Frito Pie


I think it is safe to say that with five sons, one loving husband, two useless male hound dogs and a male goldfish I inhabit a man's world.  I am outnumbered 9 to 2.  That the cat is also 'non-male' is immaterial.  She can run and hide under beds or our vast piles of laundry.  Me?  Not so much.   Don't misunderstand me, please:  I'm not complaining.  I like being the one who makes everything a little more exciting.  The Queen Bee, the salt pork in the can of pork and beans *Even a can of beans is nothing without the salt pork, right? , the chocolate wrapped in croissant- that's me.  I dig it.    Digging it does not preclude me living a life thoroughly confused by their manly-male antics.  Growing up in a family where sisters had a 4 to 2 lead over the brothers the girls ruled the roost.  We pestered the boys into submission, dressed an unnamed brother in our nightgowns, 'did his hair', painted little stubby boy finger nails, mercilessly teased the poor boys about how they loved Belinda Carlisle's 'Circle in the Sand', and other humiliating things like that.  I missed out on a stellar opportunity to prepare myself for my adult life.  I should've figured out what made my brothers tick.   Over the last almost eleven years I have had ample opportunity to make up for my juvenile slights to my brothers.  I have learned some of the ways of man and pre-man (that'd be boy...)  Please allow me to share some of my observations with you.   Sports are more … {Read on...}

Brown Butter Plum Cake


Well, as promised, here is the Brown Butter Plum Cake recipe. I connected with it via a link in Tastespotting, and that link took me to Patent and the Pantry, another foodie-related site. As the host there said, one of the wonderful things about cooking is the freedom to make recipes your own, and it really is fun to watch recipes morph as they go from hand to hand, each change reflecting the invididual tastes of the cooks involved.  Gwendolyn, the host of that site, found the recipe on another site, hosted by a Julie, and I took the recipe and made some changes of my own. (You can see the original recipe by clicking on the earlier link for Patent and the Pantry.)   The changes I made were simply taste changes--I like more fruit, I love vanilla and spices, and I had some cinnamon sugar to use up. When I was young and first learning to cook and bake, I would stick pretty closely to the recipes, but after a while, once I learned something of the science of food, how ingredients work together, and began to see how  flavorings, spices and condiments could combine and recombine to provide a wide variety of tastes, I was able to  begin to play with things without being too worried about the result. Once in a great while there would be a culinary bomb (Jim reminds me of the great Carrot Ginger Soup Fiasco), but overall, what I make ends up being at least edible, and at times, pretty darn good.  So at age 53, I have a bit more confidence than I did at the age of 23, I know what … {Read on...}

Pickled Plums

Picture is a little fuzzy, but I think you can see how lovely these are; that is a bit of bay leaf and a bit of vanilla bean lying across the top of the jar.

  I am sure that many of you are aware of Tastespotting, a site that serves to display pictures submitted by other websites; and these are not just ANY pictures--these are pictures selected to meet a certain aesthetic, and they are absolutely beautiful. For those of you not familiar with this resource, you can link with it here:   Tastespotting   Anyway, on to the plums....this being the season for plums and all, the pictures on Tastespotting that featured recipes using this fruit continued to catch my eye, and I finally gave in to two items in particular:  Sweet and Sour Plums with Vanilla and Bay Leaf (a kind of pickled plum) and Brown Butter Plum Cake. (Tastespotting has a search tool--enter the word "plum" and you should be able to find pictures of each of these.)  I picked up a half bushel of the lovelies from our local fruit vendor (much more cost effective in bulk!) and carried them home to be transformed:  First, the sweet and sour plums...   Well, I found I needed my daughter's help with this recipe, because when I clicked on the picture, it took me to a lovely website, Hedonistin Blogspot, but all was in German. Having had French in school, I can usually wrangle some degree of meaning from French and even Spanish language texts, but German is beyond me. Fortunately, my daughter spent her senior year of high school Germany and is proficient enough in the language that she was able to help me out with this. As a result, I now have two gallons of these … {Read on...}

Stay tuned… This Foodie is experiencing technical difficulties.

So.  Evidently the baking ignitor in my oven breaking (and still being broken) was not enough in the technical difficulty arena.  Let me recap in order to explain why I will probably not get a new food post up until tomorrow:   I cannot bake.  My oven is still BROKEN! I cannot wash dishes.  The pump for our well broke overnight.  I cannot post pictures.  For some reason, the usb doo-dad will not allow me to upload my pictures to the computer.  The previous 2 bullet points explain why The Evil Genius is not leaping to troubleshoot my camera for me. In the meantime, let's play some'Foodie With Family' Mad Libs.  I'll give you the list of parts of speech, you leave your suggestions in the comments below and we'll see how hilarious we can get.     Verb ending in ‘ing’ Name of Famous person Same verb ending in ‘ing’ Same famous person Adjective Plural noun Nationaity Plural noun Plural noun Noun Food Ingredient Ingredient Plural food Adverb Food Food Food Type of professional, plural Another type of professional, plural Another type of professional, plural Same famous person Plural noun Plural noun Adverb Same verb ending in ‘ing’ Adjective Adjective I'll post the results, provided someone wants to participate!     … {Read on...}

Out of the kitchen and into the… outdoor kitchen.

This Saturday will be a banner day around our house.  The boys are participating in their second Farmer's Market of the season.  I'm getting in on the fun by doing a live mozzarella making demonstration at the market while the boys man their table. Or should it be 'while the boys boy their table?   Our local good things market, the Angelica Farmer's Market, is kind and clever enough to offer children's vendor tables the third Saturday of each month.  They provide a platform to teach kids about the entrepeneurial spirit, marketing, the cost of business and working for your money.    Last time around my kids learned a difficult but valuable lesson.  The jewelweed they spent hours packaging and labelling and selling was indeed a wonderful product, but it grows like the weed it is around here and most people can procure it for free.  A few kindly souls pity-purchased from my fuzzy-headed, big-eyed boys.  While they didn't make anywhere near as much Bionicle money as they hoped, they did get the privilege of educating people as to the myriad uses of the humble jewelweed.  And let me tell you, it took a while for the gentle glow of that accomplishment to sink through the disappointment of not getting Kopaka, Toa Nuva, and Hewkii.   The boys, after learning I was doing a mozzarella making demonstration, decided to sell mozzarella making kits.  I think they have a better shot at their goal of a $50 profit this time.  They're as busy as little bees behind me right … {Read on...}