Dateline - The Bakery 12:11 p.m.
Well, there you have it, another Christmas Retail / Bake Sale is done. We do this where I work on the first Saturday of each December from 10 a.m. to noon.
Our building was p-a-c-k-e-d the to point that the concrete walls looked like the waistline of your pant just moments after finishing a Thanksgiving meal.
Any spot that wasn't consumed by flesh had an industrial bread rack, and here are just a few of the thing we made.
Stollen, Tiffins, Almond Bark, 3 different Biscotti's, Baby Jesus Dog Biscuits (which contained black caviar-sour cream and fresh dill), Rum Raisin Challah, Sugar Cookies, Bush De Noels, Plum Ginger Bread Pudding, Specialty Fudge, Pretzel Bread,Fruit Cakes and so much more......
But this year, I was inspired to try something different, to reach out to a group of people that lack Christmas Baking tradition...the Irish.
I don't know, maybe they do have something, but I live in an Irish city, and all I ever hear is the Germans begging for Stollen and the Noric Peeps clambering for Yulekaga.
I have always felt these 2 were the same, but tell these people that and they'll have your hyde.
The Irish have often times had to settle for second best, so with that in mind I sat in my bread mobile, went into a trance LOL, and started listing all the ingredients that were #2 and decided I would combine these in what I was calling......
Just in case you haven't noticed, sometimes my mind wanders and I shift focus. In addition to writing my epiphany ingredients on the back of a Marathon car wash receipt, I started to think of famous things that are #2, wonderful things that have been slighted by chance, or basically.....just being in the shadow of something that receaved more attention.
Listed below are just a few examples...........
JESUS BROTHER(S) -
He actually had a few, but seriously....how did that work?
"Mom-Dad I'm home.Look what I brought you. It's an ashtray, we made them in our 4th grade art class. We're in a pottery unit. I got a B+ on it"
You know Joesph would glance over the top of his newspaper, glance briefly and then announce.....
"You know Simon, your brother Jesus made some killer kitchen cabinets for Mary in wood shop, and he got an A+"
Seriously, I hate to say this, but don't you wonder if it wouldn't be natural to dislike the savior if he were your brother?
DIAN FOSSEY -
You know Klecko loves monkeys, just about as much as he covets Nuns and Super Models. So how bad does it suck to have been Dian Fossey? Think about this....When people snuck into the jungle and cut off Gorilla hands to use as ash trays, she'd go ape herself and track these people down.
When she found out who they were...she'd kidnap their kids and that's when the real bartering started.
Eventually....she kinda became the Christ of the monkey world. She was murdered while trying to gain a kind of eternal life for the primate kingdom.
With that said, walk into any Starbucks Coffee or Walmart and ask some random person.......
"Who is the monkey woman?"
99 out of a hundred will smile (with a fondness in their eyes) and reply.....
Germany gets glory, Germany receives accolades, while all the pretty people in Austria go unnoticed, the Germans get bankroll.
Just down the street from my home is a small French Bakery, and sometimes I go their and outsource fancy pastries to bring to parties.
One time when talking to the owner, I asked her if she studied in France.
The second I said this, she kinda laughed, but almost got pissed. Then she took a huge drag off oh her cig, held it...and then informed me........
"No, I never trained in France. If you want to bake the best French products....you need to learn from the Austrians."
BILLY MURRAY -
If Christ gave me a genie lamp to reverse 3 thing that have happened on this earth, #1 would be to take back that Oscar that the academy gave to Sean Penn for Mystic River, and then I'd return it to it's rightful owner.
Bill Murry was so stellar in "Lost in Translation."
Not only was it the best movie of the year, but arguably of that decade.
Losing sucks, nobody enjoys it, but how would you like it if you baked a banana cream pie and everybody at your table said it was the best pie that they ever had, but then all of a sudden a small select group of twits made a declaration that Sean Penn's strawberry rhubarb pie was better than yours, and then he got to go home with the hardware........
You know you would be pissed.
So now we go back to where this post originally started, back in the bread mobile with Klecko after Christmas Retail.
The only item I brought home was some Irish Christmas bread. As I sat in silence I chewed into the numerous ingredients.
Part of the time I simply let the flavors take root into the different parts of my palate, and then I took mental notes.
Remember, every ingredient in this loaf was designed to be the 2nd best ingredient in it's camp.
Irish Christmas Bread Recipe -
Patent Flour 26 3
Milk 8 X
Brick Starter 7 8
Water 5 8
Jameson Whiskey 2 0
Butter 2 X
Walnuts 4 X
Craisns 3 X
Dried Apricots 2 8
Salt X 10
Honey X 8
Coriander X 5 1/2
Here's my thinking.........
Patent Flour is second best to High Gluten
Milk is second best to Cream
Walnuts are j-u-s-t behind pecans in flavor
Craisins are wonderful, but still not in the Golden Raisins league
Dried Apricot has nothing to contrast, but it certainly is so underused
Coriander (in my opinion) only ranks behind Nutmeg in the spice category
And Jameson Whiskey??????
What, you really thought I would jip the Mick's out of God's Nectar?
Not a chance.
I'm getting in the mood L.A.B. Rats........Merry Christmas.