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.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Sydney's off to Seattle--with Winey Tear-Stained Cookies

pomegranate Merlot Langues de Chat--the Jefferson peace coins for the trip to my parents

So I have a cat. Well rather, my housemates and I have a cat. And her name is Sydney. But what my housemates and I manged to accomplish, as budding first-time home renters, was the purchase of the monster prior to asking for the landlords approval. Now, after two months, we casually get around to asking. And the verdict: well of course it is no, else there would be no story here for me to yarn before your eyes. So the cat must go. But go where? Ironically it is not even my cat, i'm not a cat person --but my three housemates were denied and refused harborage by their families or significant others, and therefore the burden, like many others i have dumped, falls to my poor parents. She will get along fine there though, for their home is a halfway house for hooligans, drunks, rehab patients, mentally handicapped dogs, my brother, boxes of crap i don't want to throw out yet don't want to keep (love you guys), oh yeah and on occasion--me.

So the pestilent cat must be taken to Seattle. Hooray! A few days away from Spokane! It has been over three months since my last visit, and when the mountain passes are free of snow the distance between Spokane and Seattle dwindle to under five hours by car. So, this weekend--we are away. But right before we go--we bake some cookies of course. When Captains Merriweather Lewis and William Clark "discovered" the western United States they took with them Jefferson peace coins of the nation to offer the native tribes they stumbled upon as mementos of thanks and tidings of we come in peace. At the Salty Cod, short of printing Thomas Jefferson's face on a shortbread biscuit, we try to follow suit.

But then what of these strange cookies? Well, a recipe reminiscent of a cat (duh) to offer to family accompanied by repetitive arigato head motions. Langues de chat--cat tongues are long dry french butter sugar cookies, but softened to a crybaby version with wine and Persephone tears (pomegranate jewels). Am I crying for losing the cat? Sadly no. The cat is much better off without me. With other animals to play with and an outdoor forest to explore. Perhaps it's just one of those days (weeks) where the bags of bricks fall one just after the other. And maybe the wine...sitting next to my computer (glass-less, bad sign?) is perfect to make a white cookie pink like a cat's tongue, and fate perhaps then arranged the pomegranate in the bowl, tear shaped seeds, jewels from which mythology has given us to correlate to sadness and having fallen in a web. We all feel sorry for ourselves from time to time, but once reality is checked, and perhaps a few days to get...away; and the sun somehow finds its way back into the sky, even if it is still only behind the clouds. Reality is remembering that despite the presence of storm clouds--the sun did in fact rise. Reality doesn't always have to be seeing to beleiving, in fact I prefer it to not be.

Langues de chat: (traditional from Chocolate & Zucchini)
ingredients: .5 cup flour ~ .25 cup sugar ~ 2 egg whites ~ 1 tsp vanilla ~ .25 cup butter
method: mix. refrigerate one hour. using a pastry bag make strips, and bake 400 for 7 minutes.

with wine and pomegranates: add extra sugar, extra flour, 4 tbsps wine, and a quarter cup pomegranates.

Sydney, lonestar Spokey--now a sister to three dogs and two wizened felines. She will be just fine. She has taken kindly to the room that used to be my little sisters, which before hers was mine, and now is a computer office/ guest room with boxes stacked against walls, a telescope here, a guitar case there--physical displacement is given more credit than it deserves. You feel at home where you want to feel at home.

Wine and pomegranates. Well i'll take inspiration from any source, the good and the lonely. But remember that the only things to do with leftover pomegranate tears is to drown them in a bowl of steamy porridge. And next time--we'll use a damn glass.

Perks of a short trip home? Rainy soccer games--both brother and sister. But even better--what can i take from the pantry...tante pufflette si tu es la j'aime beaucoup tes confitures! i am making off with two jellys...shhhh!!

a bientot


Pea and Pear said...

Oh the cat.

I loved this post Mallory Elise, it reminded me so much of my family, and the boxes I can not part with but do not want to house.

..and the wine with out a glass....



Manuela © said...

I'm glad someone as accepted to receive the cat.

The línguas de gato look perfect and tasty :)

Enjoy your trip.

Katie said...

Great post! Have a safe trip :)

Cannelle Et Vanille said...

oh these photos mallory... absolutely dreamy!

Anonymous said...

The photos are lovely and I love Cat Tongs (Línguas de Gato)they are delicious I didn't know they have french origin.
Have a nice and safe trip.
Regards from Lisbon

Mallory Elise said...

thank you/obrigada everyone/tudo mundo for the photo compliments/that's as far portuguese wise as i can go. sorry. hehe.

weekends are far too short!

Núria said...

The cat looks so cute... Sydney you say? She looks more like a Norah or Jones ;D Playing the piano.
I've always seen our lenguas de gato in chocolate.

Awesome pictures as always!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad my room is a giant dump...


Yummy pictures, and this time I read it!

Mallory Elise said...

cute sister, your room is not a dump, it is just full of boxes and random things and is more like an office. oh yeah, and three cats :)

what! you can read?? hooray!!

Christy said...

oh...that always sucks. When the landlord doesn't allow pets in the apartment. I used to have that problem here, but then luckily my parents decided to buy an apartment here. so now we have a dog that's come to own us by way of her cute-ness.

The apartment, now that we know that we are here to stay, has also come to be a place resembling a dumpster. The thought of "how will I manage with (insert item here) when the lease expires and I have to move again? " almost never comes to mind again. My poor parents. I'm sure they are regretting it now.

Love how your shortbread look sprinkled with the pomegranate. Great post, great photos!

Liska said...

I like your blog very much. It's so interesting and inspiring. Like a wonderful book. Thank you for that!

Liska said...

I like your blog very much. It's so interesting and inspiring. Like a wonderful book. Thank you for that!

Rachel said...

so DELICIOUS. i miss pomegranates. You can get them here, but they're not cheap.

Katie said...

Oh yes, French is one of my favorite classes.

Do you find that it is difficult to talk to native speakers? It seems like all of my foreign language teachers have only been overseas a couple of times (!) and I'm really interested in using what I learn in the "real world."

Helene said...

The pcitures have such a winter feel! Perfect cookie too :)