Saturday, July 24, 2010

Cherry Pie

I made a pie,
a Cherry Pie
For the record,
I ate a few
that my fingers turned blue

Now the crust was ready
and I filled it high
with the bowl of cherries
for my Cherry Pie

I put it in the oven
And watched the time
I couldn't wait to eat
My Cherry Pie

But, so ugly is my pie
Have you ever seen an ugly pie?
Not I.
I'm telling the truth
I would not lie

I ate a piece
of my ugly Cherry Pie
And it was very good
My "Rustic Cherry Pie"

(photo from flickr - Dani 9-5 photostream)

(c) 2010 Anita M. Ashworth

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Coffee Cake and Tea Break

I'm in a baking mood once again. This cake didn't last long. It's great for breakfast, brunch or afternoon tea. I didn't have any nuts on hand, so I omitted the walnuts. It's good either way.

"Streusel Coffee Cake"

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
3/4 cups sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup sour cream


1 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
6 tablespoons cold butter

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch square pan with wax paper and grease thoroughly. For the topping, place ingredients in a bowl and mix with a fork or your fingertips, until the mix resembles coarse crumbs (streusel).
For the cake, cream the butter with electric mixer until soft. Add the sugar. Continue beating until mixture is light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, until mixed well. In another bowl, mix the flour and other dry ingredients. Fold the flour into the butter mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the sour cream. Pour half of the mixture in the prepared pan and sprinkle half of the brown sugar topping mix over batter. Pour the remaining batter in pan and top with the remaining sugar mixture. Bake until browned, 60-70 minutes.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Money in Our Pockets

     I grew up in a military family in the 1960's and sometimes we were lucky enough to live near our grandparents in Tennessee. We were always excited about those weekend visits.

    We were spoiled on those delightful weekends, but not in the material sense of the word. We were spoiled by the delicious freedom we enjoyed when we came to visit. There were no shopping malls or video games and cell phones to keep us entertained, just our sense of imagination and adventure. We explored new neighborhoods, and waded in the 'old swimming hole' which was nothing more than a creek. We'd collect RC bottle caps from the grocery store and turn them in for free Saturday matinee movie passes. Afterwards, we'd walk around the Dollar General Store, looking as if we had money in our pockets.

As dusk fell the mosquitos came out in full force scouting for their supper. Grandpa would be leaning back on his chair on the front porch, nodding at passing acquaintances with a friendly, "How are y'all doing this evening?"

     We played in the street until after dark, catching fireflies in jam jars, until Mama called us inside to wash up for bedtime. Bed was a spare mattress on the floor, or the roll-away bed. Listening to the hum of the grown-up voices in the front room, we would talk and giggle and tell scary stories until a voice calling shushed us, "Y'all better be quiet now and go to sleep."

     Sunday morning came too soon. Grandma and Grandpa were early risers no matter what day of the week it was. The sounds of hillbilly music made us stir, or old-time Gospel, if Grandma had her way. She was already in the kitchen, coffee percolating on the stove, and rolling out biscuits. Grandpa would be puttering outside while the dew still clung to the grass. After breakfast, I rode the church bus with my Aunt and came home to a Sunday dinner of Fried Chicken and Mashed Potatoes, with homemade Banana Pudding, with real Meringue topping.

     With our bellies full and the clock ticking, we'd pile into the car and head on home. Until the next weekend.