Monday, May 04, 2009

Parkinson's, Grace and Olive Oil Cake

Reader, last week I had a great night on the town with Liz. We went to see Michael Pollan interview Michael J. Fox at the Herbst Theater. Fox is married to Pollan's sister Tracy; their comfort with and admiration for each other was evident. Though first known as an actor, Fox is now known equally for his Parkinson's activism, particularly for his highly respected foundation and vocal support of stem cell research. Perhaps you saw the commercial he made in support of Missouri politician Claire McCaskill that caused a kerfuffle with colossal fathead Rush Limbaugh back in 2006.

Although he left full-time television in 2000, he is still acting, about to appear in Rescue Me, playing Dennis Leary's soon to be ex-wife's new boyfriend. Here's a clip:

Fox was very funny and incredibly graceful about the many accommodations he's made in his life for the disease and equally impassioned and optimistic about finding a cure. I highly recommend going to see him if the opportunity arises.

After the talk, we went for dessert at Citizen Cake. Right off the bat we knew we wanted the molten chocolate cake with coconut sherbet. It made you understand (if you didn't already--we did) why more women prefer chocolate to sex. There was also an olive oil cake on the menu, which I had been wanting to try for some time. I love olive oil and I love cake and yet the combination of the two seemed wrong-ish. But we went for it. It was served with whipped cream, rhubarb consomme and a bunch of other hoity toity ingredients and it was so. Damn. Good.

That next day I made olive oil cake at home using this recipe, but first read all the comments and made some changes based on that feedback. Hundreds of fellow bakers can't be wrong. My thinking anyway. Anyway, doubled the lemon zest and the lemon juice. And because I can't be bothered with cake flour and springform pan foolishness I used regular flour and a glass pan.

I served it to the Urban Farmers with sliced strawberries that had stewed in some balsamic and sugar. The correct term for that is macerated, but that word is so very awful, I shan't be uttering it again.

The result was quite good, but nowhere near the yumminess of the Citizen Cake variety. The textures were very different and I'm not enough of a baker to even speculate on the possible causes. I will definitely make this again, with some minor changes. Maybe a little less olive oil, even more lemon zest and juice and maybe I would buckle and try some cake flour. Or try orange zest and juice or adding a light lemon glaze. Mmm, lemon glaze.


jdub said...

Used to be a huge Rescue Me fan. Got to be too much after a while. I'm a huge Dennis Leary fan, but it seemed that it had to keep topping itself with outrageous stuff. (Which is hard to top when you have the ghost of a dead 9/11 firefighter in the first episode and Jesus regularly appearing as a character).

I saw Alex P. Keaton in a promo for Rescue Me. Looked like it would be a good fit, but I just don't want to watch it any more.

Professional Critic said...

I hear ya jdub. I liked the first few seasons but then I lost interest. Or maybe it was the really long hiatus because of the writer's strike and I stopped caring.

Mostly I'm just glad that he's still acting. Alex, that is.