I like things to be ordered and controlled. My inner self is happy when life is balance.
However, I have learned over the years that it's not the ability to control that it is important but having the ability to manage my inability to control everything. It's a life skill, I tell you.
Much of my work career is spent managing things that are outside of my direct control.
Rolling with the punches.
Creating order out of chaos.
Once my children reached a certain stage of development, I slowly came to realize that there were limits of control in that area too.
Another case of rolling with the punches and limiting the effects of the chaos.
Buying and selling a house. OMG. The lack of control is mind boggling.
However, we survived. I survived.
And now it's time to retrospect two months of Baking Chez Moi (I will cover Baking with Julia in another post).
First up - apricot raspberry tart. Without a doubt, this is one of the prettiest desserts I have ever made. Fresh apricots and raspberries sit atop Dorie's classic cookie-like tart dough. The pistachios were just the icing on the cake...errr tart.
The vanilla-mango panna cotta was the perfect dessert on a hot summer day. It was also the last dessert made in the old house, A couple of port glasses did the trick as serving vessels (at that point in the packing processes - it was either the port glasses or plastic tumblers...Just saying).
Goodbye, old kitchen... You were filled with many great cooking and baking memories, but I will not miss your mauve counter-tops. (Seriously, who does that????)
The cherry crumb tart served as one of the inaugural recipes for testing out the new-to-me oven. Yes, I realize there is a lack of "tart-ness" going on - the tart pans are still packed in a box somewhere; however, I did find my small baking dishes. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to Cher-ify the recipe - I couldn't replicate it if I tried. In short - I placed a layer of almond paste at the base of a well buttered baking dish. I combined the cherries (I used frozen) with a version of the filling (almond flour, eggs, sugar, almond extract, cardamom, Kirsch, etc.) and topped it with the streusel topping. Not a tart, but tasty nonetheless.
Last, but not least are this week's bubble top eclairs. Balls of pate a choux dough were baked close to each other to create a "bubble" top effect. I also opted to try Dorie's crackle topping on these. In the interests of personal sanity, I filled them with Kirsch-flavored whipped cream. It was a bit of a fussy process (there were some logistical issues related to slicing these open to fill them), but enjoyed by all.
Now that I am all caught up, here's some of the "best of" what I have been reading in my "free time" (aka all those nights during the house selling process that I couldn't sleep because I was too busy stressing out about something that I probably didn't need to stress about. Hindsight and all that...)
The Perfect Son - Barbara Claypole White
All the Light We Cannot See - Anthony Doerr
Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania - Eric Larson
The Guest Cottage - Nancy Thayer
In the Unlikely Event - Judy Blume
This post participates in Tuesdays with Dorie.