featured in the film Swing Time, sung by Fred Astaire. Music by Jerome Kern with lyrics by Dorothy Fields.
Some day, when I'm awfully low,
When the world is cold,
I will feel a glow just thinking of you...
And the way you look tonight. (….)
Lovely ... Never, ever change.
Keep that breathless charm.
Won't you please arrange it ?
'Cause I love you ... Just the way you look tonight.
Mm, Mm, Mm, Mm,
Just the way you look to-night.
I am humble enough to realize that not a lot of my gentle readers have been following my blog since the early days. One does have to make oneself known, of course. You can’t always know everyone at the party before the host introduces you around, now can you? Early on, I described how my Husband the Science Guy decided that I suffer from (suffer so to speak) Gourmand Syndrome. I do indeed show all the symptoms
Now this behavior does describe many foodies out there, yet I show all of the signs right down to the cause of this wondrous syndrome: sudden-onset damage, very often occurring in childhood, to the frontal lobe of the brain such as a stroke, tumor or a trauma - a good knock on the head - seems to cause the transformation into a “gustatory hedonist”, the development of a preoccupation with fine food. I won’t repeat the story now, I’ll let you discover it here (after the recipe) if you so desire.
The only symptom that has me worried, though, is the ‘inordinate amount of interest in food’s appearance’. Are they speaking in general terms or specifically what we should be able to create ourselves?
Don’t get me wrong; I love beautiful things. I am thrilled to the bone when a gorgeously dressed plate, surely the ultimate thing of beauty, is placed in front of me at a restaurant. Swirls and swags, delicate spun sugar shapes played in an architectural balancing act, sculpted creams and sauces swept across the plate fascinate me as nothing else can.
I love the beauty of Sergio Rossi shoes and Francesco Biasia handbags, stunning designer clothes and the handmade jewelry chosen for me by a man of taste (my man). Green sweeps of land and majestic mountains, new books and shiny kitchen utensils ditto. On the other hand, I do prefer Edvard Munch to Claude Monet and Grünewald’s Issenheim Altarpiece must be one of my favorite works of art.
But the talent to appreciate and the talent to perform are not one and the same; I guess that I simply was not one of the lucky ones born with the decorating gene. Messy dollops of whipped cream slathered on a dessert, frosting plopped on a cake and smeared until there are no more holes while any attempt to create delicate buttercream roses nipped in the bud (ha!) on and about the second jerk of the wrist, thinly sliced fruit carefully aligned and overlapped only to slip and slide all out of control, food piled willy-nilly on the plate, my cuisine will certainly not win any beauty contests.
Yet in my former life as a milliner, I was able to achieve harmony and grace, a higher state of loveliness than I do in my cooking. Go figure.
I blame it on my formative years, the years spent in a bedroom decorated by brother and mother in shades of sickly green: mint green walls, mint green and white gingham (gingham! me?) lamp and window shades (slowly fading to yellowish). My whole personal look and style was everything that was anti-beauty and my favorite foods to eat had nothing to do with chef’s creations. Even my wedding cake, dense, dark chocolate with a gorgeous cognac buttercream melted in the July heat as I tried my little heart out to spell out my love in words and flowers.
I shrug my shoulders with casual nonchalance and defend myself by pleading lack of interest each time the frosting goes awry or the meal looks like road kill. I have always been one anyway to get right to the heart of the matter : how does it taste? Is the texture perfect? Does it smell like heaven? It may be a plus that it looks pretty as well, but does looking pretty really make it better? Or maybe it’s a bit like being parents: our own babies are always the most beautiful no matter what!
This month, the Bread Baking Babes and Buddies have gone seasonal! Lien of Lien’s Notes and Beautiful Bread Baking Babe has chosen Asparagus Bread for the June challenge. The list of ingredients intrigued me; asparagus, walnuts, rocket and Parmesan cheese and the photo of Lien’s bread amazed! Her bread is simply gorgeous: puffed up perfectly and finished to a shiny, golden crust gently accentuated by the woodsy green branch of asparagus delicately lying atop this little beauty. I just had to make this bread and participate in BBB June.
Here is mine; once again, I was just not able to achieve the glory of creating an eye-pleaser. Brown and dull and oddly shaped. Even my bit of asparagus looks out of sorts. Luckily I can laugh at yet another unattractive production and look beyond the crust and see the beauty that lies beneath: tender and moist, light and fluffy crumb, the taste of the Parmesan standing out magnificently. This was a fabulous bread and I am indeed proud of the results. My baby!
Beauty, as they say, is indeed in the eye of the beholder.
For the recipe, I send you over to Lien’s Notes.
The ingredients :
Truly a thing of beauty (I replaced the green with white) :
Steamed and chopped (I replaced walnuts with pecans) :
Let's make bread :