The Feathered Nest

The softer side of MaisonBisson

The Wisdom of Donna Reed September 2, 2010

TowerGirl @ 11:45 am
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Sandee in 1950s Kitchen

Since moving to San Francisco I have found myself with an unusual amount of free time. I found a part time job, but the demands are so much less than my usual schedule of teaching full time. The first few weeks I was able to stay busy by unpacking and organizing but now that is done.

Armed with a notepad and pen, my trusty MacBook, and the desire to be the best domestic goddess I can be I will watch the show from the beginning and find the lesson in each episode and you, dear reader, will be have access to my discoveries. Consider this your Cliff’s Notes on household harmony since it is quite possible that you may have a job that prevents you from engaging in this sort of deep cultural exploration. I am happy to share the fruits of my labor. Really, it’s the least I can do.

My goal is not to copy Donna’s every move, I am not making my life into a dusty time capsule. I want to take the wisdom of 1958 and apply it to 2010. I want to embrace timeless wisdom from a timeless woman. Donna, I surrender myself to you. Teach me.


I Can Get Satisfaction May 16, 2010

TowerGirl @ 7:49 am
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Yesterday I had a craving for chocolate cake. This happens from time to time. I have an idea of what chocolate cake should be. It should be wonderfully moist but still cakey, not a pudding. It should be incredibly rich but not cloyingly sweet. It should stand tall and proud. A proper cake should have presence. It should not look like a brownie cut into a wedge.

It is not exaggerating to say I have tried dozens of recipes. Being a word person, I am often suckered in by an appealing name: chocolate bliss, chocolate seduction, or the classic death-by-chocolate. I have tried them all, following each direction like a sacred ritual. Each time I have been disappointed. Each time the promising name failed to elicit a sigh, a flutter, or a palpitation of pleasure. I was left disappointed and unfulfilled.

Ever the optimist, yesterday I combed the internet looking for a new recipe to try. Hoping that this time I would find the cake of my imaginings. I found this recipe on Simply Recipes. The recipe is a bit extreme. There’s a lot of bittersweet chocolate, there’s a lot eggs, and there’s a lot of butter in this baby. There is also a wonderful whisper of orange zest that both elevates and balances the chocolate. This is a special occasion cake. She stands tall and proud, about three inches high, and promises unabashed pleasure. She’s no tease. She delivers.