No book with this post, just an impromptu stone fruit pie, made with apricots from the farmers market, bing cherries, and a couple of other stone fruits I had in the house to fill it out. This was my first time making a pie with cherries, and I found an ingenious way to pit them, which will make cherry pies something I tackle a lot more often. For our next book recipe, I am doing biscuits and red pepper jam (the biscuits are in the oven as I type), but for now, follow the link for the recipe for a simple summer pie.
It was too hot in Boston this past week to do any real cooking. Luckily, for Sloane Crossley's breazy second collection of essays, a cocktail seemed just as appropriate as food. In general, I don't drink at home that much. While I love a cocktail or beer or wine out, at home, I just don't get the urge. So it was a fun treat to put together this fruity bourbon cocktail during the 100 plus heat wave we had. Bourbon is definitely my hard alchohol of choice, it has the most character to me and has a little bit of sweetness that makes it easier to drink than whiskey or scotch. And it has loads more character than vodka. The recipe for this easy Cherry Smash cocktail after the jump, and more about "How Did You Get This Number?"
The Red Queen is part of Phillipa Gregory "Cousin's" series, about the War of the Roses period of English history. As you may recall, I read and reviewed the first in the series, The White Queen, some months back. That book was the lusty tail of Elizabeth Woodville, a supposed witch and wife of King Edward, the first York king. The Red Queen tells the tail of Margaret Beuford, the mother of Henry Tudor, who eventually became King Henry VII, and the first monarch of the tudor dynasty. It is a much less lusty tail, as Margaret is portrayed as a celibate woman obsessed with the Church and advancing her son's claim to the thrown. I thought this book was less of a fun read than The White Queen, but it still delivered that Phillipa Gregory punch - a trashy romance/adventure disguised as historical fiction. Sometimes something light is needed. As soon as I read the title of the book, and in light of the season, I knew I wanted to try the British "Summer Pudding" dessert. Unfortunately, this was a bit of a fail - maybe I didn't use enough berries (if I used any more I would have had to take out a second mortgage), but I just didn't get it. Kind of a gloppy mess. But I will pass along the recipe and maybe you will have better luck.
I have been totally remiss in my blog posting as of late. It's not that I haven't been reading - I have been reading A TON! It's that with the heat and the sun and the draw of being outside on the weekends, I have not done any heavy lifting in the kitchen. But, starting with this post I hope to get back on track with a bunch of fun books and recipes. First up, Peter Carey's witty (but dense!) Parrot and Olivier in America - a re imagining of Alexis de Tocquiville's first experiences in the United States. The book follows Olivier de Garmond (the de Tocquiville character) a silly and foppish (is that a word, I say yes!) French Aristocrat who is forced to escape to America during the French Revolution. De Garmond is sent to America to study the American Prison system, and his meddling mother arranged this trip for him as a way to keep him out of harm's way during the tumultuous years in France during the First Republic. Olivier is accompanying by a cheeky British servant, who goes by the name of Parrot. More about the book after the jump. Since the book was about a Frenchman's first impressions of America, I wanted to make a Franco-American dish - classic French Fries seemed the perfect tongue in cheek idea. I used Julia Child's recipe - the American mother of French cuisine in the U.S.