Two! And not famous yet.

This week by: The Common Cook turns two! Yet, after two years of hard work your faithful writer, cook and photographer hasn’t become famous.

I wouldn’t mind if this changed. Small fame is fine with me. Just enough to start me writing and creating full-time and not so much of the working for an unnamed company in a job where complete words and sentences are frowned upon.

I don’t think this is entirely unreasonable. According to my stats I get over 200 views per month. October’s bar graph is turning into a sky scraper ready to break records. I’m hoping for a spire, secretly being constructed, to be set at the top. Unfortunately, these numbers haven’t changed much over the years. Those viewers aren’t commenting nor liking which I’m supposing means they aren’t spreading the word either. Not like for the people who have become famous. Here are some of the people who have become famous since I started this blog.


Not true, I realize. Perhaps a bit of a cop-out as well since it didn’t require much work. I started looking up people and blogs and things that have become famous and became increasingly dismayed until it felt like everyone out there was achieving more than I. Of course from a researchers point of view the search was flawed to begin with. Searching for what is famous will of course, leave out all that isn’t. Which is surely the larger number.

I can also admit my residency in this place is my fault. I don’t do enough to achieve fame.
♦ I don’t comment, like or link either.
♦ I say “I have a blog,” in the voice of Eeyore rather than “I have a blog” in a Christopher Robin-esque voice as the woman who cut my hair (and also has a [more successful] blog) recently instructed me.
♦ And maybe, perhaps most importantly, it doesn’t adequately bridge or embrace the two genres it is supposed to fit in to. Neither food blog nor… I can’t even decide what the second genre is. Is it personal, life, humor? Humor, right, ’cause I’m funny?
The first two points I can fix. The third is hopeless.

I’m not completely giving up. Here are some of the posts that I feel should have become more famous. You see Crepes and Apple Coffee Cake (totally awesome as they are) still lead the pack and that’s not entirely fair. Below are some of the posts more representative of the Brynne dilema – not yet famous. It was a tough choice since most make it into this category.

The Meals to Die by series.
These are typically some of the shortest posts you will find on this site. You are also more likely to find genuine recipes in these posts. Yet, comments are scarce and searches are empty. Google isn’t sure if it should post ads about stranger danger or heart disease. Any profit-seeking publication would stop this disastrous series. I can’t give it up.

Gnocchi Lessons
Funny, sarcastic writing and really awesome pesto recipe awaits you here. The time vs. expected pleasure graph is referenced all the time and yet, zilch.

Chips from a Multi-Tasking Mandoline
Once upon a time this received a modicum of success among work circles. That has faded. Yet, it is still so timely, so true.

The Pumpkin Pancake Waltz
I have a large amount of undue pride whenever I create a song or something that only barely rhymes. Which means that I find this post hilarious. This happens a lot when cooking — from cilantro to onions to peanut butter to pumpkins.  Please let’s all sing together to the tune of The Christmas Waltz…

Today’s recipe is still awaiting its fate. Please, help the three old crones dip my string in gold rather than giving it a quick snip.

Apple Cider Bread French Toast

Apple Cider Bread:
adapted from Cooking Light

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup white whole-wheat flour
1 heaping teaspoon salt
1 package (2 ¼ teaspoons) yeast
not quite 1 teaspoon cinnamon
much less than 1 teaspoon ground cloves
much less than 1 teaspoon cardamom
1 cup warm water
1 cup apples peeled, cored, and diced (I used 1 fuji apple)

First get the apple cut up. Mix together the flours, salt, yeast and spices. Add in the warm water. Mix until you get to the “shaggy dough stage” (a term used in every bread recipe). This was kind of a dry dough at this point, but the kneading brought it together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic. Until it refuses to accept a poke. Let rest a few minutes. Now, knead in the apples. This starts out as a seemingly impossible task. Flatten out the dough some, pour about half the apples in the middle and attempt to fold the dough around it. Watch as all the apples fall out, put them back in the dough. Repeat and repeat. At some point add in the rest of the apples. Repeat and repeat. And eventually it really does all come together. Place into an oiled bowl. Turn once to coat. Cover and let alone for about 10 minutes. Oil a loaf pan. Put the dough into the loaf. Cover and let rise about 30 minutes. It needs to double.

Heat the oven to 375°. Bake the bread for about 45 minutes. Until it is browned and sounding hollow when tapped (the standard). Remove from oven. Let cool. Run a knife around the edges if needed and turn the bread out of the pan. Let cool completely.

French Toasting It:

about 1 cup Milk (Though the milk had gone bad and I substituted with half and half. Hey, it was that or whipping cream.)
1 splash vanilla
3 splashes brandy
very large sized pinch cinnamon
pinch cardamom
3 whole cloves
1 egg
half a pat butter

Cut 3 thick slices of the bread. Combine the milk and all the ingredients. Beat the mixture with a fork. Pour the milk mixture into a shallow dish. Add in the bread, turn once or twice to coat. Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight.

At this point skip ahead to make the apples and come back to these directions so that you can use the same large skillet. Melt the butter in the large skillet. Cook the french toast until covered in webs of brown. Turning once.

Top with the apples, toasted almonds and maple syrup. (Yup, real maple syrup! I got to buy real maple syrup.)

Flambéd Apple and Toasted Almond Topping:

sliced almonds
1 apple (Fuji again)
large pinch cinnamon
5 whole allspice
2 pats butter
1 clump brown sugar (Which might be about 1 spoonful if your sugar isn’t hardened. Supposedly an apple slice placed in the container helps with that.)

Spread some almonds on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven at about 300°. Slice the apple. Combine with a good squeeze from half a lemon, the cinnamon, allspice and a few grates of nutmeg. Shake it about. Cover and let sit. Check on almonds. Start searching for the matches. Get out a small pot and a large skillet. Keep searching for the matches. Find them. Check on almonds ’cause they might be done by now.

Melt the butter and the brown sugar over low heat in the large skillet. Add in the apple slices. Cook for a couple minutes. Turn over. Cook for a couple minutes. Start heating up some brandy in the small pot. Pour the brandy into the skillet and light a match…light…errgh. Get another match out…light….light….ah-ha. Light the skillet. Flambé!

Put the apples into a bowl and pour out any remaining liquid.

5 thoughts on “Two! And not famous yet.

  1. Brilliant post – sure to get a lot of hits,as you’ve mentioned “apple” 19 times and that is highly searched word. Now if you had also written “… in jobs where …” instead of ” …in a job where…” – the search engines would be funneling readers your way.

    But I enjoy how you have bared your soul today – when you do, your words ring true and your humor is genuine.

    I look forward to Wednesdays, actually Tuesday night – I imagine myself the first person to read your writings on the crisp clean comics page astride Baby Blues.


  2. Aw, I like this blog! To be fair, I only met you this year and discovered this treasure shortly after that. I really love the writing and looking forward to recipes that aren’t hot (as in heat, not temperature!). I am already drooling over Saturday breakfast, since I have convinced the Mr. we need to make this recipe. Any excuse for real syrup, YUM! Thanks for all your hard work; I hope I can say in the-not-so-distant future, “I knew her before she was famous!” I would comment more, but geez my eyes need a break from computer screens…work is way to hard on them.


  3. Pingback: I am this many | by: The Common Cook

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