A Homemade Life

9781451655117_p0_v2_s192x300Last year I was wowed by Delancey, the story of a pizzeria, and the couple behind the pizza. Written by Molly Wizenberg, a food writer, podcaster and restaurateur. I loved the story of her husband’s passion of making the best pizza in the world. I also loved her passion and devotion to support him, I think that may have been my favorite part of the story. Before opening the restaurant, and meeting her husband, she was a food writer and blogger.   She’s the creator of Orangette, a popular food blog where she shares recipes, stories about food, and now stories about their daughter June.

Before Delancey though, there was A Homemade Life.  In this earlier book she tells her life story, in a series of treasured and remembered recipes. She has lived all over the country – and in Paris, and her recipes are inspired by so many places and people.  She points out that most of our life stories can be told through a series of recipes, and I think that’s true. Interspersed with stories of her life growing up in Oklahoma, trips to Paris, and later moving to Seattle during graduate school, are some really great recipes. As a foodie she is quite adventurous, far more so than I am. There were some recipes I’d like to try and some that included ingredients I’d never heard of!!

unnamedIt was while she was living in Seattle, and through her blog, that she met her husband. He was a fan of her blog, a fellow foodie, and passionate about so many things.  She realized that he was so much like her father, who had passed away not long before they met. They dated, survived a long-distance relationship.  She eventually moved to Seattle to be closer to him.  Her one regret in marrying Brandon was that her father would not be able to walk her down the aisle.

I really enjoyed reading this collection of stories about her life.  The book had been sitting on my shelf, read though untouched, for a while.  Last week, after a trip to go strawberry picking with my daughter, I decided to tackle one of the recipes she shared in the book.  It calls for a combination of blueberries and raspberries, but substituted the blueberries with strawberries.

The cake was delicious – and I had so many strawberries, I made a strawberry syrup which I drizzled over the top of the cake.

Blueberry-raspberry pound cake

2 cups plus 8 T cake flour

1 t baking powder

½ t salt

5 large eggs

1 2/3 cups sugar

2 ½ sticks (10 oz) butter, diced, at room temperature

2 T kirsch

1 C blueberries

1 C raspberries

Set an oven rack to the middle position, and preheat the oven to 300F. Butter a standard-sized 9 cup Bundt pan and dust it with flour, shaking out any excess. (If your pan is nonstick, you can get away with a simple coating of cooking spray, no flour needed.)

In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 cups plus 6 T flour, the baking powder, and salt.

In the bowl of a food processor, blend the eggs and sugar until thick and pale yellow, about 1 minute. Add the butter and kirsch, and blend until the mixture is fluffy, about 1 minute, stopping once to scrape down the sides of the bowl. If the mixture looks curdled, don’t worry. Add the dry ingredients and process to just combine. Do not overmix. The batter should be thick and very smooth.

In a large bowl, toss the berries with the remaining 2 T flour. Pour the batter over the berries, and, using a rubber spatula, gently fold to combine, taking care that all the flour is absorbed. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly across the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the ckae’s center comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 ¼ hours.

Transfer the cake to a rack, and cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Carefully invert the cake out of the pan onto the rack, and cool for at least 20 minutes before slicing. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

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