Last spring my bestie and fancy chef extraordinaire, Andy, and I went on a field trip to see his friend Susan in New Jersey. She was a delight! We talked about her son Sam and his wife, Patty. I knew Patty was someone important in the film making world, but she was not really on my radar. That day I was more interested in getting to know Susan, who was hosting us, so it didn't really register. Well a year later, that Patty is on everybody's radar - or she should be - she's Patty Jenkins, the director of the new blockbuster Wonder Woman!!!
(No spoilers in this post except to say your summer will be spoiled if you don't see it!)
When I was a little girl growing up in southwest Missouri, my heroines were Judy Garland and Patsy Cline. I wasn't a Wonder Woman fan - never dressed up like her for Halloween, never had Wonder Woman Underoos, and I don't think I ever played Wonder Woman at recess. (I DID play Bionic Woman and Six Million Dollar Man, though!)
I read and collected Batman Comics when I was in junior high and high school and adored the style and storytelling of the 1960's Batman and Robin television show. (RIP Adam West.) I identified with the male super heroes in their flamboyant costumes, and the extremism of the villains. I was definitely aware of the iconic woman of wonder - the sexy outfit, the lasso, and the jet, but I never thought of her as a role model or an important character in feminine history...until NOW.
It's no secret that I am a card-carrying member of the #pantsuitnation and that I am blessed to know and work for Gloria Steinem. Ms. Clinton and Ms. Steinem are real life present day Wonder Women in my life. And if there's going to be a female super hero film made during the time of these ladies, then Patty Jenkins was the one to make it.
Yes, Wonder Woman stars a beautiful badass from Israel (I have been swooning over Gal Gadot for weeks now!) And Patty Jenkins is a badass lady film maker breaking boundaries, stereotypes, and box office records. Obviously, it's a 'girl forward' effort. I feel like that's the take away from most of what's been written about Wonder Woman. But that was just the tip of the iceberg!
The film is not about politics or even women's rights. It's about being an undeniable force for good. It's about putting yourself on the line for people and causes you believe in. It's about being strong AND vulnerable. It's about being of service. It's about seeing things with new eyes. It's about believing that love trumps evil. It's about being true to yourself no matter what. This is a story we can all be inspired by, not just women and little girls. This is a story about an extraordinary human being - who just happened to be a wonderful woman.
This week I was given a culinary assignment of making a Japanese feast. I cook for a book club that celebrates their reading by pairing their book choice with a themed dinner that reflects the story's location. Their book was Min Jin Lee's national best seller Pachinko. I knew I wanted to end the meal with a traditional Japanese matcha honey cake with chocolate like the ones I see in my local Asian markets. I did some research and with some trial and error, I came up with a chocolate ganache draped cake resembling a verdant angel food cake. I felt like a bonafide super hero cracking open my little tin of matcha green tea powder. It felt precious and otherworldly like it held super powers. If you can't find matcha in a store near you, you can buy it here.
Matcha Honey Tea Cake With Chocolate Ganache
- 1 cup white flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1⁄4cup honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon green tea powder
- 1⁄4teaspoon salt
- 7 large eggs
- 1⁄8teaspoon cream of tartar
- Separate the egg whites from yolks into two large bowls.
- Whisk sugar, honey, vanilla, green tea powder, and salt into egg yolks until everything is mixed together.
- Place bowl in a large pan of hot water.
- With an electric mixer, beat about 5 minutes on medium-high speed until pale yellow and doubled in volume.
- Gently fold in flour.
- In the large bowl, beat egg whites in electric mixer on a low speed 1 minute, increasing speed to medium-high until eggs are foamy.
- When the eggs are foamy, sprinkle in one tablespoon of sugar and cream of tartar.
- Beat until the egg mixture is stiff.
- Using a spatula, fold the egg whites gently so the bubbles in eggs are not destroyed.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Use parchment to line the bottom of two loaf pans.
- Grease the parchment.
- Pour batter into pan.
- Place pans on middle rack of oven 35 to 45 minutes or until golden brown. When done, cake sides will pull away from pan slightly; top will be flat and feel spongy when pressed with finger.
- Cool for 20 minutes.
- Run a small knife between edge of cake and pan. Remove from pan carefully.
- Pull off parchment and cool completely.
- Top with chcolate ganache and dust with more matcha powder
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 12 ounces chocolate chips or quality chocolate
1. Bring heavy cream to a simmer on the stove top, stirring occasionally. Just as soon as you see a simmer, remove from heat and pour over chocolate chips, butter, and salt, swirling the bowl to make sure all chips are covered.
2 .Place lid on chocolate chips to trap the heat and let sit undisturbed (no mixing) for 5 minutes. Remove lid and swirl the chocolate chips with a whisk starting in the center and working outward until smooth.