life between the pages

“I spent my life folded between the pages of books.
In the absence of human relationships I formed bonds with paper characters. I lived love and loss through stories threaded in history; I experienced adolescence by association. My world is one interwoven web of words, stringing limb to limb, bone to sinew, thoughts and images all together. I am a being comprised of letters, a character created by sentences, a figment of imagination formed through fiction.”
Tahereh Mafi, Shatter Me

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Old-fashioned Desserts

Chocolate Chess Pie
Adapted from The Harmony Grove Cookbook

2 large eggs, beaten
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 c. whole milk
2 tbsp. plain or vanilla yogurt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. unbleached flour
2 1/2 tbsp. Dutch cocoa powder
1 c. unbleached pure cane sugar
1/4 tsp. salt

Beat eggs into melted butter, milk, yogurt, vanilla; set aside.
Sift flour, cocoa powder, and salt into sugar in a separate bowl.
Add all at once to egg-butter-milk mixture, stir to mix thoroughly.
Pour into prepared pie shell and bake at 375 degrees for about 40 - 45 minutes.

Chowning's Tavern Apple Cake
Adapted from Celebrate Virginia! Cookbook                                                          Preheat oven @350

Melt 1 cup unsalted butter and allow to cool in dish until warm to touch but not hot.  

Into a separate large bowl: core, slice and chop 4 ripe, medium sized apples into 1/4" - 1/2" size bits; cover with 2 cups unbleached granulated cane sugar and set aside.

Beat 2 large eggs well and add to butter, beating until smooth and slightly glossy. 

Blend sugar with apples, stirring to coat. Add 3/4 c. chopped walnuts and mix well. Set aside again.

Place in sifter: 1 c. whole wheat flour, 2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour, 1 tsp. cream of tartar, 2 tsp. baking soda with spices: 2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. mace, 1/2 tsp. allspice, 1/2 tsp. coriander. 
Sift all to mix thoroughly into a 3rd bowl.

Blend 2 c. sour milk with egg and butter mixture. If you do not have sour milk you may substitute 
scant 2 c. whole milk mixed with 1/4 c. strained (or greek) yogurt. Blend liquid ingredients well and add to flour & spices in large bowl. Then mix apples, walnuts and sugar into batter, folding in to coat and distribute all well.

Pour into buttered 12-cup dish(es) (9 x 13 rectangular, round bundt, or two 8 x 8 square pans). Bake @ 350 for 45 - 50 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. 

Let cake stand in pan for 15 minutes, then invert on wire rack to cool.

You may drizzle a glaze of cider and sugar over cooled cake, or serve with ice cream.



Sunday Night Dinner

The cold wet wraps around the house like a blanket. Nestled inside we are warm as toast, about to tuck into a simple dinner of soup and muffins.

Sweet Potato Muffins

Simply replace the banana in a banana muffin recipe with an equal amount of mashed, cooked sweet potato. Delish!

Split-Pea Soup with Rice and Carrots

To six cups chicken stock add 2 c. dried peas, 1 c. rice, 3 carrots (sliced), 1/2 c. chopped onion. Heat thoroughly over medium heat, stirring occasionally to keep from sticking, for about 45 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.