Home - is where I want to be / But I guess I'm already there /I come home -
she lifted up her wings /
Guess that this must be the place...
- Talking Heads, "Naive Melody"

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

TWD: Hungarian Shortbread

Holy new interface, Blogger!



Here you see my awe-inspiring plating skills, and part of my desk. Oh, and my shortbread.

Assuming I manage to post this at all, what I was planning to say was... this post almost didn't happen at all. I haven't done any serious cooking in weeks; my brain has been Elsewhere, writing even when I am not physically writing (which is most of the time; if I wrote nearly as much as I think about writing, I would have seventy novels).

This weekend in particular was a tough one. There is a hell peculiar to writers of fiction, and it is called the query letter. I spent much of the weekend trying out different approaches and feeling sorry for myself when people didn't like any of them, alternately hating my book, myself, and everyone who has ever given me criticism on writing, however kind and useful it has turned out to be. I didn't think I had the energy even to make shortbread.

Which is pretty damn silly. Shortbread is only one of the easiest things in the universe to make. On Sunday I managed to haul myself out of the Slough of Despond long enough to mix up a bare handful of ingredients (see our hosts, 1smallkitchen and The not so exciting adventures of a dabbler for the recipe), put them in a pan and bake them.



I have to admit, I thought the method in this recipe was really weird--freeze and then grate the dough? What on earth FOR? But it did make for very tasty shortbread, not to mention a good upper body workout. I eyeballed my dough halves rather than weighing them like a sensible person, so the base was probably a bit thinner than it ought to have been, but for what was involved, this is actually a very good, almost elegant (!) nibble.

Next time you're in a writing funk, or any other sort of funk, go ahead and make these. They go very well with tea and self-pity.

12 comments:

pinkstripes said...

Baking is great escape to a funk. I definitely know that from this past month. I hope you're feeling better.

YOur shortbread looks great.

guineapigfood said...

Love your plating... My aluminum foil bows to your Tupperware container! Lol :-)

Janet said...

I loved your plating too :)
The bottom "half" of dough was smaller too but I think that helped it cook a little more evenly. Good luck with your writing!

Karen said...

I eyeballed mine as well. Oh well.. :) I think I have 70 books in my head as well but not one of them has touched paper. Glad you were able to come back from the Slough of Despond to bake and post. ;)It looks like it was worth it!

Cindy said...

Tea and self-pity! Thanks for the smile. I often drown my sorrows in a good chocolate cookie. Now there was no chocolate here but what a yummy treat. I'll make it again soon.
Good luck, I hope your week is great.

Heather said...

My desk looks very similar, right down to the can of Diet Coke :D I hope the funk lifts soon. Your bars looks delicious!

Rebecca said...

Thank you all! I am feeling much better now. :) I really liked this recipe, and it seems like it was a hit for most of us.

jane said...

sorry you are having such a rough time, I find baking to be something that brings pleasure. I hope you do too.

Rebecca said...

Thanks Jane! Funk has lifted, not to worry. :)

Cher Rockwell said...

Writer's block is a bummer for sure. Hope you have climbed out of your pit.
Great job on the shortbread!

Sara said...

I nominated you for an award :) http://redheadcuisine.blogspot.com/2012/05/versatile-blogger-award.html

Teresa said...

I love your getting-it-real photo. I spend a lot of time shooting around clutter, myself.

Good luck with your query letters!