Today starts the Grand Experiment, i.e., no Detroit paper-made-of-paper on my doorstep today. Our progress so far…yesterday I got the Sunday Free Press, and no New York Times. On Sunday, this is like getting the bill and the mints at the cash register, but no breakfast. I actually had to read Albom. Alan insisted on calling for our copy, and it was delivered six hours later by an old man in a battered car. He walked with a limp as he made his way up the walk, but his manner was courtly and his apology, sincere. A new company is doing the delivery, he said, and this was an early glitch. So sorry.
Today there was a New York Times, but no Wall Street Journal. Since I can’t speak English until after my coffee, I opted to handle it online. In red type on the Services page:
Due to some delays in your area today, you may experience late or missed delivery of The Wall Street Journal. We are sorry for the inconvenience.
It’s sad when the old world meets the new. Nothing but blood on the floor. And yes, the ironies have occurred to me: This is happening on a day when the biggest local story in months is breaking. Also, that the person who pays more than $700 a year for newspapers is the one being inconvenienced, so we can cater to the freeloaders. (Jeff TMMO linked to something Jim Lileks had to say on this subject today, but I won’t, because as usual he buries his point in several hundred words of blather about what he had for dinner Friday night. Kind of like, oh, me.)
But it’s Monday, it’s cold and there’s snow on the ground. Let’s turn our thoughts to happier subjects, shall we? Not what I had for dinner Friday, but what I made for dessert two weeks ago. Speaking of newspapers, the New York Times food-front main story a few weeks ago was about whoopie pies. Nothing like a picture like this to get your mouth watering. Normally my baking runs toward more traditional fare, but it looked like something Kate would enjoy making with me, and so we gave it a whirl.
Ours did not resemble the Times’:
But they were quite tasty, although if you’re planning to follow the same recipe, a word of advice: The cakes are fine, but drop the preposterously rich buttercream filling and just go ahead and whip up a bowl of plain old cream, with lots of powdered sugar and vanilla. The recipe is adapted from Zingerman’s Bakehouse in Ann Arbor, and once you look under the hood of one of their concoctions, you see how they justify their prices. There’s just no reason for every one of those suckers to have the equivalent of a half-stick of butter in it. Use whipped cream, refrigerate briefly and hand them out at a child’s birthday party. Yum.
A housekeeping note: Starting today, I’m introducing some small steps toward a modest monetization of this site. Oy, you don’t know the time I’ve grappled with this, but what I’m groping toward is a few little trickles that might add up to a stream someday. Today, I’m reviving my old Amazon Associates store, which I’m embedding in the “On the Nightstand” link. Click on Ms. Lippman’s latest, and instead of being taken to some review of her work — all of which have been very complimentary, by the way — you’ll go to my Amazon store, Nance’s Kickback Lounge. If you buy the book, or anything else, through me, I get four whole percent of your purchase. But you can buy anything there, not just “Life Sentences.” I’ve highlighted a few of my favorite current books, movies and so on, but if you simply access the greater Amazon site via my store, it all goes back to me. (Click on the “Powered by Amazon” logo to access their main page.)
In coming weeks and months, I’ll try a few more things, most of which will be unobtrusive and that which isn’t, I hope, will be something you’ll enjoy. My working model is, if it’s in yo’ face, it’s gotta be something extra. We’ll see.
I mentioned snow on the ground. It came through last night, a little squall that when it started delivered flakes the size of coasters, it seemed. We all stared out the window, resenting the hell out of it, even though it won’t stick and won’t last past 10 a.m. today. I resented it even more for being so pretty — the big flakes were very Hallmark. At least they were last night. Today, they’re just sort of…Monday. Enjoy yours.