Archive for June, 2010

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heavens to betsey!

June 27, 2010

It’s June.  I don’t know about where you live, but around these parts, that means rhubarb.  Sitting on the dining room table was a community cookbook celebrating the bicentennial of a CT town, so I popped it open to see what I could find.  Turns out Betsey Castle had submitted a recipe for rhubarb crisp that looked pretty straightforward, so I figured I’d give it a try.

The crisp was easy to make, and rather delicious (note, I’m not normally a fan of rhubarb, so that’s saying something).  Warm, sweet filling, with a chewy, crunchy topping, it was exactly what we were looking for.  I also really liked that some of the ‘crisp’ mix lined the bottom, so everything was evened out more than it were simply two layers.  More bonus points for the fact that you can use slightly ‘bendy’ rhubarb, since it will soften while cooking anyway.  Although we didn’t have any in the house (the horrors, I know!), I think this would be absolutely perfect with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. Read the rest of this entry ?

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call to action!

June 15, 2010

Greetings, my little muffinheads!  I’ll be heading out shortly on a much-needed vacation, so the oven will be quiet for the next week or so.  While I’m gone, I’m assigning homework.  No, don’t run away.  Keep reading, it’ll be fine, I promise. Read the rest of this entry ?

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yeah baby I’m done, I’m so done with you

June 13, 2010

I want to clarify that the previously mentioned problems with the chocolate pound cake weren’t with the recipe itself, rather, it seems that I’m allergic to bundt pans.  I got a silicone pan last winter, and have been excited to try it out.  An attempt in March to make a cookies-and-cream pound cake failed miserably when I tried to un-pan the cake, resulting in a quick “oh look, let’s make trifle!” moment.  So this time, when I decided to make chocolate pound cake, I took every precaution I could think of.  Pan greased and floured?  Check.  Put it on a baking sheet so the cake doesn’t buckle when moving it in and out of the oven?  Check.  Waiting for the cake to cool completely before trying to release it from the pan?  Check.

Nope, it still disintegrated into a crumbly mess.  Ok, I’m thinking, maybe it’s the silicone that’s the problem.  I borrowed a regular metal (non-stick!) bundt, and tried again.  Greased, floured, cooled?  Check, check, check.  Beautiful cake sliding effortlessly out of the pain?  No, no, no.  Only the first layer came off.  Not awful, I think, I can just carve it flush with the lip of the pan, and no one will know the difference.

That didn’t work so well, either.  The only way I was able to get the cake to release from the pan was to cut it into quarters and finagle each piece out individually.  Not attractive, to say the least.  I think I’m going to give bundts a rest for a while, before I just pick them both up and hurl them out the window.

The good news is that this recipe is tasty – it’s a great dense, chocolately cake.  I just can’t make it in a bundt.  I’d totally make again, but will opt for loaf pans next time.  For the record, credit for everything but the collapse (because that’s my issue, not hers) goes to C. Roberts, contributor to the Bristol (CT) Little League cookbook, circa dunnowhen.  Mrs. Waters also included two glazes to drizzle over.  Even though I never got to that point (who wants to drizzle glaze over a pile of crumbs?), I’ve included them as well. Read the rest of this entry ?

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argh

June 12, 2010

Hello dear readers.  I haven’t forgotten about you, just having some technical difficulties with chocolate pound cake.  Not sure if I’m going to try it a third time, or move on to the next experiment.  More to come.

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make a good crust special

June 6, 2010

The first cookbook I decided to use was put out by the Trinity Lutheran Church Ladies Aid Society, Elkhart Indiana, circa 1975. Two lifelong members of the Ladies Aid Society were mrslovey’s great-aunts, and they had given a copy of the book to mrsloveymom, who later passed it to mrslovey.  Based on other recipes of the aunties that I’ve tried, I figured that any cookbook they endorsed would be safe to use for this experiment.  In addition, I really liked one of the sentences in the intro:  The recipes in this book have not been tested in laboratories but have been tried and tested by a special group of tasters; our family and friends. Sounds like exactly what I’m looking for!  I decided on Old Fashioned White Bread, by Barbara Brumbaugh, and got to work.

I was interested in the butter and milk added to the dough, and wondered how they would impact the final result.  I also really liked the ‘makes a good crust special’.  Really, how could I resist that?? Well let me tell you, this bread is DELICIOUS.  Nice golden brown crust, and a light, airy fine-grain crumb that has just the slightest hint of sweet to it.  This bread will be perfect for sandwiches.  The only modifications I made were to use butter instead of margarine, and I used the liquid milk option instead of the dry milk.  Other than that, I followed it totally as written.  You should make this bread soon, and you should make it often.  I know I’m planning on it! Read the rest of this entry ?

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June – a little bit of this, a little bit of that

June 2, 2010

I’ve had a hard time trying to decide on a theme for June.  There are just so many things I want to try, I can’t seem to lock into one category (note to self:  see introductory statement, that’s been the problem all along).  Anyway.  This evening I was straightening up the pile of cookbooks on the dining room table, and saw that several of them actually belong to a coworker of mrslovey.  C loves to go to flea markets, tag sales, estate sales, and antique shops, looking for old cookbooks, especially ones put together by the community.  She had scored a few recently, and sent them over for me to poke through.

Bingo!, I said as I organized the pile.  A theme, but still some variation!  June will feature recipes from community and/or fundraiser cookbooks.  You know the ones, put together by local civic groups, churches, really anyone trying to raise money or build community or both.  A common feature seems to be the black plastic spiral binding that holds them all together.

Be warned, fair readers, this may not be pretty.  I haven’t pre-tested any of these.  I have a feeling they’ll either be awesome or awful.  I will try to avoid anything with crushed pineapple, but otherwise I’ll mostly be flipping to a page and seeing what it holds.  Coworkers in both offices, I’m apologizing in advance, but if I have to suffer for this blog, then so do you.

Oh by the way, C, looks like you won’t be seeing your books until the beginning of July.