August 17, 2011
I have, admittedly, had trouble baking bread. After a couple of missed attempts, I now tend towards simple recipes that are somewhat fail proof.
I am grateful to Dave, my new friend who is quite the talented baker (and thinker, improver and eater) for offering me a lesson. So this past Saturday morning, he opened his kitchen (and his home, quite frankly, because Cherub tagged along and she explores just about everywhere) and gave me a course in bread baking 101 (he also fed me and Cherub lunch, natch, lucky us!).
I choose to tackle brioche. Because I mean, come on. Butter, eggs. In bread? It’s heaven. It makes the most fabulous toast. Not to mention French toast.
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July 18, 2011
This is the last of them. I think. Well, there are still some in the freezer. But there were twenty pounds of them (just my portion). And this cake – maybe – is my favorite way to eat them. The cherries, that is. But I do love them pickled, too.
I made this last night after Cherub went to bed. It was my way of unwinding after kind of a tough day. I find satisfaction – if not a bit of peace – in the measuring, pouring, mixing, folding, testing, cooling, wrapping that it takes to make this cake. Or any cake, really. It takes only a few minutes to measure things out, then an hour in the oven to home-baked goodness. The crumb is dense, the cherries jammy, the crust golden and crisp. It’s a classic pound cake.
I originally came across this recipe somewhere in the depths of the interwebs, but halved it to fit in one 9 1/4 x 5 1/4 loaf pan and subbed fresh cherries for (gasp!) jarred maraschinos. A bit more fiddling and I had cake.
Sour Cream Cherry Pound Cake, makes one 9.25 x 5.25 loaf
1 1/2 c all purpose flour
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June 13, 2011
It is a great pleasure to identify edible plants, trees and flowers to include in my culinary endeavors. Most recently I rang my neighbor’s doorbell to ask if he wouldn’t mind if I picked a few bowls of berries from his Juneberry tree (a.k.a., saskatoon, shadbush, sugar plum, service berry, et al) in return for some baked goods and perhaps a cocktail, some jam and maybe some ice cream, or a cobbler. The possibilities are endless. He didn’t say no.
This recipe is not for a sugary sweet cupcake that masquerades as a muffin. No, these are delicate-crumbed cakes – almost savory – plump with jammy berries and a whisper of almond, echoing the notes of the berries’ seeds.
Old Fashioned Juneberry Muffins, makes 10, adapted from James Beard
2 c. sifted flour (I used unbleached all purpose)
1/2 c sugar
1 T baking powder
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