As it turned out, Vlad and Anna were planning to deliver a specially ordered cake for me on my actual birthday. When I told Anna that I will be in the city on that day, partially because I need to pick up my inauguration day order from Vanille Chicago, they had to change their plans. Anna canceled their order in an attempt to move it to Wednesday, but by that time, they were overbooked for the inauguration day :).
After all, it was not that bad because I (with mom’s help) was more than half done with the pie.
On Friday, when I was sitting working, my door opened, and Vlad delivered a cake. And let me tell you – it was something! It was just great; I have nothing else to add! Yes, it was huge, and it might look completely unpractical, but that was just right! I was in such need of an unpractical, fabulously looking present, and the one I would never get for myself 🙂
I want to complain about how I didn’t have time for the book writing this weekend, but I probably shouldn’t. After all, there were many other things which I did, although I didn’t have to do. this includes baking.
Although baking was in my weekend plans even before the election results were announced, I decided that it was in honor of our victory 🙂
The last two weeks were… I do not even know how to describe them, “Lots of work” is not enough, and I can’t go into the details. It was a lot, and I had to manage all my previous obligations and the book schedule. The current chapter, which is due tomorrow, was indeed not as difficult as the previous two. It helped that we decided to move the last section of the previous chapter to the current one, so it was less writing after all, but still., writing is writing.
As usual, my usual stress-relieving activity is baking. I bookmarked this recipe a while ago. I love apple desserts, and this one sounded very promising. I made only one substitution. Since I do not like coconut, I substituted in with a cup of thinly sliced almonds, which I crushed to make them almost dissolvable.
On Saturday, it was dark, and raining, and windy for the whole day. This recipe is easy to make, but it takes a long time to bake, and then to let it sit, absorbing the sauce. The recipe calls for 1.5 hours baking, but it took almost 2 hours for me. That being said, it was a perfect activity for a bad weather autumn day. I was doing my writing, occasionally getting up and checking on the cake in the oven.
It came out great! Gave some to mom, some to my neighbor – they loved it! The only thing I would change – next time, I will put a little bit less sugar in the batter, and possibly less sauce. I think half of the sauce would do. So – a little bit less of fats and sugars. But just a little bit 🙂 🙂 🙂
I always blog a lot about food in Helsinki, because I like it so much, and because it is so different from other places. And since I do not want to end up having each and single of my Finnish blog post about food, I decided to have a separate food post. My old friends know 🙂
In summer, the best part is the abundance of local berries. Local strawberries are tiny and taste a lot like wild strawberries. I do not have pictures this time, but Boris added them to every fruit salad we consumed.
Unfortunately, it was too early for black and red currants, but wild blueberries were available in the stores and the cloudberries – you can’t find them in the US.
Then comes the salmon soup – the best staple of Finnish cuisine, FOr the past two years we favored the one from the shore cafe in Suomenlinna, but Boris told me that they stopped serving it. We tried in two other places, and the Fazer cafe didn’t fail us.
Vanille Patisserie reopened on Wednesday! I saw that they have a free delivery to the NW Suburbs day, and I emailed them and asked whether they would fulfill the postponed order. They said they will, and here is my order!
I frequently visit Vanille Chicago French Market location (its under the tracks of Ogilvie transportation center). I also ordered from them several times, including my Mom’s 85th birthday cake. So there is no surprise I receive lots of promotional offers from them.
Last week, they sent an email: Monday is going to be a National Macaroon Day. Since we can’t celebrate it in the store, we offer a special – two dozen macaroons for a price of one, plus free delivery.
I ordered two sets: one went to Wisconsin, to Anna and family, and another – to my address. I sent one of my boxes to Vlad and Dylon, and the last one is mine :). I liked how they packaged the macaroons: