sweet, taste flat or dry.

Luckily, I rarely fall out of love with baking (or my sons, my friends, music, flowers and scent for that matter) but a few years ago, I fell out of love with both publishing and tango. The publishing love affair revived, when I self-published When Bakers Cook (and more books on the way) and that revival seems self-sustaining (i.e. I am having such a good time writing these days).

But tango? The time period wherein tango and I stopped being an item wasn't pretty. But one day, a few months ago, I forced myself to return. Still, everyone who knows me said: enough, that well is dry, find something else, something new. But what could replace a stranger’s embrace and an Astor Piazzolla melody, the swish of your skirt and the springy contact of new tango shoes as they slink over a well-worn dance floor? How could anyone give that up? But I did. Because tango changed –  it became mainstream and settled, like a quirky Indie band that gets adopted by everyone and then panders and plays only its hits. Or a restaurant that is funky and hidden away and then the next thing you know, Pepsi purchases it and makes it a chain. But I decided, I would take the new tango (unexciting) on its own terms and find something to like. I lowered my expectations. I decided to take a leap of faith and one chilly Sunday in March, I went back - gingerly, out of sorts, sullen. My clothes didn’t fit, my tango shoes felt rusty and all the people were foreign. To be honest, it was not wonderful but faith springs eternal and this persistent Taurus girl returned a few times. And then one day, someone new and very skilled asked me to dance. We lucked into great music and tripped the light fantastic – once again. Not only did I fall back in love with tango, tango breathed new life into me in all ways – new recipes, new books to plan, and better yet, in new ways of seeing the world, my life and this new decade ahead of me.  

Where does this May find you? Are you stuck, or blossoming in a new direction or caught in the stream of letting go and moving forward? Are you perhaps, healing, or catching your breath and taking stock? Are you grateful or wildly discontent or a little of both? Are you narrowing your world or poised for a new go-round? There are many ways to do this life, and many ways to be 20,30, 40 and beyond. Find out what or who you love and never let it or them go - least of all yourself. It’s never time to leave the dance floor, the kitchen or your own soul.

On another note – I am experimenting with Kindle Countdown – From May 6th to Mother’s Day (May 11th) When Bakers Cook and A Passion for Baking will be at a bargain price. The link is: https://www.createspace.com/4047510 and
(American visitors to BB, don’t forget to check out Kindle Book Match for print/Ebook bargain prices).



My newest book, Love and Ordinary Things, Poems from the Kitchen, Dance Floor, Wheatfield and Heart should be out before Mother’s Day for a perfect gift. I've been writing poetry most of my life and some in this collection, first appeared in the New York Times, back in the day when the NYTimes had a special column called Metropolitan Diary.

Free 4 Months of BB with Book Purchase

Please don’t forget – no matter which book of mine you purchase (e-book or print and no matter which cookbook or when) I am delighted to gift you with a bonus of 4 months Free of BB complete recipe archive access. Just email your receipt (if you have a subscription, I am happy to extend it).

In honour of Mother’s Day, the global sisterhood, and my own birthday, I am delighted to share with you some fabulous recipes I personally adore and hope you will too.

Warm wishes,

Marcy Goldman

Author, Master Baker, Publisher
www.BetterBaking.com
Est. 1997
 
May 2014 Recipes

Hong Kong Milk Tea(Yuangyang)

This sounds appalling but it is so good and totally indescribable. If you like café latte or chai tea, this is perfect for you.

Macaroni & Cheese Muffins with Soda Cracker Crumb Topping

Little bundles of joy or as my third son said, after devouring a half-dozen of these, ‘unbearably awesome”.

FREE Almond Cottage Cheese Pie
Why women like sweet cottage cheese pastry things I don’t know, but this is a perfect Mother’s Day brunch recipe.

Cheesecake Truffle Bombs

Forget Ben and Jerry’s, this is just the ticket, along with some great rom-coms.

Belgium Sugar Yeast Apricot Tart

A light, sweet and buttery, easy yeast pastry dough that looks European gorgeous and isn't detained by a trans Atlantic flight stall. All you add is a touch of sugar, a smidge of butter, top with diced apricots and wow! This looks and and tastes like it was flown in from Europe. Sophisticated but it;s also as easy as brownies.

Sweet and Tart Rhubarb Pie Dough Strudel
Pie dough, some fruit and a sprinkling of sugar and wow - pastry power. Nothing beats berries and garden rhubarb (even frozen from last year) for a specularly refreshing treat.

FREE Buttermilk Vanilla Scones With Strawberry Hunks

What goes better with tea than fresh scones?



 


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.

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