Saturday, July 31, 2010


Today is Harry Potter's (the character not the books) 30th Birthday, I'd like to thank my good friend, Mara, for reminding me.
Harry Potter is amazing. Fantastic book series.MAGIC. i love witches and wizards and supernatural things. But i especially enjoy Harry.

My Favorite Quotes :
(not in any particular order)

Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light
--Albus Dumbledore

If you want to know what a man's like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.
--Sirius Black

"I don't go looking for trouble. Trouble usually finds me."
--Harry Potter

Purple Haze

I dyed my hair purple, it is an extremely intense purple and i love it. Its very bold,and very me. My Great-Grandma Lucy told me today that, "i got some guts for dying my hair that color, i love it."
In honor of my hairs new style, I'm trying to name as many purple foods as possible...

-purple grapes
-dried figs
-purple potatoes
-purple cabbage
-blueberries(they count as purple)
-That icky purple ketchup that i wish didn't exist

Here's the recipe for Blackberry Pie I, from The Good Housekeeping Cook Book:

-Flaky Pastry (recipe follows) or two 9 inch pie crusts
-4 c. blackberries with 2 tbs. flour
-2/3 c. granulated sugar or brown sugar [I prefer brown]
-1/4 tsp.nutmeg
-1/8 tsp. salt
-1/4 tsp. cinnamon
-1 tsp. lemon juice [optional]
-1 tbs. butter or margarine. [I hate margarine]

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Line a 9" pie plate with pastry. Fill with the blackberries. Mix sugar, nutmeg, salt, cinnamon, and lemon juice. Sprinkle over apples, and dot with butter. Cover with pastry and make several slits with a knife [I like making a smiley face...or tri-force.] Press edges together with a fork dipped in flour. Glaze the pie with milk, cream, melted butter, or a slightly beaten egg white.
Bake for 40 mins.
Serve hot or cold. It's amazing with ice cream.

Flaky Pastry:
-2 1/4 c. sifted all-purpose or cake flour
-3/4 tsp. salt
-3/4 c. shortening
-5 tbs. cold or ice water

Sift a heap of all-purpose flour onto a piece of wax paper. Set the flour sifter into the mixing bowl. Then measure 2 1/4 c. of the sifted flour back into sifter. add the 3/4 tsp salt and sift into the bowl.
Drop the shortening into he flour, then cut it in with two table knives. To use knives, hold one in each hand; cut crosswise [that's in opposite directions] through mixture until the flour coated particles are the size of peas.
Sprinkle 1 tbs of water over a small portion of the flour mixture, lightly pressing moistened particles together with a fork. Toss this dough aside in the bowl. Repeat until all flour is moistened, being careful to add water each time to undampened spot. Use only enough of the water to make the dough stick together when gently pressed. now lightly form one pastry ball, wrap in waked paper and chill for 30 mins.
Now the pastry is ready to roll out into one 9" two crust pie.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Lamb is Delicious

If only there was more to my house
than cereal and a mouse.
All i see are bland boxes,
No sign of foxes.
Oh me, Oh my
I might die
I feel as if my life is a sham,
Oh how I want a rack of lamb.

All there is in my house is pasta, cereal, and bagels. I really want lamb, but alas there is none.
Lamb is one of my favorite meats, I also love veal. Baby animals taste the finest. If i did have a rack of delicious lamb this is what I'd do to it.

Rachel's Rack of Lamb:
-1 one lb rack of lamb
-2 tbs. fresh sage [minced]
-1 tsp paprika
-1 1/2 tbs kosher salt
-1 tbs balsamic vinegar
-1 tbs honey [I prefer tupelo]
-1/4 c Dijon mustard

In a blender or food processor, blend together the sage, paprika, salt, vinegar, honey, and Dijon mustard for one minute. Place the lamb in a roasting pan with the ribs curving down, Cover in the mustard mixture and let it stand for 45 mins to an hour.

Preheat the oven to 450, and roast the lamb for 20 to 25 mins. 20 for rare, 25 for medium-rare. Let rest for 15 mins to allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat.

Cut the individual ribs and serve. enjoy with roasted potatoes or rice or a baby spinach salad, i wish i could, but i still haven't gone to the store.

I made this picture of it in paint :

Thursday, July 29, 2010

"Everything Revolves Around Bread and Death"

Last night, I was rummaging through old magazines i had, and i stumbled upon the first Bon Appetit I bought when i was 10. I was tickled and there was much rejoicing because this is the magazine that has the soda bread recipe that i love. Sadly , I didn't have any chocolate or candied orange peels when i wanted to make it today. However,me being my stubborn self, I made the recipe my own and the result was most pleasing. I tore a chunk off the round with a smile and dipped it in my tupelo honey,which by the way happens to taste great with everything.

Soda Bread with Cranberries:
-3 c. all purpose flour
-1/2 c. brown sugar [you can use granulated but i prefer brown]
-2 tsp. baking powder
-1 tsp. baking soda
-1 tsp. salt
-6 tbs. chilled butter cut into pats
-1/2 c. dried cranberries
-1 tsp. vanilla
-1 1/4 c. buttermilk
-1 large egg

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl combine the first 5 ingredients. Using your fingers, mix in the butter until its at the texture of meal. Fold in the cranberries and vanilla. In a medium bowl whisk together the buttermilk and egg, then add to the dry ingredients, stirring until it just comes together. Toss onto a floured surface and knead the dough until it forms,about five folds. Form into a round approximately 6 inches around and 2 inches high. Slit 1inch deep cuts on the top of the round in a sun beam pattern with a sharp knife.
This is how it should look once formed:

Place on a rimed baking sheet that has either been greased, or has a piece of parchment greased with butter, and bake in the oven for an hour. Once done move off the hot pan onto a cooling rack or a plate, just wait a few minutes for it to cool, then dig in!

The original recipe used 6 0z. of semi sweet baking chocolate and 6 0z. candied orange peels instead of cranberries and vanilla. Also the Bon Appetit recipe used white granulated sugar apposed to brown sugar. Goodnight nobody,it was nice chatting with you.

[Jewish proverb for title]

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"Where Would We Be Without Salt?"

I was cycling this morning on my indoor bike trainer, I was too stubborn to turn my fan on so i began to sweat...A LOT. I know what you're thinking, 'why is she saying this,it's kinda gross.' I'm bringing this up because it's what lead me to start thinking about salt.

Salt-Sodium Chloride (NaCi). A basic little compound that is the chief of all flavors.
If there was no salt, food would be nothing. A world without salt would be the most depressing event to ever occur in the history of forever and the universe. It would be like taking every tragic love story and putting them into a pot and reducing them down until they became the essence of despair.

Salt balances the flavors of a dish,its what keeps them in line so your taste-buds don't revolt and hop off your tongue and leave. (it happened to me once, i had to make so many lemon tarts to get them back.) But I digress.

There are a few foods i think about when i think salt; kettle corn and pork, especially bacon, but that's a different story for a different day. Now many people find kettle corn an odd choice, but i see it as one of the perfect combos of salty and sweet.

Kettle Corn:
1/4 c. coconut or vegetable oil
-3/4c. popcorn kernels
-1/2 c. sugar
-1Tbs salt

Take a large pot,preferably one that is tall. Heat the oil over medium to medium-high heat. Add the kernels,and once you hear them sizzle add the sugar and salt. stir with a wooden spoon to ensure each kernel is coated. Cover the pan, and shake it until you hear the popping lessen. once fully popped toss in a teaspoon of coarse sea salt.
Viola! enjoy and have a cold lemonade while you're at it.

[James Beard quote for title]

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cross Your Fingers

Oh my Stars and Gaga, I cant believe I'm doing this.
Cross your fingers because Rachel's blogging.

Welcome to Le Premier, the start, of The Plum Jam. This is my space to fill with my passion of food, family, and food. I intend to make this a place of my delicious recipes, adventures, and stories.
In the next few weeks I'm going to explore a few new cookbooks and recipes that were given to me as gifts. I'm most excited because one of them was my late great-grandma Emma's, The Good Housekeeping Cook Book, from 1942! Having said that i will also be sharing some of my own odd creations that tend to raise eyebrows, can we say chocolate covered bacon?
Grab your aprons, grab your knives, grab yourself for all I care! Prepare for the coming of Rachel Brown Kiehl, and her toast with her favorite Red Plum Jam.