This is the story of two recipes that didn’t turn out at all the way I planned.
I was going to make you pink strawberry waffles today. My baby–my first baby–turned six and, not to be outdone by her sister’s chocolate waffle birthday coup, requested strawberry waffles for breakfast. Pink, please.They were delicious. I used my regular yeast-raised batter (which works beautifully for both waffles and pancakes), adding a few generous spoonfuls of strawberry preserves in place of the sugar. And then, in a stroke of genius suggested by a reader-friend, I tinted the batter as pink as can be with a sprinkle of that beet powder I thought I’d never use again. Of course, the baked waffles were mostly waffle-colored, which was a bit of a disappointment to us all (mostly me). Continue reading →
I’m afraid I can’t write a post for you tonight because I am too absorbed with Pinterest, which I never really explored before today. Ooh, pretty! Very distracting. I see the attraction now. Come visit me at pinterest.com/emmycooks/, wouldja?But here’s the nice thing about jam, I guess: it can happen in the background in fits and starts while you’re doing other things. (Cooking an elaborate Senegalese feast, for example, or fooling around on the internet.) Continue reading →
What? It’s been four days since I posted the recipe for the Easiest Pie Crust Ever and you still haven’t made a pie? What are you waiting for?
Ok, ok, here’s a recipe that’s even easier than pie. I’m calling it an upside-down pie, because it’s a single-crust pie with the crust, get this, on top. Isn’t that smart? So you get a scoop of juicy fruit and a crisp, buttery top crust. That’s it. The Rustic Fruit Desserts people (I told you you’d be hearing hearing more about them) refer to this dessert by the funny name “pandowdy,” and indeed it was their Gingered Peach and Blackberry Pandowdy that inspired mine.
This dessert was especially sweet because I made it with the last of the peaches we brought home from California and tayberries from our Tonnemaker’s fruit CSA. (You can substitute raspberries or blackberries or both; tayberries are a cross of the two.) I personally wouldn’t usually put peaches into a pie–I know, other people do it successfully!–because I think they give up too much juice, resulting in a too-liquid filling and a soggy bottom pie crust. Both problems are solved by this recipe: the bottom crust has vanished and the filling is thickened to a luscious consistency by macerating the peaches and then simmering the juice to thicken it.
Today was a cooking whirlwind. It was the first day of our Nash’s CSA, and when my sister and I looped through the market to pick up our box I couldn’t resist bringing home a flat of raspberries as well. So that meant jam-making (and everyone eating countless raspberries off their fingers, of course) in addition to our first CSA salad of the season, followed immediately by a five-hour cooking spree with new and old friends to produce a Senegalese feast. The dishwasher is now running for the fourth time.
My sister was making gorgeous salads on one counter (greens, strawberries, goat cheese, pistachios, balsamic, thank you!) while I got a habenero chile sauce going on the stove, so J had the bright idea to set up the canner on the barbeque burner outside. We will certainly be doing that again this summer to keep the kitchen cool.
Here are a few things you should know about making jam. First, you don’t have to can it. You can always make just a bowl or a couple of jars; keep them in the fridge and use them within a week or two (depending on the sugar content). Alternatively, you can make a larger batch and freeze your jam instead of canning it. Finally, if you use pectin, I recommend Pomona’s Universal Pectin, which doesn’t require a high percentage of sugar to work. So you can sweeten your jam to taste and it will still set nicely.Continue reading Raspberry Jam (click for recipe)
We picked up our first box from Tonnemaker’s fruit CSA this week and–I’m almost sorry to say, for those of you where cherries are already over or not happening at all this summer–I have remembered how good a cherry can be. We got three varieties this week, each better than the last, each cherry firm and impossibly sweet and dripping juice. The kids’ hands have been purple since Tuesday.
It was J’s stroke of genius to slice some of the cherries into pancakes, which he did with the girls on the 4th of July. It’s a weekend and holiday tradition of theirs, making pancakes or waffles for breakfast. J seems to have inherited this sweet habit from his own pancake-making dad, which makes it doubly sweet. The cherry on top, so to speak, is that I usually wake up just in time for breakfast (or just leftovers, if I’m really lucky).
Here’s what we brought back from California: a huge jug of olive oil, grown and pressed a few miles from where I grew up. Bags and bags of almonds and walnuts from the nut orchards we drove through to get to my parents’ house. And a 20 lb. box of peaches, nectarines, and plums, so that we can go on pretending that it’s summer even though it appears to have skipped straight from spring to fall in Seattle.
Mostly we eat ripe fruit alone, which is really its highest and best use, but last week this cobbler recipe appeared on Dinner: A Love Story and it sounded so simple and good that it was in the oven almost before I knew it. Luckily we had lots of people hanging around that day, and it was gone within hours.