funny things that have happened to me while I’ve been neglecting this blog

1. I whipped up this fresh vanilla bean, cranberry-filled, crumb-topped coffee cake. The preparation was intense – scrape the vanilla beans out from their pods! (which required me to watch a youtube video, obviously) remove your kitchenaid from where it lives! (in the linen closet, as all good New Yorkers do.) This was all especially arduous considering I was baking at 8 a.m. the day after I threw a dinner party for 10 without a functioning dishwasher (and thus, with a few too many beers.) But I pushed on, because my abundantly wonderful cousins, who have hosted me for many a wonderful meal in their Union Square apartment over the years, were finally coming up to see our little UES abode, and I wanted to be a good hostess.

The cake was delicious – the kind of delicious where even though you really, really adore your guests you find yourself fantasizing about when they might leave so that you can just be left alone, just you and your cake, in an environment in which you might be able to eat said cake straight from the pan with a fork without judgment. Also, the kind of delicious where you refuse to take a second slice in your guests’ presence, for fear that that would signal that it was ok for them to take another slice, and then you’d be less with even less cake.

The intricate preparation combined with the resulting deliciousness gave me a bit of a big head, I can admit this now. “This is the best thing I’ve ever made,” I told myself, “and definitely the most advanced.” I ran through a list of my culinary achievements over the years, and made the executive decision that I’d come quite a long way and was basically a professional now. “I never could have handled this in 2009,” I thought. “I am a baking expert.” I was getting so high on my achievement that I decided to leave a comment on the blog where I had found the recipe, essentially announcing my official entry into the world of culinary excellence. While scrolling down to the comments section, I caught a few words from the post: “super easy”; ” a cinch.” Hmph. The other comments seemed to concur: my piece de resistance was everyone else’s walk in the park.

I decided not to post a comment after all.

2. As previously mentioned, Francine’s best friend is under the weather, leaving her (and us) a bit desperate to find new playmates. In the laundry room, we ran into a girl on Dave’s rotation who has a two-year-old dog. We were trying to figure out if they would be a good match and I mentioned that Franny was a bit on the psycho side. “Oh,” she said, “she should definitely meet this other goldendoodle we ran into the other day. It was totally nuts, and the girl said it was the craziest dog on the Upper East Side.”

The thing is, that’s my line. I’m that girl. That’s our dog.

3. We’re chugging along with wedding planning stuff and are finalizing our ketubah, or Jewish marriage contract. The most recent step was to have our rabbi proof it. He had only two concerns – one, that we maybe adjust the date listed so as not to make the fact that we’re blatantly disregarding Jewish law and getting married on Shabbat painfully obvious and two,  “I think they flipped something around. It looks like you’re marrying your father.”

Turns out, my dad’s Hebrew name is David, and David’s Hebrew name is my dad’s name. Yes, for those of you keeping score at home, that’s one more tally in the “ways your fiance is creepily like your father” category.

So, the rabbi was wrong…but also, let’s be honest, kind of right.


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