Special Moves for a Special Time
Here at FINE we talk a lot about special moves—our own special moves, the special moves of the humans that make up the FINE team, and the special moves of our clients (that we love to uncover and share with the world).
In the COVID-19 era, I’m working hard to celebrate special moves wherever I can find them. We’ve all heard the stories: Some days making it to a Zoom meeting in more than pajama bottoms and a work shirt is a special move. Other days, that special move is the ability to teach third grade math to a third grader without crying or yelling “I quit!” then hiding in a closet for the rest of the afternoon (you, not them). Maybe your special move involves a sourdough starter and from-scratch crackers made from its discard. Or perhaps your COVID special move is actually a double special move and you’re doing handstands while putting on a t-shirt while simultaneously whipping up dalgona coffee.
If special moves aren’t coming super easily to you, especially in the kitchen, I’m here to help. It just so happens that one of my special moves is baking made easy (oh, and making wigs out of cotton candy of course). I have a few baking recipes on my list of special moves that I’d like you to know about. They’re special because they’re easy. They don’t require daily upkeep (see: sourdough starter) or huge amounts of flour (one of COVID’s most precious resources, it seems). You don’t need a mixer or any special equipment to make them, and they’re good for bakers of any age, so you can make baking a group activity, a math/science class, or a simple way to celebrate making it through another week.
The first is what will probably end up being your favorite chocolate cake. If you don’t like chocolate cake, it may still end up being the best chocolate cake you’ve ever baked or tasted. I’m not just saying this! These statements can be backed up by actual feedback from real people who have actually baked cakes before. Did I mention the cake is glazed with chocolate that is actually hot fudge that’s not hot anymore? It is.
Chocolate cake not for you? How about a vanilla cake with a citrus glaze? Sounds fancy, yet it’s not. I’ll teach you how to do it and then you can turn it around and tell your family (or the internet) you made a very fancy cake with a very fancy citrus glaze even though it’s not actually fancy.
And I've got just the thing for the days when you simply want or need to eat a pan of brownies. Plus, who am I to stop you from doing this? Eating an entire pan of brownies might be your own special move!
I’m certainly not the only shut-in with special moves to share. Here’s a collection of people sharing a variety of special moves:
- Make ice cream with my friend Jeni Britton Bauer
- See sourdough (discard) and banana bread collide in this recipe from Edd Kimber
- Tune in for daily cocktails with David Lebovitz
- Spend “lunchtime” doodling with Mo Willems
- Try not to cry as you watch every single one of these videos and witness the special move of music bringing people together from afar (#15 is my favorite)
- Discover the depths of your pantry with these recipes from Penguin Random House
Here’s to the FINE-honored tradition of discovering and sharing special moves. I’m counting down the days until we get to do it in person.
Jami Curl is a FINE friend, Creative Services contractor extraordinaire, and the author of the award-winning Candy is Magic and just-published Baking Gold.