- Member for
- 1 year 4 months
In many homes around the world, Good Friday isn't Good Friday without egg- and butter-rich Hot Cross Buns, fragrant with spices and topped with a cross to signify Christ's sacrifice. I learned to make Hot Cross Buns many years ago when I took a class focused on dough made with yeast. I was a young mom at the time, I didn't have much experience working with yeast dough, and it seemed a little intimidating to me. I soon discovered the great pleasure of watching yeast come to life, foaming up in a cup as it bubbled and grew.
With a career that demanded she work outside the home, my mom was often tired in the evening when she came through the door and faced her hungry family. During the week, there were two things she was concerned with when planning and preparing our evening meals. She looked for dinners that were uncomplicated to put together, yet still tasty and nutritious. And she shopped for good quality food at budget-minded prices.
Oprah would be so upset if she knew about my distracted driving. I wasn't distracted by my phone, though. I heed her advice to make my car a "No Phone Zone." And I wasn't eating. It was a cookbook that made me drive right off the road last week. As I was pulling out of my driveway to make a quick trip to the grocery store in town, I stopped to get the mail. I was excited to see a package hanging from the mailbox in a plastic bag. I was in a hurry and decided I could open the package as I drove. And I did. I just hadn't planned on driving into the ditch.
Mother Nature has been teasing me with days full of sunshine and temperatures mild enough to warrant only a heavy sweater to stay comfortable outdoors. It's the kind of weather that breeds wishful thoughts of lemons and fresh berries, fresh green baby spinach leaves, spears of asparagus and bright red juicy radishes pulled from the garden.
The Oscars are coming. I tune in to watch the hoopla every year. It never matters that most years I haven't seen the movies that have been nominated for awards. It's not the actual presentation of each award that attracts me. It's the whole package - the people, the clothes they're wearing, the sparkling jewels, the music - and the food we eat while watching. During the past year I've actually seen a few movies. One of those movies, "It's Complicated," is not on any list of nominations. But it will be getting some attention.
The heady aroma of simmering sauerkraut is not what typically arouses me from my morning slumber.
During my last trip to the Twin Cities, I had the opportunity to visit one of the new specialty stores that sells olive oils and balsamic vinegars. Vinaigrette, near 50th and Xerxes in south Minneapolis, has been open for business since last September. I'd never been in a store like this. And I'd never sipped balsamic vinegars or olive oil straight up. I slowly moved from one stainless steel airtight container to the next, tasting sweet balsamic vinegars and robust olive oils. I chose a few to take home. Owners Sarah and Richard Piepenburg bottled them for me as I watched.
I've been eating thin, lacy pancakes the size of a dinner plate since I was a toddler. Although some would call them French crepes, in our house, they were Hungarian palacsinta. On palacsinta days, the kitchen would be perfumed with the fragrance of vanilla and sugar.
Who doesn't love a good dip to slather on crackers or down with some chips? And if it's a dip that can be ready in about 10 minutes from start to finish - touchdown! A few weeks ago I was trying to think of a warm, easy-to-make snack when my son and daughter-in-law were visiting. For some reason, an artichoke dip that I hadn't made in years popped into my mind. The recipe came to me via a dinner club.
The sign read "Pasties For Sale." It was 1988 and I was in Ely, Minn. My husband was a sports writer at that time and we were there for the state American Legion baseball tournament. I wasn't very interested in the games, but I kept eyeing that sign at the concession stand advertising pasties for sale. Pasties for sale? Ummm. I'd never heard of edible pasties. And, at a ballpark concession stand? Finally, my curiosity got the best of me. I gingerly approached the snack stand, thinking I'd just take a peek. No such luck, though.