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A Note From Marcy

A Passion for Home Baking,
The Baker's Batch of New Recipes

June 2003

Dear Fellow Bakers and Friends of BetterBaking.com,

 Summer in the city, any city, is always glorious. Picnic spots, grassy knolls, and sun light streaming in like so much melted butter on open farmer fruit and vegetable stalls and outdoor cafes, are just some of the main attractions.

Summer is also major ‘playing hooky’ time. My spirit takes off along with my discipline and next thing I know, I am on one of my impromptu, mini adventures. You know that window of time before school is out and vacations have really begun? Do you get as restless as I do? Is it as difficult to stay in your office or your car, as it is for me to stay in my test kitchen and at the keyboard? It’s definitely not just a kid thing.

At any rate, most recently, I took an urban sabbatical/afternoon off with my youngest son along, as my partner in crime. We headed downtown to Montreal’s incredibly international St. Lawrence Street (aka Rue Saint Laurent) to grab a bite before seeing a movie. (The movie theatre itself was an event – it was one of those 40 screen theatres that is more of a small city, dissected by escalators and monster machines spewing popcorn and people toting 4 litre ‘pails’ of soft drinks - and that was the ‘regular’ size!)

We ate at a pizzeria that served us up the thinnest-crusted pizzas imaginable (you could read the newspaper through those crusts) that were baked in a brick, wood-fired pizza oven. The pizzas were swirled onto our table, each presented on a large baker’s aluminium sheet (no plates). The pizzas, one sun-dried tomato, Chevre and artichoke and one plain cheese (do we have to guess who chose what?), were all blistered and bubbling with cheese, and dusted with dry oregano and fresh, minced basil. We literally gasped in anticipation. What an entrance!

After lunch (12 minutes later; lunch with a kid is not exactly tarry-and-chat time) we strolled to an army navy supply store filled with bandanas, black military boots, and bargain rate, John Henley shirts for $2.00 (“Is this a Goth store? Said Ben). A quick dip into La Vieille Europe store was where I picked up dulce de leche cookies (I prefer my own, recipe in Archives, but still, always nice to try a new version) and Ibarra chocolate for cocoa. Ibarra of Mexico, comes in big, thick blocks of compressed cocoa nibs, sugar, and cinnamon. You plunk one of the blocks (they come packed in discs in a gorgeous yellow and red carton) into simmering milk for the best hot cocoa ever (serve Ibarra cocoa while watching Like Water For Chocolate video).

We could have seen more and eaten our way home but the movie was our afternoon curfew. Still, we could not help but detour into Coco Rico, a stand up restaurant that specializes in pork ribs, succulent barbecue chickens (people buy 2-3 at a time) bulbous white rolls for sandwiches and their renown Portuguese corn broa. Broa is a slightly sweet, yeasted, corn bread. It is dense, moist and crusty and slices like a fine cake. It never seems to stale and is a meal maker sort of bread. My own recipe for it is at the website now. It was so good, we returned a few days later and took home (wiser, now), 3 more broas.

Well, too soon, son Benjamin and I left St. Lawrence and headed off to see our flick – thoughts of school, tests, deadlines, and work now far behind. I would say it was great mother/son bonding time but that would ruin it. Being with any of my sons is always special; playing hooky is just the icing on the cake.

When we left, my mind was still swirling with the sights, tastes, scents, of Montreal’s most global, noble, street, I had one thought: did I just visit ports of call? No, I have just been to Montreal. You should too. Not to brag nor work unpaid for the tourist bureau, but, there is the comedy fest, the jazz fest, the tango fest, the fireworks competition, and more incredible food than you will ever see without leaving North America. No wonder my BB Test Kitchen has so much inspiration – which I am happy to share, such as the Portuguese Broa Corn Bread, with you. Enjoy some more Corn Recipes in this mailer, and for your sweet tooth, a statuesque Tollhouse Cookie Bundt Cake to slice in hunks and tote with you, should you play hooky any time soon. And for your reading pleasures, for anyone who has ever encountered negativity in the face of a grand, new notion, there’s Please Color Outside the Lines, in BB Lifestyle Essays.

In the beginning of July, you will receive the new big issue of BB. So please, stay tuned. For now, wishing you sweet times in the kitchen, and a savoury summer, from a warm test kitchen,

Marcy Goldman
Head Baker, Editor, Writer
www.BetterBaking.com
Baker Boulanger Online Magazine

A Passion for Home Baking,
The Baker's Batch of New Recipes

Recipes in this Mailer

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, Ive 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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