A recipe for memories

My fondest memories of my grandmother are of helping her in the kitchen. My mother and grandmother are both excellent cooks, making everything from scratch when I was younger. It is because of them that I love to cook, and eat, so much.

S&HstampI remember times when my grandmother would buy a large bag of green “snap” beans at the local grocery store. We had a Publix not far from us where she did all her shopping, back when they had the old S&H Green Stamps. Remember those? I still remember the taste of the stamps when I had to lick them to put them in the collector books for her. /bleh Never thought that would be a fond memory.

We would wash the beans then split them up into two bowls. My grandmother and I would sit with a third, larger bowl between us and snap the tips off the beans while we talked, and laughed, or  just sat quietly enjoying each other’s company. I remember the crisp “pop” of the beans as I snapped each one. How the smells of soil and fresh sunshine released from each one, like there was a tiny little earth spirit inside.

There are two recipes that stick out in my mind that my grandmother used to make. One being homemade, hand-cut egg noodles, which is another story I promise to tell, and Cherry Dump Cake though I think that was actually my mother’s recipe. I do not have her recipe in front of me but I will make that one of our next baking projects. In the meantime, another favorite…

frozenblackberries

Blackberry Crisp

Part 1:
4 cups of blackberries (or other berries)
1/4 cups of brown sugar*
3 tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Part 2:
1/2 cup of flour
1/2 cup of oatmeal, uncooked
1/2 cup of brown sugar*
1/4 cup of granulated sugar
1/2 cup of butter

part2done

When we combined the dry ingredients we added a bit of powdered ginger.

We personally do not use nuts due to allergies, but nuts are optional. If you want to add nuts, 1/4 cup of pecans are suggested.

Part 1:
Mix the blackberries, brown sugar*, flour and cinnamon in a nine (9) inch square pan.

Part 2:
Cut the butter into the dry ingredients and put the topping on your blackberry mixture.

parts1and2

If you are adding nuts, you sprinkle them on top now.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. You want your end result to be bubbly and slightly brown…

IMPORTANT: If you are using a glass/Pyrex dish, do NOT exceed 350 degrees, ever. I cannot stress this enough. Also, for glass pans, the time becomes roughly 45 minutes (keep reading).

Serves eight (8) people, technically…or four with ice cream.  LOL

*Upon gathering the ingredients I discovered that we did not have the brown sugar. We have house elves who enjoy oatmeal and apparently one of them did not remember to tell me he had used all of my brown sugar. So, having already cut open the bag of blackberries, and having promised my girl we would make it, I took a chance and substituted granulated sugar then added a bit of vanilla to it when I cut in the butter.

at30minutes

At 30 minutes the berries were bubbly but the topping had not yet browned.  The smell was killing us, it was sooo yummy. Must wait for the guys…

After another 15 minutes did the trick and you can listen to the wonderful bubble on my channel on YouTube. The guys had fabulous timing; they arrived just as it had cooled off enough to eat…

crispdone

After their eyes finished rolling out of their heads, and words like “Outstanding” and “Omg that’s evil…” flowed from their lips, an inch off the entire side of the crisp half gone already, Logan decided we had to have vanilla ice cream and left. Guess we did it right.

This recipe’s source: Cooks.com

The secret to French Cuisine is butter.

I rescued my beloved from work this afternoon, change of clothes in tow, and told him we were grabbing food before he took me to a movie. We had talked about going to see Julie & Julia earlier this week, I have been wanting to see it when I’d first seen the trailer, but we had not made specific plans yet.

Meryl Streep was absolutely fantastic, portraying Julia brilliantly, making you love her and want to rush home to dig out your cookbooks. We left hungry for the recipes and for more of the movie. I have always ached to see Paris; its architecture, its people, and the movie made you feel like you were there with Julia. Meryl is sure to walk with some awards for this one.

Stanley Tucci ages like a fine wine. Bluntly, the man is hot. Playing Julia’s husband, he was respectful of the part and brought passion to the role. I have always enjoyed Stanley as an actor. He is very good at what he does and has played everything from Robin Goodfellow (Puck) in Midsummer Night’s Dream to his newest film, The Lovely Bones, that we saw the trailer for; he is playing the villain. It looks good, despite his toupe, so we will be going to see that as well.

Amy Adams was adorable as always and the whole story made me smile. She was funny, real, and made you admire Julie’s determination and perseverance. Amy brought a sensitivity to it that made it easy to relate to and love her.

We laughed, we cried in joy and sadness, and we came away with a special place in our hearts for a woman who was truly ground breaking in her own way. Julia Child was a force to be reckoned with and she truly did change the world.

The real Julie Powell has apparently gotten mixed reviews amongst the foodie crowd in the blogging community. I have not read her blog, in fact I had not even heard of it till I’d seen the movie. Some love her and some hate her though, that is apparent. One thing I do know though is that I would like to read the book her character was reading about Julia’s life; it was mentioned that her letters to her sister and friend, as well as her husband Paul’s letters to his brother, made it to print.

Overall the movie was fabulous and I would enjoy seeing it again before it leaves the theaters.  It has also made me want to post my own recipes as well so you might see a few here in the future. In the meantime, go see Julie & Julia, we loved it.

Hmm…now what to make for dinner.

Squirrels and Horseflies and Literate Ladybugs, oh my!

Three Dollar Squirrel‘s third issue is out this week with the site launching this weekend. Squirrels on the brain, it is no wonder I am seeing them everywhere. It is like when I owned both my ’61 and ’67 VW Beetles years ago; there were the same number of them in the world but they seemed to be EVERYwhere once I had one of my own.

The summer heat has brought the horseflies out to play. One more reason not to linger near the woods. Flying Teeth,’nuff said.

My little Ladybug, as she likes to be called, has been reading up a storm. She was a teensy slow going in the beginning with her reading but, like everything else she does, once she got it, she nailed it and took off. It has become very clear that, between the two of us,  we are going to need an extra room for a dedicated library.

Books on Ladybug’s reading list? Various Beck Beyond the Sea books.

51SMPKGP1GL._SS500_Books I am reading? Just finished the 2nd in Cleo Coyle’s Coffeehouse Mystery series.

Squirrels and Horseflies and Literate Ladybugs, oh my!

Three Dollar Squirrel‘s third issue is out this week with the site launching this weekend. Squirrels on the brain, it is no wonder I am seeing them everywhere. It is like when I owned both my ’61 and ’67 VW Beetles years ago; there were the same number of them in the world but they seemed to be EVERYwhere once I had one of my own.

The summer heat has brought the horseflies out to play. One more reason not to linger near the woods. Flying Teeth,’nuff said.

My little Ladybug, as she likes to be called, has been reading up a storm. She was a teensy slow going in the beginning with her reading but, like everything else she does, once she got it, she nailed it and took off. It has become very clear that, between the two of us,  we are going to need an extra room for a dedicated library.

Books on Ladybug’s reading list? Various Beck Beyond the Sea books.

51SMPKGP1GL._SS500_Books I am reading? Just finished the 2nd in Cleo Coyle’s Coffeehouse Mystery series.