Orchids, Bluebirds, and Raspberry Rolls

2498xI really wasn’t sure what to title this post, because while I had been ready to call it “Picasso’s Raspberry Roll,” for reasons you are soon to see, I couldn’t. So I will start off with a picture of my new orchid, ‘Chin Lih’, which I purchased at Hausermann’s last week.

2494xOnly a backdrop of embroidered silk will do for ‘Chin Lih’!–first in indigo, then in silver.

IMG_2480Meanwhile, I have continued to do bird watercolors–here is a bluebird, an imaginary one, since I’ve never seen one in our backyard.

2535xSaw this little goldfinch today, fluffing his feathers . . .

2519xAnd this purple finch. It’s supposed to get cold tonight, and I always wonder where the birds go on such a night.

"The Dessert," by Pablo Picasso
“The Dessert,” by Pablo Picasso

But speaking of Picasso’s Raspberry Roll, I had run across the recipe in a book called Picasso, Bon Vivant, which presented foods that supposedly inspired Picasso, and about how his love of food influenced his life and art. It sounded interesting, and the recipe was billed as “Very quickly made rolled cake.”

Getting out the ingredients, I imagined that I was wearing espadrilles and was in a sunny little kitchen in the south of France. La, la, la. Then I came to the direction “Add sugar to the egg yolks.” What sugar? It was listed nowhere in the ingredients, so I had to estimate. Then the yolk mixture turned into concrete, a phenomenon I had never seen before. I had to add another egg. I was sweating as though I really was in the south of France. Then I heard a rasping noise from the next room. It was Rocket licking the prepared pan, where I had placed it to be photographed. All thoughts of taking the Raspberry Roll to work, vanished.

2533xThe cake baked in a trice, smelling ominously like an omelet, and then seemed to collapse. Quelle horreur! Then it stuck to the waxed paper as I tried to roll it. After refrigerating it, it collapsed. Then I collapsed! Where was the powdered sugar? It’s pretty much my remedy for every baking problem.

Disgusted, I sat down with a cup of coffee and a slice of the cake, and found it–perversely–to be delicious, very moist and light, though looking like a collapsed wreck. Thinking of Rocket licking the pan, I threw the rest of the cake into the compost heap, where “Les oiseaux ont mangé.” (The birds have eaten it.)

2543xI will attempt this recipe again, because I could see how it could be wonderful, and it was basically a French butter sponge cake. And it was quick, I had to admit that, but kind of the way a roller coaster ride is quick.

2552xHope your week is a happy one. Namaste. Fran


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