I’ve been getting worked up for months about this trip – and now I’m finally on it. And it’s incredible. This is my first time in Asia; before this adventure I’d done a lot of traveling in Europe and spent some time in South Africa, but I never made it to the Far East. I’m on the road with my friend Shanti (another recently minted J.D.), and we just finished the first of five legs of our trip: Bangkok.
My birthday was yesterday, so I guess this is technically a post-birthday cake. I whipped it up for brunch this morning for myself, the friend whose house I’m crashing at, and a couple of law school friends in the area. Baking this marble cake took my mind off the splitting headache I woke up with post-celebration. Ah, cruel eld; I am definitely not as resilient at 27 as I was in college.
I am the Queen of False Promises. Broken Promise #1: More frequest postings, post-bar. Broken Promise #2: Monthly charcuterie. I’ve been running around crazily and prepping for my 3-week trek across Southeast Asia…and I realized I had no time this month for Charcutepalooza, and that when next month’s post is due I’ll be stumbling off a 20-hour plane right from Hong Kong with a bellyful of Xanax (I hate flying).
The good news: I’m bringing my camera and computer to Thailand and Vietnam (don’t worry, all my hotels have safes), and I’m going to try to do posts for each of my five main destinations. It’ll be epic. In the meantime, I have two recipes for you – one from travels of yore, the other from The Complete Greek Cookbook. First, I bring you: a classic Greek Salad, or χωριάτικη (horiatiki).
One of the reasons I originally got into vintage cookbooks: I have a strange fascination with foods that are shaped to look like their ingredients. Think salmon mousse in fish molds, deviled eggs; give me off-color picture plates of these, and I’ll be happy. Until I came across this recipe in The Dallas Junior League Cookbook, however, I never thought of the absolutely flat-out genius idea of making watermelon-esque watermelon granita. I might have thought of serving such a dish in a watermelon shell, but I’d never have gone the extra step and added chocolate “seeds.” And the world would have been poorer for it, because this is awesome.
Post-bar life is rather strange. As much as I’ve been looking forward to it…I find this whole leisure time business truly weird. I’m not naturally a “relax and do nothing” kind of person, in case you didn’t get that from the “law school plus food blog” thing. So I decided to channel my energies into cooking. For help, I turned to one of the most intense chefs I could think of: Thomas Keller. And The French Laundry Cookbook. I’ve been meaning to check out Keller’s pasta dough since Linda at Salty Seattle posted about it. I went a little creative with this one; the end recipe is a Celia original. Pasta is my lingua franca. This isn’t a vintage recipe, but it’s a new evolution of a traditional form. And it’s totally delicious.