Wednesday, February 13, 2008

An Artsy-Fartsy Valentine Day

Quick, a pause after all this art stuff that's been taking up way too much time lately. Tomorrow is Valentine Day, as only someone exiled on [the place formerly known as planet] Pluto could ignore. All these cheesy red hearts and artificial-looking roses everywhere, arf. It's a bit too much in your face for all the singles around (hi fellow sufferers!) and all the people stuck-in-a-bad-relationship and all the going-through-a-bloody-divorce types. Come to think of it, probably 85% of the population loathes, loathes Valentine Day.
Personally I don't care, it's not so much of a tradition in France, but I'm thinking about my beloved, devoted readership. Who, I'm sure, is fed up with the commercial hammering of all things Valentine.
That's why, dear beloved, devoted readers, I'm posting a picture by Alain Sechas, a French artist I like very, very much. The painting is called "Chocolate Suicide" and it says it all, right?
But, to keep with the spirit of fairness and balance that is supposedly at the heart of US journalism -and aren't we all citizen-journalists, we the bloggers? - I'm also thinking about the minority amongst you that does celebrate V-Day. In passing, to go back to "fair and balanced news in US journalism", I don't know about you, but the endorsement of candidates to the presidential election stinks of partisanship to me, not speaking about the spread of the Obamania in the pages of supposedly distinguished newspapers, at the expense of Hillary Clinton and previously, John Edwards. I'm sure most of the people supporting Obama and "change" haven't read his poorly-written book, BTW, and also haven't really studied the history of "change" as a mantra in worldwide politics. I find it scary, personally, just to look at all the politicians over the past century who have been elected on charisma and empty rhetoric alone.

I'll let you ponder that one, think about how universal health care is a good idea, and let's go back to our V-Day lovers. FBC! has thought about you and is sharing a recipe, a nice cake you can bake in a heart-shape mold (thanks Rita!)

Meyer Lemon Valentine Day cake:

4 eggs, separated.
150g sugar
60g cornstarch
40g flour
zest and juice of one Meyer lemon
pinch salt.

1 heart-shaped mold, greased and floured.

Pre-heat the oven at 375F.
Mix the egg yolks with the sugar until you obtain a creamy, pale batter. Mix in the lemon juice and the zest. Sift the flour and the cornstarch over the egg mixture, stir well.
Beat the egg whites with the salt, when they are fluffy (hint: don't believe in the "soft peaks" jargon, but tilt your bowl on the side, when the whites are stiff and ready they don't slide or move in th bowl). Fold the whites in the batter (if you do not know how to do it, ask your Mom, your Grandma or your Aunt Edna, you need to see it done to be able to replicate it).
Fill the heart-shaped mold, and bake for 35-40 minutes. If you insert a knife or a skewer in the cake it should come out clean.

Let cool for 10 minutes before unmolding. It's better to eat it cold. You can slice it in 2 and fill it with either lemon curd, whipped cream or raspberry preserves, but it's better as is. The powdered sugar on top is unnecessary taste-wise, but it look better in the picture that way.
Share with your lover, your spouse, your best friend or your pet, and drink champagne, tea or coffee or whatever else you like. Enjoy!

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