Tuesday, July 17, 2007

7 Things, ECL Style

Melinda, who has been trying to get me to blog for the last month, finally gave me an easy topic. (Don't worry, Melinda, I still plan on doing all those other things too!)

So, here goes....

7 Things You May Not Have Known About The ECL

1. I can't bake without a recipe.

2. I LOVE sugar cookies with that crispy sickly sweet american buttercream frosting.

3. Some of you may remember me talking about this, but I prefer CREAMY over DEATH BY CHOCOLATE anyday. And in order for #3 to officially count, I think most pastry chefs in Portland fuck up creme brulee royally. (It SHOULDN'T be RUBBERY, EGGY, or SHITTY, and the top should be nice and CRISPY...you know, CARMELIZED???)

4. I don't really like pie or puff pastry at all.

5. But I love love love croissant, and I think there are too many fake (read: shitty) croissant out there confusing the masses.

6. My favorite cake is yellow butter cake layered with dark chocolate ganache and fresh raspberries. OR, now that I have fallen in love with the raspberry chocolate ganache, that would suffice. When there is a microwave around (I don't have one), I like to nuke my piece of cake for like, 2-5 seconds, just enough to warm it up but not to melt the frosting, then scoop a generous portion of vanilla ice cream. THAT, my friends, is ECL's version of culinary bliss....

7. I spent 4 months living in Simferopol, Ukraine in my very early 20's and I fell in love with their black bread. Sour, dense, wheaty, super super yummy. Then, two years later, when I was living in Munich, Germany, I fell in love with their breads. We had a bread bakery around the corner and we would buy our bread from them on a weekly/twice weekly basis. Good stuff. I also fell in love with Munich's Biergartens. (Who doesn't love to sip a crisp light beer in a park on a lovely warm summer evening? Americans, because we don't have anything like them here.) I learned to love whole milk, Wurstsalat, and Blaukraut. And I thought the idea of mixing a beer with fizzy lemonade freaking genius! (What are they called? Help me out here, people.) (11:30 pm) Radler!! It's called a Radler!!! phew.

I suppose I'm supposed to tag some people now to continue the meme, but eh, I dunno. Who reads my blog these days anyway? How about this: If you're reading my blog, then you are morally obligated to do the meme. Please report back when you post your 7 things.

I guess that could be the eighth thing you didn't know about ECL: she's really lazy.


  1. Nooo...I don't have to do it again do I?
    I want to know why you have lived in the Ukraine and Germany? Army?...Spy?
    Beer and lemonade in England is Lager and lemonade. If I have, I like Lager and Lime.
    Artisan bread almost anyway are wonderful.
    Have you made your own croissants yet? I am thinking I want to try them around Christmas time. My older sister makes fantastic croissants.
    Sorry to make you blog. But you just have to. Even if I am the only one who reads it!

  2. Anonymous17/7/07 15:58

    Melinda, thank you for making her blog! I check ECL's blogs almost every day! Have been wondering what's going on...

    Zhenechka, "Just say chorny!"

    -- Raya

  3. Raya, haha, CHORNY!! You stop by almost daily? *blush* That's really sweet of you! I still like to call Norwegians "Norwayans." Or better yet, ask, "Norwegia? What do they do, anyway??"

    Melinda, yes, thanks for getting me back on the wagon.

    I was in Ukraine (with Raya up there) on an exchange program, and because I was a Russian major and anybody at Willamette who wanted to major in Russian had to go to Simferopol to get enough credits to graduate.

    Then I got this crazy idea in my head that I wanted to be a translator/interpretor which meant I needed to be fluent in one language and proficient in the other...so I chose German as the other and headed off to Germany post graduation to get proficient and also see if I couldn't rustle up a permanent life in Europe. I worked as an Au Pair, made only one real friend (another American, too), and came home after 10 months deciding I wanted to be a bartender instead.

    Rest assured my parents freaked out about that decision!

    Haven't made my own croissants YET, but I often read the recipe in the Pie and Pastry Bible just for kicks.

  4. Listen...sounds like spy training to me. But I understand you are required to maintain secrecy and pose as a harmless doula during the day.(You speak Russian...very coolski!)
    I would love to see your croissants, if you ever make them. We could do a blog bake off in December.
    Looking forward to your post about Portland. If you do go to the coast (Oceanside) email me and you can go see my aunt and uncle who live in my grandmother house there now. They would be tickled to meet you. Well, because we write to each on my blog and that you kind of know me. They know how much I love Oceanside too.
    You're a nut. I think I could be your friend too.

  5. Dude what am I chopped liver

  6. dude, dyanara, you are SO TOTALLY obligated to do your 7 things!