Saturday, August 30, 2014

I like to drink tree sap

August 24, 2014

Waffles with various toppings
Jimmy Dean Pork Sausage
Peach Pie

Yeasted Waffles from The Cook's Illustrated Cookbook, 2011, p. 555
Fresh Peach Pie from The Cook's Illustrated Baking Book, 2013, p. 389

Going into the weekend, I didn't know what to cook for dinner on Sunday. On Saturday morning I was out for my regular morning walk, listening to podcasts. One of them mentioned waffles, reminding me I had experienced a vague craving for maple syrup not too long before. It has been a while since we had a Sunday dinner, or any other meal, that provided an opportunity to use the sweet sticky sap. I don't use commercial pancake syrups, only real maple syrup. Despite the price I like the real thing, sap taken from maple trees in the spring and boiled down. In addition to waffles, maple syrup is good on french toast and pancakes, but the most reliable of these is waffles as I have a recipe that I really like and they make for good leftovers. Diane came home from a church brunch with a bag of leftover blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries, great timing as I had been planning to buy berries to top the waffles for those (you know who you are) who don't share my love of maple tree juice.

As I have described before, these waffles are easy to make, easy to cook, and easy to store, they only require some advance preparation. On Saturday evening I prepared the batter and stored it in the refrigerator until time to cook on Sunday. By then the batter had expanded and was quite bubbly, as it should be. We had on hand both bacon and sausage and I chose the sausage as we have it less often than we do bacon. We had a box of the precooked Jimmy Dean original in the freezer and warming it on the stove top took all of 10 minutes. Our favorite beverage when having breakfast for dinner is mimosa. We recently discovered that you can buy little bottles of champagne in a four pack at the supermarket which is much more convenient than buying a big bottle which wouldn't keep well should we not use all of it.

For dessert I wanted to take advantage of the season and have a peach pie. The simplicity of the dinner preparations provided the time needed to make a pie. I had made a peach pie last summer and was disappointed in the result as the filling tasted more of ginger than of fresh peaches. I used a different recipe this time, one with no ginger, but again we were disappointed. I did something wrong making the dough and it was much too wet. Oops. After baking, the bottom crust of the pie was still doughy. Diane didn't like the filling because for her the taste was dominated by the pinch of nutmeg. I thought it was OK but it still didn't have the fresh peach taste that I love. I have decided that the only way to eat peaches in the summer time is to buy them fresh, tree ripened, and local (not the under ripe rocks the supermarket sells) and to just eat them out of hand.

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