The Armchair Foodie

In this week’s Q&A Ray wrote about his fond memories of eating crepes at Epcot and the desire to reproduce that food memory and how sometimes life gets quite busy and these little folly’s or indulgences languish on a basement shelf or even right under our noses. This past week has felt very much that way for me. In the space of a week my youngest child graduated from high school, for the first time in over a year I ate out, had my mother and brother over for dinner, and I had a birthday. This weekend my son will have his final rehearsal and concert with the Carolina Youth Orchestra and just for good measure Tom and I will celebrate our anniversary. This is life. It is what is good about living and at the same time what can be frustrating. I had an idea of something I would make this week for the blog, but at the end of the day, between a lack of time and inability to source the ingredients I wanted to use, I have nothing but the idea. I could have pivoted and thrown together something slap-dash, but I would not have been happy with that, so in the interest of keeping it real I don’t have anything to share this week other than my time spent as an armchair foodie.

I have several new acquisitions about which I’m stoked, so I think I’ll share these with you. For Mother’s Day I received a new Hedley & Bennett apron. I am traditionally not an apron wearer, but after years of sacrificing new t-shirts to little spots of oil and anything white to anything that stains, I thought it would be nice to have. With my recent uptick in bread baking, it will also be nice to not wear flour around my middle for the rest of the day. Besides, every time I see a chef wearing one on TV I can’t help but feel a little that as if by magic, the apron will impart some sort of increased cooking knowledge or ability.

Recently, I convinced Tom to start watching the Great British Baking Show with me. He’s actually enjoying it which really isn’t surprising when you think about the endearing cast of characters that are featured on the show. Early on I pointed out the Mason Cash mixing bowls. As I have said before, part of my childhood was spent living in England at my grandparents house. My Nan had the very traditional brown Mason Cash mixing bowl. I pointed it out to Tom and less than a week later he surprised me with one of my very own. When I showed it to my mom she smiled and said, “That’s the same bowl my mother had!” Have I used my giant new mixing bowl yet? No. Will I soon? Of course!

Lastly, I will share my latest cookbooks with you. I have three that have been purchased recently. The first is called The Pie Room. It is by London based pastry chef Calum Franklin. The reason I purchased this book is again related to my time spent in England as a child and my desire to eventually recreate some of the delicious savory pies I had the good fortune to eat. The next is The Tucci Table by Stanley Tucci with Felicity Blunt. It is a collection of recipes that combine his Italian American cooking and her English cooking which for me, is just a no-brainer. The most recent addition was just this week. It is Zoe Bakes Cakes by Zoe Francois. It is a beautiful book which takes the baker on a journey from a simple loaf cake all the way to a wedding cake. So far, I’ve managed to read the introduction.

Next week is yet untouched, so with a little bit of luck, I will be back in the kitchen with some additional foodie mojo. Goodness knows as I have just shared with you, I certainly have plenty to work with!

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