Dear Fellow Bakers and Friends,
The weather outside is frightful! With temperatures (at least in Montreal and on Mars), hovering at -20 Celsius (that minus five on a Fahrenheit thermometer), Betterbaking.com is the place to be. Hot biscuits, warm bread, simmering soup, chewy, oven-fresh cookies and flaky pies or whatever else you want to bake and enjoy are all here. Pick a recipe from this month’s collection or the Recipe Archives, fire up the range, have a good chuckle at the ice and frost outdoors and just do your thing. Winter is officially here and bakers are the belles of the ball.
I’ve given this newsletter a lot of thought but fortunately for you, I’ve pared it down because 2017 was/is the lesson of the less-is-more-year. I’ve tried to trim the fat on all things including food (and/or bad recipes), trivial errands, unpleasant folks, silly (or unsolvable) worries, and the sheer stuff of home, i.e. the minutia, both the physical and inner sort. I’m not one for clutter anyway but nonetheless I do seem to magnetize far too much kitchen equipment, cowboy boots, tango shoes and writing journals. So I am carrying the less-is-more into 2018. Plus I am still grappling with the new website at www.MarcyGoldman.com which will soon me the permanent home of Betterbaking.com. But no worries, until the transition is complete and all is smooth at the Ponderosa, I will maintain two websites. It’s exactly how I planned to spend my mid-life time: figuring out technical things that aren’t my strong suit when all I want to do is bake and write. But I am convinced the new site will be great fun and easier for all of us and a far prettier place to browse recipes as each new recipe I upload will have a photo.
If you are a paid subscriber and want to browse the new site, email me and I’ll get you set up on the new site. This month’s recipes are all on the new site (as well as the complete recipe archives).
I don’t know what your goals are for the New Year but I set themes or intentions. I’ve decided that 2018 will be my year of hard work (I am committed to publishing more books), magic and a belief in unlimited wonderful things. I’ve also intended my 2018 theme to be about grace. Grace in my case means to say and engage far less which should conserve much needed energy and keep my creative and emotional air space sacred. So I hope to tread a bit softer, be a bit quieter and hopefully leave a spray of light wherever I walk.
I’ve also realized that since I began self-publishing in 2014 with my first indie book, When Bakers Cook, the whole publishing world pretty well went the same way. And cookbooks might not be the way of younger foodies who dominate Snapchat, Instagram, and YouTube. Food as a performance or entertainment art might be the new cookbook. In fact, it’s possible that cookbooks will disappear one day or you’ll end up (if the guys at Moderniste Cuisine have their way) reading books of formulae that result in French Onion Soup, i.e. just a listing of chemical compounds that result in food. That said, I am as much writer-author as I am a baker. So I very much hope to bring you one or not two big new cookbooks this year. When it comes to publishing, you can say I am all in and I’d best get busy.
As for the year that was in food, 2017 was :
The last gasps of avocado toast, and poached eggs over everything, Portuguese Chicken (the recipe is in my cookbook When Bakers Cook), Bánh Mì or Vietnamese sandwiches, all things vegan and vegetarian, Poke Bowls, Paleo, Pickles and other ferments, sumac and smoky stuff, and tacos fish and otherwise.
I forecast 2018 will be still about fermented foods, delivered, prepared meals (Blue Apron, Fresh et al), Hawaiian flavors, (still) veggie burgers and a return to old-fashioned baking. I think we will see a lot of vintage baking, heritage flavors and family heirloom style cooking as millennials come of age (we thought it would never happen) and might be seeking the same home comforts we all are.
So on this hazy, lazy January lst morning, I wish you what you wish for yourself: health, happiness, love and the beauty of baking and sharing.
Warm wishes and happy baking,
January 2018 Recipe Collection
Free!!! Mall Blueberry Muffins
Free!! Favorite French Bread
Is this a good bread? No, it’s great. I made it myself the other day and was blown away by the sheer magic of this French bread for dummies recipes.
Quinoa Black Bean Burgers
This recipe has everything nutritionally great going on for it, including the natural goodness of plant-based fiber, replete with the perfect balance of herbs and seasonings. It makes a perfect meat-less burger that is still protein-rich and uniquely satisfying.
Commercial Style Challah
Someone asked me to recreate their favorite bakery-style challah; I have to say, this is an amazing bread, slightly sweeter and a bit more dense and it makes the best toast and sandwich bread ever!
Butternut Squash Soup
If, as Dan Buettner, author of the famed Blue Zone way of life claims that "Food is the entrance ramp for better living’ then homemade soup has to be the door handle. Nothing nurtures, nourishes or fortifies like soup and this Butternut Squash has it all.
Chocolate Streak Scones
Decadent and delicious, little chocolate pastries.
The best of both worlds: scones and muffins in a delectable, sweet collision.