Gingerbread. It’s for more than making houses and teaching kids the dangers of hubris, overconfidence, and ignoring the advice of others. It also tastes good. At least when made like this. So, put away the royal icing, the gumdrops, the candy canes. Open up the spice rack instead, and wrap your taste buds in true holiday yum.Continue reading
July in Indiana brings two of my all-time favorite flavors: Blueberries and Basil. And they’re wonderful together. Things have been really crazy lately, with hot, long days working in the field. My body was crying out for a rest, with a long, hot, four days of Culver Lakefest on the horizon. I didn’t really have the time, but I opted to listen to my body and spend some time in the kitchen this morning. Haven’t spent any quality time in there since Hole in the Woodstock, anyway. So, I came up with these Blueberry Basil Muffins to celebrate. Continue reading
It’s the heart of zucchini season, and so that means zucchini bread. I ran out of printed copies of my recipe at the market, and since, I’ve had at least a dozen people ask me for my recipe, with the urgency of most people with a refrigerator overpacked with squash.
Well, I promised I’d post it this week. I just barely made it, but here it is for your weekend!
I’ve long made muffins using the “Old School Muffins” recipe in Alton Brown’s I’m Just Here for More Food. I like the tender texture and the more moderate sweetness of his recipe, as compared with more typical modern recipes, which are more like cupcakes. However, I wanted to make muffins to celebrate Wild Black Raspberries, but had not had time to make yogurt. It turns out our local “grocery store” doesn’t actually sell plain yogurt(!), so buying some was nixed. My wife, Xenia, suggested substituting sour cream instead.
The substitution was inspired! It did require a bit of fiddling with the leavening, because sour cream is not as acidic as yogurt. But the result is even better. Hence, in honor of Xenia, I dub these, X-Factor Muffins.
Aunt Lola, my great-aunt, made wonderful, soft, chewy molasses cookies that I loved as a child – almost as much as the date pinwheel cookies, or her apple jelly. Somewhere along the way, well after she passed, I came across her date pinwheel recipe, and make those on occasion, but they are a ton of work. I never did find her molasses cookie recipe, though.
So, about 10 years ago, I conducted a 6 month long series of trials, attempting to re-create her recipe. My mentees and colleagues at Culver ate lots of bad cookies in the process! What I came up with is not the same as Aunt Lola’s. But they’re really darn good. Continue reading
Cornbread is a must with ham and beans, great for breakfast (with apple butter on top, of course!), and just one of those great dishes you need to have at the ready from time to time. I bake mine in a cast iron skillet, which gives it a much better crust, and works well in the wood burning stove oven.