Sunday, September 6, 2015

Chocolate Beet Cake + Preflight Musings

Chocolate Beet Cake Tomorrow I leave! Goodbye house, goodbye stuff, goodbye roads appropriate for two cars, goodbye family and friends, goodbye moon, goodbye chair, goodbye noises everywhere.

People have wished me goodbye asking a million ponderings, questioning my sanity and how I'm going to pull off a trip 3 months abroad. Questions ranging from the "how many suitcases do you need?!" to the "will there be wi-fi?" and "what will you be learning?!"

Next Sunday the school is hosting a pizza night for all the students to meet each other. I'll be meeting folks from all over the world, many from Dublin and the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Brooklyn, Virginia, Wisconsin. Most of them are women. Will my body be adjusted to the six hour time change by the time school starts on Monday? 

And remember…. 
  • Taste what you cook, don't eat what you cook (What do you think…fat chance?). 
  • Curl your fingers around whatever you're chopping to prevent slicing one off
  • While at the pub, say Smit-ick's not SmiTH--WHick's. 

I leave behind the culture of Buffalo, no, that's not facetiousness, after reflecting on a comment that Buffalo has no culture, I realized that why, yes, Buffalo does have culture. Don't get me wrong, there are many lovely aspects about my community and I don't mean to polarize, usually I'm very un-opinionated on this site, merely making observations about my home. How does the saying go? The further you are from home, the clearer it becomes. 

So while you may first think of a place being rich in culture by having interesting and exciting art museums, regular classical music demonstrations or eons of history, you could also consider part of the community's behavior to determine culture. And when I reflect on things I've felt pressured to be important to me societal norms in Buffalo, obtaining more Lululemon, filling shopping carts at Target and whose Mom Mobile is shinier could certainly be considered culture. And after saying that, I want to retract and protest that yes! there are more culturally mature things in Buffalo — like the fun Irish pub with musicians expertly strumming mandolins, a vibrant Farmer's Market, passionate church families, an amazing community of people at the co-op I love so much, farmer's I adore, educators that work their asses off, small business owner's, hardworking folks just trying to do what's right. Anyway, there are always two sides to every coin. C'est la vie! Upward and onward. Gung-ho! Amen. To Ireland I go.

What's the first thing I'll do in Ireland? Smell the thick sea air? Get rained on? Stop into a pub for a pint? Eat a meat pie? Most likely, sleep off some jet lag?! I spend two days in Dublin, then a three hour drive by car down central Ireland to the school. 
Chocolate Beet Cake

A goodbye cake. I won't be taking the time to write out a detailed recipe because I can't recall the fusion of David Lebovitz's Moist Chocolate Beet Cake and a little of Amanda Paa's Gluten Free Chocolate Beet Cake made into my own creation. Basically, make a chocolate cake, then stir into the wet ingredients 4-6 roasted, peeled and puréed beets. Make a buttercream frosting, reserve some white frosting for the middle layer, then add 2 tablespoons of beet purée to turn the remaining frosting a delightful magenta color. To make ahead, the baked chocolate cake discs can be wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen for 6-12 months because I remember eating my wedding cake on our 1-year anniversary and I'm here to tell you about it 10 years later. In my experience, the de-thawed cake actually has a different, thicker texture. That's all for now, friends. Next time I'll be posting from Ireland. Xo, Becki


  1. I'm so excited for you and cannot wait to follow this adventure. I had no jet lag going over. I wish I could draw you a map (walking) to the ocean but you'll figure it out more quickly than I did since you will have a vehicle. A walk on Ardnahinch Beach is the perfect respite after a day of class and cooking.

    Feel free to message me with any questions or just to vent. I envy your walks through the gardens and glass house, coffee at Shanagarry Design Center's cafe, Middleton market, interactions with the dogs, chickens, and instructors, fresh spices, herbs and produce, fresh eggs, cream and milk, fabulous cheeses, crips, Wilkies's Chocolate, hairy bacon and so much more.

    I forgot to mention the opportunity to work and observe in the kitchen at Ballymaloe House. Sign up as soon as you can and grab two spots if possible. Take it all in - you will do great!


    1. Marci!! Ack! Thank you for your support, encouraging words, and overall awesome enthusiasm. Contagious. Absolutely contagious. We are at the gate in ORD and I'm already feeling transported as the announcer is speaking in another language. Hope you are well. Can't wait to experience all you wrote. Hairy bacon?!?!?

  2. I am seriously coming to Ireland. Let me know when its OK! Skype is for the birds - real deal baby.


I'd love to hear all about your kitchen adventures! Xo, Becki