My friend Jamie pointed out that western Pennsylvania made the Washington Post this week. I haven't been back to Fayette County for close to a decade, but it seems that some things never, ever change: the photo, the interviews, the politics, the fears, the unromance, the dirt, the beauty, the grainy comedy, the affection.
I read that article and my first thought was "What am I doing here, 800 miles away, surrounded by all of these stupid books?" It was not a useful thought.
Today I begin step 1 of my graduation cooking: making the ice cream for La Surprise du Vesuve, otherwise known as Baked Alaska Flambee. For years the boys have been begging me to make this, and now I am. In addition to homemade ice cream molded in the shape of a mountain, it involves a spongecake base, a 10-egg-white meringue, and an eggshell filled with flaming cognac that courses down the side of the mountain. Here's hoping this isn't a melty, messy disaster.
I'm also going to start baking many, many loaves of sourdough French bread, to be thrown into the freezer and then quickly thawed on demand. Altogether there will be 15 of us milling around the cottage all weekend, so my meal plans include a giant turkey, a giant lasagna, and a giant _______. Feel free to fill in the blank for me.