My brave Vermont quest to bring together food-love and mom-life.


Socca 2

Posted on November 15, 2010 by crankycheryl

The purity of these little breads makes me realize how very impure and inconsistent my food life really is.  Does everyone vacillate between Fluff & shortening-frosted cupcakes and vegan, gluten-free, organic goodness?

Maude was so very right in the movie when she said, “Consistency is not really a human trait.”

I think I’m quite human.

Be this as it may, I do continue to try the Bittman-esque vegan-&-unprocessed before 6:00 p.m. approach.  And this simple, vegan little pancake is just the ticket for a hearty and healthy lunch when I’m home.  It’s a specialty of southern France, a sort of chickpea crepe that’s nutty and hearty and just lovely.  According to St. David Leibovitz, they’re not really to be made at home … though he does recommend this recipe.

And here’s my own take on it.

About 4

1.  Whisk together very thoroughly:

  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Let stand for at least one hour.

2.  Place a large, heavy skillet in the oven and preheat oven to 450.  Once hot, carefully pour into pan:

  • 1 T. olive oil

3.  Pour 1/2 of the batter into the pan and sprinkle with:

  • 2 T. spicy pumpkin seeds (optional)

Bake 12 – 15 minutes, or until set, then flip and broil for 2-3 minutes.  Serve immediately – as is, or topped with vegetables, cheese or whatever you like.  In season, it’s lovely with a meltingly ripe tomato and a handful of mesclun.

Repeat with the remaining batter, but keep an eye on that first pancake as anyone who’s around is likely to try to make off with it.

A Localvore Nod to National Butterscotch Pudding Day 1

Posted on September 19, 2009 by crankycheryl

With incredible good fortune and nearly incalculable odds, National Butterscotch Pudding Day and the EatLocalVT challenge have converged.   How better to celebrate than to make a Vermont version of this homey and comforting dessert, no?

Just do be sure to use everything local you can get your hands on, if you please.

This version is adapted from David Leibowitz, who melted my heart with this intro on his original post:

One decision I refuse to let you make is to be one of those people that wants to press plastic wrap on top of the puddings to avoid that delicious, chewy skin that forms on top.

If you don’t like pudding skin, why are you eating pudding in the first place? That’s the best part and you don’t want to be in the category of a big loser.

Now, do you?


Maple Butterscotch Pudding
Serves 4-6

  • 4 tablespoons butter, salted or unsalted
  • 1 c. maple sugar, maple syrup, or brown sugar if you must
  • 3/4 t. kosher salt
  • 3 T. cornstarch
  • 2½ c. whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons whiskey (optional, and I’m thinking about that apple brandy I hear that Shelburne Orchards has in its still once it’s ready)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Whipped cream for serving.

1. Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan. Add maple sugar and salt, then stir until the sugar is well-moistened. Remove from heat.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch with about 1/4 cup of the milk until smooth (there should be no visible pills of cornstarch), then whisk in the eggs.

3. Gradually pour the remaining milk into the melted maple sugar, whisking constantly, then whisk in the cornstarch mixture as well.

4. Return the pan to the heat and bring the mixture to a boil, whisking frequently. Once it begins to bubble, reduce the heat to a low simmer and continue to cook for one minute, whisking non-stop, until the pudding thickens to the consistency of hot fudge sauce.

5. Remove from heat and stir in the whiskey (if using) and vanilla. If slightly-curdled looking, blend as indicated above.

6. Pour into 4-6 serving glasses or custard cups and chill thoroughly, at least four hours, before serving.  Top with whipped cream, if you like.

Photo from MyBakingHeart, Creative Commons license.

Blackberry Apple Cobbler with Bacon-Sage Crust 4

Posted on September 12, 2009 by crankycheryl

0905091840So it was International Bacon Day last week, and the boys were dismantling the furniture as I was cruising around the food blog world.

Normally, these sorts of things turn me off.  I just want to run and hide when I see the whole food world marching in lock-step with an ingredient or a technique or celebrity or whatever.

But this was bacon.

“Guys,” I said.  “What do you think of bacon ice cream?!”  They looked up from their couch-cushion boat.  I watched warring emotions cross their little faces like cloudbursts on a sunny day.  Clearly they were thinking, “Mmmm, bacon!  Ice cream, mmmm.  Smokey ice cream?  Can I get it in a cone?  Would the bacon melt it?  Can I still bite off the bottom of the cone and use it as a straw and watch Mommy try to keep her composure?”

But perhaps I project.

E. said, “Listen, Mommy: I have an even better idea.  What if you made a bacon pie!?  And then we have vanilla ice cream and put bacon on it?!  And you give me hot dogs for dinner first!?

Perpetually thinking about ways to get produce into their little mouths, I suggested that maybe we could make an apple cobbler with a bacon crust.  I’ll admit it: I was pandering.  The only thing they like more than apple pie is apple cobbler.  There were no hot dogs, because that seemed like going to Catholic mass to celebrate Rosh Hashanah.   And off we went.

Blackberry Apple Cobbler with Bacon-Sage Crust
adapted from The New Basics Cookbook & in honor of Sheila Lukins

Yield: 12 servings.

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blackberries, stems removed
  • 8 apples peeled, cored, cut into wedges
  • 1/2 c. plus 3 T. sugar
  • 1 T. lemon juice
  • Freshly grated zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 c. whole wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 T. baking powder
  • scant 1/2 c. unsalted butter ( I again send you to iRaw’s excellent site for her vegan version of biscuits, should you prefer)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 c. milk
  • 4 slices bacon (or turkey bacon or veggie substitute, of course), cooked and crumbled into 1/2″ pieces
  • 2 fresh sage leaves, chopped very finely, or 1/4 t. ground dried sage
  1. Preheat oven to 425.  Butter a 9 x 13 inch baking pan and set aside.
  2. Combine berries, apples, 1/2 c. sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest in the prepared pan.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder and 1 T. of the sugar.  Work in the butter with a pastry blender or your fingertips.  (I have a whisk like this, which I love partly for its double life as a pastry blender.)  Lightly beat the egg and milk together, and slowly but firmly (you don’t want too many strokes) stir into the flour mixture.  Stir in the chopped bacon and sage.
  4. Knead lightly, sprinkling on a bit more flour as necessary to form a smooth dough.
  5. Break off portions of the dough and place them on top of the fruit in the pan, pressing and spreading the dough as you go.  Cover the entire surface.
  6. Sprinkle remaining sugar over the dough and bake until well browned, 35-45 minutes.  Serve immediately, with ice cream of course.
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    Cheryl Herrick's brave Vermont quest to bring together food-love and mom-life. All original content (written, graphical, recipes or other), unless otherwise noted, is © and/or TM Cheryl Herrick. All rights reserved by the author. Want to reprint a recipe? Just get in touch and ask.

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