08.05.09: the dirty dozen {twelve useful things}, part II

04 via the sacramento bee (via my mom), a recipe for homemade ginger beer! gaining the ability to turn things in our apartment into ginger beer makes me feel like a modern-day rumpelstiltskin, except for the part where your guessing my name would make me screech "the devil told you that! the devil told you that!" and tear myself in two* (god, the brothers grimm are excellent).

05 via 101 cookbooks (via jen, who knows a thing or two about marathons), marathon cookies. quoth jen,
keeping in mind that they are not actually cookies but rather are healthy, cheaper-than-clif-bars, make-big-batches-and-freeze post-run snacks, they are pretty darn good. i recommend them, and don't be put off by the fact that the recipe calls for beans. seriously. recommended tweaks: double or even triple the amount of dates it calls for, don't be shy with the lemon zest, and don't forget the aniseed like i did.
kooky japanese tea cakes have desensitized me to the sweet bean thing; i am intrigued.

06 via david lebovitz, absinthe cake.** you guys, my contribution to the last jersey barbecue of the season will be epic.

*speaking of tearing one's self in two, joe and i saw about five minutes of U2's rattle and hum on cable the other night - specifically, the five minutes when they perform "bad" and bono's wearing these terrible high-waisted pants with suspenders up around his ears. "i'd had no idea robin williams was in U2," joe said. "i was about to say that," i replied.

**did i ever mention how we smuggled two bottles of absinthe (one french, one czech) back with us after our honeymoon a few years ago? i was very proud of us, though i am a terrible liar and would have spoiled everything if we'd actually been questioned at customs. we were only the second-best smugglers of our wedding party, actually: my mother developed a complicated system of band-switching that enabled her to spirit a bunch of cuban cigars back to california. she actually wrote bogus letters home about how sad she was to have had to leave the real things behind: amazing.

imaginary reading group discussion questions

01 is it us, or is bono really channeling mork in that rattle and hum clip?

02 would you eat absinthe cake?

03 have you ever smuggled anything? were you successful?


east side bride said...

When I was seven we hid Rosie the Rat in the lining of a coat and smuggled her across the Canadian border.


lauren said...

that reminds me of my father-in-law, who once bested the all-you-can-eat sushi place in his neighborhood by hiding the extra rice they were making him eat in the giant pockets of his trench.

on NAFTA-related efforts, i once smuggled a pomegranate back from mexico. i felt terribly mythological.

east side bride said...

this trip I plan to smuggle some curried jerky my aunt made from my uncle's very own grass-fed beef.

h-town can't miss this.

Hannah Mae said...

I smuggled a tiny bottle of absinthe back from Switzerland for a licorice-mad friend who had never tried it. Had I realized that legal absinthe in the states was going to cost four times as much as it does in Switzerland, I would've brought a lot more.

Also, I love David Lebovitz, but I maintain that you can't beat this cake:


made with greek yogurt, pears and absinthe, if only because, unlike Lebovitz's recipe, you can easily put it together while drunk.

lauren said...

i consider you the cakemaster, H, so i might have to modify absinthe cake recipes accordingly. how has your kitchening been lately, by the by? your blague is sorely missed!

Hannah Mae said...

Aw, thanks! I actually went to restart the blague engine recently and, uh, I couldn't remember the posting URL. But flattery is just the thing to get me to actually look for it.

Recent kitchening of note: indecision risotto with lots of garlic, vegan sausage, shallot and basil. I was making soup and at the last minute decided it would be better as a solid - threw in a cup of arborio and it came out perfectly. Whether this is a revolutionary new way of absurdly easy risottoing that everybody should adopt from now on, or the goddess of the kitchen smiling on the naive, I cannot say (until I do it again next week).

Also, far be it from me to discourage you from making anything Lebovitz - the yogurt absinthe cake is more of a breakfast item anyway (er, at least, more easily rationalized as one) - and in light of recent housing developments, maybe you should just drink the absinthe?