Sunday, February 10, 2008
We've had lovely sunny weather all week, but the temperature was really low. I was determined to actually spend some time basking in the bright sky, but had to do so in a heavy coat and scarf and all that. Yesterday, finally, the temperature crept up enough to actually make it comfortable to be outside! I hope that today is the same (which judging by the great rays coming in my windows, it should be).
We had our first full run-through of the opera on Friday night. Some parts went fine, some were rather like enormous traffic jams onstage, and I heard the best stage direction ever. The guy playing Jupiter was on stage, and couldn't remember where to exit. The director yelled: "Just get of the f&*#ing stage already!!!"
My comments from the music director (not, mind you, the stage director) were that I was "too obnoxious and over the top" and that the characters still need to be sympathetic.
Well, not only is the second part in direct opposition to what we were told by the stage director (who wants all the gods and goddesses to be as mean and nasty and horrible as possible), but what about the first part? Cupid is essentially an inebriated, oversexed baby for god's sake! How is that not obnoxious???????
Okay, fine, I guess I could tone down the air guitar a little......
Last night was friend G's 40th birthday party. I volunteered to make a cake, mostly cuz I needed an excuse to finally use the glorious, wonderful KitchenAid standing mixer that I got for my birthday. I tried Cook's Illustrated's "Old Fashioned Chocolate Layer Cake." Oh. My. Lord. it was delicious. Absolutely, divinely delicious. I skipped the chocolate frosting (for whatever reason, I've had really bad luck with C'sI frostings) and just did whipped cream. Yum.......
The result was similar to, although I think much better than, Neldam's Dream of Cream cake.
Neldam's is an historic Danish bakery in Oakland. Their cakes are amazing, and I've loved the Dream of Cream especially since I was a kid. This was more intensely chocolatey and moister. I'll still love you, Neldams! I'll just love you for your strawberry cake and gingerbread people!
The recipe is part of the "premium content" on the Cook's Illustrated website, so I can't link to it, but if you're interested, email me and I'll give you my password.