30 January 2009

Culinary Envy

I have to admit that I have cooking envy after reading so many food blogs. I am amazed by all the brilliant cooks and food stylists/photographers who make mouth-watering food and then photograph it to make everyone else jealous and hungry. As an amateur both in the kitchen and with the camera, I can only hope to some day have such an aesthetically pleasing blog like Tartelette or La Tartine Gourmande (see their blog links in the menu on the left).

Because I live in a medium-sized city in China, I am limited in what I can cook but more so bake. I only have a toaster oven and a few baking dishes that fit inside, and the temperature settings on the oven are merely estimates, which can spell catastrophe for baked goods. I can only drool over photos of souffles and macaroons, ogle beautiful cupcakes and tarts. I don't even have measuring cups but use a Chinese tea cup as my cup measure and guesstimate everything else. I do, thankfully, have a set of measuring spoons and a few bottles of vanilla--my luxurious western imports. I online window shop at Williams and Sonoma or Sur La Table just imagining what I could do if I had the right instruments. Sometimes I feel like a painter without brushes or a writer without a pen. I dream of my shiny red KitchenAid stand mixer packed away in my parent's basement.

My lack of cooking possibilities is probably the hardest part of being in China, next to the lack of English-language books and periodicals. I bake what I can, usually cookies, bars, or quick breads. I've managed flan and rice pudding and may someday try a mousse. Tomorrow I am tempting a two-layer birthday cake for Turner. I will post the results no matter what happens.


  1. Dad,
    I knew they were peppers I just couldn't remember how to spell it!!! :-)

    Tell Turner, "HAPPY B'DAY from mom and me!!!

    P.S. How do I pick a profile that shows you the comment is from me?? I think I figured it out.



  2. Part of your blog's appeal is that of overcoming the challenges of being a stranger in a strange land making do. Enough of this wistfull wishfullness, make do with your creativity! Popsie

  3. Anxiously awaiting the pic of turner's b-day cake. happy b- day turner. you may not be able to blow all the candles out.
    momsie in law