Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Sunday in the Oven with George

I baked.

A cake.

From scratch.

Part of me wants to continue this as some sort of slam poetry thing.

But we should get to the business at hand, because I baked this from scratch.

I used a recipe from Fine Cooking.§ Their very pragmatic name is Buttermilk Cake with Spiced Vanilla Frosting. They don't mention *anywhere* in the name that it has 2 1/4 cups of grated butternut squash. If it were mine to name, I would definitely have mentioned the butternut squash.

Anyway, it was my contribution to the notable return to family dinner% and I wanted to show off.

It was wonderful, if I do say so myself.

[SUMMARY: In which I toot my own horn.]

But the real star of this blogpost is the pictorial answer to the question, "How many Untiedts# does it take to..."

That would be three.



When Dr. Doom saw all the fix-it activity, he shouted, "Maybe you need a glue stick!"‡‡ and ran off to the desk to find one. He had the most earnest look on his face when he came back.

He took the cap off the glue stick, handed it to Brother and watched anxiously to see if it worked.

Brother dutifully dabbed the errant screw with the glue stick, then thanked Dr. Doom and went back to using the screwdriver. Dr. Doom waited around for a moment to be sure more glue stick wasn't needed before he put it back where he found it.§§

[SUMMARY: In which Dr. Doom saves the day I count to nearly four.]

Despite all the blurry action photography, isn't that just the cutest thing you've ever seen? Heard? Read?

C'mon... humour me. Say, "Awwwww."


Miel de Bois (edp) - Serge Lutens+

Marin says: This is a notoriously reviled scent in many perfume circles.¶¶ Apparently, the element that is the scent of honey is the same as the element that is the scent of urine.

I know.

Consequently, a lot of people HATE this perfume.

I tried it in the privacy of my own living room## a couple of weeks ago and really liked it, which brought up the question, "Am I anosmic to urine^ or does my body chemistry like honey?" Like any good scientist, I added a control group to ascertain the validity of my conclusion.

I believe you all know Hans, my perpetual control group.

Hans agrees: It just so happens that on me, Miel de Bois smells like warm, floral honey that melds into a honeyed wood that calls up a picture of the polished pews of an old Catholic church on a Thursday afternoon, the ghost of incense lingering from Wednesday mass††† and freshly-lit beeswax candles.

I will admit that, like the Etat Libre d'Orange Jasmin et Cigarette,‡‡‡ I can see the relation to the repugnant scent and its more socially acceptable counterpart. I believe I used this analogy before, but it's like switching between the woman and the skull.§§§

The Perfumed Court@ says: A sensuous woody$ Oriental scent with notes of ebony, oak, gaiac, aquilaria aguillocha (used to make incense sticks)$ and honey all resting on base notes of beeswax,$ iris$ and hawthorn.¶¶¶

Hans says: Once again, I'm getting baby powder.$ Or maybe flowers. Is it... lavender? Roses? [I explained the urine connection] I totally did not get pee.

FOOTNOTE (crossed): Another part wants to haiku:

orange flecks of squash
sunshine on a winter night
spiced to my own taste

If you look at it sideways, it's kind of provocative.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Once I got the pictures off the camera, it was clear I should've taken at least a couple of pictures from some sort of angle. For the record, that is, in fact, from a rose bundt cake pan. It is *not* an asshole cake, despite all appearances. Hey, the image got stuck in my head and I am not one to keep my misery to myself.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): My favourite magazine. Favouriter even than Interweave Knits.

%FOOTNOTE (percented): Probably most notable because Father has moved in with the fiancée, Brother and eBeth have separated and Brother is living at Father's former home. Yeah, as Brother says, that's not awkward at all. The fiancée didn't attend, which may be for the best, but I think a sprinkling of evil step-sisters would have really made the occasion come alive.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): And I do. I do say so myself. I figure I earn the right to take some credit. You know how some people can't leave a knit pattern in its natural state and they have to use a different stitch here or shorten that or do a picot bind-off? I screw with every single recipe I make. And I almost never measure spices, so it's always my own unique creation. I believe I shall call this one Haiku Cake.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): I keep telling you, my last name is ten kinds of weird.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): And one to put pictures on the Internet.

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): I wish you could've been there. Dad and Brother were making manly noises about what didn't seem to line up and threading on the screws and washer viscosity (I know, I know) and Dr. Doom was shouting as he ran, so they didn't really hear him and I was sitting in the kitchen doorway, bouncing up and down and going, "Did you hear that? Ohmigosh! Did you...? The camera!"

§§FOOTNOTE (is that another asshole cake?): So *earnest*. So happy to help. So very very adorable.


I'm doing it again, aren't I? Eh... it was written in the stars. When eBeth was pregnant with Tallest, Hairiest Nephew, I got to go with them when they registered at Babies-backwards-R-Us. Brother, in charge of the laser pistol (because that's what you do when you take men to register -- put them in charge of the gun) and thinking he was funny, first scanned eBeth, looked at the display and said, "Fat chick." Then he scanned me, looked at the display and said, "Psycho Aunt." I continue to live up to my potential in that arena.

+FOOTNOTE (plussed): Perhaps you thought I'd forgotten all about perfume.

¶¶FOOTNOTE (two does not a circle make): Of *course* there are perfume circles.

##FOOTNOTE (tictic tactac toetoe): It seemed the polite thing to do.

^FOOTNOTE (carated): Or would it be, "Is urine anosmic to me?"

†††FOOTNOTE (three steps closer to sainthood): Wednesday is a big mass day for the truly devout, right?

‡‡‡FOOTNOTE (cancer sticks): I know I haven't exactly reviewed it yet, but I've mentioned it.

§§§FOOTNOTE (skull? woman? cigarette? jasmine? honey? urine?): Thus:

@FOOTNOTE (atted): Normally, I try to link and quote the perfumier rather than another reviewer or vendor, but in this case, Serge Lutens' unnavigable website pissed me off so he gets no say in the matter.

$FOOTNOTE (on the money!): Honey and wood, just like I said. I'm also giving Hans credit for the powder thing because iris is classically described as a powdery note. Question: isn't ebony a super-hard hardwood? Would it have enough smell to list in a perfume?

¶¶¶FOOTNOTE (the international symbol for hawthorn): Hawthorn is listed as a note in quite a few perfumes. Wikipedia doesn't list anything about its use in perfumes. I don't even know if it's the wood or the flowers. What I do know is that the flowers are hermaphroditic, so I'm guessing hawthorn is a good unisex scent.

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