Cheetos now come in flavors…including barbeque.
There has been a huge amount of talk lately about what is and isn’t a processed food; frozen spinach is processed food, but so is (are?) Betty Crocker Au Gratin Potatoes , as well as Cheetos. The potatoes and the definition of processed food are two different posts.
But seeing Cheetos (or whatever generic facsimile is being used in the photos) brought me back. Way back.
It was summer, the grill had been going in the back yard. We had eaten and there were Cheetos. This was an unusual enough event I should remember the why and the how, but the simple fact is the most memorable part was –
We did not usually have Cheet0s. We didn’t even often have Cheetos. We were fed a steady diet of food the the government still hasn’t called processed.
Not only that, but the grown-ups had retreated indoors away from the mosquitoes and we were left outside to run around and get good and tired before bed.
And the grill was still hot.
WE HAD CHEETOS.
We would carefully pass them around, each one of us getting an equal amount of Cheetos (it seems that the singular and the plural are the same word…) , and eat one.
And then we’d run around some more.
And pass more around.
The condiments were out…we must have had a picnic supper.
Condiments on Cheetos – best dip evah!
Which one of us though to heat them up on the grill?
Matters not, we all agreed it was GENIUS.
But, to successfully grill the Cheetos, it must be long enough to fit across three grates to keep it from dropping in. When it drops in it shoots up flame, which gets you (under the age of 8; we were all under the age of 8) all the wrong kinds of notice.
It was getting to the end of the bag. More Cheet-ettes then Cheetos. They were getting too small to grill.
What to do?
Why, why not heat up the whole bowl? There was only a layer left of the smallest and finest Cheetos, not much more then crumbs, really the FLOUR of Cheetos.
The very best part, the part that is all flavor. Flavor and very little else, except whatever it is that turns your fingers and lips bright orange.
So we put the bowl on the grill.
And ran around some more.
What was that smell? Not the heavenly waft of toasty Cheetos but
And what was that
– we set the bowl on fire!!!!!
And so we learned about…..
In what can only be considered a glitch in the space/time continuation, I managed to post a recipe for chocolate baklava WITHOUT ACTUALLY INCLUDING THE CHOCOLATE. I have correct that glaring/mind-boggling/insane omission in this re-post. This is also more – much, much MORE! – to my personal baklava/paklava/choclava story, so stayed tuned for further installments.
In the 1980’s chocolate finally came into it’s own in a way that has stayed the course.
It was a chocolate happy decade….like anything chocolate can be UN-happy! In this premier, charter issue of Chocolatier Magazine was the first place I saw the words ‘chocolate’ and ‘baklava’ together, two great things are are even greater together.Was I a charter subscriber? Oh, YES I was. Do I have years worth of back issues that are now commanding fairly high prices on e-Bay? Hmmm, maybe some photocopying is in order, and then…….but first, back to
This is a word that has a happy sound.
The recipe I’m going to share is from the cookbook Caramel Knowledge, because the ’80’s gave us more then one version of the chocolate baklava, and although I remember making them, I never noted which one was THE ONE. Sometimes there’s more then one, and that’s OK, too.
1 # frozen filo dough
½ cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
3 ½ sticks unsalted butter, divided
8 (1 –ounce) squares semi-sweet chocolate (or 1-1/3 cups chips)
3 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Thaw the filo (take it out of the freezer the night before)
- Chop the walnuts very fine. Add sugar and cinnamon and set aside.
- Trim the stack of filo sheets to the size of your raised edge baking pan – 11 x 17 or 11x 15, whichever you’ve got. Cover the stack of filo with a barely damp towel, and keep it covered while working. Dried out filo can get pretty messy……
- Melt 2 tablespoons of butter.
- Melt the remaining butter with the chocolate.
- Preheat the oven to 350°
- Brush baking pan with melted butter. Lay on one sheet of filo. Brush filo with chocolate/butter. Top with another filo sheet, brush with chocolate/butter. Repeat until you have 10 sheets of filo in the pan.
- After the 10th sheet is brushed with butter/chocolate, sprinkled evenly with the nut mix.
- Now filo with chocolate butter, and then a second one…
- Another ½ cup of nuts all around on top of the chocolate butter…
- Continue sprinkling ½ cup of nuts on every other sheet on top of the chocolate butter.
- The last 2 or 3 sheets should have no nuts, just chocolate butter.
- Chocolate butter on top of the top sheet.
- With a sharp knife, cut the cholava. Cut it before it’s baked or you’ll end up with a very large pan of really tasty crumbs. Really. A very messy pan of very tasty bits that can be served over ice cream, but will not look good at all on a serving plate. Make a series of parallel cuts one inch apart down the length of the pan, then make diagonal cuts 2 inches apart from the side to make the classic diamond shaped pieces. Or make squares.
- Smooth out the top layer.
- Bake at 350° for 30 minutes
- Lower oven temp to 300° and bake for another hour.
- Make sugar syrup :
- In large saucepan stir together sugar, water and lemon juice until sugar is dissolved.
- Cook over high heat – without any more stirring – until mixture comes to a boil
- Lower heat and continue boiling for 20 minutes
- When the cholava is done and out of the oven and still hot, spoon about two thirds of the syrup over it
- About an hour later when the first part of the syrup has soaked in, spoon the rest on.
- Allow it to rest several hours before serving. If you didn’t cut it into pieces before you put it into the oven, go and buy some ice cream now and use the chocolaty/nutty/cinnamony/crispy/ buttery goodness as a topping…..
- “I am told that baklava will keep for several weeks if merely covered with plastic wrap and not refrigerated. It can also be frozen, I am informed. I don’t know. I didn’t have that much left.” Al Sicherman
- Ditto. KMW
Al Sicherman. Caramel Knowledge. Harper & Row, 1988.p.220.
…. to when they bain’t be so different after all.
And to find out that recipe/receipt/rule question of what to call the instructions that one receives to cook was a question and source of some confusion with ordinary cooks long before historic cooks got into the business.
Take me back…to 1942 and Mrs Appleyard’s Kitchen….
This is a book that was given to me not once, but twice, in two different decades by two very different people. Both of them thought I’d enjoyed it – and they were both right!
Both times the book itself was a yard sale/flea market find. One copy from 1942, the other a reprint edition from the 1950’s.
Mrs Appleyard is very much no-nonsense, with a very good palate and a strong sense of right and wrong, especially when it comes to what is being set out on her table.
But I’ll let her speak for herself
Mrs. Appleyard’s Kitchen. Louise Andrews Kent. Houghton Mifflin Company – The Riverside Press: Boston, 1942.
“ ‘This book will never replace real cookbooks – books like the Hesseltine and Dow Good Cooking, for instance. I don’t know how brides got along without that, because it has everything in it that anyone ever heard of cooking, and it’s practical. If I’d had it when I was a bride everything might have been different. I might never have made those choke-dogs, for instance…’ p. vii.
(If anyone knows what the chock-dog reference is, please leave a comment! Inquiring minds want to know)
“ ‘…I still think there’s room for the smaller, more personal book, for the kind that is based on one person’s experience, rather than the encyclopaedia of cooking that has all the wisdom of the ages in it. The smaller ones are fun to read, too, even if you never cook out of them.’
‘Is your book for wartime?’ asked the Editor.
‘Nor specifically,’ said Mrs. Appleyard, ’but I think it might be helpful. Its point of view is that you eat things when they are at their best rather than dragging them all over the country when they are out of season. And that you have a few things and take pains in making them, rather than many and give them only part of your attention. p.viii.
(In season? Local? Isn’t it funy how this isn’t quaint right now?? )
‘In our family we say “receipts”, said Mrs. Appleyard, ‘and I’ll tell you why. It’s a question of Latin. “Recipe” is the imperative form of the verb – what I’d say to you if I wanted to tell you how to make cornstarch pudding, for instance, or cough syrup, or any other unlikely substance. “Take – recipe,” I’d say, “two tablespoons of cornstarch and throw it into the sink.” Those directions would be the receipt – the instructions that you received from me, because the word is derived from the past participle – is that clear?’
‘As clear as imitation Hollandaise sauce,’ murmured the Editor.
‘I’m glad’, said Mrs. Appleyard,’because I just made it up. Of course when we don’t want to embarrass anyone we just call them “rules” ’, she continued. ‘Yes, a good many of them are family receipts and others came from friends, and some are things we worked out ourselves.” p. ix.
We’ll be spending more time with Mrs Appleyard.
Black History Blog
Perhaps Some Rabble Rousing
Mid-century thoughts from a 50-year-old
On books, food, wine and beautiful men
I have people to kill, lives to ruin, plagues to bring, and worlds to destroy. I am not the Angel of Death. I'm a fiction writer.
My 360: wonderwalls,theatre, travel, Sheffield, books...
Over 160 Book Reviewer Bloggers Listed
Cartoons by John Atkinson. ©John Atkinson, Wrong Hands
The most beloved painter of our time, 1853-1890
'Zee-tho-fyle', by Martyn Cornell, an award-winning blog about beer now and then, founded in 2007
A blog full of humorous and poignant observations.
A modern career girl and mom time travels... in the kitchen. I love history and I love food!
The Battle of the Books and the Birth of Tolerance
Letting Life Lead
Food the old fashioned way
A blog about food (particularly pies) told from a biased point of view.