Finding a perfectly ripe, juicy sweet strawberry, deep red all the way through, can be like discovering a unicorn. Unless you grow them yourself or know someone who does, there is bound to be disappointment. Some of us are lucky and have farmers, markets and U-pick sites to visit where whole fragrant flats can be purchased or picked for a price. We’re the lucky ones. If you’re stuck with grocery store specimens, well, I’m sorry. Spending the better part of my life with those tasteless blobs, I never really understood what all the fuss was about. But I learned.
For some reason, I had a stockpile of limes and I’m not too sure where they all came from. Some were leftover from a party, some from Memorial Day weekend and the rest … beats me. Regardless of how they appeared, the reality was a large bowl in my fridge that needed to be dealt with. Instantly I thought cake. Cake and strawberries, since I had a lot of those too.
Growing up, I ate a lot of fudgicles. Fudgsicles® is actually the proper term but I always dropped the “s” and called them fudgicles. They were a frequent after dinner treat, welcome on hot summer days. Later, swayed by Bill Cosby perhaps, we switched to Jell-o Pudding Pops and I loved the rich, fudgy, almost chewy texture. Sure, there were other frozen treats in rotation – ice cream, push-ups, creamsicles and the like – but those chewy pudding pops were by far the best.
Posted in frozen treats | Tagged chocolate pudding pops, frozen hot chocolate, frozen mexican chocolate, fudge pops, ice lollies, mexican chocolate fudgsicles, mexican chocolate pudding pops | Leave a Comment »
This is a story in two parts. One is about a kind of odd seasonal fruit that looks like bright red celery. It’s incredibly tart, I’d even venture to say inedible, when raw and has toxic leaves. The second part is about a strange little custard, set with gelatin that someone once described to me as “milk jell-o”. Now who in their right minds reads either of those sentences and thinks “Delicious! Sign me up!” Well, I do because together these two oddballs are quite delightful.
Posted in custards & puddings, fruit desserts, seasonal | Tagged buttermilk panna cotta, buttermilk panna cotta with roasted rhubarb, Claudia Fleming, panna cotta, rhubarb desserts, roasted rhubarb, vanilla roasted rhubarb | Leave a Comment »
Eighth grade trips to someplace historical are a rite of passage in our country. Growing up in the Southwest, I didn’t realize that for most kids on the other side of the country, this meant a long bus ride to Washington DC for an up close and personal history lesson. This wasn’t really an option for us desert kids. Oh, we got something it was just very different yet just as culturally significant. For us, a young and enthusiastic math teacher piled a bunch of squirmy 13-year olds on a bus and took us to visit her Grandmother. Let me explain.
Until this weekend, I had been morel foraging exactly once and planned to keep it that way. I was visiting family in Southern Indiana around Easter time and my rather eccentric uncle decided it would be a great idea to trapsaise around the woods looking for elusive fungi. For 5 hours we tromped up and down hills and ravines, half bent over looking for things that closely resembled the forest floor. It was cold, damp and generally miserable and my uncle pushed us on and on, long past the time I was ready to call it quits and head in for a beer. When all was said and done, the lot of us had found exactly 6 mushrooms, one of which I discovered the moment before I stepped on it. This was supposed to be fun?
My family, particularly my father and uncle, is a bunch of garlic heads. No matter what we make, there is never enough garlic. Growing up in Phoenix, my Chicago-raised Polish father was never happy with the quality of polish sausage we could find so we started making our own. Every Easter, he’d lug out the heavy hand grinder, cranking away as I would add head upon head of garlic cloves, a shocking amount really. He’d pan fry up a little taste and declare “No, not enough. More garlic!” The rest of us would groan but we kept cranking. At some point, as the garlic-to-pork ratio increased, I think it ceased being Polish sausage and became something else entirely. Whatever it was, it was certainly delicious. And pungent.