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In which we rise to the occasion (and other bad baking puns)

February 10, 2010

So in September we launched this blog…

  • In October we made endless apple pies, perfecting our crust (shortening is a fact of life, it turns out.)
  • In November we ventured into sugar pumpkin land. Purées were whipped up, pies were baked. Whisky drinks were concocted to keep us warm.
  • In December we made oatmeal chocolate chip citrus cookies. And Norwegian christmas bread. And more pie. ’nuff said.
  • In January we were too sick of winter to make more than grilled cheese. All the time.
  • And oh hey we’re up to February. Blogging is easy.

While this baker’s computer is spanking new and ready to share, her camera is kaput. So I will satisfy your baked-good cravings with images from one of our many Tepid Water BAKESTRAVAGANZAS back in the Old Days (before we went international.)

Ukrainian-Ontarian bakestraganza!

So we have this beautiful book by Naomi Duguid and Jeffrey Alford called Home Baking: The artful mix of flour and tradition around the world. It is a wonderful book for many reasons. Three reasons it is so good? 1) It is big. Like coffee table book big. 2) It is full of beautiful photographs of food and people around the world. 3) It shows “the daily rhythm of turning flour into food.”  Somehow looking at people’s bread seems less voyeuristic than looking at pictures of them.

We were seduced by the names and pictures. This particular day we made Ukrainian Honey Cake (Medivnyk) and Butter Tarts, a specialty of Ontario. I won’t bother with too many mundane details. Get the book if you’re interested. I will just say that it was an enlightening and tasty process.

The honey cake involved your average cake eggs and flour etc. Different highlights included honey and coffee for depth of flavor and color.

honey batter

Honey is added to the batter to make it beautiful and delicious

Spiced Flour

This is no boring white flour cake. OH NO. Spice city!

batter batter

Thickened batter


plus coffee

Finished product: tastes more remarkable than it looks (I swear!)

The cake was one of the most interesting I’ve eaten–not too sweet, tasted faintly of spice and honey with a bit of bitterness from the coffee. Survey says AWESOME.

The butter tarts were another story. We saw the name, we thought “Hey! We love butter! Let’s make these.” Turns out everyone knows what they are in Ontario, but elsewhere people have no clue. Well, if we were Canadian we would have known that we were making essentially pecan pie filling minus the nuts, in a pastry crust. Being american we added the nuts out of instinct.

I have to say that butter tarts, while delicious, did not live up to their name. So here for your viewing pleasure is some butter.


This just in: Americans Mess Up Traditional Canadian Dessert, Make More American

All in a day’s experimental baking.

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 25, 2011 11:33

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