a day in a life.

always valued for its stimulating effect, coffee contains more caffeine than any other drink.  there are about 110 to 150 milligrams of caffeine in a cup of coffee made by the drip method and about 65 to 125 in a percolated cup, nearly twice the amount found in tea.  espresso, though stronger in taste because it is more concentrated, actually has less caffeine than regular coffee.  decaffeinated, which has been around for one hundred years, accounts for about twenty percent of coffee sales in the united states.

balzac was in the habit of drinking up to thirty cups a day while writing for twelve-hour stretches, producing his vast body of fiction as he tried to scramble out of debt.  dead at fifty, the cause wasn't coffee, though medical authorities today more or less agree that four cups a day is about as many as most people can consume before experiencing the side effects of excessive caffeine.  

-  james salter, life is meals (14)

hello!  i figured i'd throw out something lighter while i'm thinking about my next post because i don't know how long the next one will take.  one of my goals this summer was to finish writing/editing my book, which isn't something i've admittedly made much progress on yet, stresses from looking for a job and personal baggage and all which is to say that i also need to start diverting focus from my writing brain back to that as well.

so here are some images as i went about my day.  none of it is anything special, but i had fun with it anyway, even as i dehydrated from all the sweating because, omg, the weather sucks in nyc right now.

disclaimer:  all products were purchased by me and are things i use every day.


it seems that i go through a phase of something every summer.

the summer of 2013, i couldn't get enough of korean popsicles/ice cream and watermelon.  the summer of 2014 was all about lemonade.  the summer of 2015 was such a shitfest, i spent most of it crying and baking quite a few pies.

this summer is all about peaches.  (and avocados.)  (but mostly peaches.)

fruit produce in general always makes me think of california.  i think fruit just tastes better in california and is cheaper, too and i'm pretty sure that's a psychological thing, except i swear it's true.  maybe it's because i equate california with non-stop sunshine, which somehow equates to produce all-year-round, which isn't totally farfetched, given that there are no such things as definable seasons in [southern] california, so you can find all the fruit at all times.

maybe that's nonsense logic, but this california-raised girl thinks it makes sense.

here's james salter on peaches:

the peach has been celebrated for more than four thousand years for its erotic qualities:  its shape, the delicate down of its surface, as well as its flesh-like tones.  it came originally from china, where it was considered both a symbol of immortality and of female genitalia.  a bride was called a peach, and even today the expression "she's a peach" isn't entirely out of fashion.  (life is meals, 275)

i would never have put peaches and erotic together.


this is also the summer of asian sponge cake rolls.  i think i've baked a sponge cake roll almost every week since june, which means that (01) whipping egg whites is a piece of cake and (02) i think i've got my recipe down.  that, in turn, means that now i start playing with flavors, and, obviously, i'd start with matcha.

i used my last tablespoon of matcha powder on this sponge cake (i used the rest on matcha madeleines and nothing but matcha madeleines), and i have to say i really liked this matcha powder.  it's from ippodo, and it's not too bitter, not too grassy, not too intense, and it also gives baked things a lovely, deep green color.  (see here and here for more green!)

i think i'll try lavender next.

here's james salter on eggs:

nearly perfect in both nutrition and form, the egg is the food against which all others can be measured for efficiency.  loaded with protein, one egg contains about seventy-five calories, as well as all the amino acids, vitamins A, B, D, and E, and most of the minerals, including iron, essential for human life.  the shell, because of its shape, has immense strength for its size, able to protect its contents yet breakable by the chick inside.

the color of the shell and of the yolk have no bearing on the taste, nor is a white or brown shell or a dark or pale yolk any indication of an egg being more "natural."  what can make a difference to its taste is what the hen eats.  the best-tasting eggs result from a diet of grain with the addition of such odds and ends as insects and worms that the hen finds in her wanderings.

the other factor is freshness.  the test is basically the same today as it was two hundred years ago, recorded by amelia simmon in the first american cookbook.  "put them into (salted) water.  if they lye on their bilge, they are good and fresh, if they bob up on end they are stale, and if they rise (and float horizontally) they are addled, proved, and of no use."  (life is meals, 106-7)


and that is all!  until next time!