Blueberry Coconut Macaroons

Wednesday, September 10

blueberry coconut macaroons | une gamine dans la cuisine

"Bid the last fruits to be full;
give them another two southerly days,
press them to ripeness, and chase
the last sweetness into heavy wine."  

                                           ~ Rainer Maria Rilke, Autumn Day (translated by Galway Kinnell)                    

September, my birth month. Growing up I unfairly wove September into the obscure first-day-of-school ambiance. It carried the scent of pencil shavings and new plastic binders - it felt awkward; an uncomfortable silence, punctuated by the scrapping of chairs on shiny linoleum floors. Now that I've outgrown itchy plaid uniform skirts and falling knee socks, I'm in love with September. It's mercurial and temperamental, but, when in a benevolent mood, September is a magnificent host of two seasons.

Prospero's raspberry + ale pie; an arbitrary farewell to summer

Wednesday, September 3

Prospero's raspberry + ale pie; an arbitrary farewell to summer | une gamine dans la cuisine

"Now my charms are all o'erthrown
and what strength I have's mine own,
which is most faint: now 'tis true,
I must be here confined by you,
or sent to Naples. Let me not,
since I have my dukedom got
and pardon'd the deceiver, dwell
in this bare island by your spell;

But release me from my bands
with the help of your good hands:
gentle breath of yours my sails
must fill, or else my project fails,
which was to please. Now I want
spirits to enforce, art to enchant,
and my ending is despair,
unless I be relieved by prayer,
which pierces so that it assults
mercy itself and frees all faults.

As you from crimes would pardon'd be,
let your indulgence set me free." 

                                          ~  William Shakespeare (The Tempest, act 5, epilogue.)
 I fell in love with The Tempest my freshmen year of high school, during a performance at a local theater. The play was ethereal; ambient mist, primal music, sylvan costumes and lush acting...I'm convinced there was a metallic taste of magic in the air each time Ariel took the stage. I was so enamored, I accidentally dropped a box of lemon heads. The cacophony made by each tiny candy striking an unbearably hard wood floor was deafening (I was mortified!). Thankfully the resulting frigid glares were fleeting, and confused...my eyes made a subtle glance towards the person sitting next to me. The play continued and I imagined myself in the role of Miranda, or Ariel. As Prospero was delivering his infamous epilogue, I was smitten, completely, especially knowing that the speech may have been Shakespeare's adieu. 

Initially I was only going to include a few lines from Prospero's speech, but it's so lovely in its entirety - chopping his farewell into pieces would be barbaric. I'd like to think that summer, if she could speak, would deliver an equally robust swan song before handing the zephyrs to autumn.

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.
 

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