W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> Moi, Toi, et VoI: October 2007

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

If everyone had a blog as an outlet, there would be no more war.

I am in a crotchety mood.

My Top Sixteen Pet Peeves

1. People who say "Gimme", or "I'll take", or just "Cupcake."
2. Leaving leftover Indian food out overnight.
3. Philadelphians.
4. People who wear their aprons into the bathroom stall.
5. Extended channel surfing.
6. Slow walkers.
7. Having seven hunks of half-used butter in the fridge but opening up fresh packages out of laziness/convenience.
7. Overcooked vegetables.
8. Face paint and football jerseys.
9. Unsolicited "Ya know what you should do? You should..."
10. Misuse of the word "less" instead of "fewer".
11. Underseasoned food.
12. Chewing sounds.
13. Crocs, cowl necks and shawls/ponchos.
14. People who say "That '91 Pommard was like mother's milk".
15. People who use the phrase "mother's milk" as a figure of speech.
16. Scotch with ice.

Friday, October 26, 2007

A Haunting.

Ohhh! A ghost story just in time for Halloween!

So I had my reading yesterday. Pretty freakin' interesting. Jackie said that The Canary is haunted by poltergeists. In fact, there is apparently a whole other set of workers other than my own who are doing their thing hacking up fishes while we bake our cupcakes. No wonder it feels so damn cramped back there. She said she saw lots of workers back there, butchering fish and creating lots of blood and guts.* And they like to take stuff - like knives and other shiny things - because that's what they need to do their jobs.

...which is totally freakin' weird because I can't tell you how many times knives have disappeared - sometimes for days on end - and then suddenly reappear. We just assumed someone came in in the middle of the night and borrowed the knives and then returned them when they were ready. I guess they sort of did.

Aside from the knives, our fishermongering poltergeists also like to steal the blue cupcake batter scoop (which we have yet to find) and the scone cutter (which comes and goes). God knows what they needed with those items.

Last night I taunted them before I left by leaving the butchers knife and a glass of Christian Brothers on the counter with the knife outlined in sharpie and a note that said "Please feel free to use. Just return! Thanks! [smiley face]" but they didn't bite. This morning, however, after a six eyed search and Rasputina doing every last dirty dish in the shop to find the lost large offset spatula, it just suddenly appeared in the sink! I swear on Fudgie my dead cat's grave. They seem to know exactly what you will need and then they steal it until you are ready to rip your hair out and then they put it back in this dimension and you think you're losing your mind. I don't like being messed with like that.

*I did get a confirm from the Manager of the Circus, that in fact there was lots of fish gore back in our area - which also explains why the floors are sloped. Interesting.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Hunting For Heads.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Where Have You Been, Young Lady?!

Knoxville, Tennessee. No shit, y'all.

Had to make a quickie weekend trip to visit the newly relocated parents down south. Here is my trip journal:

10/18: Drove 3 hours to Hagerstown, MD. Ate wings.
10/19: Drove another 8 hours to Knoxville, TN. Ate ribs.
10/20: Toured Knoxville. Ate fried corn on the cob and fried pickles.
10/21: Ate Krystal burgers for comparison purposes v. White Castle. Left Knoxville.
10/22: Drove another 8 hours to Philadelphia. Ate hoagie, watched ANTM, went to bed.

That pretty much sums it up. I kid you not.

In much much more exciting news, The Canary is in the November issue of Better Homes and Gardens! Yay! Our first national! And crazily enough, the Philly paper came by today because they are going to do a piece on our cupcakes! Yay! BRING. IT. ON. KEEP. IT. COMIN.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

"Give a Girl a Sandwich, She Eats for a Day. Give a Girl a Reuben, She Eats for a Week."

- Oy Vey, 16 October 2007.

Today we began The Canary's Shot A Day benefits program. I bought a bottle of Glenlivet 12 and the girls and I had a shot at the end of the day - after I/we fired the newest whipping boy (eh, complained about doing dishes and failed to make the chocolate chip scones we needed for this morning, didn't Windex last night, complained complained complained, yar yar yar).

The concept of the program is simple: You get one shot of hard liquor per day. You may consume this shot anytime during the day. And you may accumulate shots if you don't use them (rollover shots) to use on a particularly terrible day. However, they all must be used by the last day of the fiscal year or you lose them. The shots have no monetary value and can't be cashed in for money or time off.

Since I can't offer healthcare or paid vacation, it only seems fair that my best employees be rewarded with something for their efforts at the bakery. And a shot of scotch (I can actually say comfortably,) falls somewhere between healthcare and paid vacation, right?

Yes, The Circus has driven us to drink.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

A Faerie Busy Weekend (Hardy Har).

Faerie Con was this weekend. Each convention has its own personality and this one was one of the nicest we've ever had at The Circus. There were two major archetypes of Faerie Con participant: 20-40s female, crushed velvet peasant shirts, marcasite jewerly, hobo bag/fanny pack and The costumed fairy/elf/pirate (go figure). More than twice did I fetch a brownie for a guy wearing little horns. What a great group of sweet people who are polite, pleasant and mild mannered. A nice change from the usual at The Circus.

The girls wore wings on their own volition and we made "faerie cakes" which were just vanilla on chocolate cupcakes painted with a healthy layer of gold and silver luster dusts and a dried rosebud. And we charged a quarter more! Sold out in an hour. In fact, by the end of Saturday there were seven cupcakes and 10 bars left in the case. The Faeries kicked the Canary's ass!

And on top of that, the trans fat backlash has been very good to us. I got 3 "Hey! I saw you on tv!"s and quite a few people said they read about us and how great it is we're using butter and loandbehold! they didn't know those canolli people used that trans fat garbage! Yay!

And we had a fantastic dinner for SFG's birthday at Picanha on Friday night. Meat-alicious! Meat-tastic! Fabumeatlous! I highly recommend this place for a large group of people. How can you go wrong for $19.99 all you can eat meat?I mean really. And the staff made us all fresh caipirinhas with a bottle of cachaca they had in the back. Everyone had a great time and I didn't feel so great for the faeries the next day but the headache was definitely worth it.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

No Time To Chat!

Busy baking. Busier than ever now actually. Partially because of all the publicity from my opposition to the trans fat bakery exemption ban here in the Great Metropolis of Dumb, Fat and Poor. Those canolli bastards are so shortsighted. I guarantee you that stuff (trans fat not canollis, though I wouldn't be opposed) will be banned from human consumption in five years. It's already illegal in Denmark and New York City.

Just got back from wine class and now I'm making requested cds for Rasputina ('60s folk shit + What Goes Around hidden smack there in the middle. You would be amazed how nicely it fits in between the Hollies and the Byrds.) and a nice collection of Scandipop for The Bassoonist.

And can I just say for the record that no parent would allow their child to have a poster of kittens smoking cigarettes in this day and age. Travesty.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A Peak into Oy Vey's Bedroom Wall Circa 1984.

"Butter Simply Tastes Better".

That's me, that's my quote on Channel Six news tonight!

The trans fat ban bill did not pass. Sigh. This city is simply stupid. According to the two big cannoli bakers here in Philly, their generations old cannoli recipe can't be made with anything but the best partially hydrogenated palm oil. I'm not even kidding. That's simply what they said. More or less.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Pastry Politik.

Looks like I'm gettin' all good citizen-y on y'all.

Tomorrow I will be speaking before City Council to oppose an exemption for bakeries to the new trans fat ban (the Council just passed a law banning the use of trans fats in restaurants. Bakeries were given another year to find substitutes for trans fats and there is now a new bill that wants to give bakeries an extra year to find a substitute).

The oh-so-difficult substitute that they are hunting for? Butter. Plain and simple. We're talking about switching partially hydrogenated soybean oil or vegetable shortening to beautiful tried and true butter.

Anyhoo, I am way nervous. Even though it's a little thing on the grand scale, my palms are already sweaty over the thought of giving my statement in public.

You know what would be cool? After I finish my statement, I stand up rip off my shirt to reveal a t shirt that says IMPEACH BUSH and I start screaming 'No Blood For Oil' over and over again until they drag me out. What do you think?

Saturday, October 06, 2007

You Should Have Listened to Al.

With all luck or likelihood you didn't notice that I have made several mentions of a certain Al Stewart compilation I was waiting for. I ordered it from a.k.a after hearing a snippet of it while browsing in June. I had never heard of Stewart before. I confess my interest was first peaked when I thought it was Donovan [says sheepishly].*

Well the thing finally arrived and I say the following with absolute certainity: In Brooklyn is in fact *The Most Perfect Song Ever Written*. Ever. If you like subdued- tangential-hippie-peacenik-but-not-overtly-political-yet-
subtly-crafted-'60s-Brit-folk. And oh the lyrics! Crisp, beautiful, romantic, poetic, brilliant!

I know how horribly painful it can be to read about someone else's musical bendings, so I will end now even though I could go on and on how fantastic this album is. It has also served as an aural alternative to the Phillies' games or the incessant chatter about the Phillies' games. But that has nothing to do with why it's great. Promise.

*I fully embrace my dorkism. I think I've had it since early childhood. This music reminds me of going to my father and stepmother's house in Oak Park and spending hours attached to a pair of headphones listening to my stepmother's record collection while they hosted boring bridge parties (Did I just date myself?)

Friday, October 05, 2007

What I Learned in Wine Class (alt. title The Ugly Truth About Yellow Tail).

(alt. alt. title I Am A Sucker And You Probably Are Too But Don't Feel Bad Because They Know What They're Doing.)

Yellow Tail (TM) was a brand before it was a wine. Marketeers decided that they wanted to brand an inexpensive, textbook wine that would appeal to the mid-to-upper income, college grad women in the 35-55 year age bracket. In short, the wines in this line are designed for perimenopausal women to bring to girl parties. The wines also have a higher alcohol content than most wines (16-17% versus the standard 12-14%) to make them seem sweeter to the palate. The major problem? Women metabolize alcohol more slowly than men, which basically means that these wines are meant to make women drink more and get drunk faster.

And the kicker? These wines are made with grape concentrate - not fresh grapes. Apparently this is becoming a common practice to produce 'decent' cheap wines for the masses.

My wine class prof - aside from loathing Yellow Tail for its shall-we-say unethical marketing practices- also has a problem with these wines because they are simply average. You can't even say they completely suck. They are exactly what an "ideal" in the plebian, standard sense, is in terms of varietal fingerprints (that is to say, the telltale signs of a particular style of wine).

I am appalled and will never drink Yellow Tail again. I REFUSE TO BE A STATISTIC DAMMIT.
Will you?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Conversations in Charm City.

Old Coot #1: How much for acuppa coffee?
Me: $1.44
Old Coot: What? ARE YOU SERIOUS? $1.44? Really?
Me: Yes.
Old Coot: Are you KIDDING ME? I can get a cup over there for .79!

Old Coot #2: [Opens cookie jar and sticks hand in it]
Old Coot: I'm diabetic and looking for something sweet.

Old Coot #3: I've never paid $2 for a cupcake before. It better be good.
Me: Lemme ask you something. What do you think you should pay for this cupcake?
Old Coot: I dunno. $1.
Me: $1? Really. And where have you found a cupcake for $1? Besides Shop Rite?
Old Coot: I dunno. Here [The Circus].
Me: [Crap Italian bakery]? Well, our cupcakes are better. They make canollis, we make cupcakes. We use the best ingredients and it requires a lot of labor to make them, and I am not ashamed of what I charge for a cupcake.
Old Coot: Hrmmph!

Old Bag: Pistachio!
Rasputina: You'd like a pistachio cupcake?
Old Bag: Pistachio.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The Root Cause of Obesity in American Children.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Oh Forgetful Me.

I realized that I've been remiss in telling y'all about my wine class.

Oh good god, is it fun. By the end of this course, our instructor says we should be able to look, sniff and taste a wine and be able to tell what varietal it is. That is freaking awesome to me, as I really have barely a clue about wines. I know I like Syrahs and Vouvrays but that's about it. I usually pick by the look of the label. But now that I am armed with some knowledge, I feel much more confident about walking into a Pennsylvania Wine & Spirits Shoppe and making a smart purchase.

Last week was really cool. We learned about Sauvignon Blancs - Old and New World varieties. That cat pee smell in Sauv Blancs? That's the pyridine, a chemical compound that breaks down in sunlight: Old World Blancs (European) allow the grape leaves to cover the grapes, leaving that heavy cat pee pyridine scent intact; New World Blancs (The Americas, South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia) trim their leaves, allowing the pyridine to disintegrate, which gets that tarty, fresh and fruity shiny taste to come through. We sampled ten Blancs. It was freaking fantastic.

Ok, I know I'm boring you. I'd be boring me too if I didn't love this class so much.