Cooking from the Cookbook

It has been really fun to hear your feedback about the cookbook.

After the whirlwind of creating the cookbook, I had no perspective on what it would be like to see it for the first time or get acquainted with its recipes. Most everything in the cookbook is so familiar for me that I had no idea which recipes were going to call to you. I have been really interested in what you are telling me you have tried. For example, I love the beet soup recipe but didn’t expect it to be as popular as it has been. I expected everyone to gravitate to the dessert recipes but this hasn’t been the case- I do hope you go there at some point- The recipe for my mother-in-law Mary Ann’s Pecan Pie for example is so easy and scrumptious.

The only tricky part of making it this year was waiting for the sun to come out to take a photo of the unbaked pie waiting its turn for oven space.

Oven space was in short supply because Ben and I got a little ambitious with our dinner plans for the big family reunion dinner and did a Feast of the Seven Fishes. The oven and cooktop was log jammed for two days. Seviche, Gravalax, Herring Salad, Ben’s Crab Rangoon from the cookbook, Shrimp and sausage gumbo, baccala, and oysters were our seven fishes.

We are thinking maybe Feast of the Four Fishes next year….Seven is a lot of fishes! And the raw oysters shown here at the spread are shown very small as they are not terribly attractive unless a food stylist works on them (none on staff….so far though everyone is fighting over who gets to be the hand model).

Anyways, back to the pile up at the oven. We also needed to make a second pie, and Sour Cherry Pie was the choice. Luckily I had the recipe right in front of me.

This pie is Emily’s favorite pie. Note I have already spilled water on this page of the cookbook. Good thing I can locate another copy if things get dire and I light my copy on fire or pour hot molten maple syrup on it or something.

It was a good sour cherry season here at the farm so the freezer is full of pitted cherries. I defrosted some for the pie (Canned sour cherries work great with this recipe as I found out during bad cherry seasons).

Then I added the sugar, flour and almond extract,


and got Uncle Ben and Grace to grate some almond paste into the bottom of the crust ( This was my cooking mentor and dear friend Teddy’s trick for amping up the flavor of a pie).

After putting the cherries on top of the grated almond paste,

I checked in with Grace who really just wanted my iPhone,
dotted with butter,

put on a top crust, crimped the edges, cut vents and brushed with egg yolk then baked.
I must confess I failed to take any photos of the pies once they were cut into. I couldn’t see the pies over the sea of dishes left to wash after preparing the seven fishes, plus Grace was using my phone.