Monday, June 9, 2008

What We Want

What we want
is never simple.
We move among the things
we thought we wanted:
a face, a room, an open book
and these things bear our names—

now they want us.
But what we want appears
in dreams, wearing disguises.
We fall past,
holding out our arms
and in the morning
our arms ache.
We don't remember the dream,
but the dream remembers us.
It is there all day

as an animal is there

under the table,

as the stars are there.

by Linda Pastan, from Carnival Evening

Bake - ATION Cake

a G rated piña colada

takes 10 on a trip to contentment

1 2/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature, plus extra for the baking dish
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup superfine or baker’s sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sour cream (not light)
1 can (20 ounces) of crushed pineapple in juice, drained

1. Preheat the oven to 350º. Spread coconut on a baking sheet. Bake until lightly toasted and toss occasionally (about 6-8 minutes). Set the toasted coconut aside. Butter and flour an 8” square baking dish.
2. In a bowl, whisk together all the flour, baking soda, and salt.
3. With a standing mixer on high speed, cream the butter and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add one egg at a time and then add the vanilla. Reduce speed to low and alternately add dry ingredients and sour cream in three additions. Mix until just combined. Don’t overmix!
4. Now scrape down the sides and carefully incorporate the crushed pineapple and a generous cup of toasted coconut. Spread the batter into the prepared baking dish. Bake and, after 62 minutes, sprinkle the remaining coconut on top of the cake. If the coconut begins to darken too quickly, cover the cake with foil. Continue baking until a toothpick comes out clean or nearly clean (your total bake time will be about 70 minutes). The cake should be very moist. Let the cake cool for 15 minutes and then you may cut pieces from the pan. This cake will keep for about 3 days if you wrap it in plastic and leave it out at room temperature. A dollop of homemade whipped cream would be the perfect accompaniment.

recipe by Cristina Paul

Blah-Blah-Blahg: Food For Nought

I'm trying to find the metaphor for my newly broken toe - which kind of resembles an overstuffed, blue sausage. What am I possibly supposed to learn from a Capture The Flag injury? That's right - I broke my big, right toe while playing a peurile game at a barbecue in Griffith Park. Is the lesson not to drink Korean beer in a red plastic cup so as not to tip off the suspicious park ranger? Or is it never to wear mustard yellow pants - probably constructed in a sweatshop in a land far far away? Perhaps the information I'm supposed to glean from this splendidly-timed corporeal injustice is that my mental state of imbalance has comedically manifested itself as a physical pain which I can no longer ignore. After having my left toe run over by a shopping cart earlier tis year (toenail is slowly growing back) and my right foot stomped on by an unidentified stiletto on two separate occasions (visits to the physical therapist were actually pleasant), I believe some force is trying to send me a message. I have not yet deciphered the meaning. So if you or a loved one have sustained similar injuries and have a clue as to what this is all about - leave a comment. Or if you have any suggestions besides elevating and icing the foot - fill me in. As for now, I am TOE-tally mystified but will continue to count the shades of cool colors (by cool I mean the opposite of warm) on my big toe. Miles Davis ain't got nothing on me. The back of my toe is especially psychedelic - sort of like one of those tie dyed shirts we all made as kids.
Here's a much improved pic of my gnarly toe.