(Miss Sophie just did an "analog edition" over at Les Anti-Modernes, and one of my favorite online shops to browse is Japan's Analogue Life, so thought it was time to indulge in my own version.)
Ilse Jacobsen rain boots, handcrafted of natural rubber in Denmark. Fleece-lined and very cozy. (Scored these for 70% off at Isaay.com.)
beeswax pillar candles for when you get home from that walk in the rain. You can drink tea and have some homemade chocolate cake by late afternoon candlelight, too.
Porcelain teapot from artist Naoto Okada, at Analogue Life.
A very easy, plain chocolate cake recipe. This one involves cocoa powder and buttermilk, and is from Laurie Colwin's More Home Cooking. My copy of this book is a first edition hardcover, pages yellowed and stained from 20 years of handling in the kitchen.
Karen Edward's Version of Cocoa Buttermilk Cake
1. Preheat the oven to 350˚ F and butter and flour a 9 by 2-inch round cake pan.
2. Mix together 1 3/4 c. flour, 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
3. To these ingredients add 1 cup buttermilk, 1/2 cup vegetable oil or melted butter, and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Mix.
4. Turn the batter into the pan, bake the cake in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean, and let it cool for 5 minutes before turning it out of the pan.
It is hard to encapsulate the virtues of this cake. It is fast, easy, and scrumptious. It has a velvety, powdery feel-- the result of all that cocoa. It is not so horribly bad for you, because you use buttermilk, which is relatively low in fat, and cocoa powder is defatted anyway. Furthermore, it keeps like dream and tastes even better after a few days.... If you want to be lavish, you can dress this cake up by serving it with ice cream or créme fraîche. This mitigates its purist, minimalist virtues, but that is the way of chocolate cakes.