July 24, 2010

A cup of Joe.

Can we agree? It can be summer, winter, spring, fall, your house, my kitchen, the yard, the garden, on a walk. A Saturday morning and a cup of coffee is a thing of great joy.

July 22, 2010

A Peach Spot

This is where we sit at John and Mary's. In the front yard amidst the iceberg roses and peaches. A perfect spot for morning coffee, an afternoon's magazine perusal or dinner with the many or few.

This morning, some of those peaches made it into an Ohio Peach Pie. The recipe is Nora Ephron's, from her book HEARTBURN. The book is full of the story of her life with that Watergate reporter and chocked with cooking tales and excellent recipes. (My youngest would like you to know that Ms. Ephron uses inappropriate words in the book and your young children shouldn't be reading the page right next to this recipe. Negligent Mother's Club, here I come.) I've only ever made a version of her vinaigrette. I embraced and enhanced it in my early cooking days and don't intend to let it go. Ever.

Oh, do see below.

Nora Ephron's Peach Pie - the Ohio version

1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
2 tablespoons sour cream

Turn in a food processor with a pastry blade until it forms a ball.
Pat out into a butter pie tin. Crimp if you like.
Bake 20 minutes at 425 degrees. (Don't worry about beans or pie beans, the crust is forgiving)

3 egg yolks slightly beaten
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/3 cup sour cream

Stir together until smooth.
Pour over 4 or more peeled, sliced peaches layered in the crust. (I used 8 smaller peaches today.)
Cover with foil.
Reduce oven to 350 degrees.
Bake 35 minutes. Remove the foil and bake 10 minutes more OR until the filling is set. (It can take 20 minutes. Just watch.

Enjoy!

Vinaigrette a la Nora Ephron

Mix 2 tablespoons Grey Poupon mustard with 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar.
Whisking constantly,  add 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, until creamy.

Actually, I've been making it so long, I forgot about the red wine vinegar. I've always used organic apple cider vinegar. And Melissa D'Arabian shared a secret, that when making his vinaigrette, a Parisian cafe owner added a few drops of soy sauce as a secret ingredient. Here's that link.

You can always make it more complex, adding minced garlic, minced shallots, fresh herbs you love. I always return to the basic and enjoy it with champagne vinegar and even the subtlety of rice wine vinegar. Leave out the vinegar, add lemon juice and grate Parmesan. Variations and flavors are endless.

For my taste this simple recipe means I never have to buy a bottle of dressing.

Based on a recipe in HEARTBURN, by Nora Ephron

July 21, 2010

A fun little find - enjoy!

Here is one of the cutest things I've seen on this here webthinger. Click to smile (and wish you were in Paris with Kiki and Coco). A find from Design Mom.
And, c'est mon plaisir.

July 19, 2010

More thoughts on breakfast in pajama's ~ with Marjorie.

My husband made a sardonic comment about people using their blogs to talk about what they just ate. Something about how that's what Facebook is for. I had to laugh. My post this last Saturday was about breakfast at my friend Marjorie's. We ate the Spanish Eggs I prepared.

It made me think about the post and about how the remarkable thing is gathering the elements of this communal breakfast mid-morning, and walking across the street and a few doors down to cook with my friend in our pajamas.

It, somehow, whispers of college days. Or camping or something other than this gentrified life in the suburbs. It speaks of collusion. Secret fun. Withheld-then-released joyousness.

I thought about it and wondered why it was so darned much fun. So meaningful. Why I've kinda savored it for this last day or so. I think I understand that the cooking business and the pajamaness made it familiar and casual and cozy. Marj and I have known each other for 10 years so, the friendie part is natural. But the conspiratorial part, where we opted to drag brushes through our hair, but that was it, made it the special thing is was.

In all this over-thinking I realized, there was a missing person in the mix. The dad. The husband. The man of the house. This is to say, the cat was away and the mice were cooking. That's where the fragrance of - getting away with a long and lazy day in the company of those who prefer to remain in sleepwear drinking tea and shooing away kids of all ages - emanates. The freedom of a husbandless weekend day.

Note well, my husband of choice is the love of my life for life. My pal and adventure buddy.  I am reminded here,  that God made men and they are handsome and sturdy and great. Great. Fabulous. Wonderful.

But then, there is nothing like a girlfriend, and nothing, nothing like a girlfriend who's a mama working the trenches and open to frivolity on a found Saturday.

July 18, 2010

Quotable Sunday - THE HELP

"I watched Lou Anne slip away in the parking lot, thinking, There is so much you don't know about a person. I wonder if I could've made her days a little bit easier, if I'd tried. If I'd treated her a little nicer. Wasn't that the point of the book? For women to realize, We are just two people. Not that much separates us. Not nearly as much as I'd thought." 
- Kathryn Stockett, THE HELP

I must say, I loved this book and it's unique voicing.

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Original text and images sole property of BirdandSeashells. If you wish to use something, please ask or quote me.