Date-Chocolate Cake

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Sing, Muse, of the best reason I’ve found so far to get engaged!

Yes, I’m looking forward to the wedding itself (which is, er, next week, somehow), and to a lifetime of happiness with the man I love, and yada yada yada. But seriously, folks: can we talk about my beautiful new Kitchenaid, a gorgeous piece of equipment that I fall a little more deeply for with every passing day? Never before in my adult life have I had the proper tool to whip cream (see exhibits A and B), or egg whites, or create a perfectly smooth cheesecake filling, or even cream butter, really, without giving my biceps a major workout. This baby will even knead bread for you. Knead! Bread! For! You! When I’m fully recovered from looming wedding self-consciousness—which, in my case, has largely taken the form of “hmm, maybe I shouldn’t have an enormous sandwich for lunch every day, followed by a brownie”—oh, the things we will make together. Continue reading

Polka Daters

Polka Daters 1

Expansive as it is, there are a few major recipes missing from Nonnie’s cookbook — things I keep going back and looking for, only to be surprised all over when I realize again that they’re not there.

There’s no simple roast chicken recipe, for instance, even though I know Nonnie must’ve roasted billions of birds in her day. (Maybe it’s not in there because Nonnie thought only a moron would need to follow a recipe in order to roast a chicken — “just turn the oven on and stick it in! You need me to draw you a map?”) There’s no kugel, either, although Nonnie made an ethereal noodle pudding that my mom’s been trying to recreate for 40 years. To this day, she swears it never comes out like Nonnie’s did. Continue reading