Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Ginger Pear Skillet Cake


I made this cake yesterday in our 10" cast iron skillet. I got the recipe from my Mom but I'm not sure where she got it; a magazine, I think. It has crystalized ginger, ground ginger and grated fresh ginger and yet it is not overpoweringly gingery. Be warned that I love ginger and my opinion may be skewed in favour of that particular rhizome. And this recipe call for molasses too. And I love molasses. As a teen I ate molasses with toast as per the suggestion on the side of the carton. I made one modification though and chose butter over bacon fat to spread on the toast. I even ordered the free recipe booklet by mail that was also offered on the other side of that same carton. That molasses recipe pamphlet took forever to be delivered. Go figure.

This cake also calls for buttermilk which is amazing because I wrote on my list of things to cook this week "bake something with buttermilk." Honestly. All too often have I purchased buttermilk for a particular recipe (like dressing - but c'mon there is only so much buttermilk dressing two people can go through!) and then the other 750 ml go to waste. This is a sin I wish no longer to commit! I've been scouring the stack of cookbooks for recipes that call for buttermilk. I've found a couple and one of them calls for self-rising flour, which I don't keep on hand usually. Next thing you know, I'll be out getting self-rising flour and then scouring...the cycle continues.



Monday, October 18, 2010

A Basket of Pears

Well, it is not "daylight in the swamp" as my dad used to say when he woke us up in the morning; it is too early for that at this time in the year. I awoke at 4:30 and it seemed like sleep would continue to be elusive, so I thought I might as well take advantage and get the day started.

A couple of days ago the lifelong mate and I sat down to crunch some numbers and see what we could do to pull ourselves out of debt. We must adopt a much more frugal lifestyle in order to achieve this, particularly taking into consideration that I am looking at making about a third of what I was previously making. If only we had decided to do the whole get out of debt thing last year, but there is no sense in dwelling on that.

Funnily enough though, since my brain isn't completely addled by my job and the politics of an office, I seem to have more energy that can be put to use making the household run. It is really not surprising that things like finances and household maintenance get neglected when both of you are working your tails off. When you do have time to yourself the last thing you want to do is more bloody paperwork.

I've always been an admirer of people who can live beautiful lives while being sensible and thrifty. They are clever indeed. One of the ways to have a beautiful life is to eat well with the ones that you love and I am looking forward to that challenge because, as you may have guessed, eating out is out. This is where the pears come in.

Yesterday I bought a basket of Ontario pears (not sure of the varietal) and they are, get this, actually ripe! We likely can't eat them all before they turn to mush so I'm going to be making a blue cheese and pear tart as well as a pear and ginger upside down cake. Photos to follow.