September 6, 2013

"earning it" or "deserving it" celebrity edition pt 2


a few months back in the uk, april 1st to be exact, marked the first issue of the waitrose grocery store magazine featuring pippa middleton at the meal planning helm. (from here on in "  " is how i will point out british snark) there has been no short of cattiness on her appointment since the "failure" of her party planning book celebrate. now i can't find any totals for her book sales beyond the first week, which were "disappointing" at just 2,000 copies. it was announced mid-april that she and her literary agent/publishing house had "parted ways, no doubt" due to her books "failure" which she received a £400,000 advance.

i'm going to assume that no one (but my mom) reading this blog has been thru the book publishing process. you wouldn't believe the number of times this book was read and edited by someone other than pippa. it's not like she wrote up a term paper, handed it in and was left to fend for her own grade. her editor approved every recipe, article and photo. while a newspaper is confined to a deadline based on it's daily/weekly release, the book industry, like film, is not subject to such a hard fast line. did y'all see gi joe 2 last summer? no? oh right, paramount pushed it's release a year to this summer. if the publisher had not been 100% behind her effort, good business sense would suggest he would have held release until it had been fine tuned. he should have also picked less hoity reviewers, and certainly not british as they've proved the only thing in their diet is sour grapes. i was not expecting martha stewart level effort, as i refuse the hand squeeze oranges, grapefruit and limes just to make a punch. i'll use mix from the jug thank you very much. that being said, martha was a print model and housewife before she made up her mind to be a caterer, so clearly her credentials are higher than pippa (insert american eye roll).

the trouble with these haters is they have failed to properly define the relationship. a friend of mine with a successful tech site wrote that in your tech life, as in your love life, you must always define the relationship. i could be terribly disappointed that my iphone can't vacuum my apt, but i'm not b/c that's not why i bought the dang thing. it's my phone, i can get angry when it fails to place or receive a call. my relationship with pippas book: recipes and entertaining from a british point of view. i suppose that's why i'm not disappointed with the effort. not all of the ideas were to my liking, i've never been a fan of lox and a game of conkers sounds like a less fun version of pencil fighting but, it certainly wasn't the suck fest the unctuous british gossip bitches* made it out to be.

now, on to the test drive.


soda bread with parmesan

2 cups whole wheat bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
large handful of fresh chopped herbs
2 oz mixed pumpkin and sunflower seeds
2 os parmesan, grated
10 oz buttermilk


1 oz parmesan, grated
2 tsp mixed pumpkin and sunflower seeds

i chose the bread b/c this week i was also making goop's chicken salad with some celery i got at the farmers market. a tasty, but overpriced, cafe near work serves their chicken salad with a few thin strips of bread rather than on a roll. i figured i could do that, cut the carbs.

eggs not needed, just for pic posing

how did it go? i diverted slightly, not having any pumpkin seeds, just sunflower. i also used king arthur whole wheat flour, you remember, that hard to find snooty flour paltrow uses. the kind that can be bought at the kroger store. what's whole wheat flour look like? about like you'd expect.

place all the dry stuff into a bowl

mix them all together and make a well in the middle. pour all but 2 oz of buttermilk in.

pouring in the buttermilk

in case you were wondering, we're cooking with the ninja turtles tonight.

turtle power!

mix by hand but do not knead. dough should be fairly soft but not too wet or sticky.

hand mixing

turn dough onto baking sheet, cut a deep x and cover with parmesan and seeds. i used the parmesan left over from the lasagna so, it was really grated, not stringy.

oven ready

baked for 15 minutes at 400 degrees, reduce to 300 degrees and bake for an additional 30.

view from the top
and from the side

not as pretty as pippa's but, it sure smelled and tasted good! probably could have left it in the oven for another 5-10 min, like everything else i cook in there. but it wasn't under done.

with some goop chicken salad

*'unctuous british gossip bitches' is taken from the short lived series studio 60 on the sunset strip by the talented aaron sorkin. it was one of my favorite lines and something to keep in mind when reading "news" stories from the british press.

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