Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Not-As-Horrible Frosting

I had been searching for years. I tried, multiple times, but my attempts were fruitless. I occasionally gave up hope. But now, I have found what I sought for so long. 

I shall start from the beginning. 

Many of us have family recipes that defines their clan. For us, there's paprikash, bundtcake, and Shabbos cake. 

Shabbos cake was my mother's chocolate cake, baked in a massive pan. It would be layered into two rows, slathered on top and in between with pareve whip. It was named "Shabbos cake" since it only emerged from the garage deep freeze for Shabbos. 

It was a happy childhood indeed. 

Then stupid education got in the way. We learned pareve whip is made from trans-fat, the worst of the worst. Since the human body doesn't recognize it, it can't metabolize it, and simply parks it in your thighs and arteries where it remains. It has actually now been banned in new food products.

Good-bye, pareve whip. 

But I needed a replacement, which proved to be nigh on impossible. I tried cashew cream, but the frosting was dingy in color, heavy in texture. Coconut cream seemed the best option, but it tastes like coconut. I hate coconut, and so do many of my family members. Aquafaba wasn't stable enough for my needs; it sort of self-destructs in storage. 

There was one option that I stubbornly refused to attempt because of a rather silly reason: it required a candy thermometer. I didn't want to buy a gadget to take up space for one recipe. Seemed wasteful. 

Until my nocturnal surfing while feeding the baby got the better of me. I bought the dinky thermometer. 

And the results are TOTALLY WORTH IT!!!
I used my first attempt to frost a brownie my sister gave me. Quite delicious. Sadly, she can't find the recipe she used.
I used this recipe for marshmallow frosting, and I was finally able to recreate the Shabbos cake of my youth (my sister made the cake for a family birthday party, I made the frosting).
Yes, I know it's not so pretty, but that's because I need practice. No fault of the frosting.

While the recipe calls for corn syrup, one can use agave instead (I did). Additionally, it is of upmost importance that the egg whites are room temperature. I made one batch will cold whites and the frosting was a failure. After separating the next batch of whites, I waited a half hour and the frosting was magnificent.

Since someone in the audience will jump down my throat, I am not claiming that frosting with copious amounts of sugar is healthy. However, it is certainly better than trans-fat. It's all about compromise.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Shidduch Lit VII

Rona Jaffe's The Best of Everything:
This book takes place in the 1950s, as young women flock to Manhattan for secretarial positions. There is a scene where a group of single women attend the wedding of a co-worker. Our heroine is Caroline; the co-worker is Mary Agnes.
"You'll find somebody," Mary Agnes said. "Don't you worry." 

"I'm not worried, Mother," Caroline said. 

"That's a good attitude," said Mary Agnes, licking the salt off her fingers. "I admire you for it. Most girls our age are scared to death if there's nobody on the horizon, and that's silly. Because if you look at the girls five years older than we are, why, I don't know one who isn't married." 

"I do." 

"Are they terribly ugly?"

"Quite the contrary. I've met some at parties who are very pretty and smart, too, with good jobs." 

Mary Agnes' eyes widened as if she were about to expound some great and mysterious bit of philosophy. "Well, she said, perhaps there's something psychologically wrong with them." 

Caroline clamped her lips together to keep from laughing and jiggled her empty glass so Mary Agnes could see it. "I've got to get a refill," she gasped, and fled to the desk that was serving as a bar. The whole conversation had been so ludicrous, really, with Mary Agnes smug now that she had landed her man and she herself the adventurous but rather pathetic figure of the attractive unattached girl. It made her want to laugh when she thought of Mary Agnes' comments, and yet, unaccountably, they hurt a little too. Because as always she could see and hear everything on two levels, the one that told her how silly it was and the one that allowed her to become affected and upset. She was only twenty-two, she had been out of college only two years, and she knew she was going to get married someday . . .Caroline knew she had lied to Mary Agnes because one always lied to such people if one intended to survive. But she couldn't lie to herself. She was worried about getting married. She knew it was ridiculous, but she was worried. She wondered whether every girl felt the same way she did, or whether it was a personal foolishness. 

Sound familiar? It did to me. Plenty of my posts dealt with this same dual feelings that the people who made ridiculous comments were ridiculous, of course I'll meet my one-and-only someday—but what if I don't?

Then this passage, as Caroline contemplates her dating life: 

She was realizing already as she came to the end of her second year in New York that thoughtfulness like this was hard to find. There were men . . . all good looks and charm . . . There were dozens of utterly mismatched blind dates that she had been inflicted with in the past two years, a sentence of hard labor starting with the words (usually uttered by some nice older woman who hardly knew her or the boy) "I know a nice young man for you to meet." These amateur matchmakers seemed to think the mere fact that Caroline wore a skirt and the man wore pants was enough to make them want to hurl themselves into each other's arms. And there was the majority, the so-so dates, the young men who didn't particularly care about her or she about them, but who continued to call her once in a while for dinner or drinks because they too were marking time. 

There is nothing knew under the sun. Nor is our situation specific to us frummies. We are simply in a time warp when it comes to our romantic experiences. 

Monday, June 3, 2019

Shabbos Lashes

Three day yuntif. For a makeup lover like myself, cue the đŸ˜± emoji. I love yuntif! But keeping on mascara for three days is quite daunting.

In my younger, pre-baby days, keeping makeup on for so long was a challenge I was amenable to tackle. But I
now cherish sleep to the point that I just want to bury my face into a pillow and pass out after a 2 am feeding.

I still, however, want to go out in public with my dignity intact.

A few years back I heard of magnetized false lashes. The lashes attach with magnets, so they can be applied and removed and reapplied on Shabbos. As I  am armed with Shabbos makeup, mascara is the only chink in my armor.

So this past Shabbos I gave it a trial run. I purchased a set by Lash’d Up on Amazon called "I Woke Up This Way," and after a few tries, managed to somewhat successfully apply them. They aren’t too dramatic - my mascara is usually more over the top - and with Shabbos eyeliner I was able to make it look more blended with the lash line. 

Because they are magnetized, you can’t use metal tweezers to get them on. I think I will look for plastic ones to assist.

So after a bleary night with baby, I was able to take my eyes from bare to smoky on Shabbos, with lashes!

The Messiah cometh!