Dear Fellow Bakers and Friends,
Welcome to the April 2022 Issue of Betterbaking.com and to the springy tastes as well as a batch of holiday forward (Easter and Passover) recipes!
As I look out my window, creating this newsletter, I see dog walkers, a runner, flocks of geese, a little rain and a little snow. What’s Montreal without a bit of snow in April? With these observations I also experience the sinking feeling that’s based on a) it’s wet and cold outside and b) in thirty minutes, aka 7:30 am, wretchedly cold or not, I’m going to go swimming anyway. I woo myself out the door with the promise of Tim Horton’s coffee and a breakfast sandwich after laps. I hope the ploy works.
It goes without saying that the recipes this month are (to me) wonderful so that’s covered. And no one ever asked me to provide these notes to go with the recipes. It’s me who chooses to waylay you with my chattering about other things. So why do I do that? That’s a good question. It’s because a quarter of a century into BB, I still think I’m at a nearby Starbucks or at my kitchen table, in-between carpool or post yoga class, pre-Costco run – just enjoying a sociable oasis with a couple of friends. Such meet-ups start with recipes and ends with wherever those rich and dangling conversations takes us.
I say ‘us’ but I suppose it’s me talking into the Bermuda Triangle of the Internet. The only way I can do this is actually thinking of you, or the notion of a ‘you’ . Bakers actually bake for real people to eat their wares but writers are content in imagining listeners. One has to unless you’re just writing a journal and even then, one always has a sense there’s a witness to our confessions. But I imagine listeners because without that I’d just list the recipes of the month, remind you I have two Jewish cookbooks with Passover chapters in them and skedaddle. But I like sharing my reflections because each month when I come to this page, just in this small address, the framing, as it were, to the recipes, I also come to some conclusion or awareness. The impetus of a monthly newsletter provides that clarity for me. It also might help you appreciate the voice behind the recipes. And I figure, a little personalization might get more recipes baked and enjoyed and make the world a sweeter place.
In other news, I’ve been following 30 days of yoga on YouTube (I’m on Day 12) Yoga with Adriene https://www.youtube.com/c/yogawithadriene who’s one of the best yoga teachers I’ve found.
My four book clubs are moving along and I’m improving my hosting abilities. I’ve learned that Zoom can tolerate a beat or two of silence so I don’t rattle on as much in the book meetings which has engendered some really fascinating discussions. I no longer comb through the NYT book reviews, Reese, Oprah or Goodreads but increasingly go with my own instincts in choosing titles that are unique, consummately readable and engaging. In my own book news, I’m in the midst of finishing my tango memoir and working on the Breads book manuscript.
And last, in food news, I’m now into pears of every variety, doing a Pasta Puttenesca take-out tour of the city. I’ve also restocked on masks and flour because you can never have too many of either and despite Passover being around the corner, I’ve been doing more deep dives into sourdough. It’s always like that – I feel Passover on the way and suddenly all I want is to bake with yeast. On the other hand, I’ve made the chicken soup and it’s frozen as Lake Superior in February so I’m making the right efforts. And last, I’ve also become a Facebook Marketplace shopping addict and redid my entire house on a shoe-string budget.
And turns out, as I finish this newsletter, the bribe of a Tim Horton’s breakfast sandwich did the trick. It got me out the door and to the pool where I did umpteen laps. As I press click and Send, I’m feeling warm, full, and noble. BB is wrapped up for another month and I’m off to the L’Oréal warehouse sale a mile away.
Warm wishes from my kitchen to yours, stay kind to yourself and others,
Passover Éclair Cake
Sweet Potato Passover torte
Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins