Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

Peach Cobbler and mistakes.

January 9, 2012

Sometimes in cooking, as in life, mistakes are made.  It doesn’t really matter how they happen.  What matters is, what are you going to do to fix them?

I was cooking this recipe with a few students.  I intentionally used a small recipe that would need to be doubled.  As a teacher, you should always teach more than one thing if possible, so I thought, “why not teach fractions while we are cooking?”   The idea was, we would double the recipe, then cook the recipe.  I did not take into account how confusing it would be for young minds to have two recipes laying around, mistake number one.   I also did not realize that my recipe used amounts not only in the ingredients section but in the directions section as well, mistake number two.

We got all of the fractions doubled and converted.  They were correct, I checked and double checked them, I’ve made that mistake before.  So we started cooking, the kids got confused and the next thing I know, 1/4 cup of cinnamon had been dumped into the recipe when there should only be 1/4 teaspoon, mistake number 3 and the most glaringly obvious of the day.  Remember how I said it’s not how they happen, but how you fix them that matters?  This is where that comes into play.

The student who made the mistake apologized profusely and admitted she wasn’t paying close enough attention.  I told her it was alright.   “Sometimes you learn more from the times you make mistakes than the times you get it right,” I explained, as we pondered what was next.  We could either give up, and scrap the recipe and all the work we had already done, or try to do something to save the recipe.

We decided to try to dig as much cinnamon as we could out.  Once again, just like life, sometimes once a thing is done it can not be undone.  There was way too much cinnamon in the recipe and no way to get around it except to bake it up and hope for the best.

When it came out of the oven, I nervously tried the first bite.  Much to my surprise it was delicious.  I had never had a peach cobbler with this much cinnamon.  It was enough to really make it’s presence known, more so than the original recipe, but not so much that it was over powering.  I guess the life lesson to take from this great cooking mistake, is that sometimes mistakes are made but it’s what you do to fix them.  This time, the end result turned out in a positive way.  However, we could have just as easily given up cooking for that day and not experienced this fortunate mistake.

Southern Peach Cobbler

Makes approximately 8 servings in a 9×12 casserole dish.

Ingredients

  • 1 can peaches drained
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (more if you are feeling adventurous.  I would guess there may have been as much as 2 tea spoons in the above story.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon and 1 tea spoon of corn starch
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick butter  chilled
  • 1/2 cup boiling water

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Grease a 9×12 casserole dish.
  2. In a large bowl combine peaches, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice and cornstarch stir together lightly.
  3. pour into 9×12 casserole dish.
  4. In another large bowl, combine flour white sugar, brown sugar, baking powder and salt.
  5. Blend in butter using a pastry blender until it looks almost like biscuit meal.
  6. Stir in water until just combined.
  7.  pour contents onto peaches push down into bottom layer lightly with a wooden spoon.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes.
Advertisements

Chocolate Pie and Meringue

December 23, 2011

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons cocoa
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 egg yolks beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 pie shell (I used graham cracker crust for mine.)

Meringue

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 6 tablespoons sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. crack and separate the three eggs.  like this.  Keep the egg whites and yolks in separate glasses Put egg yolks in large measuring cup.
  3. In a saucepan, mix sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt; gradually add milk while stirring. 
  4. cook over medium high heat until thick then remove.
  5. pour about 1 cup of hot liquid into the egg yolks and beat. (Mixing in the smaller cup instead of the pot suspends the eggs into the mixture better.)
  6. Pour chocolate and egg mixture back into sauce pan.
  7. bring to a boil stirring vigorously. when it comes to a boil remove from heat and continue stirring vigorously until boiling stops. 
  8. pour into pie shell.

Meringue

In order to make a good meringue, you really need a mixer that has a whisk attachment.  If you do not, regular beaters will not work.  You will need to use a hand whisk. 

  1. In an immaculately clean bowl, (has to be glass or metal, Plastic will not work it is not smooth enough.) add egg whites and cream of tartar.
  2. Beat with whisk until it looks like this.-
  3. Add sugar as you mix, until the meringue has the consistency of whipped cream.
  4. Use a spatula to spread the meringue on the pie, and bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes, or until meringue is golden brown.

southern Biscuits

December 23, 2011

My biscuit recipe.

Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour , plus more for dusting the board (White Lily seems to make fluffier biscuits)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder (use one without aluminum if you can find it.)
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter , very cold
1 cup buttermilk

1. In a large bowl mix flour. baking soda, baking powder, salt, and butter until the mixture is lumpy and looks kind of like corn meal.

2. Add buttermilk and stir until doughy.

3. Pat out on floured surface. Pat out by pressing down, fold in half press down, fold in half and press down again. 

4. Cut out biscuits, put on ungreased pan and bake at 375 for 10 minutes.

Tips:

  • Handle the dough as little as possible.  The less you pat the dough the higher it will rise, and the fluffier your biscuits will be.
  • After you have rolled out the biscuits, use your thumb to make a small indention on the top of the biscuit and put a little oil in the indention.
  • Do not use a rolling pin.