Sunday, March 20, 2011

Whoopie Pie Experiments

Today I made whoopie pies for the first time, inspired by my trip to Maine and the delicious Friars' Bake House version.

I perused a lot of variations in my Making Whoopies book... Since they were such a regional treat for so long there are a lot of longstanding family recipes that use different tricks and turns. I will spare you the knowledge of all the stuff that goes into these guys (trust me, you don't want to know why they taste so good), but basically there are two schools of thought: pro marshmallow fluff v. pro egg whites.

Although the Friars don't use fluff, I was reluctant to make the egg white version since I am testing them out for Stolen Goods Bake Shop purposes. All the grandmas in the book say "no one's ever gotten sick!," but why take the chance?

I intended on making mini cakes, but tablespoon dollops of batter spread a bit more than I thought they would. And upon first tasting I thought the filling was a bit more buttery than necessary, and definitely very different than the Friars' version, but when I tried an assembled whoopie pie... They are pretty awesome. I think I'll try another recipe next time I make them, but I have to say, it may be impossible to make a bad whoopie pie.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sharing A Poem: No Regrets

Love this. Just reading it makes me feel a little freer, lighter, older, and wiser.

by Dorianne Laux

Regret nothing. Not the cruel novels you read
to the end just to find out who killed the cook, not
the insipid movies that made you cry in the dark,
in spite of your intelligence, your sophistication, not
the lover you left quivering in a hotel parking lot,
the one you beat to the punch line, the door or the one
who left you in your red dress and shoes, the ones
that crimped your toes, don't regret those.
Not the nights you called god names and cursed
your mother, sunk like a dog in the living room couch,
chewing your nails and crushed by loneliness.
You were meant to inhale those smoky nights
over a bottle of flat beer, to sweep stuck onion rings
across the dirty restaurant floor, to wear the frayed
coat with its loose buttons, its pockets full of struck matches.
You've walked those streets a thousand times and still
you end up here. Regret none of it, not one
of the wasted days you wanted to know nothing,
when the lights from the carnival rides
were the only stars you believed in, loving them
for their uselessness, not wanting to be saved.
You've traveled this far on the back of every mistake,
ridden in dark-eyed and morose but calm as a house
after the TV set has been pitched out the window.
Harmless as a broken ax. Emptied of expectation.
Relax. Don't bother remembering any of it. Let's stop here,
under the lit sign on the corner, and watch all the people walk by.

from The Book of Men.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Friars' Bakehouse

I was finally able to stop into the Fransican Friars' Bakehouse in Bangor, ME.  They are only open for a few hours a few days a week, the rest of the time they spend praying and doing other friarly things. But let's all take a minute and praise the lord for the friars' delicious goods. They make excellent bread and whoopie pies.

My aunt gave me a recipe book with their whoopie pie recipe in it. Now that I've tasted one and I know what I'm going for, it's safe to say I will soon be making whoopie -- pies. Maybe they'll even make it to a Stolen Goods table!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Yellow House*

I've been antiquing up and down the state of Maine for the last week, snatching up everything I can find that's yellow. Apparently I am deep in the throws of a love affair with the color. So far I've racked up two planters (neither of which I plan on using for plants -- one's for my growing bangle collection, the other for cell phones and various trinkets that get dropped off at the back door entrance); a wax candle bust of a fisherman; an elephant planter (which I plan on using as a book end); and an awesome metal stool. I had to slowly back away from a set of four old yellow and white dishes, and a third (yes third!) yellow planter that was a good deal.

What can I say? Yellow is happy, bold, and fun; looks good with white and grey, the overriding colors in my house; and plays well with red and aqua, my two other favorite accent colors. Plus anything I buy that's yellow rationalizes my choice in fabric for my wingback chairs.

I picked up a few other things too. A glass platter that I got for a steal that will look great at a Stolen Goods pop up with Salted Fudge Brownies on top, a candy dish, and two Easter decorations. Love the egg and the bunny and can't wait to bring them out with my Sharpie Easter Eggs.

*This post is named after one of the greatest albums to come out in the last decade.