2013 09 08 Pickled Asian Pears, a set on Flickr.
Enjoying a weekend with my family in Fort Morgan.
I also made some peach compote (compote = peaches and sugar cooked in a skillet on medium heat for about 10 minutes). I use a pretty basic recipe for crepe batter. It lends itself well to sweet or savory uses:
2 large eggs (3 if I want a more egg-y consistency)
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1 cup flour
3 Tbsp melted butter.
Mix the first three ingredients in a large bowl and slowly whisk in the flour (to remove any clumps). Don’t rush this part. The butter needs to be melted but not so hot that it will cook the eggs in the batter when it’s added. Do this as the last step. Let the batter rest in the fridge for at least an hour (overnight is best).
Cooking crepes, to me, is just somehting you have to do enough times until you’re comfortable. I don’t use a crepe pan; just a $15 T-Fal skillet that suits my needs perfectly. This recipe has enough butter in it that I don’t need to add any to the skillet for cooking. I pour about 1/3 cup into a hot 10-inch skillet and tilt the skillet to distribute the batter all the way around. I let it cook until a gentle shake of the pan back and forth loosens the crepe (1 or 2 minutes), then flip it and cook for another minute or so. As I said, it’s just something you have to do until you know when it’s done. It’s not rocket surgery or anything. Have fun.
I had a friend over for dinner who’s a vegetarian, so I wanted to make something meat-free yet satisfying. Gnocchi and mushrooms in cream sauce (including some dried chanterelles I reconstituted in white wine) fit the bill. He also brought his new ‘puppy’ Bentley (the same age as Sookie, but about 45 pounds heavier) to let the dogs meet. They were like peas and carrots from the first moment.
I love a life whose plot is simple,
And does not thicken with every pimple,
A soul so sound no sickly conscience binds it,
That makes the universe no worse than ‘t finds it.
from Conscience by Henry David Thoreau
This post on The Bookshop Blog thoughtfully addresses something I spend a lot of time thinking about–the conflicts one feels when trying to embrace (dare I say, love?) the fact that they’re from the South without espousing (and yet not ignoring) some of it’s less fortunate former and current attitudes.
A woeful amount of displays one sees of ‘southern pride’ involve semi-literate bluster, intolerance, and very purposeful rebel flags. But there are those of us who joyfully (and quietly) read Faulkner and Hurston, spend placid days on the river with friends and family, garden in the heat and humidity, can strawberry jam, appreciate the dulcet tones of bluegrass–and love every minute of it. All without the loud, malevolent displays produced by an inferiority complex partially of our own making and partially imposed upon us by others.
I’ve come to shrug my shoulders at those who stereotype and condescend to Southerners wholesale (NPR and New York Times: I’m sorry, but I’m looking at you), patronizingly remarking on our ‘progress’ even as they dig up our ugliest images from the past (you’ll find a perfect example of this here). It’s so often done out of ignorance that it carries little credibility with me any more. More fulfilling is owning the South’s complexity gracefully and positively. It involves embracing some beauty, regretting some horror, and working for something better, as the author says: “ignoring the grim statistics and carving out careers [and lives] down here.”
I also love the video patchwork the author compiles to show the region’s cultural complexity (and the hat tip to the much-mourned Turner South network) especially Zora Neale talking about the zombies.