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[personal profile] cosmicgarden
We're back this evening from a party at a mag-ni-fi-cent house in Dorchester built in 1888. Like a Tardis, so much larger on the inside than it appears from the outside. Elaborate and meticulous woodwork on ceilings, walls, doorways (including a "wine, women & song" triptych on the doors of the built-in dining room cabinets). Great polished mirrors reflecting chandeliers and vases of red roses. Stained glass ranging from original floral to a custom-made Swan Boats & Public Garden scene. Detailed friezes. Ceiling medallions. A kitchen with a glorious marble backsplash and three-part sink with huge taps for filling equally huge pasta pots. The pantry with TWO doors into the dining room. Our host's partner took us on a house tour, showed us the library and the deck and the various second-floor bedrooms and offices and the servants' quarters with extra closet space for the gentleman's seasonal wardrobes. And then took us to the THIRD floor where two rooms and a bathroom are in various stages of refurbishment, and where the "ballroom" is. Easily 20' x 40' I think. Later our host walked us down to the basement, showing us some of the original gaslight fixtures and the original root cellar (and the pie safe, complete with key!), and the chauffeur's quarters featuring the one working fireplace and another fantastically glowing stained glass window, and the garage complete with (no longer functioning) turntable to rotate the gentleman's vehicle, and the built-in gas pump, and the minuscule fire extinguisher, itself extinct.

I ate the most tasty chocolate cake there, and nearly laughed when our host shared the secret. Prepare a store-bought chocolate cake mix per the package directions, adding an extra egg to whatever it calls for. Add some good cocoa (no precise amount specified) and maybe a little cardamon or instant coffee powder. To this, add 4 cups of grated zucchini from which you have squeezed the excess water. Bake as per package directions, for a few minutes longer than directed. Remove from oven when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs attached. For the ganache frosting, boil 3/4 cup cream, remove from heat, beat in 8 ounces of chocolate chips, let sit a few minutes, and beat again. Spread this over the cake. Devour. OM to the power of NOM.

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cosmicgarden

July 2010

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