Sunday, December 31, 2006

My Favorite Passage from Philip Roth & Obsessed with Baumkuchen

"You fight your superficiality, your shallowness, so as to try to come at people without unreal expectations, without an overload of bias or hope or arrogance, as untanklike as you can be, sans cannon and machine guns and steel plating half a foot thick; you come at them unmenacingly on your own ten toes instead of tearing up the turf with your caterpillar treads, take them on with an open mind, as equals, man to man, as we used to say, and yet you never fail to get them wrong. You might as well have the brain of a tank. You get them wrong before you meet them, while you're anticipating meeting them; you get them wrong while you're with them; and then you go home to tell somebody else about the meeting and you get them all wrong again."

from American Pastoral by Philip Roth.

This was the memorable passage for me from American Pastoral - indeed it is one of the most memorable passages I have ever read. I have often thumbed through the book trying to find it so that I could have it as written instead of as a shadowy memory of something I read that resonated with me. Tonight, I was especially interested in finding it for the purpose of posting it here. I thumbed through the book, hoping to find it, as I have several times before. Then, I googled a few words from it along with Philip Roth and PRESTO! there it was. The internet. My very own go-to-gal.

I just felt like posting it.





"Baumkuchen"

In other news, I made a Baumkuchen today. It is a German cake that is traditionally made on a rotating spit onto which the batter is poured on in layers. Since I don't have a spit, I followed a recipe that didn't require one. First, you make the batter, which has ten eggs in it (!) and then you pour a third of a cup into a prepared eight inch springform pan, broil 5 inches from the broiler for about a minute and fifteen seconds and repeat this process about fifteen times. It is sort of time consuming in the same way that risotto is, but it is sort of fun to do it. After the cake has cooled, you glaze it. I sliced it into twelve wedges and glazed the individual wedges for (if I may say so myself) quite an elegant presentation. I will be posting pictures either here or on my recipe blog tomorrow.

The finished product was different than anything I had made before, tasted pretty good and looked impressive. The downside is that now I am obsessed with Baumkuchen. I am planning to make another one tomorrow to experiment with some recipe variations. There goes my post flu skinniness.

I would love to write more (and better) stuff, but I am so tired, I can barely keep my eyes open.

More tomorrow on the first day of 2007.

Time flies when you're breathing.

1 comment:

Princess said...

I had to laugh when beginning to catch up on past posts. Especially the one on Paula Deen. ::smile:: I'm posting it here, so you wouldn't miss the comment. I'm not sure what it is exactly about her, but she reminds me of my family. specifically one of my Aunts. I loved going to see my family as a kid. There was always the most awesome cooking and even a few crafts thrown in to keep bored, engery full kids busy. I love watching her show on the food network. And yes, it is true, she will find some way of adding butter, cream or mayo, to just about everything. lol I have to go and buy that cookbook now. lol