cakes, prose, woes -- the photos, food & thoughts of a french-speaking seattle-native in brazil

In the end, you're just happy you were there—with your eyes open—and lived to see it. -AB
In the end, you're just happy you were there—with your eyes open—and lived to see it.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

We Have Been We for One Year

Happy One Year Birthday Little Salty Cod
This will be dramatic and long. But even Tony had a weak-heart-to-heart once--did you not catch the end of the Sao Paulo episode? Reader be warned.

Already a year? A year? Have you really known us a year? No, most of you have not, perhaps the majority out there reading this today maybe have known us a day, a week, maybe a month, a few perhaps a demi-year, and even fewer since la naissance. The Salty Cod was born 15 June 2007 lying bottoms up with feet kicking the air on the floor of my parents sitting room with many jars of freshly canned cherry jam strewn around me. I want a blog, I pleaded myself, after months and months of faithfully following my two standout gastronomique blogs: Clotildes Chocolate & Zucchini and Beas La Tartine Gourmande, why could I not have one? If it flops it flops, who cares. If no one reads it pas grave--it can just be for me then. That is how Salty came about; it was for me, he still is for me. My selfish creation, my companion. But, we all do eventually learn to share ourselves.

The first posts were adrenaline rushes--not that they still sheepishly aren't--I didn't want to sleep, didn't want to eat, tea...milky tea kept me going, my eyes bloodshot and fixated on the computer screen (le pauvre Hamilton, RIP) photoshop, blogger, how do they get their photos so bright? so edible looking? Ryan, my sister, help me design a logo, a faux professional emblem to paste on the site and on the jars and bags I will never sell. My first readers--undoubtedly my parents and sisters--i would rush to their rooms or their computers and say read read agora! (well the Portuguese comes into the story later) What do you think of that picture? They would smile, convincingly in my mind and with no doubt wondering, what crazy little phase has mallory gotten into this time? Clearing off a desk in the game room to set up little halogen lights as a "photo shoot" prep poised around little ceramic plates gently loaded with this or that--a banana bread, a quinoa cookie; I am working do not come in! I would shout to the passers by as I straddled a rolling office chair with my other leg dangling from a bookshelf, aiming for that "aerial view". Did I think this would all be here a year later? In my mind yes, in my mind things that I want never end. But is it a shock to some? Perhaps yes, perhaps even to me.

This blog I refer to in third person, "he" "little salty" but really, the blog is me, I am it, you don't like it you don't like me, and vice versa. It is my birthday, and I am one years old. A baby? Why yes I am. But babies grow astronomically in their first year of life, and we, salty and I have as well. As a person and as a writer. Looking back we know we have grown as a writer--the writing from the first months is absolutely atrocious. And a conceited note on the photos--i will go ahead and say I've quite improved.

In one year this blog has made this writer a different person, it has made her herself. But, with help of course. She knows she won't stop writing, a slight step closer to the answer of that diabolical question; what am I going to do with my life when I grow up? At the beginning it was just us, Salty and me, but now we cannot be so selfish. Now, we must at our birthday party, in hobbit fashion--allusions to Tolkien which I attribute to the moral wisdoms given to me by my dear old dad--give gifts to you, our guests. So we thank you--because you are part of Salty, whether you think you are or not. We think we can do it all alone, but the truth is, no one can.

The entree presents go the the fellow bloggers out there who either follow me or are followed by me--the inspirations for our commencement, and the fuel and encouragement to keep us going throughout all our posts, even our dullest moments. I have no reserve in calling many of these people friends. Nuria from Spanish Recipes-gracias, Isabel from Cinqo Quartos de Laranja-obrigada, Ryan from And the Bell Rang (though not a foodie)-thank you, Moira from Tertulia de Sabores-obrigada, Bea from La Tartine Gourmande-merci, Clotilde from Chocolate & Zucchini-merci.

The main course presents, the "plat" go to my family--the first readers, the always readers. My parents, sisters, uncle, aunts, cousin, and grandparents. My Kingston family as well. Oh yeah, and the old man in Suquamish. Presque famille.

The final group--the dessert; the prize course for salty and I-- are my friends and acquaintances who have literally been a physical part of Saltys existence, for we cannot exist without your stories. The American girls, the poker playing waiters, the mexican chef possy, coworkers, chefs, vendors, servers and diners in restaurants from Seattle to San Fransisco, Dublin to Munich, and Prague to Porto. A few, who have been vital in recipe thoughts, tasting, and encouragement--Tara and Diogo from school you are irreplaceable guinea pigs. And then there is poulet, who--though still in blog name guise--you have been a more vital contributor to the direction of us; both the blog me, and the me me, more than I can say. But you already know that. Well, perhaps 10% of the profits should be cut for you. Wait, we don't make money. Guess I'll just have to get that cake to you.

A birthday cupcake for you all, and for all of you who have ever spent a quiet, hopefully entertaining eye-rolling read with us. Agradecemos a voce preferência, thank you for choosing us.

You're baking cakes for a blogs birthday? Yes. Yes I am.

How exactly does one celebrate a blog's birthday party? Well there must be a grand dinner of course, and a cake. Always a cake. The Salty Cod loves cake above all other sweeties. For the dinner party--at Le Laurier of course. A few Americans, a couple Brasilians, Mexicans, the Martinique-ian, and of course, a few frenchies. The cake: the cake bah bien sur is a cherry, as the first post was, after all, a cherry jam. Coconut is the preferred flavor of this baker, and as the baker does not eat gluten, neither does Salty, therefore tapioca flour, the superior flour, is at hand. Salty's Cake, Coconut Cherry Cups. Happy Birthday buddy, happy birthday us.

Alright the recette, that's why your here afterall eh?
Salty's Cake: Coconut Cherry Tapioca Cupcakes

ingredients: 250g tapioca flour ~ 100g coarse ground coconut ~ 2 eggs ~ 115g butter ~ 120ml (.5 cup) oil ~ 250g sugar ~ .5tsp baking powder ~ 1/4 can coconut milk ~ .25tsp salt ~ chopped cherries
method: beat the sugar, butter, oil, and eggs. mix the flour, powder, coconut, and salt. alternately add to butter sugar mixture and combine well. add cherries if making cupcakes--cook for about 20 minutes, you oven, as always, is a different creature than mine.

Frosting: butter, coconut milk, coconut, and a truck load of powdered sugar. beat the hell out of it.

This recipe, as its maiden voyage, should be, no needs to be tweaked. Dorm, foyer, backyard baking--as a very strong user of system D in in my baking career (which general is not an asset to a baker as the craft is much more precise than cooking) I do not have measuring cups, my oven is a pill box, i jimmy-rig almost everything i can, including a wine opener and a string to open an aluminum can, the cake is not perfect. It is slightly chewy and almost "undercooked" on the base, perhaps it is the oven, perhaps it is the tapioca, perhaps it is that I am a 22 year old (well in less than a month), never been to cooking school, experimental, imperfect girl and--I made it up. We'll work on this one together eh. Though it tastes obnoxiously delicious despite its lack of airy fluffiness. The frosting though--back off it is flawless.

What do one year olds do? Don't know. We haven't done it yet. We will continue to cook, travel, review, find, dissect, taste, moralize, humanize, romanticize, theorize, dramatize, and report on and in the gastronomic world. Other than that we are just a naive, vulnerable, determined girl and her fish ready to take chances. What we do know--is that on the profile page we must change that dorky photo with the fork, that the four purposes of Salty surprisingly have not changed, that though my age has changed, and though i have in fact had many more experiences in life, I still know barely anything of it at all. We still preach to study and do what you love despite the financial outcome and public opinion, to always make your own jam, to give credit and thanks where it is due, to always remember the cod, and how the smallest thing can push you in the farthest direction, and to write, write, and write. We've learned now that though we are continually discovering new things, we yet manage to run into ourselves at the end of the day. And finally, we know that though pink marshmallows are better than white, the green ones are even better.

Besides, what does a Cod Fish have to do with anything anyways...other than absolutely everything.

Happy Birthday Us! Joyeux Anniversaire a Nous! One year of charades! And hopefully many more. We invite you to stay with us. Where will we be next year in this world? Only the morue knows.

à bientôt


Anonymous said...

Happy birthday to Salty Cod!
Parabéns ao Salty Cod = Bacalhau Salgado

Laranjinha said...

Feliz Aniversário and many wishes of great successes to Salty Cod.


The Fort Henry Gazette said...

Happy Birthday Salty Cod! And thanks for getting me into the blog world!
I've had a lot of fun with it so far and I'm looking forward to the next adventure!

Anonymous said...

Parabéns, Salty!!!
Parabéns, Mallory!!!

...E obrigado pelos 10%! hahahaha ahk ahk ahk hiccup jajajaja


Núria said...

MUCHAS FELICIDADES SALTY COD... and Mallory :D. Great, great job!!! I meant to read the whole post, but I have to go and get dinner ready... this one is looooooooooooong ;-) I'll be back tomorrow, meanwhile, un beso muy fuerte!!!

Sophie François said...

Joyeux blog'anniversaire !

Mallory Elise said...

Thank you! Merci! Obrigada! Gracias! A Tous!!!

Núria said...

Thanks for the mention beauty! I do enjoy your blog and all your words and pictures. Happy Birthday♥

Mónica Pinto said...

Mallory, i wish you and your blog, Salty Cod, the best.
Vida longa e feliz, para ti e para o Salty Cod.