Thursday, March 27, 2008

So Long, Cupcake

Normally, getting the scoop on a food service establishment closing is blogroll amigo Greg Roach's specialty, but there's some buzzing around town about Molly's Bakery on Eagle Street coming to the end of the line.

They're looking for a buyer, but are planning on ceasing operations on Saturday. This is the buzz downtown reported by People Who Have Been Telling A Lot Of Other People.

I hope this is not true, as there are several cupcakes from just yesterday in the kitchen right now, and they're lovely, and I would truly doubt that the cupcakes made on an industrial baked-good assembly line (*cough* Big Y *cough*) could hold a candle to them. And a Beach Party or Fall Foliage weekend without fried dough? Why? How?

Still, we'll find out once the intrepid investigative journalists at the North Adams Transcript confirm or deny the story....although if it's not true I doubt there'd be much reason to run a story saying "Some Local Bigmouth's Blog Was Wrong About Local Bakery Running Out Of Dough".

From what I know about cupcakes, if you wrap 'em well enough, they'll freeze for a month or two before they start coming out tasting funny. Stock up, kids. More on this as it develops.

UPDATE: This one turns out to be true. Click here for the Transcript story. So, aloha oe, Molly's. You will be missed.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

This Whole Baby Thing, Continued

This is great: Tara's started a baby blog, or actually a real virtual baby shower, over at Yes, I said "real virtual"; it's not a contradiction if you expand the meanings of both of the words. Anyway, yes--it's like a real baby shower. You know, balloons, singing, cake eating--all of those are things you can be doing while you're reading the blog.

There are games, stories, contests, and the like. We're having a baby pool, the winner of which gets a fabulous prize. But remember, it's not about winning and losing. It's about participation...and losing.

Feel free to pop on over and sign the guestbook and give the advice and check in on the progress. Plus, welcome Tara to the blogosphere. Maybe she'll stick around afterwards and tell us what she thinks about windmills and casinos. Or restaurants. She definitely has opinions on some of the local chow houses, for sure.

And welcome our child to cyberspace, too. I like to think that 17 or so years from now, Li'l Peanut will be able to look up this old stuff, read what was said about him/her by loving parents, family, and friends...and be as embarrassed as s/he would be if we showed a bare-ass baby-in-the-bathtub picture to his/her junior prom date. And make no mistake, Poindexter, we WILL have bare-ass baby-in-the-bathtub photos. Mua ha ha ha.

As for the two of us grownups, the nesting urge combined with the winter hibernating urge has basically resulted in the majority of the past season or so. Lots of doing stuff inside while the Berkshire snow, ice, and mud have made venturing outside an unappealing proposition.

On the other side of that rather lethargic coin, we've gotten the kitchen pretty close to finished. So I've really been getting my mise en place on with the help of our cool stove, a white 1952 Chambers Model 90C, rescued from a house in South Jersey whose owner began lusting after a brand new Viking. Feel free to insert your favorite tasteless "hot Norseman" double entendre here.

But call it reconnecting with my Inner Hashslinger. Cooking is a very humbling experience. It's a lot like golf, in fact. You have to execute; you know how to, and you've done it a thousand times, but every few shots you just blow it to hell and send an 8-inch clod of something foul-tasting towards your partner. So while most of it is a pleasant experience, at the end of the round you're always wishing you got around more on that standing rib roast or not hooked that asparagus souffle into the drink. Sometimes you get the course; sometimes the course gets you, and at the end of the day you're standing there wet, with a spatula in your hand, wondering what the hell went wrong.

I made a spinach and phyllo pie tonight, for instance, that came out like an overweight, pissed-off quiche with a chronic lung condition. It wasn't inedible, but it wasn't really what I was shooting for. Kinda like sinking a birdie putt on the 5th green after teeing off from the 4th.

But I'll be up and swinging for the next day's challenge, as this whole fatherhood thing will undoubtedly prove to be.

So I'll just wrap up this paean to overwrought metaphors by trusting that like all the other fathers in the world, I'll do what I can to knock it stiff, sink it in one, and pick up a round for the house at the end of another honorable day.

Monday, March 03, 2008

This Whole Baby Thing, Explained

Most of you know by now, but it bears repeating if you don't: Tara and I, or actually mostly Tara, are in the advanced stages of the breeding process.

(Here is where you say, in the language of our ancestors, "Hey, mazel tov, dude." Apparently, our ancestors were notoriously informal.)

But yeah, thanks. Looking at late August or early September. We've had a few tests so far, and things are pretty much where they should be (perform superstitious action of your choice); we even have pictures. In fact, here is a picture of Tara, or more accurately a picture of the inside of one of Tara's organs, where you can clearly see some gray and white splotches on a black background, and the word "Profile" with some numbers and letters:

Obviously this looks like it could be anything from an X-ray of a turkey leg to an 8th grade art project. But thanks to some advanced medical imaging technology--I believe lasers and nanotubes or something were involved--we were able to really enhance the results. I think we had to pay extra for this, but really, it's worth it. Anyway, this is probably a more accurate picture of our child at this point:

We were heartened to see what specialists call "Fonzie's sign", where the clenched fist and upturned thumb indicate advanced development of the fetal "cool" system. Ayyyyyyy.

Yeah, this does not bode well for classy humor going forward. Not even born yet and I'm already using the kid for a cheap punchline. Obviously, we'll keep the updates coming, so stay tuned.

Second topic: The First Berkshire District's very own Dan Bosley has, no doubt influenced by the need to get picked on anonymously, begun a blog of his own. A window into the inner workings of state government. Hopefully it will smell better. Anyway, while the name of the thing--"Dan Bosley's Blog"--is not about to win a Pulitzer Prize, it is the content that will capture my interest. He's already started up with a copy of his testimony at a net neutrality hearing in Boston. Dan--welcome to the party. Maybe you can coax Clark out of blog retirement.

This is especially welcome since over the last few months, the local blogging scene has thinned out some: Andy Etman, Da Snoop, and Tom B have closed up shop, and I'm lucky if I can even think of three hundred interesting words a month, let alone write them down. Still, I like it when a new post from one of my blogroll amigos crosses my RSS aggregator, so please keep on posting.

(Margie? Gary? Are you listening?)

Not really a third topic, but a new plan idea: any time a show comes on featuring four nobodies with great big TV-sized heads and blinkered priorities engaged in vigorous debate of the clothes people wore to the Oscars, and you're tempted to watch: make pudding instead. It's a real win-win, more so if you like pudding.