Blueberry White Chocolate + Thyme Scones

Tuesday, August 26

Blueberry White Chocolate + Thyme Scones :: gamine dans la cuisine

Summer held its breath until the 13th hour. Finally, upon exhalation, the weather is sticky, languid as molasses...deliciously perfect. I'm odd to relish humidity and that spot on the small of the back which never completely dries during (and after) meandering through a non-air conditioned farm house. But I am in love with summer, even especially during her passionate fits of temper. Yesterday was particularly ethereal + lush; a spirited mix of hazy sunlight and distant reverberating thunder. My red entry door, now flushed and expanded with heat, brushes fiercely against the sisal rug. I find wicked amusement in hearing people huff and occasionally curse when, upon swift entry, they're met by an immobile rug + a pregnant door. It's also proving to be an excellent alarm system and gives me ample time to hide baked goods from prying hands. Sometimes the most exhausting element of food blogging is simply keeping people (and photobombing cats) away long enough to snap pictures.
My next recipe, if I can stop eating the star player, will be a raspberry something. For now, as you can see, I'm still riding the sanguine blueberry wave. Scones don't require too much baking sorcery but they are difficult to photograph. No worries, I will not bore you with more photography angst, but I hope it's okay to experiment with both light & dark backgrounds/moods. My cheeky heart inadvertently strays to the dark side, but I'm attempting to build bridges with the bright and airy.

Midnight in Paris Blueberry + Mint Pie

Saturday, August 16

Midnight in Paris Blueberry + Mint Pie :: une gamine dans la cuisine

"A light white, a disgras, an inkspot, a rosy charm." 
     ~ Gertrude Stein, Tender Buttons: Objects, Food, Rooms
August is a matchstick. It burns too fast and too hot and I'm never ready for pensive September. The lion of August has not been its usual fiery, passionate self - which only makes me more anxious. After finally falling in step with the bass rhythm of summer, I'm utterly ill-prepared for autumn. The errant back to school ads that popped up in mid-July were noxious. We're constantly thrust forward at a stomach-lurching pace while trying to heed the contrary advice of enjoying the moment we're "in." It's manic and disquieting and I wish I could wish back the month of May and to spend my re-summer in Paris. Since I'm surrendering completely to fiction, preferably 1920's Paris; surrounded by Hemingway (I know he would find my writing too floral), Eliot, Stein, and, of course, Fitzgerald (oh, if he happened to be Tom Hiddleston fulfilling a similar wish...).

Alas, it's mid August and I'm not sipping wine at a café in Montparnasse. Luckily I am surrounded by local farmer's markets, and as I nurse a too-sugary, not at all French, caramel macchiato, if I let my imagination take the reins, I can *almost* imagine I'm strolling through a cobblestone Parisian side street; surrounded by the aroma of artisan bread, fresh peaches, plums, and melons. The only missing petal is a cheesemonger.

Strawberry + Thyme Crumb Bars

Sunday, August 10

strawberry + thyme crumb bars :: une gamine dans la cuisine

"There's a soft spot in everything 
our fingers touch,
                               the one place where everything breaks
when we press just right.
The past is like that, with its arduous edges and blind sides,
the whorls of our fingertips
                              embedded along its walls
like fossils the sea has left behind."

                               ~ Charles Wright, from "Two Stories," The Other Side of the River 

I am my own worst enemy and most disparaging critic; this, I know. When it comes to my blog, everything grazes against receptive skin and can either make my day or mar an entire late-summer week. Of course, being me, I tend to roost upon the abrasive. I build a thorny nest of crooked twig-shaped (fictitious) slights and peck jagged holes through my own words and photos; especially the photos.

Tangled up in Blue, High Rise Cake

Wednesday, July 30

blueberry basil cake with blueberry thyme mascarpone German buttercream | une gamine dans la cuisine
tangled up in blue, High Rise cake | une gamine dans la cuisine

An innocent, dulcet confection; this cake is not a New Orleans-bound wayfarer, nor is it distraught enough to weave its way into a visceral novel. It is, however, a chaos of blueberries and, compared to my previous (cockeyed) layer cakes, quite lofty. My blog turned five last April, but she's reticent and surreptitious and insisted on waiting for a berry-steeped muse before marking the sylvan anniversary. This summer I have been living on berries, literally. My laurel green colander is almost always overflowing with bleeding, edible shades of blue, red, and purple.

Admittedly, I was slightly hesitant to proclaim une gamine had been spilling out recipes since 2009. After five years I feel as though I should offer lush paragraphs of things I've learned or unearth a poem or two; but lately I can't seem to say exactly what I mean. Maybe it's the warm lethargy of summer that makes my words tumble out upside-down. Speaking is easy, when it comes to's as if my mind is split in half and my fluent self hides behind the safety of metaphors and a tapestry of embroidered words. Hemingway would scoff, I'm certain. But I would offer him cake and gin and, ideally, he would advise me on how to stop thinking about how much I think about ovethinking. Yes, lots and lots of gin & cake, and, after re-reading Ann Rice's The Witching Hour, a much needed visit to the Garden District. Unlike my folksy cake, I'm a vagabond at heart; it's been far too long since I've traveled far.

Almond Butter & Dark Chocolate Shard Cookies {Gluten-Free}

Saturday, July 19

almond buttter & dark chocolate cookies {gluten-free} :: une gamine dans la cuisine

"We are drinking alfresco,
      watching swallows reflect
         the light as they swoop and

almost skim the narrow road
      before lifting
        above hedgerows

then looping back past fresh-
      mown fields, and I know
         that movement -

from Mozart
      or from a lifetime ago
        when I stretched my hand

from the car window
      and let it ride and sculpt the wind -
        know, and can't name it."

~ Theodore Deppe, opening lines to "An Early Evening Whiskey," from Orpheus on the Red Line

July is a famished will-o'-the-wisp. It passes discretely; an agile, purring cat that sips milk from the cereal bowl and slips out an open window while I'm engrossed in watching sugar cubes on my spoon succumb to ethereal coffee. That's always been my problem. I miss what's in front of me and spend too much time treading through fickle distractions. This year is different, however. Last winter was lupine...I'm determined to relish the fleeting summer and allow its warmth to rest on my still-too-pale shoulders for as long as possible.

I'm also slowly meandering further into the unfamiliar terrain of gluten-free baking. Don't worry, I'll still share stormfuls of flour-drenched recipes; gluten-free renditions will make a timid cameo appearance from time to time.

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