Thursday, August 21, 2008

Good Things to Come...

It’s been weeks, literally weeks, since I’ve had a kitchen, not just my own kitchen, but any kitchen, to cook in. And I’m really tired of it…but good news is that good things are to come. My mom and dad are bringing me fresh veggies from their garden this weekend, and come Monday I will be in my new house in the bluegrass, and ready to try out cooking in my new kitchen.

It’s been a long move to get to KY—and I’ve been living out of a suitcase since July 19—I’m ready to be settled again, and I’m ready to cook again.

Here are some pictures of good things to come…my father-in-law is working on this big ol’ pig cooker/barbeque/smoker, as you can see in the picture. He’s welded it out of an old oil drum—and if I could explain what has taken place to get it to this point, I would—but I haven’t got a clue. But do expect photos from a whole hog barbeque once the weather is cold enough.

And the green beans are called “greasy backs”—and were photographed in my parents’ garden—part of the goodies they will be bringing me this weekend.

And so as not to leave you without a recipe, I’m including a chocolate cake my mom made last weekend for my husband’s and my belated birthdays from this summer…it was delicious! It wasn’t just any chocolate cake either—it was a Buttermilk-Mexican Chocolate Pound Cake. Not to mention it was a big hit late night at the Fries Fiddlers’ Convention…(Did I mention that I was asked if she is single? In all seriousness, I did learn how to cook from my mom—it comes to me honest).

Expect more blogs, and more cooking in the weeks to come…

Buttermilk-Mexican Chocolate Pound Cake

1 (8-oz.) package semisweet chocolate baking squares, chopped*
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1/2 cup chocolate syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
Garnish: powdered sugar

1. Microwave chocolate baking squares in a microwave-safe bowl at HIGH 1 minute and 15 seconds or until chocolate is melted and smooth, stirring every 15 seconds.
2. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer 2 minutes or until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating 5 to 7 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow disappears after each addition. Stir in melted chocolate, chocolate syrup, and vanilla until smooth.

3. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Pour batter into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan or a 12-cup Bundt pan.

4. Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 to 15 minutes; remove from pan to a wire rack, and let cool 1 hour and 30 minutes or until completely cool. Garnish, if desired.

*2 (4.4-oz.) packages Mexican chocolate, chopped, may be substituted for semisweet chocolate baking squares. Omit ground cinnamon, and proceed with recipe as directed.

From Southern Living, APRIL 2007

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Broke-Down-in-West-Virginia Blackberry Cobbler

After a couple of weeks away, I have many adventures in cooking, camping, moving, and music to post here, but I’ll start with this one.

In between music festivals (Clifftop and Galax Fiddlers’ Conventions) my husband’s truck broke down in Pocahontas County, West Virginia. Luckily we were on our friends’ 60 acre farm in a really beautiful area that backs up against the Cranberry Wilderness. It was really a blessing to be there instead of a state park or on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. We were definitely being looked after! So after I was done being upset and pouting (I wanted to get on our way to Galax), I decided to make the best of my time by picking wild blackberries—of which there is an abundance on their land. I spent about an hour picking around a pound and a half of blackberries up and down their road (I'm pictured on their land above), while my husband and another friend who was also visiting (B) went to get a part for the truck. So when I got back to the house, I figured we could all use a treat, and I made a blackberry cobbler. There is nothing special about this recipe, it is really simple, but it goes to show that you can just make do with what you have. And boy was it good.

Blackberry Cobbler

1 ½ pounds blackberries (maybe around 4 cups….wild are best)
1 ½ cup Self Rising Flour
1 ½ cup Sugar
1 ½ cup Milk
1 Stick (half cup) Butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Once oven temperature is reached melt butter in a large cast iron skillet or baking pan.

In a medium bowl stir together the flour, sugar and milk; batter will be slightly lumpy.

Pour mixture on top of melted butter in baking pan. Do not mix butter and mixture together.

Drop blackberries on top of batter

Bake for one hour or until golden brown.