today my awesome mama turns... like, a bazillion years older than she looks. i really think that some night circus phenomenon is happening because she seriously doesn't appear to be aging. (right now she is prolly like, but my wrinkles! ) looking at her, i have so much faith in my future old lady self, minus the grey hair part. 

mum is a badass in the kitchen. she has cooked for esa-pekka salonen and michael tilson thomas and, like, the entire boston symphony. she also used to have a little chocolate business. pretty much everything i know about cooking, i either learned from her or by fucking up. she is always reading up on new tips and tricks and she loves finding new recipes and ingredients.

because i mailed her present way too late for it to arrive on her birthday (oops), i figured i should give a gift to someone on this special dayso here is a gift for you: kitchen tips straight from my mum!

1. always double the rugelach recipe. 

2. when proofing yeast, always add a pinch of sugar, even if the recipe doesn't call for it. yeast looooves sugar. it'll proof its ass off if it's given sugar.

3. red spatulas are superior to all other spatulas. and the calories in the batter that you lick off of a red spatula do not count.

4. honey never expires. it may crystalize, but just warm it up a bit and the crystals will go away.

5. scones and pie crust always get cold cubed butter. this is obvious to me now because i make scones every day at the bakery at approximately 1:36 am. but years ago when i was just starting to bake on my own, i'd let the butter soften for everything and my pastries tasted like poop. 

6. a messy kitchen is a happy kitchen. this uses the same principle of a messy dog is a happy dog. 

7. things you should keep in the freezer: sesame seeds, nuts, and ginger. they'll last longer.

8. salt every layer of a dish. salt the pasta water, liberally. salt the vegetables before they get cooked. salt the salad. salt and strain fresh tomatoes before you use them. salt eggs when they're done cooking, otherwise they'll dry out. salt and taste, salt and taste...

9. scramble eggs very slowly over very low heat. and turn the heat off before they're done cooking because the heat from the pan will continue to cook them. they'll be fluffy and dog slobbery, just like scrambled eggs should be. 

10. cold brew coffee is stupid. just brew strong coffee and pour it over a heaping glass of ice. and then always drink it from a straw so that your teeth don't get stained.

11. don't ever use anything plastic in the kitchen. it's just not classy. (tupperware for storage is exempt.) 

12. if guests are coming over, make sure whatever you're cooking has a good and overpowering smell so that guests are hit with it as soon as they enter the door. if it doesn't smell strong enough, sauté an onion. 

13. always keep a bowl of risotto or sesame noodles (or something else) in the fridge in case you find yourself wandering through the kitchen with an empty fork and in need of a nosh. 

14. nothing gets put on the table in its original package unless the original package is cute. ramekins, ramekins, ramekins.

got it? ok now go send my mum a happy birthday tweet!!