But…first things first…it’s not just the Mattress Ranch: Fairbanks also has a Barnes & Noble now. So…my mother and I were wandering around, trying to kill time…and as we were looking through the Bargain Books, I came across Naughty Cakes. Quickly realizing it would be a sin to let this slip through my fingers at just $7.98, I snatched it up for myself. I think my personal favorite is the Hotpants cake (perhaps for my last day of work?). I’m skeptical of sugarpaste though – making your own does not seem as “straightforward” as Debbie Brown claims it is (although perhaps dried egg albumen and gum tragacanth can smell fear and I shouldn’t let them know I am afraid of them)…although maybe specialist cake decorating outlets that sell ready-made sugarpaste aren’t as difficult to find as I think they are.
I *also* see Ms. Brown has a follow-up, Xtra Naughty Cakes, which came out just this year!
But it wasn’t just lewd baked goods in Alaska. My mom and I were watching the Barefoot Contessa and because the Internet was down (which seems to happen a lot in Alaska…), she had to write down the recipe for this bread-salad-thing from memory (after a quick little search on foodnetwork.com, I see it’s actually called “panzanella“). It was really good! My mother added flourishes like avocado…and I don’t think her dressing was *quite* as fancy. But we both wolfed it down…so presumably she made good changes.
Mom and I *also* tried out a recipe from one of those Sweet Potato Queen books (and I certainly know my my buddy JB understands the SPQs are the very reason I initially called everyone in my office Chris…) and made what Ms. Conner Browne dubs “catshit cookies.” We used a different kind of oats, so they didn’t look a whole lot like catshit, per se. But they were also pretty darn tasty…