Friday, March 09, 2007

Friday Recipe Blogging and General Musings on the State of the Medieval Woman World

I ran out of Coke Zero this morning (the horror!) and so I just went to the Shell Station to buy a few bottles to tide me over - I also bought an impulse bag of Doritos so now everything I touch has little electric orange finger prints all over it.

But I digress - I did not do a full-scale shopping excursion today (in which I would have replenished my stock of Coke Zero with sensible cans nicely packaged in a "fridge-worthy" box) because I'm trying to tackle this stupid book review. It's becoming the "Book Review That Ate Medieval Woman" - why am I having such a hard time writing this thing? It's not because I can't read the book. It's because.....well, I don't know!

Didn't I post something several months ago where I wanted to know how to go about getting a book to review for a journal? Didn't I ask for this opportunity? And then, at MLA, I ran into a "friend who is now book review editor for a specialized medieval journal" and he offered it to me. Usually I love being introduced to new genres - it's always a thrill to figure out what the needs are for articles, book chapters, panel proposals, paper abstracts. And I thought that I needed to be introduced to the book review - it's a part (admittedly a smaller part) of the profession and I have dutifully pursued said small part until it yielded itself to me.

But now I'm having blockage - I know "what it is" - a review should balance the descriptive with the evaluative - I've got the first part of the review mapped out - I'm just having the hardest time holding my feet to the fire.

I'm not sure whether this is the product of general winter malaise, being burned out on teaching, or what. Usually, I always perform really well with a deadline and the deadline is next week. Gah!

Oh well, I'll avoid the review for a bit longer and I'll post this week's recipe. This is a highly general recipe, but it's a good one and with a story. PSA: You will need special paraphernalia to make this recipe: a waffle iron! I hesitated at first about posting a waffle recipe - the waffle recipe - first, because not everyone has a waffle iron and second, because it's not really *special* in any way - no fancy doo-dads or ruffles or bows or anything. It's the little black dress of waffle recipes. But it's the only recipe I've ever tried that makes waffles just like a restaurant (or diner, as the case may be).

And the story is this. The Dutchman and I got married in October 2005; the delightful students (baby medievalists) in both my classes that semester got us a wedding present. One of them was a gift certificate to a lovely local restaurant - we had an awesome dinner there. The other one was from a Chaucer class I was teaching - the student who presented me with the gift was dressed in his best Chaucer garb and they had written the card in Middle English. After I finished weeping like a baby because I was so touched - I saw that it was a gift certificate for Williams Sonoma (*cue the angels singing*). So, the Dutchman and I decided to buy a waffle iron - something that we'd always kind of wanted but would never spend money directly out of our own pockets on. My students joked and said "you'll only use it once!" - but I have proven them wrong - we actually use it all the time - we love fresh waffles for breakfast.

And this is why!

Baby Medievalist Waffles
- 2 eggs, separated, at room temperature
- 1 3/4 cups milk
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 3/4 cups flour
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt (important!)
- dash of vanilla (optional)

1. Beat egg yolks; stir in milk and oil; add a dash of vanilla.
2. Add flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
3. Stir only until large lumps disappear.
4. Beat separated egg whites until stiff and then gently fold them into the rest of the batter.
5. Ladle the batter into the waffle iron at will.
6. Serve the waffles hot - they cool quickly!

P.S. I have put a new sitmeter on the blog because the old one was acting up. But this means that now all of my stats are back to zero! It's a clean slate...but at least it works...

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At 2:00 PM, Blogger Hilaire said...

Oh my goodness - I love waffles!!

I love the story of your students giving you wedding presents. How lovely!

At 11:03 AM, Blogger Another Damned Medievalist said...

I'm just over a month overdue on a review. Part of it's time, part is a teeny bit politics (I have some criticisms, but want them to be gentle because the book really is very good AND I don't want to alienate anyone in the author's circle of friends), and most is just getting it done. Sometimes I find that just typing up the notes I took as I read is a good way to get round the not writing.


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