Baking right now, for Austen day tomorrow - two kinds of macarons. Sweet vanilla almond macarons with bittersweet espresso ganache and cacao nibs, and buttery almond macarons with salted mint buttercream.
The first one I found online (and here's a secret - "sweet vanilla almond" just means "regular," actually); the second I made up. Not sure how it's going to taste yet - I added a 16th teaspoon of butter flavor and an extra pinch of salt to the meringue, and added another 16th teaspoon each of butter flavor and peppermint extract, with another pinch of salt, to the buttercream. The meringue batter and the buttercream individually tasted lovely when I stuck my finger in them, so here's hoping! The cacao ones are out of the oven, pictures to come; the delicate yellow buttery ones are still in the oven. And can I just say how much I love my new insulated cookie sheets? My cookies in general are coming out so much more even - and so far the whole macaron batch has only one, count 'em, ONE cracked shell! Booyah!
Austen day, by the way, is to be approximately 12 hours of Jane Austen movie adaptation marathoning (Keira Knightly P&P, the 2007 Persuasion with that blonde guy, the 1999 Mansfield Park with the brunette holding a key, the Emma miniseries, and one or another of the Northanger Abbeys. No Sense and Sensability because I haven't read it yet and ACTUALLY DON'T KNOW WHAT HAPPENS IN IT, so no spoilers, please [yes, I'm aware it's been out for two hundred years, thank you very much], and not the for-real 5 hour P&P because it's too long, and no Clueless/Lost in Austen etc. because we don't have time - we'll just have to have Austen day part 2 at some point!), accompanied by appropriate-feeling snacks (tea sandwiches, maybe scones) (yes, I know macarons are French) and tea.
In other news, I saw Pentatonix a couple weeks ago and it was very cool - big theatre, lots of lights and pop/rock concert style effects. Not gonna say I don't prefer them in a more intimate venue where I can hear the less-amplified vocal blend and see their faces a little better, but they handled the bigger show very well, managing during most of it to continue to provide a pretty friendly, intimate feel. Plus now that they've earned doing whatever they want from their last tour, we got to see some beat-boxing/cello playing from Kevin, some (AMAZING AMAZING AMAZING) dwarf singing from Avi, and some very cute goofing off, plus of course a double handful of new arrangements and a new audience sing-a-long. It's been great watching them grow as a group!
Further news - I'm music directing Xanadu at Little Radical Theatrics in White Plains in March and April, and I'm working for Edlyn's company, StarVest, as clerical support, starting now. (No more unemployment - yay! Although of course I still have to make sure they give me the $ for the 7 weeks during which I filed... haven't seen that yet, eh....) I have also accepted summer work at Thin Air Theatre Company in Cripple Creek, Colorado, for which I am totally excited quite a lot.
Gotta run and check the macarons! Plus sandwiching them, and taking photos... ttyl!
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