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2002-07-15 14:16:21 (UTC)

A Few Recipes and the Simple Life

I've had a few requests for recipes I listed for yesterday's
dinner. Here they are.

The peach cobbler is made of sweetened fruit with a rich
cake batter instead of biscuit dough. It's called French
Peach Cake in the Joy of Cooking. It can also be made with
apples or any other fruit or berry you like.
French Peach Cake

Sprinkle 2 cups or more peeled sliced apples, peaches or
other fruit with 2/3 cup sugar, some nutmeg and the grated
rind and juice of one lemon. Dredge with one tbs. flour.
Pour over surface four tbs. melted butter.
Make the batter: Sift together 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup
sugar, 1 tsp. baking powder and 1/4 tsp. salt. Beat and add
2 egg yolks, 1 tbs. melted butter and 1/4 cup milk. Beat
these ingredients with swift strokes until blended. Cover
the fruit with the batter and bake for about 45 minutes; put
a piece of foil on top if it begins to darken too much.
Fried Zucchini

I invented this recipe one summer when we didn't have much
money. We did have lots of zucchini. At that that I made my
own butter from goat's milk and we had laying hens, ducks
and geese so I only had to buy olive oil, Parmesan cheese,
and flour (all bought in bulk). This is NOT a good
recipe for those with high cholesterol!

Pick some small zucchini with a diameter of an inch
and-a-half or less and wash them well. Do not peel. Slice
them into thin rounds. Beat several eggs (duck or goose
eggs are best if you happen to have them) with salt and
pepper. Mix half flour and half grated Parmesan cheese on a
plate. Coat zucchini rounds with the egg batter and dredge
in the flour/cheese mixture. Heat the butter and olive oil
in equal measure in a frying pan at a high heat. Fry the
zucchini in batches until brown and crispy and the centers
are soft. Drain on paper towels. Because you are frying at
a high temperature, it's helpful to either have most of the
rest of the dinner already done or even better, someone else
in the kitchen who can help finish it up (and prepared to
get out the fire extinguisher, if necessary).
We will sometimes have a meatless dinner in the
summers--fried zucchini, corn on the cob, new potatoes,
fresh green beans, tomatoes and cucumbers.
And here's one more recipe. This one is for cherry
chocolate cake. It's Gavin's favorite so I made it for his
birthday today. It's easy. Use a chocolate cake mix or a
basic chocolate cake recipe. Add a half can of cherry pie
filling and mix well with an electric mixer. If you do it
by hand you won't break up the cherries and they'll sink to
the bottom of the pan and burn. Use the other half can of
pie filling between the layers and frost with cherry
chocolate frosting. Make a basic chocolate butter cream
frosting and add a tablespoon or two of cherry extract. Or
use a canned chocolate frosting and add the cherry extract.
If you're making it from scratch and want a very rich
frosting add cream cheese along with the butter. If you
want cherry frosting (for some there is such a thing as too
much chocolate!) make a plain butter cream frosting but use
maraschino cherry juice for the liquid and top the cake with
one whole maraschino cherry with stem still attached.

When I make the latter I call it a Minnie Mouse cake as I
remember a Disney cartoon from my childhood in which Minnie
made a pink frosted cake with a cherry on top.
The interesting thing about hosting my diary on this site is
that most of the other diarists seem to be young people.
Sometimes someone will find my diary by clicking on *See
what others have written* and find one of my entry titles
interesting so they read it and send me a note. Most seem
to wonder how I can stand living such a boring life! I find
that amusing. Yes, I'm certain my life must seem very
boring to some, especially someone in high school or in
their late teens or early twenties.

Some have asked me if I'm happy or if I want more
excitement. Yes, I am happy and no, I don't want any more
excitement. In my twenties I felt very differently. I
traveled, I went to parties and other entertainments. I'm
glad I did and I would be sorry if I'd missed it.

Each generation has it's own way of doing it. In my
grandmother's day it was the 1920's and bobbing your hair,
wearing short skirts and drinking bathtub gin. In my day,
the 1960's, it was growing your hair long, wearing short
skirts and smoking pot. Different, but still the same.

My life isn't as simple as I'd like. I still have children
(young adults) at home. I still have responsibilities that
must be met. I live in a very small town with dreams of
moving back to the countryside where I lived for almost 20
years. I enjoy spending my days cooking and baking,
quilting and raising flowers and vegetables and yes, even
doing laundry, especially when I can hang the clothes
outside to dry. I like feeding the birds. I miss my
chickens and ducks, sheep and goats and will be happy when I
can have some again. I've learned skills over the years
which serve me well--how to spin and knit, how to grow
flowers and vegetables, how to make jams and can fruit,
how to quilt, how to bake bread, milk goats and pluck and
clean chickens.

My Mennonite neighbors are good examples of how to live a
life. Each thing they do, they do without thinking of what
they've already done or what they still need to do. Each
task, even a plain one, is important in itself. It's how I
strive to live my life too.

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