Muslin in a koshered kitchen

File all this under “no wonder the stock is down 85 percent”: The new routine in this consortium involves me trudging to the front door to pick up our two newspapers (and The Cat off the dining room radiator) and returning to bed to listen to my consort rattling off all the fresh news he’s picking up on the iPad. But as accustomed as I am to moths flying out of gray pages, I was still pretty amazed to see a cover feature on a restaurant attraction I wrote about in . . . 2005. This was pre-permalinks, so I’ll excerpt from Older Trails:

The Disneyesque: Gradisca, where we wound up after the Greenmarket thanks to all the press the mamma making the ravioli has been getting. Walking in to see her in all her ample glory, rolling out the dough and spooning ricotta and herbs into it, was like Italy, but the prices were definitely New York. I think there were eight little square ravioli on the plate for $22 at lunch. They were good, and the butter-sage sauce was extraordinary, but that is not exactly comparable to many lunches at “Mamma’s” in Costigliole in Piedmont a few months ago. ETC

And then, where do I begin with a piece with potluck in the hed and the archival photo but bake sale as the apparent point? I guess with this:

Memo From the Bake Sale Police:

–Rice Krispie Treats will continue to be acceptable; baking store-bought cereal with store-bought marshmallows proves you truly care.

–Naked Oreos will not be tolerated. Please enrobe them in melted 85 percent cacao chocolate, preferably single-origin from the smallest plantation in Madagascar. If the chocolate seizes, it’s the pastry gods’ way of saying you’re a terrible mother.

–If you must bring Munchkins, please be sure to turn them into a towering croquembouche first. Cooking sugar to the crack stage is no bother; candying fruit for the garnish is a snap. (Please start with hand-harvested heirloom fruit, however.)

–When we say homemade, we do not mean Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker. Brownies from a box are an insult to all true moms slaving over Rice Krispie Treats.

–Poundcakes are definitely encouraged. Your one-hour, 45-minute investment in all-time-high-priced butter and free-range organic eggs and special cake flour will pay off when we sell slices for $1 apiece to cover toilet paper for the kiddles’ bathrooms. Do not think about why bakery cupcakes would cost you less in time and shekels.

–Also do not do the math on flour and sugar versus Chips Ahoy. King Arthur goes for more than a buck a pound. Chocolate chips will run you $4 a bag. You will need butter (now at an all-time-high price). And brown sugar.

–We will not, however, suggest any reasonably priced, non-time-sucking alternatives to Oreos. You’re on your own, bitches.


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