Three days ago, I was on an all-day field trip to the Newtown Creek water treatment plant. My science teacher, Ms.Reiss, decided that we should stop for jelly donuts. Unfortunately, she had no idea where to buy the supposedly best jelly donuts in Greenpoint. A brave student clad in shining armor stepped forward. "I know the way, Ms. Reiss!" she exclaimed. Through the boiling hot streets 32 students and 2 chaperones trudged. By the time they all finally reached Syrena's, they were all gasping for breath, sweating bullets, and their mouths watered for Sprite and donuts. They all thunked inside, thinking that the wait was over. Alas, no. After waiting in line for 20 minutes 32 students, 2 chaperones, and countless jelly donuts sat down at 4 tables and began to eat.
I've been gone for so long! (At least it felt like it.) But since last time I have eaten many things, so I have lots to talk about. The first thing I want to tell you about is some really cool salad dressing that I made. There are two ingredients; heavy cream and vinegar. In other words, curdledness. You are probably thinking "gross"! (Although, if you are some sort of food adventurer, cottage cheese expert or food writer, you might have said "I'll give it a try", "Mmm hmm" or "I should write about that" before you thought anything else. I thought "COOL", then "GROSS" then "BLOG."
Last night, I made blackberry fool. I was inspired by the charming and beautiful picture book A Fine Dessert, by Emily Jenkins and Sophie Blackall. The book includes the stories of mothers and daughters from 1710, 1810, and 1910, as well as that of a boy and his father in 2010, and a recipe. What do these stories have in common? One sweet treat!
This is the recipe (as written in the book):
Blackberry Fool: A Recipe
2-1/2 cups fresh blackberries (Other berries will do- but the fool won't have such a nice purple color; frozen berries will work, though fresh are nicer.)
1/2 cup sugar, divided in two
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
Find an adult to cook with you.
Mash the berries with a potato masher or a large fork. If you've got a food processor, you can use that. With clean hands, press the crushed berries through a sieve to remove the seeds. Sprinkle the fruit with 1/4 cup of the sugar. Stir.
In a separate bowl, mix together the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, the vanilla, and the cream. Using a whisk or whatever kind of beater you have, whip the mixture until it makes soft peaks, but not stiff ones.
Fold the sugared berries into the whipped cream. Taste it to see if it's sweet enough. Add more sugar if you need it. There should be streaks of white and purple.
Refrigerate for 3 hours or more.
Eat! And don't forget to lick the bowl.
So, I followed the recipe mostly, although I forgot I could use my hands for straining, and spent 45 minutes with a spoon. I also didn't refrigerate for 3 hours. I did for about an hour, and the fool got pleasingly stiff, but luckily not frozen. If you don't have 3 hours +, it's ok to refrigerate it for less time. But you do need it to get cold, otherwise it is a mess of flop.
If you are curious about the word "fool", and you have a copy of The Oxford Companion to Food, look for it under f. It's actually quite interesting to read.
Hello! Because it is supposed to snow tomorrow in Brooklyn, instead of writing about springy food to eat, I will be writing about Americas favorite snowy day drink: hot chocolate. I can't remember where I heard this (or maybe I read it somewhere) but SOMEWHERE I learned that there is a different between hot chocolate and hot cocoa. (Yes, there really is a difference, I am not just making this up.) Hot chocolate is made with milk, whereas hot cocoa, is mostly water and cocoa powder. It is disturbing to me that anyone would want to drink chocolate-flavored water, but in the interest of cutting down on our methane production, I appreciate the effort.
One other thing I have been wondering recently is: what is the difference between warm chocolate milk, and hot chocolate? If you have any clue leave a comment.