I have always been a little Becky Home Ecky, but I have a new appreciation of the stay at home moms and housewives extraordinaire I know. They make it seem effortless, and it’s not always that at all.
Me, I have a habit of spilling on myself while cooking. And that is after my morning French Press.
It’s summer, so I do indeed like to use local and cook fresh. Part of this fresh cooking pays homage to my Pennsylvania German Grandmother and Italian Great Aunts and Grandmother. Of course from them I get the little of this, little of that, what do you mean I have to write it down style of cooking.
First I made a couple of marinades. One on little steaks being grilled this evening, and boneless pork chops tomorrow. The steak marinade was made extra fun with the addition of a couple of the masala blends I have and chili powder mix from Jayshree Seasonings. The pork is brewing in a marinade made from leftover homemade barbecue sauce. BBQ sauce is SO easy to make. And tastes so much better.
Speaking of the Food Channel, who watches Food Network’s The Next Food Network Star? Well I am and I am rooting in particular for a lady from Alabama named Martie from Team Alton.
So her name is Martie Duncan and she has a food blog called Martie Knows Parties. Martie is the only true home cook in the bunch.
I found out today that in the weird small world of it all she is a close friend of a woman I am in a blogging network with who tells me she’s “known her since 2002, and she’s just so nice. She’s completely self-made. She put herself thru college by working as a cop. She did wedding planning, did set design on My Best Friend’s Wedding movie, ran a successful online startup called WeddingPoints.com.
When WeddingPoints went out of business, she was devastated. But she reinvented herself and started from scratch as a blogger with nothing because she (as well as her investors in this business) used personal savings to give severance pay to her employees.
She’s blogged for MyRecipes and MSN and run her own blog. She auditioned for Food Network Star even though (and they don’t say this on the show) most of the contestants were actually picked/recruited by the network. She cooked her entry dish in a fire station in Chicago after driving all night from Alabama.”
Is she a perfect person? Doesn’t matter and you can see she is putting her all into this. And I would rather watch someone like her versus that chick Nadia G. from Bitchin’ Kitchen on The Cooking Channel. Nadia’s voice and her set assail the senses and I don’t mean that in a positive way.
But back to my kitchen. I was playing around and cooked up this thing I do with fresh fruit every summer that is like a town with no name. It has no name. It is part cake and part cobbler.
I took some cherries and peaches (I am aces at pitting cherries now), tossed them in some orange juice, fresh grated ginger (tip: you can freeze fresh ginger nicely and grate it easier that way), sugar (brown and white), a couple of tablespoons of corn starch.
I did not feel like rolling out a crust for a pie (a tip I forgot to share I think on pie crusts – Martha Stewart says brush your crust in the pan with egg white before adding filling, well I saw on some show of using butter instead and butter works better as far as keeping the pie crust bottom from going mushy but I digress). So anyway in the spirit of desert with no name, I threw some flour in a bowl, added baking powder, one egg, sugar, cinnamon and ginger, a little oil and whisked it up into a cake batter kind of sort of.
Poured the batter over the fruit in the pan, and went to the crumble topping: brown sugar, little bit of flour, butter, cinnamon and ginger and oatmeal.
Crumbly topping added to the fun as third and top layer. Pan placed in Bain Marie and put in a 350 degree over for I forget how long. Probably 45 minutes or so.
In between I husked a few ears of the first sweet corn of the season for tonight and tossed together a little potato salad for tomorrow. The potato salad is with new red potatoes from West Chester Grower’s Market mixed with flat parsley, sweet onion and a dill and herb mayonnaise mustard mix that has a little malt vinegar to it. This is a potato salad I will add capers and celery and cucumber to if I have them in.
I have to run as I still need to saute a few mushrooms for my steaks and make a salad. The salad will be fresh greens from the farmers’ markets – bitter and regular, with a vinaigrette of my own creation.
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