Thursday, October 29, 2009

monkey see, monkey do

My uncle is the king of reading. My mom's side of the family is known for its readers, and he just may top all of them. Not only does he love to read, but he loves to share the things he's read with my family. My parents have received, well, probably hundreds of books from him throughout the years. And, of course, you can't forget the numerous magazines and newspapers he subscribes to. He'll often send clippings of things he thinks we'll be interested in. During my senior year of college, one of the articles he sent me inspired what I remember to be the worst paper I've ever written ...

Mass Communications was a class I'd looked forward to taking, but in the busyness of my final semester as a full-time student, I didn't give it the attention I should have. It was an easy class, and a large percentage of the grade came from two papers. The day before the first paper was due, I still didn't know what I was going to write about. Then I checked my mail. In my box was an envelope from Uncle Ken. And in that envelope, I found an article about Christian music. (Sidenote: Isn't the internet great? I just found and linked to that very article--an article published six years ago!) The article inspired my paper, unimaginatively titled "Christians in the Secular Music Industry." (At least I remembered to give it a title. So many times I turned in papers or articles without titles, and I eventually got to the point where I'd type TITLE in huge letters at the top of the page. I don't think I ever turned in a paper with the TITLE still there ...)  I pulled the only all-nighter of my college career while writing the paper--thank goodness for the internet; I found every single source, except for the article from Uncle Ken, online! I finally finished minutes before class started (I skipped my other morning class to work on it), rushed across campus, and arrived just in time to hear the prof say that she'd give us until 5 p.m. to turn the paper in!

Because I'm a nerd, I saved all of my college papers; I just reread this one, and it's not as horrible as I remembered, though it reads more like a magazine article than an academic paper. Still, I got an A!

Well, this trip down memory lane wasn't supposed to be the focus of this particular post! What I was getting at when I first mentioned my uncle was that he recently sent the food section of the Los Angeles Times, and it inspired me to bake. The front page article was about monkey bread; following the article, the author listed three variations. I'd never thought of monkey bread as being anything other than a gooey, cinnamon and sugar, pull-apart bread (which is, of course, fabulous); when I saw the recipe for an olive oil and herb version, I knew I needed to try it.

All ready to go into the oven
It. Was. Fantastic. I'm a huge fan of dipping bread into herb and garlic flavored olive oil, and this bread reminded me of that--except that every bite was infused with flavor, and the outside was all crusty and delicious. Mmmmmmm, good!

It was supposed to cool for 15 minutes after coming out of the oven. I waited ten!

Doesn't it look delectable?

No, I didn't eat 1/4 of it in one sitting--Steph had some, too!

If this has whet your appetite, you can read the article and get the recipes here.


  1. It seems that either no one is reading the blogs or that no one is commenting anymore.

  2. Thanks for introducing me to "Haven't Met You Yet" from Michael Buble. Do you have any other suggestions that I can buy for my IPOD?

  3. Anon, yes, people are reading AND commenting!

    Becky, that sounds and looks awesome! I am tempted to try it. Tell me: did you use *fresh* herbs?? It's so rare that I buy them, but I bet they would make a big difference in how it tastes!

  4. I've never actually purchased fresh herbs. I used dried rosemary and an Italian seasoning blend because that's what I had in my cupboard. It probably would have been better with the fresh stuff, but it was pretty amazing as it was!

  5. I learned something else after making it again using my mom's stoneware bunt pan. Use a metal pan (like my $5 Walmart pan)--it comes out much crisper on the edges. In Mom's pan, it tasted great, but the edges were kind of soggy.


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