<body> eat local challenge: up we step <body>

Thursday, August 31, 2006

up we step

1. First things first: Can we give angelica and mr. ben and big ole clap on the back for a fantastic blow-out on Friday night? If that's not local goodness, then I don't know what is. (*Unless it's bumping into your local friends in front of said pizza palace in the wee morning hours. You know who you are).

2. In lieu of many separate conversations about the potential social/economic/enviornmental impact of our "study", I'd like to plan a post-challenge sesh to hash out some of the "where do we go from here" questions. How about Viva Espresso? How about Tuesday, September 12th? Or Wednesday? Or Thursday? I work until 5:00, so it may have to be cocktails instead of caffine. Vices any which way are fine with me.

3. I have ignored multiple requests for recpies. Why? Because I'm a lazy sloth. In no particular order:

PHOEBE-TINI (or, if you're feeling particularly friendly, Phoebtini)

I. Simmer equal parts blueberries (frozen or not) and strawberries (frozen or not)and 1/4 c chopped fresh basil with 1 TBS - 1/4 c sweetener (I think honey is a little less abrasive)
> or any other fruit you're partial to
II. Mascerate fruit until it forms a syrup. If you've got the equipment and time, force the mixture through a sieve or food mill and reserve the juice.
III. Remove your chilled martini glass from the fridge.
IV. Drizzle 1/4 c. syrup along the edge and into the base of your glass.
V. Top with a healthy amount of VERMONT WHITE vodka (or other in-state liquor)
VI. Garnish with a full basil leaf and consider yourself the luckiest bastard this side of the citrus line.


I adapted this recipe from the GOURMET's blueberry and nectarine version:

For the topping
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits (Flack Family Farm)
1/3 cup honey (Shelburne Farms)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour (Champlain Valley)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

For the batter
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened (FFF)
2/3 cup maple syrup (Shelburne Farms)
1 teaspoon vanilla (i didn't have this, but if you did, you could add it...)
1/4 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (Champlain Valley)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs (Shelburne Farms)
2 cups blueberries, picked over and rinsed (Pelky's)
2 peaches, pitted and cut into 1-inch wedges (Shelburne Orchards)

Make the topping: In a small bowl blend together the butter, the honey, the flour, the cinnamon, and the nutmeg. The mixture will be VERY sticky, and form kind of a paste. Stick this in the fridge.
Make the batter: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter a 2-3 quart baking dish or 10 x 2 cake pan.
In a small bowl with an electric mixer cream together the butter and the maple syrup and beat in the vanilla. Add eggs one at a time. You'll want to integrate the eggs slowly so that your mixture stays light and fluffy. It's best if the eggs are room temperature. Fold in your dry ingredients until just barely mixed. Fold in fruit.

Spread the batter in your dish. Distribute topping in teaspoon-sized dallops over top of cake. Bake the buckle in the middle of a preheated 350°F. oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean and the topping is crisp and golden. Serve the buckle with whipped cream, if you've got it.

4. Choclate party, anyone? I'm thinking a flourless chocolate tart, or individual chocolage bombs. I imagine we'll need mucho red wine. I'm thinking a Malbec or a great Pinot Noir. And of course, some espresso to cut through that chocolate.

5. We are so blessed, in so many ways. See you all on Friday.



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