Monday, August 27, 2012

TWD/BWJ: Popovers

Yet again, I baked on the proper day. I really did. After driving six hours to Kentucky and stopping in north Georgia to buy a popover pan, I baked. And I failed. For the first time, I totally blew a BWJ recipe.  Here's the sad evidence...

Eggy and dense. Nothing like all the other bloggers reported. Everyone else seemed to have a fabulous experience. Easy! Wonderful! Amazing!

So here's the thing - I arrived at my sister's house and we immediately began chatting, you know - sister talk. Honestly, I wasn't really paying that much attention to the "easy" recipe. I think I added too much butter. And maybe not enough flour. Certainly the eggs and milk were still a little cool. And no blender. Oh well. It was late, I was tired, and we were busy talking. So I invented egg muffins.  I do not recommend them.

Thursday morning I had time to try again.  Having invested in a pan, I was NOT going to let this recipe beat me. This time I used a blender. Bro-in-law had to dig it out of the back of a cabinet over the fridge. Warmed the eggs in hot water and heated the milk in the microwave.

Discovered that the flour I'd used previously was "self-rising"! Seriously, who hides self-rising flour in the flour tin? One of the hazards of baking in an unfamiliar kitchen, I guess. This time I concentrated, checked the recipe, and - voila!- success!  Even so, as I was pulling the popovers out of the oven, bro-in-law says "Did she tell you the oven's 25 degrees off?"

Happily, all's well that ends well.

The recipe can be found here or here. And the links to all the successful bakers' blogs are here.

In honor of my first BWJ failure, what else? A flip-FLOP! Spotted just before I left town. Perfect timing. Or prophesy? Is it possible that the shoes are trying to tell me something? Hmmm.

Monday, August 13, 2012

TWD/BWJ: Berry Galette

I made this galette last Tuesday. The right day for Tuesdays With Dorie. Really I did. But it never got posted.  The recipe can be found here or here, other blogs about it here.

We have an ancient apple tree in the corner of our backyard that's loaded this year.  The branches hang down so low to the ground that one of our dogs picks apples off the tree. She loves them.

Our galette was filled with apples and a handful of blueberries. It was small and we gobbled it up in one sitting. The humans, not the dogs. And there was homemade vanilla bean ice cream. It was good.

Decided to use the other half of the dough to make another the next day. This time we bravely took on the swarm of bees on the fig trees and picked enough to make a fig galette. Fruit, crust, ice cream. What's not to like? Gone in a minute.

I spent the rest of the week on a little road trip with my son, since he didn't get to go on the earlier one and will be starting back to school this week.  Just a little jaunt through Alabama and Mississippi.  Oh, the things we saw! Among them, the world's largest gallstone and the courthouse where "To Kill A Mockingbird" was filmed. We stuck our feet in the Gulf of Mexico and saw the very first dorm I ever lived in.

And we saw a great many shoes in the road.  Very few I actually got pictures of.  But here's a double. Just outside of Tuskegee, Alabama.  A white boot (how many of those do you see?!?) and a brown maryjane.  Hmmm.  There was another nearby, but I'm saving it for another time.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

TWD/BWJ: Blueberry Nectarine Pie

I was doing quite well on the wheat-free diet. And then Blueberry Nectarine Pie came along. The recipe can be found here or here, and other bloggers are here. I honestly did intend to only eat the filling, and in fact made the filling wheat-free by substituting cornstarch and tapioca for the flour.

I made the crust by hand because I like using a pastry blender. It reminds me of my mother, who used one to make the crumbs for her famous peach crumb pie. She died when I was 15 and it's one of the few things I learned from her about baking.

Notice the tea towel?
The-Best-Neighbor-In-The-World moved back from
London and brought it to me.

An Olympic Pie! Sprinkled with a little purple sugar.
Probably not the best decision - it looked like freckles.

Because I felt so bad about not eating the crust (and was SO sure that I wouldn't), I made a little ice cream to go with the pie. It was strawberry-buttermilk ice cream from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams At Home. I heard Jeni being interviewed on The Splendid Table last week, and then the book fell into my hands at the library so I didn't really feel like I had a choice.  Sometimes the universe conspires. 

In the end, I ate the crust! Took one bite just to test it out and couldn't stop myself from eating the rest. Which means I've totally blown the scientific wheat-free experiment. But it was worth it. I tend to believe that the most sensible way of eating is governed by two rules: "Eat real food" and "Everything in moderation". Of course, I'm on the library waiting list now for The China Study. Why do I do this to myself? 

There was one other way that the universe conspired on my behalf this week. It's a long story that you don't want to hear, but I ended up with an amazing Singer treadle sewing machine "born" on May 27, 1898 (according to the Singer company after only 1 1/2 hours on hold).  It's gorgeous and in fantastic condition!  I took the entire thing apart, cleaned and oiled it up, and it sews beautifully. Can't tell you how long I've wanted one of these. My heart overflows. ♥

A shoe?  Let's see what I can come up with. How about another one from our road trip? It was York, SC.