Tag Archives: living apart

RecipesandRelationships LA palm trees

Waking up in a strange bed-oh yeah, good morning LA!

Date:        March 7, 2014
Email to:   Gary
From:        Franny
Re:           Coming around-finally!

Dear Gary,

Good morning Babe!

Well, you were right. I was barely awake before my lazy Saturday had been  commandeered by my sister, Leslie. That didn’t take her long, huh? Guess I can honestly claim that my jet lag is officially over (which is good — considering I drove here!). When I woke up I didn’t know where I was. I guess I haven’t fully grasped that I am living in LA. Here’s a photo of LA with its beautiful skyscraper palm trees flying high above the horizon.

RecipesandRelationships LA palm trees
Los Angeles’s skyscraper tall Palm trees
I headed to the kitchen for my first cup of cappuccino and found Leslie already there sipping on her second cup working on her laptop. I casually mentioned that I was in the mood to bake a coffee cake and suddenly the kitchen became a flurry of activity. I know my sister and could tell that Leslie had, in a split second, decided to turn my simple coffee cake into something far bigger when she exclaimed how this would be the perfect subject for her next project and asked me if I was game. I wholeheartedly agreed without knowing what I was agreeing to…didn’t matter, we always have fun together. And before I knew it I was up to my elbows in old crusty, very well used cookbooks, rooting through recipes in the quest to find the perfect coffee cake. Her first instruction to me was to find a recipe that was written before 1930, if possible. How hard could that be?

My plan to bake a simple cake was no more. Now it was a Bake and Blog project day for the next post on her wildly popular Bakethiscake.com blog. Did I tell you she now has over 280,000+ viewers? That’s a whole lot of reads. So with cappuccino (she does make the best cappuccino in the world) in hand, I began reading old recipes as she filled me in on even more details in what she was looking for when finding The One. (And to think this all started because I woke up craving cream cheese…!)

Leslie with Jennie at the River House

My beautiful sister, who is a bit of a research freak (you know it, sister), just took over the reigns in the hunt for the coffee cake recipe and is now on the ancestry website doing background on something. Apparently, according to her, I wasn’t listening to her instructions (really I was but it was very complicated. I tried to search the web and quickly found this was a big no-no unless I searched for historical data which was a yes-yes. I didn’t really mind handing the research over to her-she made me laugh).

One recipe I found in one of her old books tickled me because it instructed the baker to measure everything in a teacup (from the Victorian era, an era I have never embraced ). I must have looked puzzled but I learned this was normal back then because she has a teacup recipe too that you can see by clicking <HERE>

I’m going to go take a shower, back soon.

Hi, I’m baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack and I’m hungry! Good God, it’s been over an hour and still no recipe. I’m getting very impatient and have now resorted to pacing back and forth, stopping now and then to look over her shoulder, hoping the interference will persuade her to pick one already. But the hunt continued for the ever-elusive antique coffee cake recipe. For the record, I am now officially starving!

FINALLY she found a recipe called a Jewish Coffee Cake and away we went. She began pulling bowls and utensils and wooden spoons and a mixer out of her cupboards and more. I finally began to take part as she designated me “chef” on this one. After I finished the first step (I creamed together the butter and sugar), she stopped me to take a close-up photo of the contents in the bowl. I proceeded with the next step adding a few more ingredients (and again I had to stop for photos-this time it was a photo of the eggs on top of the creamy mixture already in the bowl) and so on and so forth. Get the picture? I shot a few photos myself but I think I prefer the cooking part. I have shot millions of photos for my profession so the cooking part is the fun part for me. Every variation in mixing time spent or a minute change in one ingredient and Almond Orchards Blooming in the San Joaquin Valleyevery little nuance that occurred was documented (for the new  recipe in the post). Because I was craving cream cheese when I woke up that morning, I changed the recipe and added a center filling of fresh cream cheese and “Jack’s Homemade Pomegranate Jelly” that Leslie bought on her way home from the River House.

This was far more complicated than I anticipated and way more time-consuming — we got so involved I forgot about being hungry. I love it!

When the timer went off and we pulled the cake out of the oven, we agreed that it needed a more substantial topping so quickly she made one and dropped it across the warm top — then back into the oven it went — only this time it went under the broiler to crisp up the new brown sugar topping. A few minutes later back out it came where we both unanimously declared our cake was DONE!  We were so hungry I didn’t even realize that she took a photo for the grand finale (below) before sinking our teeth into a piece. I think by this time we were both ready to faint from hunger but let me tell you, it was well worth the wait. The cake was aromatic and as pretty as it was delicious!

Coffee Cake by us recipesandrelationships

As we were savoring each delicious bite and grinning from ear to ear we decided the upcoming weekend would be devoted to recipe developing, sampling, taking notes, a little more tasting, (cocktails, of course) and cooking — that’s our plan for this weekend and I’m stuffed just thinking about it!  Gosh, I wish you were here to see it in person, Gary. I wish you could come this weekend… (big sad sigh).

One last note before I head off to bed, you know, part of the food blogging trend is in the process the food bloggers (like my sister) go through which, as I now know, is far more than simply copying and pasting a recipe into the web. After she finds the right recipe (and we both know what that means!) she then recreates and reinvent it (food bloggers call it “recipe development”) to meet not only her own taste and desires but the expectations of modern taste buds everywhere which have changed since this recipe was written so many years ago.

Babe think about it — if you take this concept a step further, I wonder how many things around us have been changed because of one person’s desires? And I don’t mean just recipes for food either. As I finished my second piece of cake (you didn’t think I could eat just one, did you?) I realized that this process reflected us in so many ways. You and I are changing our recipe to make our relationship better (and work for us). We are reinventing and recreating our own unique relationship recipe.

Can you taste it? 🙂 xoxoxoxo  your girl…

Recipes and Relationships Coffee Cake Recipe by bakethiscake               Yum! (maybe The Experiment is our key to success after all!)