So last year, my old roommate Faye, who is currently living in Morocco as a volunteer in the Peace Corp, posted this blog entry about cooking, specifically with Moroccan sugar. In Morocco, sugar is sold in solid block form, not loose crystals, so poor Faye has to sit and scrape away at her massive cone of sugar in order to get cup of sugar with which to bake. At the time of her entry, I thought "wow, what a strange cultural quirk," and gave it no further thought.
Fast forward to last month, when I opened a bag of sugar which had been sitting in my old apartment for at least three months before our move. The bag was a solid brick of sugar, and the joke was on me.
one giant hunk of sugar
I spent what seemed like an hour scraping away at that thing, sugar particles flying across the room. What a mess! As annoying as the Great Sugar Scrape of 2010 was, I managed to break down most of the brick, and I can sleep easy knowing that this is unlikely to happen to me again anytime soon, barring an extended stay in Morocco. Faye, I feel for you. If sugar didn't weigh so much, I'd send you a five pound bag and pray it didn't solidify on its transatlantic trip!
For now, there may or may not be a not insubstantially sized lump of the sweet stuff submerged beneath the sparkling white sea of sugar crystals, but I am ready to get back to baking.