Monday, July 25, 2011

LuLu, what is she thinking about?

In other News...

I seem to have developed a pregnancy obsession with foods steamed in tin cans.  It started with Boston Brown Bread.  My mom used to make it in canning jars when I was a kid.  I loved the dense, dark, velvety texture.  The molasses flavor and pockets of moist raisins sent my mouth watering.  Plus the fact that we rarely even bothered to get it out of the jars-- we usually just ate it with spoons.  She hadn't made it in years, so I was basically on my own.  It was a challenge because we hardly ever eat canned food, so I had to dig through the recycling to find the perfect cans.  Then it turns out that my mom hasn't had a stock pot in a long time.  She had to go into the basement to resurrect an old, rusty pasta cooking set she bought ten years ago.  It was perfect.  It had a deep steaming basket that was large enough to accommodate the Pirouette can I found.  I made a batch.  It was so good, I made double batch the next day.   I learned that you don't need to put rubber bands on the foil to shut the cans with (it makes the whole kitchen smell like burning rubber).  Plus, adding circles of wax paper to the bottom before you pour in the batter means that you can pop them out rather easily.  The texture and flavor was just like I remembered.  The mystical thing about it, is that the recipe doesn't call for rich ingredients like butter or oil, or even a lot of white sugar, but the end result is what you'd expect from a really good brownie recipe.  In fact, for something that has rye and cornmeal, and lacks chocolate, it tastes better than a brownie.  Naturally, we smothered ours with butter, but it wasn't really necessary.  It would have been fine perfectly unadorned.  I linked to the recipe, which is almost like the one I used from Father Dominic.  He called for (and I heartily agree) replacing the milk with buttermilk and adding a smidgen of brown sugar.

And then, Spotted Dick (because we think the name is funny)

We found a recipe in The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook (thanks, KB!).  Her recipe is a bit more elaborate than the others I found on the web, and she uses butter instead of suet.  I don't have anything against suet, but we didn't have it in fridge, so the butter won.  The recipe calls for a small amount of milk, and that is the only liquid and the whole thing.  I was a little worried when the batter was less like a batter and more like a dry powder, but 2 hours of steaming produced a dense, moist, sweet wonderful product that looked exactly like the Heinz Spotted Dick cans.

In spite (or despite) of the funny name, we loved the flavor and texture of Spotted Dick.

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I blog about life and soup, but mostly soup.