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March 04, 2007

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Tanna

As soon as my strawberry shortcakes are gone, I am so making this or one of her others.
You are so right on. There is just no comparison with those bundles of chemicals and home made simple.

mmwwah

Wait, the hungry tiger is your cub? Way to mess with my mind, man!

I am lucky enough not to have baked for anyone who thinks it's a pretentious activity. I'm horrified that there are such people in the world.

china

i have my own theory about this! they say "fresh-baked bread" at the grocery store or "tastes like home made" on the package and they've conned generations into believing that thats all there really is to food. if your mom never baked you a cake for your birthday then all you know about cakes is the store-bought thing and you may honestly not know the difference. so when someone offers you a home-made from-scratch cookie you won't know until you try it what you've been missng.
and of course, its these people who say things like "oh you're just like betty crocker" as if i weren't a poor, time-crunched college kid.

it's your blog and you get to rant all you want but i just had to put in my 2 cents, since i feel so passionatly about it. cooking is my beloved hobby.

Ash

Lovely recipe, thanks for sharing. I agree about the people making comments about having no responsibilities - I've had that too!

lindy

tanna-Perhaps you would like to mail me the rest of your strawberry shortcakes? Or maybe not. Wish I had some, though.Spring's coming.
mmwah-Yessir, that's my baby girl. What helped me start my blog and taught me about html, and is my pride and joy and the like.
china-That's surely true.
Ash- Thank you on behalf of Dorie Greenspan, whose lovely recipe it is.

Trig

1. Stop making excuses.
2. Bake some more.
3. Send to me (I like you, do you like me?)

lindy

But Trig, "Apology" is my middle-name! Not really.I don't actually have a middle name.
Sure do like you- but I fear it would all be pretty stale by the time it arrived in the UK. Still, next time I'm there visiting my cousins in Brighton, I could do that.

Brilynn

I agree, some people seem to have forgotten what good homemade cakes and cookies taste like!

Heath

Whoa. Those people who think making things from scratch are snobby are *seriously* looking a gift horse in the mouth - no more homemade cakes for YOU, mister!

zp

Don't knock the yuppie cupcake. It's not the worst cake on Murray Ave, not by a long shot.

lindy

Not knocking it zp- haven't even tried it yet. Just pointing out that it's the exception- and a current fad with a kitsch quotient. Expensive cupcakes are busting out all over the place. I'm sure a lot of them are good, and I'll be trying our local ones soon.

Dixie

From scratch is ALWAYS better, without exception. You know exactly what goes in, so there are no mystery ingredients that you can't begin to pronounce. I don't want to eat chemicals, thanks.

anapestic

I resent having my digressiveness described as "pretty much" boundless. Where are these boundaries? It is true, one supposes, that each post eventually comes to an end, but I feel that one must consider the entire body of work, which is, as yet, uncomplete, temporary work-related digressiveness diminution notwithstanding. I fully expect to spend eternity failing to come to a point.

I think what we need here (if I may be excused a moment of relevance) is an educational campaign about how to set up a baker's kitchen. We can (and I do) whinge all day about cake mixes and stick larding needles into voodoo likenesses of Sandra Lee, but until we can make people understand that a basic cake can be made from scratch nearly as quickly as it can be made using a cake mix, we're unlikely to change anyone's habits.

In my experience, the most time-intensive parts of cake making are pan preparation and oven preheating, both of which still need to happen with a cake mix. The mise en place is less time consuming, but it is certainly slower with a scratch cake. But it need not be so if the essential ingredients are centrally and conveniently located, and if people are taught to soften their butter in the microwave as a first step.

Then all we have to do is get everyone down to the test kitchens and show them a side-by-side comparison of cake mix and scratch cake. They can see that the extra five minutes of work can be accomplished while the oven is preheating, and, most importantly, they can taste the vast superiority of the finished product. I'll leave it to you to organize: I have sentences to run on.

~DanaB~

Oh how I enjoyed your blog today! I SO heartily agree! I've a mixing bowl and wooden spoon used in all our cooking 'round here, there's something to be said for simple homemade goodness--AMEN!

Fantastic blog, I shall read more of your posts!

~~

~DanaB~

Oh, and amen to Dixie's comment up there!! I think that's key, so many folks would 'cook from scratch' if they realized the things Dixie mentioned--how it really is all about having things on hand, not so much time as ingredients!

~~Carry on!!

Julie

I know exactly what you mean about baked treats -- and I'm a big fan of homey homely homemade baked goods, prefereably from someone's (ahem) home. I am absolutely making these, since G is a major fan of all things cinnamon, and I happen to adore cinnamon and chocolate, especially when they're combined in this way -- the spice in one part of the pastry and the rich chocolate icing as a foil to the buttery cinnamon bar. Thanks, Lindy -- I always find such treasures here.

arif

oh my, you've done it - you've inspired me to bake tonight. I've been pretty good about avoiding too much baking as I doubt the waistline can handle it. Confining myself to muffins seemed a reasonable dodge.

But this recipe? I've got everything I need to make this at home, and this would be so much fun to do with the little one.

lindy

Dixie-yep-it is surely good to know what it is you're eating
anapestic- It is true, you are entirely boundless. You are Captain Digression, leader of the team. As I am, myself (as Trig noted) in charge of Pointless Apologies, I would like to take this opportunity to tell you how very sorry I am if I accidentally implied otherwise. Now what was that about a test kitchen?
Dana-You are so right about the supplies. Having a practical pantry on hand and timing (as in everything being done at once) are two big areas in learning and teaching others to cook. Cooking is definitely more than recipes, for sure
julie-I love your most recent post on the lisettes. It has inspired me to sort out the details of a childhood story of my mother, her friend Lucie, and the Dobos Torte. Hope to post on it soon
arif-right, a good recipe for little ones, with lots of stuff to do by hand, and the stove as the only dangerous equipment.

Bakerina

I should be surprised and horrified at the thought of more than one person telling you that home-baked goodies are an affected and snobby pursuit. Horrified I am, but I'm not surprised. I once took a bash at homemade bagels. The results were better than I thought they'd be, so I brought them into work the next morning. One of my coworkers actually said, to my face, "well, *somebody* doesn't have any children." I didn't bring anything into work after that. (Thankfully, I now work in an office where people say radical things like "thank you" and "is there any left?" when you bring in homemade cakes.)

Nuffa that. Lindy, your post is brilliant and thoughtful, a total tonic for what ails me, and I thank you for it. (And thank you for the cinnamon squares recipe. I know what I'm doing this weekend. :)

Incidentally, did I ever tell you that I had to make a Dobostorte for my final practical in culinary school? Strange but true. :)

Rebecca

I think this weather we're having here in Pittsburgh makes one want to bake (and eat) sweets; I didn't leave my house at all yesterday and made pot pie AND cake! They may have to remove a wall to get me out of here come spring.

Meanwhile, I love this little cake. I've never heard the snobby remarks except from my own husband when I've made remarks in restaurants along the lines of, "I'd rather die than eat that!" What I do commonly hear from folks is that they would be afraid to have me over for a meal, or they are surprised I would go to a church fish fry, since I'm such a gourmet, both of which make me feel entirely misunderstood. I don't demand fancy food, just simple food, or even down home food, but reasonably well-prepared. Is that too much to ask?!

Julie

I find it unbelievable that someone would actually say to someone offering them a home-baked good that they find baking from scratch a snobbish affectation. How completely rude. May they choke on a Twinkie. Not fatally, just unpleasantly.

Being offered a cake like this one would be heaven. We should all be so lucky as to be offered baked goods of this sort.

Lynn D.

You'll probably be disappointed, but not surprised, to learn that I don't like cinnamon in muffins and sweets. After all, I don't like root beer. Cinnamon is fine if mixed with other spices for gingerbread or spice cake, but not alone or with chocolate. But what I really love is cinnamon in savory sauces with meat; Mexican chili or the beef stew in tomato cinnamon sauce I had in Greece a long time ago.

lindy

Bakerina- Believe me, I've learned my lesson. Nobody gets a chance to pull that one on me twice. Have you made a dobostorte since?
Rebecca-Not too much to ask at all. Life is too short to eat bad food. Wish I could say I've lived up to that motto, though.
Julie-I love, love, love it when people cook for me.
Lynn- A little disappointed, but really, if our tastes were any more alike, it would be too scary. My mother-in-law ( for the most part a gruesomely terrible cook, which I did not mind a bit-she made me look good, whatever lame thing I did ) had exactly one decent dinner dish. It was a lovely Greek chicken thing made with tomatoes and cinnamon. Really good. We all praised it to the skies, hoping to be served it whenever we visited. We always arrived early, so I could help her do the plain rice to go with!

sandi @ the whistlestop cafe

I may be a lot of things...but a cake snob -never!
These look delish and worth the extra attention.

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