Peach Crisp

Peach Crisp, ala Mode
This is my adaptation of the Peach Crisp recipe from The New Best Recipe by the editors of Cook's Illustrated.

Preheat oven to 375º
Use 8" square or 9" round pan (glass is better for leftovers)

6 TB unbleached flour (or coconut flour + 1TB water*)
1/4 c packed brown sugar
1/4 c granulated sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt

5 TB cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, sliced 1/8"
3/4 c sliced raw almonds (or pecans or walnuts)

6 fresh peaches, pitted and coarsely chopped
1 med lemon -- zest and juice
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 c granulated sugar

Mix dry ingredients in a food processor briefly.
Add butter (* plus water if using coconut flour) and pulse 10 times -- mixture will look like coarse cornmeal.
Add nuts with 4-5 pulses -- mixture will look like clumpy wet sand -- avoid over mixing!
Refrigerate while preparing fruit.

Toss all items together in a bowl and pour into pan.

Distribute chilled topping over fruit mixture.
Bake for 40 min.
If fruit isn't bubbling and topping isn't golden brown, increase oven to 400º and bake for another 5 min or so.



Gluttony y Glotonería

It was a night of food y música with Dez -- dinner at Ms. B's M & M's Soul Food on Manchester
 then Café Tacvba y Los Tigres del Norte en El Forum. 

Food first:
I got the Catfish (REALLY good), Dez got the Baked Chicken. 
There were sides, I didn't take a picture. 
We split the awesome Peach Cobbler. 

After walking my leftover catfish to a very secret free parking spot, we went over to The Forum.

We surveyed El Merch
Gorras de beisbol y Tigres

I know I'm going to regret not getting that embroidered edge key chain

Best of all, and take note of this my musician friends, 
¡Los Sharpies!
Nice markup, right? Or is that markerup - haha.

Café Tacvba opened and wow were they a visual and sonic feast!
Their hats and fringe glowed in the dark!
I sense a SpyGirl sketch of Rubén coming soon. 

Here's a silent stop motion video showing the fringe in action:


 I have no photos of Los Tigres del Norte. Perhaps I was too transfixed by the spectacle. There was video, sometimes the usual live feed and sometimes prerecorded performances of the same song but at another venue (confusing!). They wore shiny jackets and leather pants with thin metal tubing over the knees (strange!). The vocals started sounding just a little bit weird then ¡BAM! the power went out. For a few seconds, the entire venue was dark -- except for the light from everyones' phones (disturbing!). The percussionists kept playing (troupers!). Gradually the power restored, and a backing track revealed itself by repeatedly playing the finale "muchas gracias" over and over (oops!).
Behind me lurked La Caterwalla. She very enthusiastically sang along, WAY off key. She also had a bad sense of personal space and managed to crowd me, despite the chair between us. Hit by her fan, check. Hit in head, check. At least she didn't throw her drink at me! ¡Ay, señora!

[Pardon any bad Spanish. I was using el Google for translations].

Linked up with Shelbee's On the Edge of the Week Linkup


Fig Jam

Severo brings home reject figs from his day job as a produce pro at a local grocery store. I've always liked dried figs, but fresh figs I still avoid. (Is it a texture thing?) Fig jam is a nice half-way point and it tastes great on yogurt.
My starting point was the Fig Preserves recipe in the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, ed Judi Kingry & Lauren Devine ISBN 978-0-7788-0131-3 Their version is too labor intensive (it's for fruit kept whole) and calls for perfect firm fruit.

Here's my version:

Fig Jam

8c whole figs
8c boiling water
2-2/3c sugar
1 whole lemon, seeded and chopped

Using a glass or stainless steel bowl, cover the whole figs with boiling water
Let stand for 15 minutes
Drain the figs in a colander placed over another bowl -- SAVE THE WATER*
Pour 1/2 the water into a saucepan. Add sugar and chopped lemon.
Boil hard, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes
Meanwhile, coarsely chop figs
Add figs to pot, bring back to full boil, boil until mixture reaches 240º

Pour into jars

Freeze or process in canner
*About that extra fig water -- drink the rest! It's good for you!


Corn Griddlecakes Recipe

We had some fresh grilled corn leftovers, and I got a hankering for my Dad's Corn Griddlecakes.
"I'll have what she's having." 
Working our way backwards, here they are cooking:
It took me a while to find the recipe. The last place I looked was in my Grandmother's Fannie Farmer.
(He called them fritters. They're not those round ball, doughy, deep fried fritters though).
Corn Griddlecakes
1 can creamed corn or 1 cup fresh corn (1 ear)
2 eggs
blend in blender until merged

6 TB flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp nutmeg
milk as needed while blending -- you'll be pouring it onto skillet

fry in butter, bacon grease, or coconut oil

serve with maple syrup

(made 13 3" diameter cakes my last batch)


Gluttony Weekend

Art shows, music shows, and copious amounts of food. It was a glutton trifecta!
Following is an overview. 

Met up with Ruth in downtown LA. 
We attended a curatorial walk-through of the current exhibit at A+ D Museum, Come In! DTLA (up until 6/23/16).
Chris Francis, Jessica Fleischmann, and Lawrence Azerrad spoke about their installations. 
Chris Francis with his collection of Brutalist shoes.
Jessica Fleischmann with her interactive books of grid chips.
Lawrence Azerrad and his work for LAD Design.
Afterwards, we had dinner at Hodori.
The sides to our Korean dinner. Good thing we didn't crack the egg -- it was for Ruth's bowl of soup to be cooked in the broth.

Picked up Severo at LAX. He was hungry.  We went to Dulan's Soul Food Kitchen in Inglewood. 
Mac and Cheese, Black-eyed Peas on Rice,  Pork Chops for him.
Meatloaf, Corn and Okra, Steamed Cabbage for me.
Fortified, we sallied on to Claremont to deinstall #myshittycommute
Kelly showed up!

[3 weeks later] Did we eat dinner? I don't remember!
I know we had delicious baked goods that Severo scavenged in Claremont from Some Crust Bakery.
That night we went to the Cinema Bar to see Adam Marsland and the Chaos Band.
They played 3 sets, the final one a 10-song tribute to Prince.

Sunday, two things on the agenda: 
1) Squeeze in a Pinoy Brunch at Chef Mayet's pop-up at The Point (sadly, Bobby Bognar's swan song for the venue). 
2) Smithereens gig at The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano.

The Brunch:
Severo and The Menu
Bobby delivering the goodness.
What we ate.
The Coach House:
Leslie dancing up a storm.
The view from stage left.
Whew. I needed another weekend to recover from the weekend.


I Am a Ramphead. Are You?

I didn't know about ramps (aka wild leeks, scapes) until east coast friends posted about them on Facebook. 
I didn't know that they grew in the woods in my mom's backyard until April 2014. 
You see, as a kid, we always went to Barneveld in the summer -- we lived on prep school campuses during the school year. 
I had NO CLUE about ramps!
(They probably grow in Sheffield, MA and Millbrook, NY too. No clue, people, no clue!)

Two years ago, I found what looked like ramps at my mom's.
I picked a few -- oh, the aroma!
I then chopped one onto my salad and I joined the cult.
I love garlic, I love onions, OK, I love the whole edible allium family.
No going back at this point.

Ramps grow in the wild, in mature, deciduous woods, appearing in April (in Central NY).
What is the best way to extend "ramp season", since they only last for a few weeks?
I've found recipes for Ramp Jam, Ramp Butter, Pickled Ramps (which I made last year), etc.
They mellow when cooked, and can be substituted for green onions if you want a little more punch.

Me, I prefer the stinky experience of raw ramps.
(Plus I don't have the luxury of endless ramps that my mom has).
My favorite recipe so far is Ramp Pesto, which can be frozen.
A jar joined me on the second leg of my circumnavigation of the US and lasted all the way home.
Ramp Pesto on the sill, Cut Bank, MT, 2014
This year's ramps, last year's pesto.
Ramp Pesto (from Chloe)
Chop equal amounts of: • Ramps
• Parsley (Italian is preferred)
• Basil
Mince in a food processor with • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Add • Ground Parmesan or Romano or combo to taste. • Pinenuts (optional, I don't bother)
Pulse to integrate.
Store in a jar in fridge. Can be frozen.


A Date With the Past

Stan Ridgway played the Ruth B. Shannon Center for the Performing Arts in Whittier last Saturday.
 I've been a HUGE fan since ye olden days.
The gig was part of a writers' conference at Whittier College, there was a Q&A with Stan beforehand. I jetted out of class at Otis (my students hate me now -- I've rushed out of class the past two weeks) to get to Whittier, meet up with my pal Dez, and get to the venue by 5.
Mission accomplished!

"Absolutely no photos allowed during the performance"
Empty stage with weird covered monoliths as a backdrop. What were they? 
Stan was in fine form, playing both hits and deep cuts. He was accompanied by Pietra Wexstun on vocals, electronics, and keyboards, and Rick King on guitar.

Afterwards, we got on the meet and greet line so that Dez could get a CD signed and ask Stan a question that she was unable to ask earlier.
"Who is your favorite monster?"
"Frankenstein. He was so childlike."
Thanks Stan!

I'm brewing up a Wall of Voodoo/ Stan Ridgway nostalgia project for SpyGirl, my fashion blog.
Expect it in May or June.
"I'll do it tomorrow..."


Eat Your Veggies, Tomato Edition

I'm doing one of those "Post 5 Artworks..." challenges on Facebook [find mine here], and I thought I'd make it more complicated for myself by making blog posts with the art. Each day a different blog. [Yes, I have 5+ blogs. Ack!]
The Glutton's Progress was the second blog that I started, in April 2009. It began as a venue for a fake journal project. Over time, it has morphed into a lifestyle blog. You'll find food adventures, older travel pieces, my battle with domestic clutter, etc. Newer road trips now appear on On the Edge.

Here are selections from my Instagram #100daysofgluttony series [link goes to Tumblr]. For 265 days, I shot a picture of food on my iPhone, then used the Waterlogue app to make digital watercolors. Some day I'll make some books with the results.

All images ©2015 Anne M Bray


Smells Like Spring

Meyer lemon! 
The neighbor's mini tangerines! 
Flowers on the bay! They don't have a scent, but are cool, right?
Daylight savings starts on Sunday. I am so looking forward to driving home into the sunset.