Friday, August 16, 2013

Happy Birthday Julia!

Illustrator & Writer/Jessie Hartland from Bon Appetite the delicious life of Julia Child 
Happy Birthday Julia! My beloved and inspiration, Miss Julia would be 101 today!
She is the BOMB!!!!!! Love, love, love, her!
Chocolate Mousse
Six to eight servings
Adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking (Knopf) by Julia Child.
I tried to reduce the amount of butter in the recipe and found it wasn’t nearly as good. Since I’m not one to argue with Julia, I stuck close to the recipe tweaking it just slightly.
  • 6 ounces (170g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 6 ounces (170g) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) dark-brewed coffee
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 2/3 cup (170g), plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) dark rum
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) water
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Heat a saucepan one-third full with hot water, and in a bowl set on top, melt together the chocolate, butter and coffee, stirring over the barely simmering water, until smooth. Remove from heat.
2. Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside.
3. In a bowl large enough to nest securely on the saucepan of simmering water, whisk the yolks of the eggs with the 2/3 cup of sugar, rum, and water for about 3 minutes until the mixture is thick, like runny mayonnaise. (You can also use a handheld electric mixer.)
3. Remove from heat and place the bowl of whipped egg yolks within the bowl of ice water and beat until cool and thick, as shown in the photo above. Then fold the chocolate mixture into the egg yolks.
4. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with the salt until frothy. Continue to beat until they start to hold their shape. Whip in the tablespoon of sugar and continue to beat until thick and shiny, but not completely stiff, then the vanilla.
5. Fold one-third of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the remainder of the whites just until incorporated, but don’t overdo it or the mousse will lose volume.
6. Transfer the mousse to a serving bowl or divide into serving dishes, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, until firm.
Serving: I like to serve the chocolate mousse as it is, maybe with just a small dollop of whipped cream; it neither needs, nor wants, much adornment.
Storage: The mousse au chocolat can be refrigerated for up to 4     




Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Good things happen!



Rainbows and Unicorns, it's all good

I feel I have to share the back story about how this video was made.
It represents the grassroots approach to digging in, accepting advise, going for your passion and never giving up on whatever it is you want!

It all started with Suzanne, the owner of Lucketts, coming to me with a suggestion. This suggestion was brought up before by others but for some reason I didn't listen?

Her suggestion was...... You need signs on the road because no one knows you are here!!!!
OK, so now I'm listening because she definitely knows how to create an empire, right!! Last week was Lucketts 17th year in business a feat not to ignore, right!

So my pal Anne drags over some old wooden A frame signs that she found somewhere in the piles of cool stuff around Lucketts. Henry brings me some white & black paint along with a brush and hands them over. In a couple of hours the simple handmade signs are finished and we plop one on the corner of the stop light out front and the other by the trailer on Stumptown Road. Granted they didn't cost a cent, just a bit of elbow grease and that approach I mentioned above.

I wait to see what happens. Of course new peeps did stop by, duh.....

One person, in particular, driving by noticed the signs because of the words local, fresh & organic and made a beeline into the parking lot.

Miss Nia Farmer approached the window and introduces herself explaining that she is trying to explore the organic/local food lifestyle.

So begins the journey of getting to know and building a new friendship with Nia.
In like a half of an hour of chatting, I have hired her to work in the trailer and help at the approaching farm dinner. By now she is in the trailer helping me with customers and I'm training her so she can work the following Friday by herself.

Nia is a spitfire!!!! She has just graduated high school and will be off to Howard University soon. She will be majoring in film and has set her sites to have her first Academy award by 30!

Long story short, she decides to make a film of the Twinkle Bell's first farm dinner. The rest is history. This short but super sweet film by Nia represents all things important to me.

In conclusion the simple wooden signs brought together people and changed outcomes, new friendships, building relationships between coworkers, Suzanne's wisdom, a film from a future Academy award winner, hey even some new business for the Cowbell. Powerful stuff! 

I read this today as I was researching and to me it goes along with my thoughts as I write this post.

Of all the things that can be stolen from you – your possessions, your youth, your health, your words, your rights – what no one can ever take from you is…

Your uniqueness
How you feel about yourself
Your intuition
Your passion
Your determination
Your attitude
Your ability to spread love and kindness
Your hope
Your knowledge and life experiences

Me, I'm going to keep baking, cooking and spreading the word about local food. Hopefully one day it will all be a smidge easier and I will look back and remember all the people and connections that I made in the beginning to get me to that point! For now I'm loving this crazy rollercoaster and will just hold tight and roll with it all.