Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Monday, May 30, 2006
I've been thinking about baking this monkey bread for a couple of weeks, but it looked very rich, sweet, buttery, and caloric. Not that these are bad things, but I am going to try to get in a bathing suit in a few weeks. I finally decided that I'd bake it and take it into work, where all food gets devoured.
I started baking the monkey bread on Memorial Day, when Minneapolis was having record hot temperatures, and my kitchen is not air-conditioned. Jim asked me if I was really planning to turn on the oven when it was 97 degrees outside. His tone of voice led me to believe that I should not say yes.
So I whipped up the dough yesterday (I had to move it closer to the air conditioner after I noticed that it was rising before my very eyes in the 100-degree kitchen). Then I shaped the balls, rolled them in butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon (a half-pound of butter! See what I mean about rich, sweet, buttery, and caloric?), strewed them with raisins and pecans and put the whole thing in the refrigerator.
When I got up this morning, it was ready to bake. What a heavenly smell! I took it into work and sent out an email announcing the presence of monkey bread in the lunch room and telling people not to ask me why it was called monkey bread because I didn't know). They asked me anyway. My friend Susan said she loved the bread but she didn't want to call it monkey bread. She said she'd call it Ho Chi Minh bread because Ho Chi Minh supposedly worked as an apprentice baker at the Ritz-Carlton or someplace when he lived in London. This doesn't make any sense, and the Ho Chi Minh baking story is undoubtedly a myth, but that's how Susan's mind works. And not only did we finish the Monkey/Ho Chi Minh bread, but we also ate a box of doughnuts that Tony brought in because he won three cases in May, as well as two frozen custard pies, a strawberry-rhubarb pie, a lemon poppyseed cake, and cupcakes that various people brought in to celebrate all the May birthdays (of which mine was one, by the way).
Also, several people asked me if I made the bread with Pillsbury dough, a suggestion that offended Susan more than it offended me. ("Why don't you ask her if she gardens with plastic flowers?")
Did I get around to saying that this bread is fabulous? It is not really a bread in the staff-of-life sense, however. I was extremely happy that I took it into work because I could see it as a real possibility that one could just sort of pick at this bread all day and end up having consumed many thousands of calories without even trying.
Posted by Marie at 6:09 PM