Saturday, October 29, 2011

Edible Adventures Update


Initially this blog was inspired by my daughter Carrisa and the powerful decision she made to change her health destiny through dietary change. I wanted to record and commemorate our journey together and the time we spent in the kitchen, garden, and farmer's markets during the summer of 2010.  During that memorable summer we posted photos of some of our favorite kitchen adventures and included many recipes.  Edible Adventures became a scrapbook of our summer fun together.

Now that Carrisa is away at school our kitchen collaboration is not as easy and takes place long distance.  Those frenzied summer months that we spent in the kitchen together have given way to recipes shared over the telephone or e-mailed to each other.

We are both dedicated to seeking out the very best food that we can, favoring what is locally available and in season, and preparing our food with loving attention.

Carrisa continues to cook up delicious whole food meals for herself while maintaining a busy work and school schedule.  She tells me that she does a lot of her cooking on the weekend.

I continue to shop at farmer's markets and spend enormous amounts of time in the kitchen.   I am currently perfecting and refining recipes that will eventually go into a cookbook.  Because I am a cook that does not always follow a recipe and often feels inclined to create the "dish of the moment" I am learning to discipline myself and take more careful measurements of the food that I cook.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Carrisa's Shortbread


The origin of shortbread dates back to Scotland in medieval times.  Traditionally, shortbread was baked in a large round and served cut into triangles or wedges.

The traditional shortbread recipe is one part sugar, two parts butter, and three parts flour.  The flour that was used to make traditional shortbread was fine oatmeal which is a staple food in Scotland.  Today the commercial versions of shortbread contain wheat flour or even corn and rice flour.


2 scant cups of fine oat flour
1/4 c. butter, cool, but not refrigerated
1/4 c.  sugar
Optional:  rose water for the butter's final rinse

Mix the flour and sugar on a work surface, then dot with pieces of cool butter.  With your fingertips, incorporate the mixture until it resembles bread crumbs.  Then using the palm of your hand, spread out the dough, forcing the flour to bind with the dough.  Gather and repeat three to four times, until you can form a ball of dough.  If the dough remains unworkable and crumbly, sprinkle with 1 - 2 t. of water, and knead again.  Shape into a ball and let rest for 30 minutes in a cool place (think of an unheated Scottish farmhouse.) 

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.  On a floured surface, flatten the dough into a disk about a finger thick, and mark off 8 wedges with the tines of a fork pressed clear through the dough.  You can also add decorations with your fork, if you like.  Bake on an un-greased cookie sheet for an hour.  The shortbread should not brown.  When done, remove from oven, cool on a wire rack, break into wedges, and serve with tea.