For you, the dress code is casual.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Baked in the Midnight Hour

I'm baking midnight bread again. It'll be awesome for my lazy Wednesday breakfast, as I always work at 11 on Wednesdays. I'll eat big in the morning and have my hearty Thai green curry for lunch, then I'll go to the gym again tomorrow.

Last week's exercise nearly killed me -- my back's been seizing up for four days now and I'm trying to work it out at the gym. I've been stretching most of the night and I plan to ice in a few minutes while the bread bakes.

I'm a bit tripped out... I was checking my Gmail and noticed a recipe at the top of the page -- "pudding chomeur", which apparently is a Quebecois recipe that translates loosely to "poor man's pudding". Well... except for lacking raisins, it looks an awful lot like a recipe my mother routinely made Sundays for dinner after a roast, but that I hadn't had in 15 years before she died, which means about a little over two decades.

(Wow. I just sneezed 9 times. Oy.)

But, geez... it's funny, but some of the only regrets I have about her death stem around recipes I never got. You never thinking, when someone's dying, "Boy, I need to get that fudge recipe."

Know what? DO it. Ask for the fucking recipe. There's something really cool about sitting around with a tea or wine or whatever, enjoying a dish you know they made and they loved, and thinking quiet thoughts about who they were and what they meant to you. Fact is, you don't have 'em anymore -- in no way, shape, or form. But you can tap into a physical, real memory with something like food, something that emits a scent that trips you down your memory lane and lands you face-first on the threshold of your past. You can't buy that shit. Ain't no little memento in a box going to take you to THAT place. Food can, and does, reconnect us with who and what we are -- and who and what we've lost, but mostly who and what we once were lucky enough to had.

So this recipe looks very spot on. And I'm making it Easter Monday, whether people are coming over or not. Maybe I'll even make a small pot roast. Fitting. Easter was big at the homestead.

Now if only I can find her fudge recipe. Brown sugar pralines.

Baking the bread, by the way, is kind of something I do because it reminds me of her, too. She got onto this kick of making this food processor baguette knockoff. My bread kicks her's ass, but that's to be expected. I'm better at cooking than her (and others) but it doesn't matter. It's the nostalgia that counts. She'd be in her glory with the baked bread. Some butter, some jam. And she always cut the first still-steaming slice, buttered it, and sprinkled some salt on it. I still grin at that. Weird but okay.

So. Pudding chomeur. I'll throw in some raisins and we'll see if it matches.