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You Asked For It: Twistie’s Baking Library

(Actual illustration of Twistie at actual size… only two hundred and fifty years ago and much smaller)

In response to my harrumph of last week on the response my week’s worth of baking delicious things for the annual block party, several of you (and you know who you are) begged for the recipes.

Darlings, I love you all like Plummy loves her granny pants, but I’m not typing out that many recipes. I made four fabulous treats, three of which required a minimum of two recipes to assemble. In fact, two of them took three each. That’s a lot of typing of other people’s copyrighted materials.

Instead, I’m going to reveal the sources of all the recipes, tell you where to get copies, and leave it to your own ingenuity and budgets to get them or not. I will further recommend that any of you who enjoy baking more than once in a very, very, very blue moon pick up at least one of these three volumes. Every one is brimful of clear recipes for delicious treats for all occasions.


Fun Concept, False Advertising, Good Read All the Same

So. Fannie’s Last Supper by Chris Kimball. Let’s talk about this book, shall we?

The concept was deeply cool. When Kimball moved into a house built in Boston in 1859, he learned that it was right down the street from where America’s most famous home economist and cookbook author, Fannie Merritt Farmer lived. This inspired him to decide to create an historically accurate kitchen and – using Farmer’s recipes and the techniques of the day – cook and serve an historically accurate American Victorian dinner party, circa 1896, the year the Fannie Farmer Cookbook was first published.

The result is a highly readable (albeit occasionally painfully graphic) documentation of his attempts to do just that.


Happy Bastille Day… and a Chance to Save Money

Happy Bastille Day! Best of luck storming any ramparts in your path today.

But what does this have to do with saving money? Darlings, don’t you know that here in the States every holiday is about saving a few bucks? At any rate, even if it isn’t considered the point, you can always find some retailer looking to sweeten the pot just a tidge in the name of patriotism, or whatever other excuse they can find.

I’m not complaining, mind. I love a good bargain. I don’t even mind exploiting another country’s most important holiday to do it so long as no animals are harmed in the making of the motion picture.

In this case the vendor is Cooking.com, and the way they have chosen to honor Bastille Day is to offer free shipping on selected Le Creuset items with sale code C96959. May I suggest this gorgeous color known as Marseille?

Considering how much Le Creuset pots and pans weigh, that could give you some hefty savings!

Vive la France! Vive la savings on awesome cookware!

Plumcake’s Picks: Wide Calf Boots from Duo

I’ve got to be honest here, I cannot even THINK of wearing boots right now.

It’s Austin’s six-millionth day in a row with temperatures destined to be over 100 degrees and the suggestion of donning anything but the wispiest of cotton lawn dresses and the flimsiest of sandals fills me with a sticky overheated dread.

However, Duo Boots, that blessed British purveyor of wide-calf boots for the big girl, is offering free international shipping for a limited time and since it can take up to a month for your kicks to clear customs, it’s a good idea to order now for arrival by the beginning of October.

I’ve got a wide, extremely muscular calf and it’s almost impossible to find boots other than those dreadful cheap-looking microfiber stretch jobbers to fit my legs.

I am a big fan of Duo and one of the most fun evenings of my life involved a pair of Duo over-the-knee suede boots and their effects on the masculine population of Shannon, Ireland.


Let’s start out with the Belice raspberry suede knee boot.

What a fantastic date boot. A deep red like this can really be played as a neutral since you could wear it with black for a chic downtown thing, a rich chocolate for a sophisticated upscale presentation and navy for a fun and slightly unexpected look.

These are also available in black. Remember, suede stretches a good deal more than nappa leather so if you’re between calf sizes you might want to order down.

Next there’s the Salso taupe suede knee boots with cone heel.

I really dig these because taupe is an unusual color for boots. You’ve got great opportunity to play with texture here.

I imagine the taupe boots over a pair of nude fishnet tights, a fun wool skirt and fuzzy angora sweater, all in the same tones. You’ve got something funky and incredibly sophisticated without it screaming fashion victim.

The taupe is also a good choice for those of you who live in a place with long winters since it’s easily trasitionable into a spring look where you need that extra warmth but don’t want the visual weight of a heavy black boot.

I showed these Amora croc embossed black boots yesterday during the teaser.

These came out late last year and when I saw them I made a sort of strangled gurgle of pleasure.

They remind me of a pair of Hermes jumping boots I saw four years ago and which I have coveted for approximately every waking second since. Except, you know, not $25,000.

For those of you who like a pointier (though not razor sharp) toe in a boot, we’ve got the Parina in burgundy suede.

Another great boot in a color that can be treated as neutral.

Can you just imagine this with a pair of gray tights and a slightly slouchy little sweater dress in October? Completely effortless and gorgeous. Your friends will hate you…but in a good way.

If you want something classic, statement-y but still casual,  the Catalonia tan riding boot should be right up your alley.

The great thing about these is they can be styled dozens of ways.

Dark jeans, big earrings and a little striped top? Adorable date night outfit a la Edie Sedgwick. Same jeans with a rock tee and a grandpa cardigan? Cool and effortless for running around during the day or a concert at night.

Finally we have the Florence black equestrian boot. Talk about merciless chic, they’ve got the style of a Spanish show riding boot with a low cut back and they just slay me.

Put these with a pair of light honey leggings for a horsey set look or do head to toe black and a bright silk scarf or enormous jewelery for a bit of Parisienne cool.

Do you have a favorite way to wear boots? Put your best boot outfit in the comments and help your sisters out!