Culinary Exploits

5 Jun

I took a big risk the other day and combined two entities that have bitch-slapped me in the past.  Namely, bread baking and the recipes of Martha Stewart (note:  NOT including the fine and reputable publication Everyday Food, which serves as my constant resource for healthy, easy, dinners – yes, I totally drink the EDF kool-aid).

So, with much courage, a glass of wine, and trepidation, I decided to make Olive Oil Bread from Martha’s Stewart’s Baking Handbook.  It was the first recipe in the bread section, and I thought that Martha might bless me kindly for starting at the beginning – she’s a person who I imagine is drawn to order (anyone who recommends scanning each and every receipt and cataloging them in an online folder system is clearly committed to a fastidious lifestyle – anyone who keeps a shoebox full of grocery lists, phone numbers and a dog’s medical records is obviously not – can you guess which person I am?).  I felt that I needed some good Martha juju and for some reason, making the first recipe seemed like a good way to get it.   Whatever.  She’s a withholding mistress, but I thought I’d try.

A quick word on Martha.  I love her.  And also, I hate her.  Martha Stewart is a genus and an exacting bitch.  She has an incredible aesthetic and uncanny knack for tiny details that delight me.  I feel calm and happy each month when my copy of Martha Stewart Living arrives in the mail.  Reading it is like taking a vacation from my real life and stepping into the restful world of affluent housekeeping and delusions of grandeur.  But God help you if you misread her directions or deviate one iota in any way.  If Martha says 10 swift strokes in a counter-clockwise direction, you had better not even think of doing 9 or 11.  Clockwise?  Forget it.  It’s like she has a tireless staff whose only job is to make sure that the project self-destructs if you make one tiny error.  Anyone?  Are you with me here?

voila!

So anyway, much to my delight, the bread was a big success!  I was thrilled, obviously, and served the bread with cheese, olives, pickles, salami and wine for a wonderful dinner on the stoop.

dinner!

As I type this, I’m waiting for bagel dough to rise.  I’ll let you know how it goes…

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