French Toasted Fluff

Fluff Fest is coming up – Saturday the 23rd  – in Somerville  Fuff Centennial Fest 2017

It’s been 100 years since Joseph Archibald Query created the magic that is FLUFF in his kitchen in Somerville, MA and sold it door to door.

He didn’t invent marshmallow. He just repacked and renamed it for immortality.

7 millions pounds of Fluff

were sold last year.

There is a recipe contest at the Fluff Festival..I’ve been thinking of Fluff….

I was reading Laura Shapiro’s What She Ate

whatsheate_cover3

In the introduction (no, she doesn’t mention Fluff….bear with me) she writes of Nell B. Nichols who published a food calendar in Woman’s Home Companion. For May 7, 1953 Nell offers a recipe that dips peanut butter sandwiches in an egg-milk batter and then fries them. That’s right – Peanut Butter Sandwich French Toast. And I thought….

FLUFFERNUTTER

FRENCH TOAST

That baked French Toast that I made a variation of, has been on my mind. My brain has been full of all kinds of bread and egg and milk things.

But, before I have a recipe to test, I have a few more thin gs to ponder. Like – what bread? It has to hold up, but fluffy white bread is classic for a fluffernutter…and maple syrup wouldn’t be assertive enough on top…..

Chocolate syrup on top would be better then maple.

Or how about chocolate BREAD….now it’s officially dessert…and chocolate syrup doesn’t go on top of chocolate bread.

See – close, but no actual recipe.

Yet.

Maybe next year.

 

 

 

 

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Salad Daze

Photo by Chalmers Butterfield

The Hollywood Brown Derby Cobb Salad….

The same, real Brown Derby restaurant that Lucy and Ethel went to when they went to Hollywood. The Episode  where Lucy dumps food all over a movie star – William Holden.

Holden-portrait

William Holden orders a Cobb Salad…a Hollywood Salad! A GLAMOUR Salad!!!!

Brown_Derby_Cobb_Salad_(2440195933)

Cobb Salad – named after a Brown Derby owner, Bob Cobb.

Of course, since Lucy is involved……and there was a pie…….

bill-holden-cobb-salad2

Before Lucy – After Lucy

It was a few years later that I found out what was in a Cobb Salad….

brown-derby-cobb-salad

page from The Brown Derby Cookbook, probably the 1949 edition – here are several versions of the Brown Derby and it’s cookbooks

 

One way to remember the ingredients:

EAT COBB

Eggs + Avocado + Tomato   Chicken + Onion + Bacon + Blue Cheese

I recently had a Cobb Salad that was a variation on the theme. It was made with radicchio  instead of greens, which was a little too warming for a summer salad, but for an autumnal one…..Mmm Mmmm Good!

And it was chopped up nicely. Somewhere in the 21st century we’ve forgotten that salads are eaten with forks in public places and that they’re supposed to be ready to eat and not need more knife work.

This version also had roasted butternut squash and turkey instead of chicken and dried cranberries, a Plymouthy version.  Good, and got me thinking about a few more tweaks. I’d do chopped radicchio as the base, great color, nice change from  KALE (hasn’t the clock ticked past that by now????)

RadicchioNL

Anyhow – turkey instead of chicken – but a roasted turkey. A roasty flavor would help here. Maybe toss a turkey breast in while roasting the butternut squash.

butternutlarge_58e44083-ff75-4340-951a-eb4b357ecd3d

Now that the nights are cool – last night was downright COLD – a little “toss a sheet pan of something in the oven”  action is NOT out of the question., and if it helps to stave off another night of not turning the heat on…more power to that!

I might use fresh cranberries, once they once they come in, instead of dried. Blue cheese. Hard boiled eggs – easy. Bacon? No hardship there. I also have managed not to start a jar of bacon grease, so get a jar ready….I’m going to go with black olives as the O…..I just don’t like raw onion, and since it doesn’t like me right back, we’re even on that score.

What have a got so far?

Egg + A…….+ Turkey  Cranberry + Olive + Bacon + Blue Cheese

Hmmmm – What the A?

A stands for Apple!

this-is-not-an-apple-1964(1).jpg!Large

Rene Magritte 1964

If I make an Apple/Maple dressing, a little chopped apple will temper it, give the sweet to go with the rich/spicy/…apple cider vinegar, chopped apple, maple syrup and a touch of oil….

The temptation to ‘pumpkin spice’ this is nearly overwhelming, but I’ll try to resist.

September Salad – The Thanksgiving Cobb  –  check.

 

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#GlimpseoftheOrdinary

Team photo: Boston Americans 1901 – proto-Sox

Wednesday, September 6, 2017 8:20 pm

Wednesday is Food Section Day. I pick up both the Boston Globe and the New York Times.

Manage a fairly “on time”  home arrival and even the signs put up by the Gas Company that the places where I usually park will be a Tow Zone  starting tomorrow at 7 AM doesn’t prove to be much of a hindrance – I get a place even closer to my house than usual.

tow_away_no_parking__10374.1426344590.500.659

They’ve closed off three blocks of a five block street. And then there was Harvey in Texas, so did all the Utility trucks go there? They haven’t seemed to have started digging and the pile of pipes is as tall as it’s been…

Not sure what to have for supper. Had a big salad for lunch, so maybe some toast, or there’s more of the bread and cheese not Baked French Toast. (The real problem with eating food that has no name is the effort to have to describe it every time.)

In the Globe (I start with the food sections, headlines can wait – what is this about Red Sox stealing signs???? Applegate? No, Boys of Summer – steal BASES, not signs  …)

There’s a  “Sicilian pasta  with Ricotta” and I remember that I bought some ricotta at the Farmer’s Market – last week, the week before??  Better check the expiration date.

All good – AND there’s the box of tri-colored rigatoni that I got on sale…

Tricolor-RotiniR

Put the water on, salt it like the sea.

Re-read the recipe to make sure there is no hidden ingredient or technique that will trip me up …so far so good.

SICILAN PASTA WITH RICOTTA

16 oz. short pasta shape (cavatappi, radiatore, mezzi rigatoni) I had tricolor penne. Prince. It had been on sale. It was also 12 oz. so I adjusted accordingly.

16 oz. whole milk ricotta – 2 cups. I scooped out half and then half of what was left.

¾ cup pasta water – I used 4 oz.

1 cup freshly grated pecorino Romano for serving

Olive oil, salt and pepper for serving.

 

  1. Bring salt water to a boil. Add pasta, in this case 6 minutes (more or less. I stand over it, spoon in hand, scooping up single pieces, “Are you DONE? Are you Tender? Are you Ready YET??” I look and taste to al dente.
  2. I have a measuring cup that fits under my colander, so when I drain I can have all the pasta water I want. If the water from a can of chick pease is acqua faba, shouldn’t past water be acqua pasta? Or acqua basta, as enough already!
  3. Pour ½ cup of the pasta water back into the pan, toss in the ricotta, and stir it all around. Add the hot penne and stir some more.
  4. Decide it needs more contrast, more bite, more zing than more cheese, so fish out a jar of Kalamata olives – just the thing.
  5. On the plate – a soup plate, because – I put the pasta, top it with some olives and a nice twist of black pepper.

Claudia Catalano Boston Globe Wednesday September 6, 2017, p. G4

I eat at kitchen table.

The downstairs people get a Peapod delivery while I sit down.

peapodstopshop

Leftovers will be for lunch OR a supper frittata later this week.

Time to put on the kettle for a cup of tea. And to read the rest of the papers.

Red Sox…..

RedSoxPrimary_HangingSocks.svg

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#GlimpseoftheOrdinary

Dear Laura Shapiro,

Re: Instagram Your Leftovers

I read your essay in the New York Times , but I don’t have a phone with a camera in it, so please accept this blog post v. an Instagram of my home cooking.

This is not a recipe. Not really. Not in the written down sense, even when I’m done here writing it down.

Last week, I got a bag of too-crusty sourdough rolls at a deep discount from a bakery. I tossed them in the freezer. Saturday, while I was poking through, seeing what I had on hand before planning my midweek trip to the grocery store, Hmmm – I thought – better use those before I forget…..I took the bag out to defrost.

Sunday morning, I actually read the Baked French Toast recipe I was given as a way to use them up. The recipe was from the Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummand.

Although I had the bread, and the eggs on hand (really nice eggs from a friend who raises chickens….Really nice eggs), some other the other ingredients I did NOT have on hand.

One was milk – I’m lactose intolerant, so I don’t keep milk on hand. And then there was the heavy cream…..I keep a little half and half for my coffee….And blueberry season is really over, but pears and apples, with a little prep, could work. That’s when the sugar amounts hit me – ½ cup of sugar, plus ½ cup of brown sugar plus another ½ cup of brown sugar…and then syrup on top?????? That’s a lotta sweet to start the day. Or end it.  And at this point I was planning for something suppery.

I did have some buttermilk on hand (Kate’s – real buttermilk, not cultured)

Kates ButtermilkKates buttermilkk

because I was going to make a Chilaquile Casserole variation from Still Life with Menu (p. 177)

Still life with Menu

with leftover tortillas that I had planned to use in my lunchtime salads until I set one on fire in the toaster oven at work, deciding then never to bring them to work again, at least in living memory of anyone who was there that day. And some shredded taco cheese.

Yes, I had shredded Taco cheese on hand because that’s what they sell at the 7-11 down the street and I wasn’t going to drive over to the grocery just for cheese. No judgement.

So I cubed the bread into bite sized bits, covering the bottom of a non-stick 9×13 pan. I beat my six beautiful and darkly yellowed yolked eggs and added 2 cups of buttermilk, and some salt and pepper. I opened a can of Rotelle tomatoes with mild chiles and added that. Then 1 cup of the shredded taco cheese. Poured it over the bread bits in the pan. Most of the cheese and the diced tomatoes stayed on the top, so I re-arranged them to cover evenly. Put the lid on the pan and popped it into the fridge, went about my day.

At 6 pm I was back, took the pan out of the fridge, preheated the oven to 350° and popped the (plastic) cover off. There are several warnings embossed into the cover reminding you that it is plastic and it should not go into a hot oven. The contents seemed a little dry, so I poured another cup or so of buttermilk on top.

Oven ready, lid off, pan in, timer on for 45 minutes.

Mozart_Kitchen_Timer_WB_1024x1024

This is my timer. Awesomeness.

 

Looking good, smelling like eggs and chiles and tomatoes and a little bit of cheese good, tasting just fine. Something greens, something fruity – supper or lunch for several days/nights.

It took me more time to write this down then to make and eat it.

And thus goes another ordinary day.

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bunny rabbit

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Of MGs Wooden Ships and Broken Promises

From a former Pilgrim Husband….as we still work for a contract

Musings

Perhaps the best advice I ever got in my life came from my Uncle Ed.


“Don’t buy that MG”.


Now I’ll be the first to admit. She wasn’t much to look at. She needed a bit of bodywork and the rag top had a couple of patches.


But she was fun to drive.


Of course he had owned a number of MGs and other exotic cars himself. Basically……. He knew of whence he spoke.


I never heard an “I told you so”.


When I would share with him my latest tale of some repair I needed or upgrade I decided to make he would nod his head and say:


“That’s the price of being a sport” and “If you own a sports car you better be ready to get your hands dirty.”


See he wasn’t trying to discourage me. He was helping me.


He was helping me to learn an…

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Salad Daze

It’s August.

Too hot even for toast.

Salad.

Easy salad.

Take a bunch of fresh things, of the leafy/ veggie/ fruit sort.

Spinach_leaves

Wash.

Pick. Peel. Seeding optional.

Add a Protein:

  • hard boiled egg
  • cheese
  • bacon
  • sliced meat
  • nuts

Greens – pick, wash, chop or otherwise make small enough to fit on a fork and into your mouth. WHY are so many salads with leaves bigger then the bowl?

Fresh herbs – easy flavor add.

Dress. From a bottle or olive oil and vinegar, salt and pepper . A little mustard makes it nice.

Maybe a carb layer – croutons/a little cold macaronis/leftover rice.

Meal in a bowl.

SdeWarburgSalad

The moshav (agricultural village) of Sde Warburg, Israel, holds the Guinness World Record for the largest lettuce salad, weighing 10,260 kg (11.3 short tons). The event, held on 10 November 2007.

There is a song or two titled Salad Days….

BUT

This is way cool

 

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Possets, Fools & Trifles

OR

How to eat Cream and Sugar before Ice Cream was part of  Summer  – or any other Season

Possets:

Using lemon or lime to curdle cream, which is like custard without the fuss – or egg.

Bon Apetit July 2017  which is “Posset” in the magazine – BUT

“Egg-less custard” on the web site.

They’ve been around since the 16th and 17th century, and are cousins of  syllabubs. Some are made with wine, which make them milkshakes for grown-ups.

posset cup silver

Darling little two handled posset cup. The heading image is a posset cup with a spout.

But here’s the link: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/eggless-lime-custards-with-lychees

And some 17th century recipes….

To make a Compound Posset of Sack, Claret, White-Wine, Ale, Beer, or Juyce of Oranges, &c.

Take twenty yolks of eggs with a little cream, strain them, and set them by; then have a clean scowred skillet, and put into it a pottle of good sweet cream, and a good quantity of whole cinamon, set it a boiling on a soft charcoal fire, and stir it continually; the cream having a good taste of the cinamon, put in the strained eggs and cream into your skillet, stir them together, and give them a warm, then have some sack in a deep bason or posset-pot, good store of fine sugar, and some sliced 425 nutmeg; the sack and sugar being warm, take out the cinamon, and pour your eggs and cream very high in to the bason, that it may spatter in it, then strow on loaf sugar.

To make a Posset simple.

Boil your milk in a clean scowred skillet, and when it boils take it off, and warm in the pot, bowl, or bason some sack, claret, beer, ale, or juyce of orange; pour it into the drink, but let not your milk be too hot, for it will make the curd hard, then sugar it.

Otherways.

Beat a good quantity of sorrel, and strain it with any of the foresaid liquors, or simply of it self, then boil some milk in a clean scowred skillet, being boil’d, take it off and let it cool, then put it to your drink, but not too hot, for it will make the curd tuff.

Possets of Herbs otherways.

Take a fair scowred skillet, put in some milk into it, and some rosemary, the rosemary being well boil’d in it, take it out and have some ale or beer in a pot, put to it the milk and sugar, (or none.)

Robert May. The Accomplist Cook. Accomplist Cook

No need for specialty serving ware.

But seriously – if you have an Iced Tea Spoon, why Not a Posset Pot?

As for Fools:

 

 

AN ORANGE FOOL

Take the juice of six Oranges and six Eggs well beaten, a Pint of Cream, a quarter of a Pound of Sugar, a little Cinnamon and Nutmeg; mix all together, and keep stirring over a slow Fire, till it is thick, then put in a little Piece of Butter, and keep stirring till cold, then dish it up.

  • Glasse, Hannah. The Art of Cookery, made Plain and Easy. 1747. Prospect Books ed. 1995, p. 79.

Glasse - First catch

But since

Orange Fool

aired on the Fourth of July, some thought it was…

political, not food at all.

SO this:

There are other fools….

Robert May again:

To make a Norfolk Fool.
Take a quart of good thick sweet cream, and set it a boiling in a clean scoured skillet, with some large mace and whole cinamon; then having boil’d a warm or two take the yolks of five or six eggs dissolved and put to it, being taken from the fire, then take out the cinamon and mace; the cream being pretty thick, slice a fine manchet into thin slices, as much as will cover the bottom of the dish, pour on the cream on them, and more bread, some two or three times till the dish be full, then trim the dish side with fine carved sippets, and stick it with slic’t dates, scrape on sugar, and cast on red and white biskets.

Which leaves

TRIFLES

To make a Trifle.
Take a pinte of thicke Creame, and season it with Suger and Ginger, and
Rosewater, so stirre it as you would then haue it, and make it luke warme in a dish
on a Chafingdishe and coales, and after put it into a siluer peece or a bowle, and so serue it to the boorde.

The_Good_Huswifes_Jewell_Frontispiece_1610(1)

 

Section XII.

To make all manner of Creams, Sack-Possets, Sillabubs, Blamangers, White-Pots, Fools, Wassels, &c.

To make a Triffel.

Take a quart of the best and thickest cream, set it on the fire in a clean skillet, and put to it whole mace, cinamon, and sugar, boil it well in the cream before you put in the sugar; then your cream being well boiled, pour it into a fine silver piece or dish, and take out the spices, let it cool till it be no more than blood-warm, then put in a spoonful of good runnet, and set it well together being cold scrape sugar on it, and trim the dish sides finely.

RobertMayTheAccomplishtCookFrontispiece

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Lammas or Loaf Mass

Van Gogh, Haystacks in Provence, June 1888. Oil on canvas, 73 x 92.5 cm. Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo.

Harvest time!

The First of August is also known as Lammas or Loaf Mass, to celebrate the harvest.

Van Gogh, Haystacks in Provence, June 1888. Oil on canvas, 73 x 92.5 cm. Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo.

Haystacks

1/2 cup chips – butterscotch or peanut butter have the most haystack look – white white chocolate or regular ole chocolate chips are fine, too

1/4 cup peanut butter (creamy)

1 cup chow mein noodles

  1. Melt the chips.
  2. Mix in the peanut butter
  3. Mix in the chow mein noodles – a silicone spatula is great here
  4. Drop by stack looking spoonfuls into stacks on wax paper.
  5. Let cool and then eat (bonus points for pretending to be a cow….)
  6. Store in the fridge.
  • from assorted backs of bags and boxes, trial and error, and mostly indecipherable scribbles on little bits of paper

 

chow mein noodlecan

Save

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Summer in the Seaside

A breath of salt air.

The windows are open to catch the morning breeze….

Ah, the Sounds of a peaceful seaside town!

In the distance, mallards quack on the brook.

Mallard_speculum

 

A gull caws overhead, then another

Why are seagulls at the sea?

 Because if they were at they at the bay, they’d be

BAYGULLS

Yet another gull, answers these two, laughing…….

Laughing_gull_-_natures_pics

Laughing Gull Leucophaeus atricilla

 

 

A garbage truck. Backing up. Beeping for Safety’s Sake.

And then……

The Lawn Mower

The Hedge Trimmer

The Weed Wacker

The Leaf Blower

The sound of an aluminum extension ladder going up, up, up.

A Nail Gun

Buzz Saw.

Motorcycles

2-4-6-78!

Many Harleys, a handful of three-wheelers.

2015-harley-davidson-freewheeler-trike-makes-appearance-photo-gallery_3

A car goes by, top down, music UP.

 

Sleeping in is futile……

 

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