Thursday, February 15, 2007

Cupid strikes again!

Dear readers, it seems I'm always a day late and a buck short these days. Sorry about the delay, but Happy Valentine's Day. I wish many a baked goods to you and yours.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Jeg savner from my family in Denmark

"Jeg savner dig" means I miss you in Danish, a phrase that is impossible to forget since I am always thinking about how much I would love to see my Danish host family again. It has been much too long since I have seen them last, but to my delight, my host sister called me this morning to chat! I heard about all the latest news, including what my host mom has been baking lately. Of course, it made my mouth water-- it's a little hard to think about missing her lovely baked creations...

Sara and I talked about FCK, her favorite football team, and their defeat to rival Brondby last night. I also learned that my host sister just chose what language she will focus on in middle school: French! So now, in addition to her helping me learn Danish and me helping her to practice English, we can also practice our third language of choice together! C'est super! And thanks to the American Scandinavian Foundation of Los Angeles, I could even speak with her about the recent Danish film I saw at the Scandinavian film festival!

It was so good to hear her voice! I had written the host fam awhile back about my efforts here at The Great American Bakery Hunt. Sara asked me to confirm the address of the site over the phone. She said that maybe she could show it to her English class at school!

I started spelling the web address, but I wanted to make sure she got it right. "D" is for dog, O is for "ost", R is for "rundstykke", F is for "Farvel!", S is for "snake", B is for "bus", l is for "lang"...and we went on, confirming each letter by giving Danish and English word examples. So if her English teacher comes on the website, she can see that Sara is quite a diligent student. For some reason, it just makes me happy to think that somewhere on another continent, a group of European schoolchildren might randomly come on to this site* as a part of a show-and-tell exercise!

*So Sara's English class, if you are out there, you should know that you are VERY lucky to live in a country where there are SO many good bakeries. I am one jealous American girl that you can eat warm rundstykkes every day, and drink Matilde chocolate milk whenever you want! Also, I would like to say: Hej fra America, og jeg elsker dig Sara! Du er dygtig!

Poilane is in the news yet again...

BusinessWeek is running an online slideshow about "The Making of Poilane Bread".

Poilane is run by a French owned company that has gained an international reputation.

According to the slideshow commentary, 1/5 of Poilane's revenues come from online orders. Thus, it is clear that bakery hunters everywhere are using the power of technology to transform the international bakery hunting landscape.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Bakery hunting through the golden years

Elderly bakery hunters in Northern Europe need not struggle with the bus system: now they can easily gain access to limitless pastries due to new advances in personal transportation. It's good to know that if age brings mobility concerns, I will still be able to hunt through Scandinavia with ease as a feisty old lady! Now if I can just get every baker in Copenhagen to give me a 55 and over discount, I will be the happiest golden girl of them all.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

A Great American Bakery Hunt shoutout post!

This post is a shoutout to my friend Justin Paul Veiga, who took the photos below with the spirit of bakery hunting in mind. In addition to being named the FedEx Package Handler of the Month for September 2004 (Placentia, CA Hub), he is also one of the most talented, original, and artistic people I know. (When we met to discuss the future of The Great American Bakery Hunt the other day, he offered some clarification about his past accomplishments: "You know, I really handled packages quite well during all the other months too. I'm sure if they could have awarded it to me more than once, they would have.") I would have to agree. Whatever the context, his talents never cease to amaze me.

A student of photography at Cal State Fullerton, Justin is also gifted in painting, and he makes a wicked mix CD (a skill which should never be underestimated-- although, read Chuck Klosterman's Sex Drugs and Cocoapuffs for a theory about mixed cd's Vs. cassettes, he makes some valid points. If you're interested, Klosterman's book also contains a profound theory about why John Cusack is ruining the lives of Americans everywhere.) Anyway, I'll state here for the record that if you see any interesting photos on this site, chances are that Justin took them. The ones that are a little rough around the edges are probably mine!
He profiled different professions for his last photo project, so of course, I dressed up like a baker to help the cause! I'll let him leave some details under the post comments about what kind of camera he took the photos with and why this is probably significant in some way.

All I know is that he is the fearless leader of my one-man tech support team here at The Great American Bakery Hunt. Thus he gets the first and most honorable techie shoutout of the entire blog. If you want to help his artistic cause, give him a fruit custard tart, his number one bakery muse.

We have a running deal to exchange html advice with baked goods: I'll make the tarts, he'll teach me to be a tech wonderwoman. I'm still a long way off, but eventually I hope to become proficient in computer geekiness. And hopefully I will get better at baking along the way. Justin, thanks for all your inspiration and encouragement! The Great American Bakery Hunt would not be the same without you!

A hunting nightmare...

Bakery Hunt Gone Bad!

Icelandic in a week

Daniel Tammet learned Icelandic, one of the world's most difficult languages, in one week!

Brownito ceases to habla English...

Have you heard of Brownito? He's a friendly, dancing brownie that serves as the "mascot and figure head" of a Dominoe's pizza Brownie Squares promotion.

Standing proud, Brownito is three feet tall with Mickey Mouse-like hands, wholehearted greetings like "Hola, soy Brownito!," and wicked break dancing moves he busts out at the click of your mouse. For a while, Brownito was bilingual, and performed his moves under the pseudonym "Fudgem" on the English speaking sister site. But every time I try to use the "visita a brownito en ingles para ver a fudgems" button, I get a blank page and a "HTTP 404 Not Found" message.

What gives Dominoes? I know the press release dates way back to August, but some of us English speakers were just getting to know Brownito in our native language. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful the legend still lives on en espanol. But this HTTP 404 business is a mystery indeed.

I suppose we should count our blessings. After all, the whole brownie promotion did bring us this humorous story.

Even so, I can't help but feel that these large corporations are just toying with our emotions, bringing friendly brownies into our lives and then changing their minds. I haven't actually tasted the brownies, but I sure liked the idea of a brownie hypnotically beatboxing and dancing to techno music. You just don't see that every day. It's breakthrough marketing if I've ever seen it.

Fudgem was soon replaced by another promotion to make way for Dominoe's Brooklyn Style Pizza, where anyone with the name "Brook Lynn", or "Brooklyn" was the recipient of a free pizza in honor of their name. Maybe if I name my future children "Bake Ree" or "Paste Tree" I can use them to get all sorts of free pastries from a willing corporate sponsor! I'd say it's definitely worth chancing it. (But along those lines, what was Gwyneth Paltrow thinking with the whole "Apple" debacle? I'll never understand it.)

In any case, Bake Ree it is! I have to keep my eye on the prize. That's right: I will become the most powerful American bakery hunting mastermind, whether my children like it or not. One day they'll thank me.