Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Granny's berry cobbler

When we were young, my sister and I always anticipated visits to our grandparents. We were sure to eat great food and to have big adventure --  running through the pasture, harvesting from the garden, feeding Harold the Brahman bull, nightly armadillo sightings, painting canvases "like real artists" on the screened in porch, picking bluebonnets, fishing in the pond, tractor rides, walks through the woods, barbecue.... and dewberry cobbler.

Both of our grandmothers specialized in desserts, and Granny's recipe for dewberry cobbler was an all-time favorite.

Granny's berry cobbler
2 cups dewberries or blackberries (I used blackberries here)
1/2 stick butter softened, plus 2 T melted
1 1/3 c sugar
1 c flour
1 1/2 heaping tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c milk (plus a little more)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Melt 2 T butter in a baking dish.  Sprinkle a few spoonfuls of sugar over clean berries and gently toss to combine.  Pour berries into the prepared baking dish.  Cream 1/2 stick softened butter and 1 cup sugar in a mixer with a paddle attachment.  Combine flour, salt and baking powder.  Slowly add a little of the flour mixture alternating with a little of the milk, until combined.  The batter should be the consistency of a thick pancake batter.  You may need to add in a bit more milk if the batter is too thick.  Pour the mixture evenly over the berries.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes, until golden on top. Serve warm with Bluebell Homemade Vanilla Ice cream.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Koch Kaase

This one is for my Dad.  As part of a family cookbook he is compiling, my sister, Mother, Dad and I recently uncovered several recipe boxes from both of my grandmothers, as well as a great aunt.  I stumbled upon this recipe in my Aunt Mo's box and found the title intriguing:  "Koch Kaase."  After a little research, I learned Koch Kaase is a German cooked cheese.  It's no wonder there were actually two variations of "cooked cheese" in Aunt Mo's box, given that my Dad's side of the family immigrated from Germany.

Dad remembered this recipe well, as his grandmother made it often.  It was traditionally used to spread on homemade bread sometimes instead of butter.  He joked that he'd enjoy trying it again, after many years.

Surprise, Dad! It's coming your way.

Koch Kaase
8 oz. Swiss Cheese, grated
3/4 stick of butter
1 cup milk
2 T flour
1/4 tsp whole caraway seeds

Melt butter in a heavy bottomed pan over low heat. Sprinkle in the flour, and add milk and grated cheese. Cook on low, stirring frequently, until melted and bubbly, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in caraway seeds.  May be served as a dip when hot, or served cold, spread on homemade bread.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Citrusy Fall Kale Salad with cranberries, feta and pistachios

There is something remarkably pleasing about taking a thing from the earth, planted by your own hands, and bringing it to the table, filling up your plate.

There's a simple joy in all of it, from the time the seeds hit the soil, to the tasks of watering, weeding, and watching -- a quiet delight in the daily tending of something that grows. And there's a satisfying pride too, as you see it in your kitchen, preparing for a casual Saturday evening meal at home, Fall blowing in through open windows and screen doors.

Hoping that you, too, are inspired to tend to something that grows.

Citrusy Fall Kale Salad with cranberries, feta and pistachios
serves 2
1 small bunch kale
1/2 lemon, juiced
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
salt & pepper to taste
1 T olive oil
palmful dried cranberries
2 mandarin oranges, 1 juiced, 1 segmented
palmful pistachios

Wash, trim and chiffonade the kale and place in salad bowl.  In a small bowl, combine the juice of 1/2 a lemon, juice of 1 small mandarin, olive oil, garlic and salt and pepper to taste.  Pour the dressing over kale and massage the greens and the dressing together with your hands until the kale is well coated and wilted.  Toss in the cranberries, mandarin orange segments, cubed or crumbled feta and pistachios.

p.s.  If you happen to make this homemade pizza to go with the salad you grew,  while you sip a glass of wine, well then, you have certainly set yourself up for a sweet Saturday night!