Feminist, Fictionista, Foodie, Francophile

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Food Porn! The season of butter and sugar returns

Most of the year, the food prepared in my kitchen is extremely healthy. The only fat is olive oil; the only grain is quinoa; the only bread-like item is wasa light rye crackers.
I know...it's enough to send you to the nearest store to buy a package of cookies.
Once we hit the autumn solstice, though, all bets are off.
It's not that I go into a food frenzy, but from Thanksgiving on, I cook like my mother did--with butter and cream and the occasional pound of bacon.
Emphasis on the pound.
It's not like I go hog-wild--and I make sure to eat plenty of salad--but when I start putting out side dishes on Thanksgiving, anyone who thinks mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potato pudding, and macaroni and cheese add up to too much starch can just leave my table and head over to Denny's for the Turkey Day special.
The food might go to waist but it's not going to waste. I have aluminum foil and I'm not afraid to use it. Guests always go home with enough food to carry them through the weekend.
That's how my mother did it.
That's how my grandmother's did it.
And that's how I do it.
At least twice a year.
And I do it without olive oil.

Olive oil is a wonderful, magical elixir but I've made mashed potatoes with olive oil and it's just not the same.
Ditto for macaroni and cheese.
I shudder to think what sweet potato pudding would be like with olive oil instead of butter.
Here's a recipe for a holiday breakfast treat introduced to the family by my sister's girlfriend. Not that it uses butter and sugar.
Serve it with bacon on the side for the perfect trifecta of treats:



Bubble Loaf

Note, these amounts are approximate.  You might run out of sugar, or butter; you might want to double the recipe.

1 loaf frozen bread dough, defrosted
1 cup granulated sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 bottle dried orange peel (or lemon peel)

Combine the granulated sugar and about half the bottle of orange peel.  (You could, I suppose, use fresh orange peel but I tried that once and ended up with ten naked oranges and not really enough peel.)

First cut the dough into 1-inch squares and roll each into a little ball and dip in melted butter.  Then roll the buttery dough ball into a mixture of granulated sugar and orange zest.  The sugar mixture gets pretty wet with the butter, so take about a half a cup of the sugar/orange mixture at a time for dipping and rolling and replenish with dry sugar/orange peel as needed.

Place the buttery sugary zesty balls in a single layer in a cake pan, cover with a towel, and let rise until doubled in volume.  Bake at about 325 until golden brown and eat as many "bubbles" as you like.  When you recover from the coma, eat more.



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