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August 06, 2008


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I would have eaten them all, regardless. If presented with, say, ice cream and meringue I either bite or I don't. If I do bite the ground falls away beneath my feet, any respect for moderation I might have had vanishes and I don't stop eating until I either broach upon the shore of sateity, or there is just to be faced the hard fact to be faced that there is just no more desert to be had. It's also like a disease which takes hold and I'm at its mercy until it's done with me. I've worked in two kitchens. Both were p√Ętisseries. I'm not saying I loved the work, but I really didn't mind stirring hot cauldrons of custard or squeezing the ricotta mix into cannoli shells. I do think genetics might be at play. I have an uncle who has exactly the same response to meringue. Then again I have a brother who grows ill just thinking about meringue and ice cream. But I do think it matters that my mother's side of the family were grocers, some of whom got involved in a flavors and extracts business.

My wife shares little of the genetic embroidery that distinguishes my family. She and I do occaisionally disagree. Just recently it occurred to me that we are addressing each other from across a gulf: she has ancestors who were active in the meat packing industry.


I feel that way about donuts, which throughout my life most people have treated as if they were the food of the gods. I disliked them as a kid (which didn't help the new kid's popularity during "donut runs") and am indifferent to them as an adult.

About a year ago some friends cajoled me into trying a Krispie Kream donut, fresh and hot from the fryer, and I still couldn't see the appeal. (I have a friend who dislikes chocolate, and she has an even tougher road of it.)

I also don't much like cake, to the disappointment of my partner, who loves baking them.

For all that, I do have a sweet tooth, so even bad fudge is irresistable. Or frosting.


Bill: You make me just want to hear more about your family, and their eating!

Rana: I'm so with you re. donuts. What's funny to me is that I can talk myself into them intellectually. Fried dough, how can you go wrong? Until the first bite, that is, and then I can't believe I could ever have done that to myself.


Rana! Are you another frosting-freak? I'll forego the doughnuts, but if presented with gooey buttercream frosting, I can't resist. And fudge isn't allowed into the house, because I'll eat it all.


Oh, yes. Frosting and fudge. Sometimes I'll get cake and just eat the frosting.

I try not to let either in the house too. ;)

My partner D., on the other hand, struggles with store-bought pastry because he can taste vegetable oil in many of them, and he believes that if butter's not involved, it's not worth bothering with.


I'd also love to hear more about Bill's family. :)


Quality is what makes it worthwhile. The hint is when you write 6 for $5.50--Deal of the century. Nothing that cheap is going to taste good.

Real butter, real eggs, everything as organic and fresh as possible.


There is, of course, wisdom in what you say, EJ. I was letting myself be seduced.

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