Friday, 5 August 2011 | 7 comments
I’m away from DC right now, traveling for work in Mozambique. It feels strange—something of a betrayal—to be writing here, when the Yellow House has become so much about a concrete space, its modest garden, the seasons that whirl around it, and the people who make it home. By contrast, I’m in a cool, tidy hotel with far too much room for one visitor. I worry that my green tomatoes have turned red with no one to harvest them. I fret that a neighbor will email my landlady to complain about our unkempt front garden. I’m happy, though, that I brought along the pictures of this little brown cake. » Read more «
Monday, 27 June 2011 | 8 comments
Looking back on a few months of The Yellow House, I’m starting to realize that the life I portray here is one where I spend my days traipsing around farmers’ markets, puttering in my little garden, meditating on baking, throwing dinner parties where everyone drinks too much wine, and then documenting it all with excessive parentheticals, too much strikethrough, extra-long sentences, and mediocre photos.
I mean, I actually do all of those things.
It’s just that all the traipsings and putterings and meditations and dinner-partyings are only the tip of the iceberg. The majority of my time is spent at a Serious Job where I work 9 to 5 (or, more unofficially and far too often, 7 to 7). I guess that “traipsing” is just more poetic to write about than “sitting in my rolling chair in my office” (although it was really exciting when I got to switch from a stationary chair to a wheeled one—but I’ll save that story for another day, you lucky reader).
Friday, 29 April 2011 | 8 comments
I had my recipe picked out. I was all ready to make it and tell you about my new love affair with the BBC Food website, which, unlike other big recipe aggregation sites was actually useful, well-organized, and really original because of its British flair.
Several of their recipes hadn’t failed me yet, so when I got home from the market toting my first-of-the-season rhubarb, I pulled up BBC Food and found (under the ‘Afternoon Tea’ section for spring, no less) a recipe for warm ginger cake with poached rhubarb. I was sold. I blindly gathered all the ingredients, glossed over the instructions, and got to work, visions of a soft, gingery cake with sweet-tart rhubarb syrup drizzled over the top dancing in my head.
Something occurred to me as I mixed, though. There were a lot of eggs in this batter. And not much flour. And (reading the directions, now) what the heck is a “pudding basin”?
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Monday, 4 April 2011 | 7 comments
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I have a really healthy appreciation for un-iced cakes. (If you’re counting, that’s two out of a grand total of 12 posts on this blog dedicated to not-too-sweet cakes.) It is rare for me to meet a frosting or icing that I actually like. (Aside: Ten points to whomever can settle whether or not there is actually a difference between “frosting” and “icing”. I’ve always used them interchangeably, but in writing this post I realized that it’s rather contentious.)
Saturday, 26 March 2011 | 6 comments
DC’s Cherry Blossom Festival starts today. Tourists descend en masse on the Potomac tidal basin, where the Thomas Jefferson memorial is ringed by an astonishing display of delicate pinks and whites. It’s striking. There are so many blossoms that all the natural light seems to be filtered through a pink lens, casting a rosy glow. I recommend going on a weekday morning or evening, when the crowds are fewer and the air is stiller.
Louise and I braved the crowds last year with our mother, who drove in from Michigan just for the event. It was hectic, but still beautiful, and L snapped some gorgeous pictures.
You don’t have to be downtown to see the cherry blossoms, though. The District is peppered with cherry trees, and my morning commute has become increasingly beautiful over the past week as the local park unfolded itself into spring. But this year, the advent of the cherry blossoms is tinged with tragedy. How can you look at graceful sprays of sakura and not think of Japan?
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