Avocados are fruits. Wait--what? I doubled back as i looked at the blender that began as a sweet apple smoothie but finished as apple guacamole. Avocados and apples in a milkshake? My face twisted up. You eat avocados sweet? I mumbled more stream of consciousness than actual question. They are a fruit, how else do you eat a fruit? H laughed later when i confessed my bewilderment. Well, i said, in the US they are a vegetable. A vegetable!? A surprise to all. But when I took a sip--the angels in heaven smiled down upon me. holy shit. holy shit this is good. this is really good. I have found my new favorite food, you know the one that is orgasmic. Avocado and apple milkshakes. Abacate e maçã. Ahhhhhhh. But, i continued, i never would have thought to blend it. D answered simply with oh, well, in brasil we just blend and juice everything. A liquid diet? S are you hearing this? excellent. And now i have avocados on the mind. on y va.
Saturday was homework day. Fifteen bloody international commerce questions worth. But wait Mal, we thought you just graduated? What are you doing researching importation agreements at the wto website? Whereas I decided that 19 years of straight schooling was enough, my editor is still taking classes as post graduate work, what we call masters. How can someone work 45 hours a week and still take friday night classes? a crazy person that's who. But we here at the Salty Cod cater sympathy toward crazies, often being considered one ourselves, so we try to help. No wait--we insist on helping. Well i can't write in Portuguese, but i know how to research. I know all too well the classic saturday spent in bed with papers strewn everywhere waiting to be organized into an essay. But though it is a pain in the neck to be stuck inside when the sun is out coolly shining on one of the two days he's finally home, for some reason i didn't mind. i-tunes on shuffle, pajamas all day...the only two distractions being the continual mallory act of hey look at this photo, and that bloody Brasil versus
Last year on this day we made this pretty lady a chestnut cream mousse for her birthday. She was in Seattle, and the mousse was in France. this is becoming a pattern. Kaitles your cakes are in Brasil, though we eat them with wishes for your health, happiness, and good fortune! did i just quote a Chinese fortune cookie? maybe. These are called Kaitle cakes. Avocados still on my mind...i originally was thinking of small orange tea cakes with candied orange peel, so i ask H, what do you think of avocado and orange together? he replies, sounds fine, after all i usually eat avocados mashed up with lemon and sugar. Really? hmmmm brilliant! Avocado lemon cakes with chocolate avocado cream, lemon cream, and candied lemon peel. Kaitle Cakes born in Brasil. Next year i will make for her 20th a pot of rice pudding in Tibet. Last year we did your birthday at TarTar's little apartment in Paris, with a chorus of "joyeux anniversaire Kaitlin!" and now--in a Brasilian kitchen to a chorus of "feliz aniversario Kaitlin!" What fun indeed.
There are two butter creams for the cake: a chocolate avocado, and just a simple lemon. For this, obviously, i needed a whisk, and powdered sugar. a whisk...why can't we find a bloody whisk! and powdered sugar, how am i supposed to find this when i can't even explain it to anyone! Ah the challenge! I accept. We went to a paper store to get cupcake wrappers, and well well well what do you know, this store turned out to be a Michaels equivalent, and down one very chic candy making aisle held the solution to my quandaries: not only powdered sugar, but an excessively large quantity of cocoa powder (yes finally something other than chocolate milk mix!) and a costco-size bag of chocolate chips. Chocolate chips! Two days ago i couldn't even find a chocolate bar to cut up. To quote the words of some new friends--successsss. We then decided to skip the market and go to Carrefour. yessss. Do you think i am evil? I must say that i did in fact miss Carrefour, i won't lie, i did most of my grocery shopping at carrefour whilst i lived in Paris. It was good to be back. But--i knew, if anywhere a whisk was to be found, it would be carrefour. Sure enough---successsss. Since we happened to already be in the location, i thought, ah why not pick up a few things for the thai food i was going to make for dinner. Erm. I had almost everything on my list written in Portuguese except the meat. Not a problem, i know how to talk about meat. Carne. So i say to D, e agora, carne--mas, frango ou peixe, um ou outro...n
Kaitle Cakes: makes 10 cupcakes
Lemon sponge cakes:
ingredients: 1 cup flour ~ 1 tsp of something that will rise (i am not entirely sure what this little jar is in the fridge. but meh, it works) ~ 2 tbsps fresh squeezed lemon juice ~ 2 eggs ~ 3/4 cup granulated (now i see the importance of the word granulated) sugar ~ 3/4 cup milk ~ 1/2 cup smashed avocado ~ pinch of salt
method: scald milk and avocado (if you want, run it through a blender before scalding) set aside. 2) mix the dry ingredients together, and beat egg yolks with sugar. 3) combine the sugary eggs, milk, and lemon juice. add to flour mixture, combine, and divide into 10 paper cupcakes (i didn't even use a cupcake pan, just wrappers on a tray, and it worked!) bake until they are done. I have no idea what temperature this oven is. it is gas and there are no gauges.
butter creams: cocoa powder + butter + avocado + milk + powdered sugar. lemon butter cream: lemon juice + powdered sugar + butter.
candied peels: cut off the skin of a lemon, boil for five minutes in water, add a lot of sugar, and boil until translucent. roll in sugar when cool.
I am sorry i missed your birthday again, but you see i never actually miss it. And this way, many many more people get to celebrate your birth than you ever could have possibly imagined! Creepy? well yes. but that's ok. Homework stained pajama Saturdays are ok. Sunday strolls in graveyards and parks are ok. Monday night birthday cakes for a sister a million miles away are ok. Happy birthday Kaitles, i drank a strawberry caipirinha in your honor. Beijos!