Any excuse to use these videos - Don't you love 'em?!
Now that we've pretty well handled all the "All That Jazz," back to the cooking and baking . . . .
One of my favorite blogs is Mystery Lovers' Kitchen, and I was honored to be invited as a guest blogger a year or so ago by my friend, Julie Hyzy, who writes the White House Chef Mystery Series and The Manor House Mystery Series. I admitted there that I'm not much of a cook. The type of cooking I do enjoy consists of tossing a lot of stuff into a pot, like soups, stews, chili, spaghetti - you get the idea. A little of this, a little of that - maybe a little more of this, etc. Nothing ever tastes like it did the last time, but still tastes pretty good - or so we hope. I seem to lack the focus, or the interest, in following a recipe closely. I just feel the need to tweak; to add and/or subtract from the original. For this reason it strikes a lot of people (including myself) as odd that I love to bake as much as I do.
You don't get to do a lot of tweaking while you're baking. Oh, you may get away with a little, but take that tweaking too far and you're gonna end up with a disaster on your hands sooner or later. Mother and I can attest to that as we threw away a very messy, expensive version of a Harvey Wallbanger Cake many years ago. WHY we felt this recipe needed more Galliano, I have no idea. I have made it since (following the recipe to a "T" and it was delicious. There are a lot of recipes for it on-line, including one at allrecipes.com, if you're interested.
But there is one recipe I love that I will fix for special occasions. It's pretty labor intensive, not to mention the "fat factor," but I love it.
I vividly remember running across this recipe at my friend John's house. He was always cooking wonderfully elegant meals, entertaining with ease and panache and I always just sat back and enjoyed the fruits of his labors. If there's one single thing I miss about living in Atlanta it would be John's parties. But. Since he's now in Miami and not Atlanta, it's a double moot point. Now we have to travel to Miami (NOT that we're complaining - we adore Miami!) to be wined and dined by John, who still does it all as lovely as he ever did.
Speaking of John and his entertaining - he graciously opened his home on May 11, 1986 and gave Donald and I one of the most memorable gifts of our life.
Our wedding reception.
He had just recently bought this wonderful old home in Atlanta and had just started the long project of renovation. Having our reception put a bit of extra stress on him, and we'll be forever grateful. It was the most beautiful wedding ever.
and here he is -
Isn't he handsome? We adore him.
Anyhooooo - (I do manage to get off on a tangent now and then, don't I?)
Back in those days in Atlanta, while John cooked and threw the most perfect parties ever, I would spend loads of time looking through his Gourmet and Bon Appétit magazines and scribble down recipes. Some I would actually try. One I did try and am still using is Joan Hackett's Country Pâté. I've guarded this recipe with my life. I've made about a beezillion copies of it in case one (or 20) copies might get lost. It also now resides on my computer (in several places). Then, just to be "for sure, for sure," I bought a copy of an old cookbook which I learned had the recipe in it. THE BEST OF BON APPETIT published in 1979. 1979! See how long I've been guarding this recipe? I was so happy to finally find, just recently, that it's actually in a cookbook!
And, just in case you're interested, here's the recipe:
OR - if you love cookbooks as much as I do, it's available at some of the used bookstores on-line - such as abebooks.com
How 'bout you guys - do you have a favorite recipe you do for special occasions? I'm going to do the