I was so excited to, simultaneous with the unveiling of my new blog design, give you all a complete solution to the problem of what to make for Thanksgiving dessert that will please everyone but not take days to make. As you can see from the photo above, I had a major fail in unmolding Dorie Greenspan's "all in one" cake, and could not throw another one together because of cross country travel for a friend's wedding. While the cake, above, did not come out looking like a pretty bundt cake, it was delicious even in its uneven cake chunks form. My conclusion from this particular cake baking disaster is that for me, silicone bundt cake pans just don't work that well. The cake is great idea - a pumpkin cake filled with apples, cranberries and pecans. If it had come out nicely, I would have drizzled with a maple glaze, and voila, all your Thanksgiving baking headaches are gone. As for the blog design, I hope you guys like it! I worked with Julie at Blogger Boutique and highly recommend her for you bloggers out there! Happy Thanksgiving to all!
I struggled with what to make for Jeffrey Eugenides' The Marriage Plot. The book is about the difficulty and aimlessness of three Brown seniors upon their graduation. The food in the book is minimal and not good (cafeteria food, maybe some ramen, some cheap vegetarian food experienced on a trip to India). In the end what I came up with was an imagined impromptu cocktail hour with the three characters - Madeleine, Leonard and Mitchell. I made something to represent each character - the classic crisp gin martini for the waspy Madeleine, Parmesan cheese crisps to represent the depressed but brilliant Leonard and Indian spiced nuts to represent the soul searching Mitchell. To some extent, each of these ideas was a stretch, nevertheless I think each element brings a little bit of a character to the table. Eugenides is the author of two previous well known novels - The Virgin Suicides and Middlesex. These two books and The Marriage Plot are totally distinct from each other - it is actually hard to believe they were written by the same author. The Virgin Suicides is a dreamy, yet edgy novel about teen desire, while Middlesex is an epic story of a hermaphrodite. The Marriage Plot is different still, though it is perhaps somewhere between these two - the story is somewhat small - focused on the three characters - seniors at Brown in 1982 - and their flailing attempts at early adulthood. The book is a bit autobiographical - Eugenides graduated Brown at the same time and followed a similar path as one of the main characters, the fellow Greek Mitchell Grammaticus. While the characters are a bit grating in the way smart, precocious Ivy leaguers can be, the book is absorbing and it is easy to identify with their struggles to find themselves and to find themselves on solid ground.