|A Hemingway haunt while living in Paris....|
|One of San Francisco's most popular bookstores named for |
Hemingway's famous short story...
|Hem and Hadley, married and off to live in Paris....|
|Begins with their lean happy days in Paris....|
to Papa's sad end...
|Susan Minot one of the authors among a steady stream|
who spoke at A Clean Well-Lighted Place for
Books in San Francisco's Civic District...
|She lives on a small Maine Island...|
|Fave restaurant near the now sadly gone bookstore...|
|From New York Writers Workshop...(HERE).|
Ernest Hemingway’s 1,413 word short story, A Clean Well-Lighted Place was ostensibly about an elderly man who came to a cafe and kept waiters up past 3AM as he drank brandy, neatly. But what were its universal themes, really? Beyond the millions of HS kids who penned their essays from the Cliff Notes?
A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books, in Opera Plaza, was our cultural watering-hole, where bands of bibliophiles hobnobbed at weekly author events...like Susan Minot speaking about “Evening”: (HERE).
She revealed that she first hand-wrote manuscripts, often while staying with friends from Italy to Martha’s Vineyard. Which made me wonder if she was referring to Jackie Kennedy's "Red Gate Farm" as Minot had been a bridesmaid at Carolyn Kennedy's wedding...It's those details that we'd trade later like baseball cards...
Friends and I would meet at a talk, then stroll, often in Fall weather it seems, down the blocks past the Opera House, the Symphony, the Beaux Arts City Hall and on to Zuni Café on Market Street. A dream now that could be transported straight to Paris and fit in....
A few blocks over in the Hayes Valley neighborhood is Miette; known as The City’s “most charming bakery”...and there you have a kind of generational divide. Our "Clean and Well Lighted" place vs their Miette...it aways comes down to what fuels you, n'est-ce pas?
You could do both: Read "The Portable MFA” accompanied by a still warm Miette brownie, and a short glass of brandy, or two... Then write a 500-word essay...in the Hemingway-style...
12 brownie cupcakes, or 24 two-inch square brownies.
Preheat the oven to 350º. Cook for: 45 minutes
1 c. all-purpose flour
1 t. baking powder
¼ t. espresso powder
1 lb. 70% cacao chocolate, chopped
2½ cups sugar
¾ c. unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ t. kosher salt
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1 c. walnut halves (optional)
Sifted cocoa, for dusting
1. Butter 12 standard cupcake cups or one 9-by-13-inch baking pan and dust with sifted cocoa, tap out excess.
2. Sift flour, baking powder and espresso powder into a bowl. Set aside.
3. Melt chocolate in a double boiler, remove from heat, combine the chocolate, sugar, butter, vanilla and salt. Transfer this to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low for 30 seconds, then add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition until well combined and shiny. Add the flour and beat until just combined. Raise the speed to medium and beat for another 30 seconds until the batter is shiny...
4. Scoop the batter into the prepared pan. Dot with walnuts, if using, and press lightly into the batter. Bake brownies until they begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes for cupcakes or 40 to 45 minutes for the 9-by-13-inch pan.
5. Remove from the oven and immediately transfer the cupcakes from the pan to wire racks to cool. If using the baking pan, let the brownies cool in the pan for about 20 minutes, then cut while still warm into 2-inch squares.