Monday, November 12, 2007

I Get By with the Help of My Friends

I ask you, is there anything better in the world than coming home to find a box propped up against your door when you weren't expecting one?

I think not... and I'm starting to think that Christmas DOES start in September!!

First, in September, there were some lovely house warming gifts including a visit from talented bread bakers disguised as crocheted eggs courtesy of my "sister" Helen of Tartlette. Then my other twin sister of different mothers and the Queen of Dorkdom, Lisa from La Mia Cucina sent me a care package in the form of salt rising bread yeast and a baker's couche. This was followed by my wonderful friend from the British Columbia, Sara of I Like to Cook sending me a copy of Educating Peter: How I Taught a Famous Movie Critic the Difference Between Cabernet and Merlot or How Anybody Can Become an (Almost) Instant Wine Expert and a surprise cookbook, Preserves (Company's Coming) by Jean Pare.

The week before last I received a completely out of the blue package from the incredibly sweet and talented Veronica of Veronica's Test Kitchen. Inside was a collection of all the kitchen gadgets a home cook never has enough of like measuring cups, spatulas, and kitchen towels!

Not to mention something near and dear to a bread baker like me...more yeast!!! I so "heart" Veron because some of the things I didn't take in the great escape from Cambridge were the good spatulas.

Then this week on Saturday morning, when I was craving chocolate glazed donuts with sprinkles (I was either channeling Homer Simpson on my run or it was the Dunkin Donuts down the street that was "making the donuts" that caused this) I got home to find a white package with an air mail label on it propped up against the front door of my building. Sitting down in the light rain and kicking off my shoes, I ripped open the package to find this from my favourite Creampuff, Ivonne!

I had asked Ivonne, who was culling her immense cookbook collection, for this book, The Donut Book. I love donuts and have never had a really good recipe for those puffy glazed yeast raised donuts for which small mom and pop donut shops are famous. I've been dying to try my hand at making them lately to take into work.

Now, I have a good reason to pull out the flour and sugar and a perfect use for the extra chocolate ganache from the German chocolate cake I made for my friends party this past weekend and use some of that SAS yeast and those nice green spatulas from Veronica!

But more importantly, every time I use the kitchen towels from Helen, roll out the perfect baguette with Lisa's baker couche, make walnut marmalade with Sara's lovely gift, measure bread flour in the green measuring cups that match my kitchen from Veron, or dip a crueller in honey from the book Ivonne sent me I will get a smile on face because I have some of the best friends in the world.