Posts Tagged twitter

Weekly Roundup: Twitter Addict Edition

TogoRun 3

These cookies made my entire apartment smell like royal icing for days.

I’m becoming one of those people. One of those people who actually uses Twitter all the time. I found at least half of the articles from this week’s roundup on Twitter – a social media platform that I used to abhor. I actually have friends that I know primarily from Twitter – and I know more about them than I do about a lot of my good friends from college and high school. It was only this week that I realized that the shift from Twitter skeptic to Twitter evangelist had taken place when I kept on wanting a “take a break” Twitter feature like Gmail has, which locks you out of the account for 15 minute intervals so you can actually concentrate. Now all I need is an iPhone so I can tweet from the road, and the conversion will be complete.

In other news, I’m finished up my final cookie plate last night for Miss. Nonna, and my apartment has finally stopped smelling like royal icing from the TogoRun cookies. I’m already planning my next bake sale, but I don’t have anything concrete to hint at yet. It’s kind of nice to have a free weekend where I can bake whatever I want. I’m thinking of doing something with chocolate and orange – maybe a cake filled with chocolate orange ganache, maybe a re-do of the citrus cupcakes with a silk meringue buttercream made with orange curd. Maybe I’ll re-do the King Cake with a brioche dough and ice it with a lemon icing. Not sure yet. But I’m already getting excited about my baking ideas.

Recipes I want to try, as found from this week’s Internet perusing:

  • Cranberry orange scones, from one Bite At a Time. I’ve been hankering to make scones lately – especially since they’re not on my usual baking roster. These look lovely.

And in other news:

  • Crumbs Bakery, the NYC cupcake shop, is coming to DC – and before they even get here they’re bashing the DC cupcake scene. “We came down to [the DC] market four months ago and did a complete tour and hit every cupcake place,” Crumbs Co-Founder Jason Bauer says in a WaPo article. “Quite honestly, we weren’t impressed with anybody’s product.” Um, anyone’s? Way to sound like an arrogant jerk – and instantly turn me off to your products, dude.
  • We Love DC sums up the Twitter outrage to the Crumbs WaPo article, including a quote (or, um, tweet) from yours truly.
  • In case you didn’t catch it in the bottom of my interview with the fabulous Theresa Luongo Pinelli, Chief Sweetness Officer at Treet – you can get a free brownie at her stand at the Bethesda Central Farmer’s market this Sunday. Just say the secret word “Olympics” and the brownie is yours!
  • Metrocurean took Samuel Fromartz’s snowpocalypse bread baking challenge, and is falling in love with bread baking. Ah. Young love.
  • Also, Metrocurean (aka, Amanda McClements) was interviewed on NPR about macarons, which she thinks will be the next big thing in pastry. Go Amanda! Although why must such a difficult baked item become the next big trend? I can make pretty cupcakes, but macarons intimidate me.
  • This New York Times article about chefs who tweet has been making the Twitter rounds. Most of the DC chefs I follow on Twitter seem so nice! Those NYC chefs are so . . . angry.
  • Jane Black, the Washington Post food writer, takes a look at the future of food writing on her blog. And it’s not pretty.
  • Young and Hungry is excited that BakeShop has finally opened up a storefront in Clarendon. As am I. As am I.
  • Top Shelf reports that Spike Mendelsohn will be opening a pizza joint next to the Good Stuff Eatery in April. And I will probably make the trek over to The Hill come April. Mmmm . . . pizza . . .

Happy Friday!


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Would Julia Child Tweet?


Twitter ain't got nothin' on these babies.

Let’s start with the facts: I am not anti Twitter. In fact I signed up for Twitter a couple of weeks ago, on the advice of DeborahDawn and countless social networking articles (you can follow me at Modern_Domestic).

I may have joined the bandwagon, but I’m still not sure how I feel about Twitter. I’d still rather read a good news web site, or blog, or even (*gasp*) book, than my Twitter feed.

Which is why I felt especially conflicted when the New York Times reported that Twitter is taking on one of my favorite, time-honored food media sources: the cookbook.

The Times featured twitterer (tweeter?) Maureen Evans, who tweets recipes in 140 characters or less at Amazingly, the recipes aren’t just standard fare (if I were tweeting recipes, I wouldn’t get further than buttered noodles).

Take this April 5th tweet:

Darjeeling Soup: fry leek&onion/T butter. Simmer15m+2c cauliflr/1tater&celery/4c Darj tea/s+p/bay. Rmv bay; puree+6T milk. Srv w nutmeg&pep.

It’s sophisticated (tea as entree), exotic, complicated, and not something you’d expect could be communicated via tweet. And, once you parse through the abbreviations, it’s easy to follow.

But, with all due respect to Maureen Evans, who seems like an ambitious and thoughtful home cook after my own heart, her tweets leave me cold. As a technical achievement, tweeting complicated recipes in 140 characters is impressive. But where is the soul? Where is the voice? And where are the detailed instructions?

I not only find cookbooks easier to follow, especially for tricky techniques (I’d never be able to follow a tweeted recipe for, say, pat a choux, or caramel sauce), but the bare bones tweets are missing the human and dynamic element that make cookbooks worth reading.

Take Nigella Lawson – what would her cookbooks be without her soulful, decadent, descriptive prose? When Nigella advises me to not color lime curd with food coloring, because the off-putting fake green color “prove[s] in one characteristically rash act that food is better left to its own devices,” I’m not just being warned off chemical dyes. Her breezy tone tells me not to worry about being perfect and to take my mistakes in stride. At the end of the day, she seems to say, my love for food will shine through my cooking.

And would “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” have become a seminal text for the home cook without the no-nonsense, yet deeply sympathetic writing of Julia Child? How can you not fall in love with the book when she declares, in the beginning of the chapter on eggs “wine and eggs have no great sympathy for each other?” Her straightforward writing calms me, making even the most complicated dish approachable. Reading it today, I completely understand why her writing was such a revelation to home cooks in the 1950s.

This probably makes me old fashioned. And maybe this means I’m weird – maybe normal people don’t sit down and read cookbooks cover to cover. But I’m a firm believer that cookbooks are more than just the sum of their recipes. A good cookbook should introduce you to a cook’s world view on food, eating, and cooking. Trying a new recipe is more than just following instructions – it’s an opportunity to inhabit someone else’s kitchen. I don’t think it’s possible to do that in 140 characters.

All the same, I still plan on linking to this post on my Twitter feed.

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