Proverbs 14: 26
He who fears the LORD has a secure fortress,
and for his children it will be a refuge.
Yesterday I was cold all day long. Nothing could warm me up until I got into my electrically heated bed. So it was no surprise when I woke up this morning feeling like I was coming down with something. It's actually achyness and a persistent cough. We were supposed to baby-sit the kids, but Tom took them again. This makes me very nervous, especially since Emily was so sick on Thursday, but Heidi insists that everything is okay. Anyway .... I was glad to have the whole day off.
We started out by having breakfast with the Kingsleys. They had called the day before to invite us over. They are a most amazing family. They have an old school air about them, or maybe it's because they are from "back east." Blake and Linda are very consciencious parents and have very intelligent children - five of them. Last spring or summer, after years of trying to figure out how to remodel their very unusual house which had a huge foresty back yard, they simply tore down the house and started over! Today was our first time to see the new house all finished. It was so disconcerting to go to a place you've been to many times before and it's a completely different place except that the front door was in the same place. The house was quite lovely. Their new dining room is huge, just the size I would love to have. It was actually quite similar to our dining room, particularly the large beams on the ceiling. They even painted the ceiling in between the beams light blue like ours. You could have a table to seat 18 in that room.
The table was set ever so elegantly for breakfast. Lace table cloth, lovely dishes, goblets for the fresh squeezed orange. Linda made a really terrific egg dish, a frittata I'd say, and a delightful coffee cake. When we left Linda gave me the recipe for the cake.
Linda's Cinnamon Apple Coffee Cake
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter (that would be a stick and some)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup buttermilk or sour milk*
1 cup peeled, cored, and chopped green apples
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2-3/4 cup nuts, chopped
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Preheat over to 350 degrees.
Butter a 9x13 baking dish.
Combine the first 5 ingredients.
Cream the butter, sugars, and egg.
Mix in the dry mixture alternately with the buttermilk into the creamed mixture.
Fold in the chopped apple.
Put into the baking dish.
Mix the topping ingredients and sprinkle over the batter.
Bake for 35-40 minutes.
* You make sour milk by combining 1 tablespoon of vinegar with 1 cup of milk and letting it stand for 5 minutes.
The Kingsleys left in a great hurry at 10:45 to attend their middle sons basketball game. We headed out right behind them and went to Powells. Riley wanted to buy me a cookbook that I have lost. He figures now that a have another copy I'll soon find the old one. It's Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking volume II. I'm quite sure that I had had both volume I and II, purchased at Goodwill for $3.99 each. Actually, even though I own a great many cookbooks I know that some of them are missing. I expect to find them all together someday in a box in the depths of our basement. I also bought two books that are memoires of women who moved permanently to Paris from other parts of the world.
We then went and wondered around Anthropolgie . I love idly wandering around that store. Riley sat in a big armchair reading a book for quite a while. They have stuff in that store that no one else has. After having stayed almost until our meter was up we headed home. And there we stayed for the rest of the day. We ate pie, watched Jeapardy, played scrabble, dinked on our computers. But around 8:30 a daughter called with a cooking question. She was making an Irish pudding. The idea of pudding sounded great, and not long after that I hit on the idea a make a huge batch of baked custards. I head for the kitchen, found Betty Crocker, found 11 custard cups from IKEA, then found a baking pan that held exactly 11 IKEA custard cups. Though as it turned out my recipe that I devised made 13, so I got out a very little baking dish and placed two custard cups of a different variety. You can use any kind of cup you want, even tea cups.
1/4 - 1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups of heated milk
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Many recipes call for a higher temperature, but it's been my experience that this will cause the custards to curdle, and you don't want that. Now if you were to use 8 egg yolks instead of 5 eggs you would have less chance of curdling. Or maybe even if you used half and half instead of the 1% milk I used. But mine did turn out wonderfully smooth and silky feeling.
Put the eggs and the sugar and the vanilla in a bowl and whip thoroughly.
Put the milk in a glass pitcher and heat in the microwave until just a bit warmer than lukewarm. That's a temperature you can stick you finger into but it's not so hot as to be uncomfortable. Maybe it's the temperature of a hot bath.
While whisking the eggs, slowly pour in the milk.
Ladle the custard mixture into the custard cups. I used a 1/2 cup ladle.
Put some nutmeg on top of each custard. I used whole nutmeg and a nutmeg grater, but pre-grated works.
Place the pan of filled custard cups into the heated oven and then carefully pour in hot water to come about half way up the cups. Then carefully slide the pan all the way into the oven.
Bake for about 55 minutes.
Eat as soon as your mouth can handle the heat.
I ate three custards. I love hot baked custard!
Update Sunday February 17th: today I am really sick and I have a temperature of 102 degrees. I feel really crummy, my coughing is terrible, but the good side is that Tom is taking the kids tomorrow. Frankly I think that he has lost his job. He told Heidi that he has Presidents Day off. He manages a shoe store and they usually have sales on Presidents Day not days off! But no the less I am so glad I won't watch the children tomorrow. But I sure hope that just once, when I won't be having the children for three day, they would tell me ahead of time so that Riley and I could go some where. I sure hope I get better tomorrow.
"The ultimate test of a moral society
is the kind of world that it leaves to its children."