Well, I’m working on a catering job, actually two so I don’t have much time but…..I have posted this before, perhaps a year ago but want to do it again as having just eaten one – they really, truly are unique and delicious.  If you want to take something to a party and be really, really different, this is the thing.  I believe they actually are good for you also, an added bonus.

Elizabeth Falkner’s Moroccan-Date Bonbons:

I am doubling this recipe – you get 44 and could probably freeze them.

1 -1/2 C. sliced almonds, toasted

1 C. pistachios

1-1/2 C. Walnuts

2 lbs. pitted dates

8 Kalamatra olives, drained & patted dry

1 Tbs. grated Ginger

1 Tbs. honey

1 entire orange zest only

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. cardamom

1/2 tsp. orange flower water or similar

1/4 tsp. salt

First:  in processor, grind up all the pistachios to a fine powder and place in a small bowl

Grind up the almonds and add everything else in order, grinding as you go (that’s with the processor)

Scoop out with a small melon baller, roll in pistachio dust

Your done!

I spent many hours making 150 mexican wedding cookies another favorite of mine and 150 cocoa/yogurt fudge:

Here I am swirling the yogurt in…..2.5 Cups worth.  The batch made 170 small cookies.  I was pooped.  I’m doing a pre luncheon sandwich party for a huge wedding in York this week-end.  Rain for the next four days, darn it.

I’m off.  Still weaving though you would hardly know it from the slow progress I’m making.  Goofy me has two warps on the looms now and yet another knitted project in the works.  Why do I do this to myself….wicked ADD(H) whatever I can never figure those terms out.

Beautiful Weather!

It is so gorgeous out.  I love it.  Thank god summer has passed.  I’m thinking it was waaaay too long this year, enough of that hot stuff.  This is the first time I gladly put away the pool things.  We dropped the water level, covered it with tarp and hung the usual classic water bottles from the sides which I’m not sure why we do that every year.  We always end up with leaves and crap in the bottom when we uncover because the plastic collects it and then when you pull it off it dumps in.  Yes, we should use a pump to siphon off the deep dish of water that collects but then we would need a generator of some sorts to get that going.  Never mind.

A new Saveur arrived with all sorts of old recipes and easy too.  The first thing I had to try was:

Yup. Chocolate Egg Cream.  I had a tummy ache after I drank this.  I used to drink these after school but as I remember only one, they really are filling.  1/2 C. Cold Milk, 1-1/4 C. Seltzer water, 2 Tbs. chocolate syrup.  Ruth had left some mint chocolate stuff for ice cream – that’s what I used.
I also made the Coffee Cake recipe:

This is really good.  We used to call it New York Coffee Cake or Crumb Cake.  After church we’d always stop at the one and only Bakery in town, Oakland, New Jersey where we would get this cake and hard rolls.  Fabulous stuff.  They had all the usual, doughnuts, etc. but us Savage kids had to have the crumb stuff.

This is so simple.  I almost prefer just the bottom part but to be authentic the top has to be there.  We chopped most of it off, not being used to so much sugar.

The cake is:

1 stick of butter (melted)

2 C. Flour (could do with 1/2 whole wheat)

1 Tbs. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 C. sugar (might want to use less, it’s sweet)

1 tsp. vanilla (I forgot entirely but I would use almond instead)

1 egg

2/3 C. Milk (I used buttermilk)

Hand mix with a whisk, pour in a greased 8″ pan.

Cover the top with:

1-1/2 C. flour (I would cut this in half)

3/4 C. sugar (again half)

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 stick butter diced small

1/2 C. walnuts (I used almonds) (at least one cup)

This past week I harvested my three year garlic.  Each year I plant the bulbs over and over and each year score larger and larger bulbs.  Many varieties in this box.  This sits on our enclosed porch all winter – we usually run out about now each year.

After cleaning up the gardens I found all sorts of stuff, hiding.  So I made a wonderful vegetable soup with this and that including some of this garlic.  I found some broccoli, some red peppers, tomatoes, red cabbage, eggplant, carrots – all little bits and lots of herbs.  For the past few days I’ve been experimenting with breads with cultures. Biga’s, Poolish….all sorts of names, all do the same thing….just a starter.  I have one that’s close now to becoming a European style loaf – big, airy holes in the bread with a crusty finish, I hope.  I made a many seeded one yesterday and a 100% whole wheat one the day before that actually came out very airy.  Nice with the bread.  I have to stop now we have too much, in house.

While baking I made an apple pie – first of the season this year.

Saturday was York Farmers Market day so I went and picked up these tiny, hand picked cranberries – first of the season for me.  I cooked them down for a bit then added them to this pie with a bit of the sour juice and saved the rest for applesauce.  Lovely color!

While sitting on the porch yesterday waiting for something to finish baking….bread? pie? I was feeling nostalgic about summer past.  It was so pretty under my (what else?) turquoise umbrella.

I always put this away last.  If I could fit it in my small house somewhere, opened, I would for the whole winter.  It’s such a happy feeling.

 

Quick, While I Remember

Low brain activity here….but, while I’ve got it (cause I did it yesterday) here are some more photos.  Speaking of….I’m thinking my latest photos are not as good as they used to be?  Anyone else notice?  I’ve changed phones from a Samsung to an Apple.  It was time for an upgrade; Ruth gave me a hardly used Apple (not quite “gave”).  It’s complicated.

Anyhow, I’ve been working on a sour dough mix of my own for a few weeks now.  I got this idea from an article about gluten and our wheat and grains in this country.  Some man in California sells tons of sour dough bread at a market with real grains but because it’s sour dough the good stuff is eating up the bad stuff.  Interesting.  So, from Bread Alone, my favorite cookbook I’ve come up with this one…..a sourdough rye.

Since it is now cold late in the day I made meatloaf and mashed potatoes.  The route to the mashed potatoes is interesting.  I have had a catering job lined up for quite awhile now that is coming up this Friday which is contingent on the weather.  I e-mailed the company yesterday and reminded them a decision needs to happen by today for me so I can prepare.  I got an e-mail back, full of apologies.  They were “so sorry” they hadn’t Looped around back to me (they said) that they had cancelled this job a few weeks ago.  HELLO?  Are you kidding, not looping around to the caterer?  I was so annoyed; I needed to go outside and find a boxing partner or…..redig the potato field.  Right.  I grabbed the old pitchfork and forked around for a good hour or so.  Came up with a whole bowl of potatoes we had missed.  I kinda always suspected there were some hiding but not that much.  Of course in my upsetness I was digging for China!

We had mashed potatoes for dinner.

That wooden thing?  I’ve talked about that before but in case you haven’t seen it…..it was my grandmothers.  It makes the absolute best mashed potatoes.  No mixer or electrical thing for me just mush away with the pounder.  It’s awesome.  It’s probably about 100 years old now.

Another thing of my grandmothers that we had the other day:

I suspect I’ve talked about these already.  Did I mention I used to shell out these, which seemed to take forever so I could ship huge bags of them to my mom in Florida.  They probably molded out on the trip south but mom being mom said they were awesome and she ate every single one!

Just a short explanation of where I’ve been.  I’ve been here!  Many times….but, this site confuses me and I have zip patience.  I want you to know I have written some stellar work – I can say that cause it’s evaporated.  Anyhow, I’ve put pictures up, stories, and then poof “invalid request” is what I get when I hit the post button.  I keep losing hope and giving up on it all for days on end.  Today is a new day.  I will try this short one this morning.

Catering has been foremost in my life lately – what a job.  Hard work.  Tough on my legs.  Even tougher when I stop working – after you’ve been standing for 15+ hours a day your tired, feets hurt, etc. but nothing like when you stop.  Saturday night after a party I just wanted to get out to my pool and float around in that ice cold water, in the middle of the night!  I couldn’t sleep.  Love my job but I do need to figure out how to modify my time better.

Sliders – first time I’ve made them….50 lobster ones!

Way to go….buttered, grilled roll, lobby, dill & mayo.

I made a Heidi Swanson dip which is my new favorite.

Doesn’t look like much but the taste….amazing!  Yogurt/garlic/dill/cucumbers/walnuts/cranberries/olive oil and the secret ingredient that gives it the punch – rose petals.  These, that you see are steeped in Glycerin.  My friend Rebecca gave me a jar of these a few months back.  I keep turning the jar over and over – it’s so pretty, what to do with it?  She suggested a bit in whipped cream but I’ve not had a call for that then this recipe came up.  How yummy.  A couple of tablespoons, sweet, rosy, flavorful.  Just right.  Nice dip – you can just serve it as a sauce next to anything.

I’ve been working on sewing quite a bit lately.  My newest project is making dresses.  I am really tired of skirts and tops….done, all over that one.  I’m thinking a quiet A-Line dress with a collar or not.  I found a pattern, very early 60’s; made one up in dove grey with tiny beige circles on it.  Nice, could be a smidge larger or I could be a lot smaller but…it’s good.  I went to the store looking for a nice black but had no coupons, nothing was on sale and decided to wait.  I have a perfect hot turquoise fine wale corduroy that would be a great collar so black would be good.  While reading the morning paper last week which was stuffed daily with fashion reports of New York’s Fashion Week I was fascinated….interesting stuff.  It sucked me right in.  All the stories of makeup, nail polish, clothing, shoes.  So foreign to me but interesting.  Well, one day they showed an elderly x-model (at least 80) on the runway wearing a Marimeko print.  I love that stuff.  Crate & Barrell sells it.  On my way to the grocery store I passed C&B, stopped in and bought this stuff:

Kind of wild, could be hideous but think of it in smaller sections….could work.  It’s 100% cotton and cost $12.50 why not?  But, so much for my keeping the colors muted.

I’m going to just zip this post off now and if successful and I can remember How I did it this time I’ll continue with the rest of my news tomorrow.

This food world gets crazier and crazier!  I’m kind of swinging back to just plain real food – no big deal.  Let’s get over the Stacked Menu, the Crazy Combinations, etc.  It’s too fussy for me.  I can’t tell you how many people I meet who’s children are now in Culinary School, 4 years, etc. big, big bucks, planning on taking on the world with Investors, etc.  Who is going to eat at these places?  How are they going to pay back the loans?  It worries me.  My Accountant is a big one for saying “most restaurants fail”.  He was totally blown away that our crummy little cafe was stable – not a big money maker but everyone got paid well, I made a little and we stopped when we got tired!  Enough said.  These kids starting big, new places will they be able to stop when it just doesn’t pay?  

In case you don’t read the same newspaper I do…..hot new trends (for those who have major money) or live somewhere where others do have those big bucks. 

1.  Diner en Blanc – This is a gig now offered in 20 cities world-wide:  Everyone wears white, brings their own picnic to a public space.  The location is secret until just before the appointed hour.  You get a text saying where.  Off you go, with your own food, wearing white clothes and YOU pay $26. per person for the privilege of being part of a Mob Foodie thing.  $52.00 to go sit with other white clothed people and look “cool”.  Not me baby.

2.  How about having dinner not only at a farm but in the rows of food – so put your boots on, clomp out there to eat with a pile of other people – nice if your among fruit trees.  For this happy service the guy running the service but not the local chef who cooks it,  arrives in a 1953 red and white bus (now, that is wicked vital and important to the cost don’t you think?).  For this scenario you pay $180.  I suspect that is per person.  Oh my.

3.  Siege.  Historically themed dinner.  Music, readings and custom designed plates.  A recent one: profiling Detroit’s fraught history……shattered chicken drumstick (depicting violence), comfort food, uncomfortable subject.  $95. per person.  Thanks, I’ll watch the news while I’m eating dinner and get my own inexpensive stomach ache.

People must be really bored.

I’m not.  Today I picked allot of my veges for a nice roasting to go with our salad tonight.  Eggplant, carrots, beets, peppers…… Poor Paul, those greens will go in our fruit/vege. drink tomorrow.

Image

I made some more pasta the other night to go with some fennel sausage I had in the freezer.  In one of those past readings of mine I came across someone who was dying her fabric with fennel flowers so I decided to put that in the pasta with the hope of coming up with a beautiful butter yellow color and slight fennel flavor. 

Image

Not so yellow but yes, a slight fennel flavor.  I would add more next time – one head of flowers is not enough for 2 lbs. of pasta.  Yummy anyway.

As it looked like rain yesterday I took advantage of working on the loom for most of the afternoon.  Changed the pattern after 40″ (enough for one dishcloth anyway) and came up with even more colors.  I like this, it takes time but once washed I think it will have a nice, tight texture to it – perhaps a bit waffly.  It’s only a dishtowel after all. Bamboo shiny.

Image

Dinner guests tonight….off to make a cobbler with fall plums; perhaps sit in the sun for a bit.  The air is cooler; I’m enjoying a change in the weather up here.  Summer was a tad too long for me and HOT.

This food world…