I had read on Goodreads that the blog's author, Molly Wizenberg, has a book out called A Homemade Life, and the reviews were all in the five-star range.
So I put in a request for a copy at my local library.
The queue was long with interested readers, so after about 50 people ahead of me got the chance first, a couple of months later I finally was able to get my hands on the book.
By page two, I already knew I had to return the book.
Not because I didn't like it...but because I knew I had to have my own copy.
I wanted to read it with a pen in hand, underlining passages that moved me.
I wanted to make notes in the margins.
Orangette transformed Wizenberg's life.
She quit academia and finally found a niche that felt right: writing about food.
She also met her husband through the blog, when he commented. Go figure.
"I've never liked the word blog. It's kind of weird and lumpy. When you say it, it tumbles out of your mouth with an unbecoming thud. Plus, the whole concept is a little weird: a Web site where a person can write about whatever they want to, inviting comments and feedback from the whole world. At their best, blogs are smart, funny, and informative. At their worst, they're blush-worthy rants written at 2:00 a.m. after a bad breakup.
I tried to steer mine somewhere in between. I write about food and cooking, and in that sense, I aim to be informative, but I write about my life some, too, since it intersects with food roughly three times a day. I don't think many of us are terribly interested in recipes that have no stories or real-life context. For me, the two are inseparable. One is pale and boring without the other."
But I'll give you four reasons you need to have this book:
Blueberry Raspberry Pound Cake.
Oh. My. God.
I tried the recipe last night, and it's a total keeper.
It's light (not heavy like most poundcakes).
It pops with flavor (not flavorless like many poundcakes).
Does it have a lot of butter? Well, yeah.
Should you care? Hell no!
Live a little--experience joy.
All things in moderation, so splurge on dessert sometimes.
In fact, the book is filled with recipes.
It's basically a memoir/cookbook.
Because this recipe has already appeared online (on her blog), I'm going to reprint the recipe here.
The book says her mom got the recipe from some book about food processors.
The blog says her mom got the recipe from Bon Appetit Magazine.
Perhaps both are true.
All I know is this cake is really really good.
Blueberry Raspberry Pound Cake
5 large eggs
1 2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 ¼ cup (2 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces, at room temperature, plus a bit more for the pan
2 Tablespoons kirsch (cherry Brandy)
2 cups plus 8 Tablespoons cake flour, plus a bit more for the pan
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 cup fresh blueberries
Generously butter a 9-cup Bundt pan, and dust it with flour, shaking out the excess.
In the bowl of a food processor, blend together the eggs and the sugar until smooth and thick, about 1 minute, stopping once to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add the butter and kirsch, and blend until the mixture is fluffy, about 1 minute, stopping once to scrape down the bowl.
Add 2 cups plus 6 Tablespoons flour, baking powder, and salt, and pulse twice or so to just combine. Do not overmix.
The batter should be very thick and very smooth.
(note: I just used a hand mixer, as I don't have a food processor)
In a large bowl, toss the raspberries and blueberries with the remaining 2 Tablespoons flour.
Using a rubber spatula, fold the batter into the berries.
Transfer this finished batter to the prepared Bundt pan, spreading it evenly across the top.
Place the Bundt pan on the center rack in a cold oven, and turn the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
(note: the book doesn't say this. I put the pan in a pre-heated oven)
Bake until a toothpick or knife inserted in the cake’s center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 25 minutes.
(note: check after an hour. The recipe in the book says bake one hour to one hour and 15 minutes)
Cool the cake in the pan for 5 minutes; then invert it onto a rack to cool completely.
Serve at room temperature, with tea, ice cream, or whipped cream, as the weather dictates.
(note: if you can't wait, like me, it's good warm too)