I love Sunday mornings. Regardless of the piles of things I have to do to maintain my motherly duties, we always make what I've coined "fat kid breakfast", and we always read the New York Times. Breakfast this morning was a baked dish of sausage, onions, green pepper, eggs and cheese with broiled english muffins. I swear the boyfriend is a farm boy at heart, despite his crisp shoes and button-up shirts, and I love the homey simplicity of midwestern food. Everything feels better with cheese on it in December.
My New York Times routine is always the same: I flip through checking the headlines of the Travel section and the Week In Review, grab the magazine, and read the Modern Love article in Sunday Styles then set it aside to read the wedding announcements later. My business in the magazine is the food article. Amanda Hesser is among one of my favorite food writers, Cooking With Dexter is a charming account of adventures in the kitchen with the author's inquisitive young son, the other contributors always have such interesting historic and cultural information. This week's recipe is asado negro, a Venezuelan Christmas roast braised in white wine vinegar, dry red wine, and a sultry dark caramel. The article claims to "make a mockery of pot roast". I want so badly to make it for dinner tonight, but was reminded that capitalizing oven space and time is not a good idea. The day I spent making Thanksgiving dinner combined with extra work shifts and a sick kid left me feeling a little panicked and behind in cookie production.
I have 31 varieties completed, leaving me with 37. Late into the night, yesterday, I baked 1979's Linzer Bars that filled my kitchen with the aromas of hazelnuts, raspberry and lemon. The creamy nuttiness of the hazelnuts is perfectly balanced by the tart filling. There were also 1994's Basler Brunsli - a Swiss chocolate almond spice cookie that reminded me of a dry French macaron. I made 1958's Brazil Nut Crescents which showcase the rarely utilized brazil nut in a rich, delicate butter cookie. Lastly, I put together the dough for 1996's Anise-Scented Fig and Date Swirls. I love opening my refrigerator to find rolls, bowls, and discs of chilled dough waiting to be cut or shaped before going into the oven.
I really do believe there to be something magical about the warmth of the oven, the mess of flour and sugar, and this time of year.