Standing in the center of a food court reminiscent of my ah, hem. . . mallrat days, one of the counters caught my eye. The sign said gluten-free cakes. Could I be so lucky? As I joyfully approached, I could see there would only be two choices; chocolate cake with chocolate icing and something called "birch cake". Not familiar with the latter I looked to the girl behind the counter. She leaned in the corner jawing on her gum. She could not look more disinterested in my existence or desire for a sweet treat which would not result in my having strange rashes. So I risked being outed as uncool and asked, "What is birch cake?"
She did not look up when slowly replying, "Birch, birch flavored cake."
"Oh." I remarked, "I've never heard of such a thing. What does it taste like?"
This second inquiry must have annoyed her as her eyes rolled pretty far into her head when answering, "Birch, it's a tree. It tastes like vanilla."
Now, I love a good chocolate cake, who doesn't? But I have been trying to branch out (no pun intended). I ordered the birch cake and the clerk said, "It comes with chocolate emu icing, you ok with that?"
"Emu?" I said, "Like the bird in the Liberty Mutual commercials?"
At this point, I woke up, oddly agitated. What did emu icing taste like? Could it possibly be good? Would I ever be able to look Doug and Limu Emu in the eye?
If you are wondering if I've gone a little mad, the answer is probably yes. I'm having stress dreams about chocolate bird icing! But I am not the only one. We've noticed people have been more than a bit glum this week at the shop and while it would be easy to blame the insane world we live in, I think we all know whose fault it is. That's right, it's February's fault. She's gray and cold. We all know she's always been like this, but somehow we still resent it.
We've got you covered with a lovely selection of gifts at the shop. The stunning steel of our knives or enduring strength of an enameled cast-iron dutch oven are perfect gifts for your partner. Naturally, you will pass them down to your children after 73 years of marriage and a mention by Al Roker on the Today Show. If you are looking for something less enduring in the commitment department, browse our suggestions of sweet gifts below (no judgment).
All silliness and snark aside, February is Black History Month. If you missed last week's newsletter, we introduced you to some black chefs, authors, and activists making an impact on the food scene. This week, check out Indy-based Tanorria Askew and learn about the White House chef who helped Lyndon B. Johnson change the course of history with her Southern cooking.
Meet Zephyr Wright
Zephyr Wright made the fried chicken that made LBJ popular enough to be president and changed the course of history.
Tanorria is a #MasterChef season 7, personal chef, @wthrcom food segment regular, diversity & inclusion advocate, and fan of Jesus. She explains the 5 ways anyone can begin to learn more, understand more, and become an ally of the black community in her latest blog post.
Michigan based and family-run, American Spoon makes lovely small-batch jams, jellies, and preserves. This early glow strawberry preserve is delightful. If cherry is your valentine's thing, don't miss their sour cherry jam.
Zero-calorie conversation heart pinch pots work wonderfully for organizing spices for your special dinner or stashing all the bling you collect from your many admirers.
Level up your special meal and drizzle Giuseppe Giusti cherry balsamic reduction over cheese, pork, or ice cream.
Little gestures can be quite the treat. Pick up a tin of Rendez Vous tropical fruit hard candy or darling napkins from IHR to show a little love for those you appreciate most.
We believe anyone can cook.
We believe in welcoming everyone to the table.
We believe some tools are timeless.
We believe high quality isn't always expensive.
We believe in making things from scratch when possible.
We believe in gathering & connecting with one another.