Let them eat cake

Let them eat cake” is the traditional translation of the French phrase “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche“, supposedly spoken by “a great princess” upon learning that the peasants had no bread. Since brioche was enriched, as opposed to normal bread, the quote supposedly would reflect the princess’s obliviousness to the condition of the people – (Wikipedia).

Pedro baked a summer cake.

This nasty little phrase was wrongly attributed to Marie Antoinette which resulted in some pretty serious consequences. Baking can have some pretty serious consequences. Baking is an act of love. It’s what we do for special occasions. No one really needs pie. Grandmas bake, moms bake, we have cake for weddings, birthdays and other holidays which have some pretty serious consequences. Upon contemplating world peace, I think it was Jesus who said, “look to the cookie”. Or was that Jerry Seinfeld?

Here is a little tid-bit from Shine about baking and love:

“…baking for a new guy too soon? That’s a rookie mistake. (Take it from a former rookie.) To clarify: I’m not into dating rules. Many people assume that we’re all seeking the same ideal relationship and behavior from the people we date, as if our romantic happiness should follow a universal script. But I find that mindset pretty offensive – and useless.  HOWEVER (note all caps), I do stick by one hard-and-fast courtship rule:  Don’t. Bake. For. Him. Yet...when you bake something for a guy,just for a guy, it’s an unmistakable, tangible, and edible display of devotion (or at least extreme like).”

Contrary to popular belief, I completely agree with the author of the above quote. I have no need for a universal script of love or a relationships. I have experience. I try to avoid, as much as possible, following a recipe exactly when I am baking too. Some guidelines are helpful, of course – what temperature, how long to cook for, ratio of eggs to flour, etc.  My friend said to me one day while I was baking, “you make it look so easy,” as if I was performing a magic trick. Like love, you need to know the basics before you can start improvising. Don’t mistake the basics for a one-size-fits-all philosophy of baking (or relationships).

Imagine for a minute that you are visiting your friends in Denver, Peru or Tibet. As a fantastic sea-level baker, you decided to show them how much you care by making cookies. Never having baked in Denver, Peru or Tibet, you are going to have some challenges. Altitude is one and ingredients are another. You pull out Grandpa’s recipe, the ultimate symbol of love, and go to work. But Grandpa was not much of a world traveler, he didn’t know about high altitude baking or Peruvian flour. Now, when your grandpa’s sea-level recipe fails, if your friends are really your friends, they will understand. It is not the cookies that should impress them any way, it is your effort.

Don’t think that because of this failure you have suddenly somehow become a terrible baker. We cannot know what we do not know, and until you have experience you won’t really know. All you can do is practice. Believe that the people who have come up with these recipes knew a little something from their own experiences and remember that your job is to take that knowledge and add your own. Be flexible, experiment a little, learn from your mistakes, try it again. You might come up with something that you (or grandpa) would have never imagined.

I stopped by this little produce stand the other day and found that they not only carried local fruit and veggies, but also eggs, milk and COOKIES! 8 Arms Community Bakery is a CSB – That is Community Supported Bakery. And like Community Supported Agriculture, you can buy shares. Sounds dangerous for your waist line, doesn’t it? It probably is, but who cares?

8 Arms Community Bakery
413 Decatur St NW
Olympia, WA 98502
(360) 754-6894

Pie of Love - sweet and sour

Save-your-fork-there’s Pie

One graham cracker pie crust (if you are feeling ambitious you can make your own)

1 can sweeten-condensed milk

5-6 limes

1/4 tsp cardamon


2-3 eggs

1/8 cup boiling water

Separate your egg yokes from your eggs and mix the yokes in a bowl with the sweetened-condensed milk. (Left over egg again – this time I used the egg whites for breading zucchini. The cat was pissed.) Juice your Limes until you get about 1/2 cup of juice. You can do this by hand or with a hand juicer.

Ginger infusion

Make an infusion of Ginger. This is how you do it – cut about four slices of ginger and chop it up. Put it in a mortar and pestal and add about 1/8 cup of boiling water. Grind it up and let it sit for a few minutes. (Incidentally, add a lot more water and some honey and you have yourself some Ginger Tea.) In the mean time, you can add your lime juice and Cardamon to your egg/milk mixture. Strain your ginger infusion through a tea strainer into the mixture. Mix it all up. Pour it in the pie crust and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 min. This is really great served with Rose Whipped Cream. Yes, it’s easy. Add a couple drops of Rose Water to whipped cream.

You can garnish the top with crystallized ginger and a slice of lime or what ever the hell you want – it’s your pie.

Ginger the Cat


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