Ma Cuisine, or
The Essential Recipes of an Opera Critic

Like Auguste Escoffier I have felt compelled to commit ma cuisine to the written word.

Following are my favorite recipes. Usually I like the food but sometimes I just like the recipe. Some recipes are reminders of proportions in cooking for two hearty appetites, others are from cookbooks kept on another continent. Nota bene: nearly all my recipes are works in progress.

A piece of fruit usually finishes the meal chez nous but every once in a while a festive occasion demands a real dessert thus these cut-down-in-size classics, as well as other confections.

Cocktails

Amuse Bouche

Salads and Slaws

Pizza, Pasta, Bread

Main Plates

Vegetables

Sauces

Desserts

Wine

Cocktails

Manhattan
Martini
Margarita
Golden Dawn

Manhattan

Manhattan
Pour 2 oz rye whiskey and 1/2 oz sweet vermouth
Add 3 dashes aromatic bitters
Substitute dry vermouth and maraschino liqueur for a "Brooklyn"

Martini

Martini

Margarita

Margarita
The trick is knowing which tequila to use (I don't)
Mix 1 1/2 oz tequila, 1/2 oz Cointreau, and 1 oz lime juice

Golden Dawn

Golden Dawn
Pour 1 oz each gin, calvados, apricot brandy
Add 1 oz orange juice
Drop in 1 tsp or so grenadine to create the sunrise

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Amuse Bouche

Fire Popped Corn
Chopped Smoked Fish
Socca
Faux Guacamole
Pickles
Guacamole
Crudités and Dry Dip

Fire Popped Corn

Coat kernels with duck fat
Place kernels in a large metal sieve, invert another one on top
Hold sieves over coals pulled from an open fire
Sprinkle with balsamic, cider or other vinegars

Carlo's Chopped Smoked Fish

Make a concoction of smoked trout or smoked whitefish
Serve on disks of black or white radish

Socca (Chickpea pancake)

Once commonplace in Nice now rarely found
Whisk slowly 1 cup lukewarm water into 1 cup chickpea flour
Include 1 tsp salt and at least that much ground pepper
Stir in 2 tbsps olive oil and let sit at least 30 minutes or even hours
Add 1/2 large onion sliced and/or 1 tbsp rosemary, either optional
Coat a heated 12 inch or so pizza pan with 2 tbsp oil, add batter
Bake 12 - 15 minutes, then sprinkle with oil and broil 2 minutes, serve hot

Jean Barrett's Faux Guacamole (Parslied Hummus)

Try it with celery (not so good) or cilantro as well
Drain one 14 oz can of chickpeas (best with home soaked beans)
Dissolve 1/2 cube chicken bouillon (optional) in 1/4 cup bean liquid
Add 2 large cloves garlic, 1 serrano pepper, and judicious salt
Add coarsely chopped leaves from one bunch Italian parsley leaves
Blend all this, adding 2 tbsps olive oil and more liquid if needed

Pickles

This brine works for pickling many vegetables
Arrange vegetables in crock, with dill if cucumbers
Intersperse garlic, hot peppers, black pepper, juniper berries, whatever
Dissolve 1/3 c kosher salt in 4 c water and 1 c vinegar, heat
Pour hot brine over vegetables and let pickle several days

Guacamole

Mash a bit of onion, jalapeño, cilantro into a bit of salt
Mix into a ripe avocado crisscross cut into small chunks
Add 1 tsp salt and 1 tbs ea jalapeño and cilantro, chopped
Stir in 3 tbs onion and 2 tbs seeded tomato, chopped

Crudités and Dry Dip

Cut thin sticks of fennel, celery, carrots, green beans, etc
Serve with a mixture of turmeric and curry powders

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Salads and Slaws

Classic Cole Slaw
Leah's Yellow Squash Slaw
Beets in Saffron Aioli
Zuni Caesar Salad
Pears, Pasillas, Red Onion and Cilantro

Classic Cole Slaw

Shred or grate 1 medium head green cabbage
Mix 1 cup mayonnaise with 1/4 cup each sugar and distilled white vinegar
Add 1/3 cup chopped sweet pickles (optional), salt and pepper
Combine everything and macerate at least 1 hour

Leah's Yellow Squash Slaw

Shred for a slaw or slice for a salad nearly any raw vegetable
Add aromatic fruits — grapefruit, raisins, orange zest, etc. — if appropriate
Mount equal amounts of olive oil and lemon juice (one tbsps)
Toss with nearly any chopped herb (optional)
Alternatively dollop with spiced (like saffron) or not mayonaise

Zuni Caesar Salad

These days the Zuni has lost its touch with its famous classic
Roast chunks of white bread in a couple of tbsp olive oil and salt
Disassemble 2 or 3 heads of romaine lettuce and air al fresco
Mash 6 - 9 filets salt anchovies with 2 tsp chopped garlic and salt
Mix in 2/3 cup olive oil and mount with 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
Emulsify all this with 2 raw whole eggs, whisk in 3 tbsps lemon juice
Add 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese and lots of black pepper
Dress leaves and croutons separately, dust with 1 1/4 cup Parmesan

Pasilla, Pear, Red Onion and Cilandro Salad

Toss all these with a powdered oregano vinaigrette

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Vegetables

Julia Child's Ratatouille
Roasted Root Vegetables
Roasted Fava Beans
Blanche's Cauliflower Pudding
Grilled Green Beans
Borlotti in Red Wine

Julia Child’s Ratatouille

Residue from having mastered the art of French cooking
Salt, drain, sauté 1 lb peeled eggplant and 1 lb zucchini cut 1” x 3” x 1/4”
Saute until limp 1/2 lb onions and 2 green peppers sliced, add crushed garlic
Place 1 lb slivered/peeled/seeded tomatoes over onion mixture, cook covered
Now evaporate tomato juices that were rendered and transfer to a casserole
Alternate layers of tomato mixture with eggplant and zucchini layers
Sprinkle each layer with parsley
Cook uncovered, basting with juices until only oil remains

Roasted Root Vegetables

From the Farmers Market of Santa Monica
A 5/8 inch dice of unpeeled carrots and red beets plus same of peeled celeric
Marinate for a few hours in olive oil and Kosher salt (use a ziplock bag)
Roast 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven

Roasted Fava Beans

From the Haight Farmers Market in SF
Whole fava bean pods olive oiled and Kosher salted
Roast 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven
Eat unpeeled seeds, poor people may eat the entire un-shucked pod as well

Ellen’s Mother’s Cauliflower Pudding

Everyone who eats this chez nous asks Ellen for the recipe
Make a bumpy mash of a steamed cauliflower
Add three beaten eggs, 1/2 cup of olive oil, 2 tbsps dried oregano leaves, s/p
Mix in one cup ready biscuit mix plus 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Bake 1 hour or so at 375, and top is browned

Grilled Green Beans Wrapped in Bacon

Salt green beans
Wrap ten or so green beens with a strip of bacon
Secure with a toothpick

Borlotti Cooked in Red Wine

Would be a waste of fresh cranberry beans
Soak 130 g dried borlotti (serves two) for minimum 12 hours
Make a bouquet garni of parsley, thyme, rosemary, sage, bay leaf
Cook an hour or more in 1 c water and 1 c medium bold red wine
Saute several slices pancetta in 1 tbsp butter
Add nearly tender beans for final cooking and liquid reduction

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Pizza, Pasta and Bread

Pizza Dough
No-Knead Pizza Dough
Finishing Pasta
Gnocchi with Bacon, Chipotle and Chard
Claus' Pesto and Green Beans
Roy's Pecorino Black Pepper Spagetti
Dumplings
Traditional Method Couscous
Cornbread
Red Wine and Sausage Sauce

Pizza Dough for Two Small Pies

An overnight rise in the refrigerator is obligatory.
Go to Rainbow in SF or the border store in Ventimiglia for "00" flour
Proof scant 1/2 tsps dry yeast and sugar in 1/2 cup plus 2 tsp [!] warm water
Mix in 1 1/2 cup flour and a bit of salt, adding more flour to make a wet dough
Work-in 1 tbsp oil with hands and knead
Divide into the two pies before rising

No-Knead Pizza Dough

Strange to say this may be the best of all homemade crusts.
Dissolve 1/4 tsp sugar in 1 c lukewarm water and proof 1/4 tsp dry yeast
Add 1/3 c whole wheat flour, 1 2/3 c all purpose flour, 1 1/3 tbsp oil
Stir then place in a warm room and allow to rise for 12 hours
Spread out the sticky wet dough as best you can, adding flour as needed

Finishing Pasta

Use 1 tbsp salt for every quart water for pasta cooking water
Add a bit of cooking water to vegetable sauces (it emulsifies with the oil)
Saute just-pre-al dente pasta with sauce in skillet for a minute before serving
Add a bit of grated cheese to bind sauce in finishing skillet
Finish the pasta and sauce with an added bit of butter
Serve in a beautiful bowl

Gnocchi Braised with Bacon, Chipotle and Chard

Brown bacon and garlic, add 2 canned chipotle (in adobo)
Deglaze pan with 1/2 c or so white wine, add 8 oz. raw gnocchi
Throw several large chard leaves cut into strips into pan, add salt
Cover and cook until wilted

Claus' Pesto with Green Beans

This is an approximation of what Claus prepared (no potatos)
Process 6 oz basil (3 c), 1/4 c oil, 1/3 c pine nuts, 3 tbsp walnuts, garlic
Blend in 3 oz (1 c) grated Parmesan with 1/2 c additional oil
Cook briefly 8 oz slivered green beans in salted water, remove
Cook 8 oz chopped potatoes in same water, remove
Cook 12 oz fettuccine in same water, drain reserving 1 cup water
Toss everything together adding appropriate water, Kampot pepper

Roy’s Pecorino and Black Pepper on Spagetti

And nothing else, it’s just that

Dumplings

Add sugar for dessert dumplings, chopped herbs for savory ones
Sift 1 c flour with 2 tsp baking powder and some salt
Mix briefly with 1 tbsp melted butter in 1/2 c milk
Use 1/3 c polenta and 2/3 c flour for cornmeal dumplings
N.B. 1/2 c flour total is sufficient for two portions
Cook 25 or so minutes

Skillet Cornbread

Soak 3/4 c medium grind cornmeal in 1 1/4 c milk
Combine 1 c flour, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, salt, 1/3 c sugar (optional)
Beat 1 egg with 1/4 cup oil, add first cornmeal then flour
Bake 30 or so minutes in a small, greased and very hot skillet

Traditional Method Couscous

How to make instant couscous more like the real thing
Dissolve 2 tsp salt in 50 cl water, add 500 gr couscous and olive oil
Mix with your hands, separating kernels, and let rest 15 mn
Fill the couscousier 2/3 full of water and bring to a boil
Steam couscous for 15 mn, breaking it up with a fork now and then
Dump it into a bowl, add more oil, maybe a little water
Mix again with your hands and let rest 15 mn
Return to couscousier and steam for 10 more minutes

Red Wine and Sausage Sauce

Uses wine as a sauce base for pasta rather than tomatoes
Combine 1/2 c chicken broth with 2 cups decent red wine
N.B. Best with Rainbow vegetarian chicken broth (it flavors and thickens)
Crisp brown 1/2 lb or so sausage meat in olive oil
Add liquid mixture to pork plus judicious herb(s)
Simmer until appropriately reduced, maybe 45 m or more

Luciano's mother's Sugo

Baldetti casalinga recipe updated with Marcella's technique
Use a saucepan or pot with high sides
Chop finely a medium small onion, a small carrot, some celery or parsley
Revenir the soffrito in ample, flavorful olive oil
Add 350 g of chopped meat (pork, lamb, or beef), stir until it changes color
Deglaze pan with 1/2 cup any color wine, add 14/15 oz can chopped tomatoes
Simmer 4 or more hours with tilted lid so moisture drips back into pan
Uncover pan to evaporate all possible remaining liquid

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Main Plates

Beans and Kale
Jean-Paul’s Cheese Fondue
Seafood Soup
Sticky Spareribs
Skillet Paella for Two
Roasts with Vegetables
Chili con Carne e Frijolles
A Good Meatloaf
Cassoulet

Beans and Kale

Stem and chop 1 small bunch kale and cut into 1/2 inch ribbons
Warm some olive oil in a 4 qt cast iron pot or equivalent
Saute a finely chopped medium onion, carrot, celery rib and garlic clove(s)
Dissolve 4 ozs tomato paste in 1 cup water and stir into vegetables
Add 2 more cups water to pot
Mix in 1/2 pound (before soaking) of cannellini (about a cup) and the kale
Flavor with parsley, thyme and bay leaf plus herbes de Provence, salt
Bring to a simmer on a burner, then bake for 3 hours at 225 degrees
Sprinkle 1/2 cup bread crumbs over top and bake 30 more minutes

Jean-Paul’s Cheese Fondue

This recipe is one hundred percent Swiss as is Jean Paul
Use 100% gruyere, or 50/50 with vacherin, or 50/25/25 with appenzell
Note that appenzell gives a stronger taste, never use emmenthal (too stringy)
Grate 8 oz cheese — measurements are per person (very generous)
N.B. 6 oz cheese, 170 gr, is a more realistic, generous portion
Dissolve 1 1/2 teaspoons corn starch into a bit of kirsch or white wine
Add 1/2 cup wine dry white wine and stir in cheese
Flavor with chopped garlic, cayenne and black pepper, nutmeg (optional)
Macerate for 6 - 8 hours then melt very slowly stirring constantly
Dip cheese coated bread chunks arugula, dried ham chips, raw pineapple, etc.

Seafood Soup for Two

Or use many more molluscs, etc, for a seafood extravaganza
Saute some onion, garlic and parsley in 1/3 c [!] olive oil
Add 1/2 c white wine and a 6-8 oz can tomatoes (3/4 c), simmer 10 m
Flavor with pepperoncini, thyme, salt and pepper
Boil 4 clams and 6 mussels until open (or open mussels later in soup)
Add clam juice to tomatoes and simmer (45 minutes if tough squid is used)
Throw in 1 small fish filet, 1/4 lb bay or other scallops, 1/4 lb shrimp

Sticky Spareribs

Mix tsps of salt, chili powder, cumin, sweet paprika
Add to mix 1/2 tsps allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne, etc.
Rub on 4-6 lbs ribs and leave overnight
Mix 1 tsp Tabasco, 2 c ketchup, 3/4 c molasses, 1/2 c cider vinegar
Let this sauce develop its flavors overnight
Roast ribs at 250 about 3 hrs, turning and brushing or not with sauce
Slather with sauce and boost temperature radically for last ten minutes

Skillet Paella for Two

N.B. Use 3 c broth to 3/4 c Bomba rice, other varieties use less
Salt and paprika poultry pieces, add saffron to broth and keep warm
Brown meat then add green beans, lima beans, artichokes and cook 7 minutes
Push all above to the sides of pan, add oil and saute onion, add garlic
Mix a grated tomato with onions, sauté until dark and thick, and then
Mix everything in pan together, add paprika, now add rice and coat well
Add broth, tuck in rosemary sprig and cook for 15 or so minutes
Decorate with sauteed/roasted pepper strips

Pascal's Pork Roast on Green Beans

Equally good or even better with a turkey breast or roast
Cut-up 1 large red onion, add lots of whole green beans
Place all this in a roasting pan, add 2 red peppers (optional)
Cover roast with crushed garlic and lots of appropriate herbs
Place roast over vegetables with fresh bay leaves under it
Surround with zucchini slices for last 20 minutes of roasting

Chili con Carne e Frijoles for Two or Three

Soak 1/2 lb (1 1/4 c) pinto beans and cook
Toast, empty and soak 3 anchos, 3 negros, 1 or 2 guajillos
Blend with 1/2 tsp cumin, generous oregano, garlic and salt
Brown 1 lb pork chunks, add some chopped onion, deglaze w/wine
Braise in wine until meat tests tender, 1 or more hours
Add chilis and beans with their water and simmer 30 or 40 more minutes

A Good Meatloaf

Skip the catsup, cook it in a loaf pan, call it a terrine.
Trim all fat from a slab of fresh ham and grind, use 500 gr
Add four large chopped mushrooms sauted in liberal oil
Mix in 3/4 cup coarsely crushed bread crumbs and a chopped small onion
Salt and pepper very liberally, moisten with a little tomato sauce
Flavor with several crushed garlic cloves and lots of chopped fresh sage
Slather homemade ketchup on top and bake

Cassoulet

Season 250 g soaked cannellini with garlic, herbs de provence, salt
Put an onion stuck with a clove and 100 g bacon chunks in the pot
Substitute bacon with 50 g chitlins and 75 g pork belly
Simmer mixture until beans are soft and save liquid
Heat 2 pieces confit de canard to melt its fat
Brown 100 g pork chunks in the duck fat
Render fat from 2 fresh pork sausages and drain
Alternate layers of beans and the meats, submerge sausages on top
Add appropriate liquid and bake at 160 c (325 f) for an hour
Break up top crust (what crust?) and bake an additional hour

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Sauces

Mexican Green Sauce
Red Pepper Purée
Santa Fe Oregano Salad Dressing
White Sauce with Horseradish and Salted Capers
Chili Gravy (Enchilada Sauce)
Kraft's "French" Dressing
Catsup

Mexican Green Sauce

Boil 3 or more serranos with a chunk of onion and 2 cloves garlic how long?
Add 4 medium tomatillos (1/2 lb) and boil 5 more minutes
Blend, adding salt to taste

Red Pepper Purée

Roast large red peppers in 475 oven
Turn every 10 minutes for about 40 minutes
Cover collapsed peppers to sweat and cool
Peel, catching juices
Process adding oil and salt

Santa Fe Oregano Salad Dressing

A recipe remembered from sixty years ago in Santa Fe
Mix a neutral vegetable oil with a neutral vinegar (distilled white)
Add lots of finely ground black pepper and lots of dried oregano leaves
Maybe there is also grated onion or sliced garlic cloves
Macerate 24 hours before serving

White Sauce with Horseradish and Salted Capers

Chop capers, grate fresh horseradish and add to béchamel

Chili Gravy (Enchilada Sauce)

Maybe more water, less bouillon cube, less chili power, less flour
Make a roux of 1 1/2 tbsp oil, 2 tsp flour, add 2 tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp cumin
Add 1 1/4 cups chicken stock (1 cube bouillon), 3 oz (1/2 can) tomato paste
Stir in 1 tsp oregano and simmer for 15 minutes

Kraft's "French" Dressing

Not a very good imitation, needs water, sugar and preservatives
Beat 1/2 egg to a froth then slowly beat in up to two cups neutral oil
Flavor with 6 tbsp lemon (or less), 1 tsp anchovy sauce, mashed garlic
Spice with 1 tsp salt, 2 tsp dry mustard, 2 tsp paprika

Catsup

This was the 2012 version
Reduce 8 lbs tomatoes with 1 tbs salt (or more)
Add 1 lb white onion, 4 small red capsicums, 4 large serranos
Spice judiciously with 6 whole allspice, 3 cloves, 1 tbs peppercorns
Include a short cinnamon stick and 1 big tsp ground mustard
Use also (if you have any) some celery seed and whole mace
Remove all spices except maybe the peppercorns
Add 2/3 c or so brown sugar and 1 c cider vinegar, reduce a bit more
Process until smooth and bottle (makes about six medium sized bottles)
Curry catsup: everything orange or yellow, 2 tsp organic curry powder

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Desserts

Sandy's Persimmon Pudding
Lucia's Mexican Almond Cake
Ted's Italian Almond Cake
A Good Yellow Cake
Sorbet and Ice Cream
Coconut Macaroons
Sylvie's Pavlova
Zabaglione
Pineapple Granita
Brigitte's Apple Cake
Applesauce Cake
Lemon Meringue Pie
Oranges
Plums and DumPlums
Richard Olney's Pears in Wine
Jackie's Terrine of Pear

Sandy's Persimmon Pudding

Sandy would not give me her recipe, this is a better one
Stir 2 tsps baking soda into 1 c persimmon
Mix in 1 c white sugar, 1 egg, 2 tbsps melted butter
Whisk 1 tsp cinnamon and a pinch salt into 1 cup flour
Add flour mixture to persimmon mixture
Steam in a pudding mold for 2 hours
Remove from mold after ten minutes rest

Lucia's Mexican Almond Cake

Actually not quite Lucia's recipe, this one was easier to downsize
Mix 5 oz/142 g ground almonds with two teaspoons flour
Assemble 3 egg yolks, 3 oz/85 gr sugar, some salt, 1/4 tsp baking powder
Beat 3 egg whites to stiff peaks, adding 2 oz/57 g sugar
Flavor with 1 scant tbsp brandy plus 1/4 tsp almond extract
Alternatively use Cointreau and grated orange peel, or whatever
Now beat the egg yolk mixture until pale and creamy
Fold yolks into whites alternately with dusting in the almonds
Bake in a 6 inch pan at 350 about 30 minutes
Remove from pan after ten minutes, serve with fresh fruit, cream

Ted's Italian Almond Cake

For a six inch cake pan, serves 4 to 6 people
Grind as finely as possible 102 g unpeeled almonds
Grind some more w/tiny pinch of tarter, salt plus 1/3 to 1/2 c sugar
Add zest from 1 lemon or to taste, maybe some almond extract
Beat stiff 3 egg whites, fold in the almond mixture 1/3 at a time
Sprinkle 2 tbsp flour over final addition before folding it in
Pour in greased/floured cake pan and bake

Good Yellow Cake

Use flour T55 or T65 (pizza flour) for a crumbly texture
Cream 1/3 c butter with 7/8 c sugar, add 1 egg and 2 tsp vanilla
Sift 1 1/2 c flour with 2 tsp baking power and pinch salt
Add flour to egg mixture in thirds alternating with 7/8 c milk
Beat 1 full minute (it becomes very liquid)
Bake in 8 inch (not 6 inch) pan with leak-proof bottom

Sorbet and Ice Cream

Chocolate Sorbet
Heat to brief boil 3/4 c sugar, 3/4 c cocoa pdr, bit s in 1 1/2 c water
Add 6 oz chocolate and 1 tsp vanilla, then add 3/4 c water. Cool a bit.
Blend on high to add as much air as possible. Chill then freeze.
Fruit Sorbet
Disolve 1/4 c sugar per 1 cup liquified fruit. Chill and freeze.
OR add 1 1/4 c simple sirop per 2 c intensely flavored fruit
Ice Cream
Dissolve 3/4 c sugar + pinch salt in 1 c whole milk
Add 2 c heavy cream + 1 tbsp vanilla. Chill then freeze.

Coconut Macaroons

Combine 1 1/3 c coconut, 1/3 c honey/sugar, 2 tbsp flour, salt
Stir in 2 whipped/beaten egg whites, 1/2 tsp almond extract
Add 1/2 c slivered almonds, top dropped dough with candied cherry
Bake until edges brown (20/25 minutes) at 325 f

Sylvie's Pavlova

Beat 2 egg whites, adding 2/3 c sugar less 2 tbls sugar
Fold in remaining 2 tbls sugar mixed with 2 tsps cornstarch
Make an 8 inch crown of the egg whites on parchment paper
Bake at 300 for 50 minutes, turn off oven and leave meringue 25 minutes
Serve with ice cream, sorbet or berries and cream

Zabaglione

Oh well, use madiera wine to be classic
Combine 2 egg yolks, 2 tbs sugar, 1/4 c wine/brandy, lemon zest
Make Zabaglione table side, stirring over hot water for 10 minutes or so

Pineapple Granita

Not to forget Coffee, Peach, and best of all Grapefruit Granita
Chop coarsely 1 medium pineapple (about 5 c)
Machine combine it with 3/4 c sugar and 1 1/4 c water
Add flavors (optional) orange juice and zest, chopped mint, exotic peppers
Freeze about 2 1/2 hours then rake, freeze again about 2 hours then rake

Brigitte’s Apple Cake

When substituting cannabis for the apples this becomes Space Cake
Cream 1/4 c butter with 1/3 c sugar
Beat in vigorously 1 egg with 1/2 tsp vanilla
Sift together 1 c flour and 1 teaspoon baking powder
Mix all the above together
Insert pieces of a big, juicy apple, add 2 tbs of its calvados marinade
Scrape into a 6 inch cake pan, sprinkle top with sugar and cinnamon
Bake at 350 until done, and browned a bit, about 45 m
Perhaps this piecake could be done with pears or peaches

Applesauce Cake

Substitute apples with any acidic fruit, or carrots
Cream 1/3 cube butter with 3/4 c brown sugar, beat in 1 egg
Whisk together 1 1/4 c flour, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp cloves, 1 tsp soda
Add 1 c applesauce or carrots alternately with flour mixture
Stir in 1/4 c raisins, 3 plump dates and 1/2 c walnuts chopped
Bake in a 6 1/2" d pan at 300 a bit less than an hour or so, cool
Ice the cake (optional): melt 1/4 cup butter mixed with 1/2 c brown sugar
Stir in 1 tbsp milk and cool, then beat in 1 c powdered sugar and vanilla

Lemon Meringue Pie

Use lime juice and a graham cracker crust for Key Lime Pie*
Combine 1/2 c white sugar, 1 tbsp flour, 1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch, salt
Mix with 3/4 c water, 1/4 c lemon juice, lots of zest, bring to a boil
Add this slowly to 2 beaten egg yolks, add 1 tbsp butter (optional), reheat
Pour into a six inch tarte mold and allow to cool
Beat 2 egg whites, add 3 tbsp sugar, 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
Spread on pie and bake at 350 for 10 minutes or until browned
*Graham cracker crust: mix 6 crushed crackers into 2 tbsps softened butter

Oranges

The Helen Walder technique
Use sharp knife to pare in one cut the rind and membrane off oranges
Add chopped exotic piments
Marinate in Cointreau

Plums and DumPlums

Alternatively sweet potato quenelles add color
Make a very wet stew of spiced purple plums
Drop spoonfuls of sweet and/or spiced dumplings in pot

Richard Olney's Pears in Wine

Do not approximate proportions or cooking time
Dissolve 1/3 c white sugar in 3 c dry red wine
Add a cinnamon stick, two cloves and a bit of orange peel
Simmer 3 large pears halved or 6 small pears whole for one hour
Remove pears and spices and reduce wine sauce (about 20 minutes)
Cool, tightly cover and chill for several hours

Jackie's Terrine of Pear

Coat 4 cut-up poires williams in 10 g melted butter and 50 g sugar
Add juice of 1/2 orange and vanilla and simmer until soft
Dissolve 1 tbsp bitter orange marmelade in 1 glass Beaumes de Venise
Add 1 envelope Knox gelatine (4 soaked sheets) to warmed wine
Combine with cooled, drained pears, pour into a “chemisé” loaf pan
Chill 12 hours, serve with chocolate sauce (optional)

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Wines

French Wines
American Wines
Spanish Wines
German Wines
Other Continental Wines
Southern Hemisphere Wines

American Wines

There must be some worthy wines, if only I knew them

French Wines

Take your chances with the years available
Domaine de Valmoissine, Pinot Noir (Aups)
Jacquère (cepage blanc), Cluse de Chambéry, Savoie

Spanish Wines

I've had some very good reds, if only I knew the names

Southern Hemisphere Wines

There are certainly worthy wines, if only I knew them

German Wines

I like lightly sweet German whites, if only I knew names

Other Continental Wines

I've had some lousy Russian wines, are there good ones?

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