Sunday, January 11, 2009

Back to the Kitchen

I was heartened to see that my dear cat was sitting up, waiting for me to feed him this morning. In fact, he has been quite vocal today in his demands for food. I've missed that cat. This good news has given me the desire to return to the kitchen.

But first, let's see what it takes to make a sick cat better. I have to give him half a pill every morning that will help stimulate his appetite. I'd say it's working. And here's a question for you: if they want you to give half a pill, why don't they cut the things for you? Luckily, I had a pill splitter on hand. The measured syringe is filled with oral pain medicine that must be given twice a day for the next few days.

If you recall from my last post, I warned you that you can't see the cat when he's on the cable box unless his eyes or mouth is open or his tail is hanging down. Can you find the cat in the photo? And yes, he is there. Really.

Okay, now we'll go into the kitchen.

I know that I complain about Ina Garten's lack of diversity in her recipes and on her show The Barefoot Contessa on Food Network, but I have gotten some good recipes from her. Ina has a firm belief that one only needs ten good recipes and three versions of each one to have a good repertoire as a home cook. I can appreciate that philosophy, but it certainly doesn't work when one has a cooking show and one's audience is hungry for more.

At any rate, I had found a recipe in her newest cookbook, Back to Basics, that I have been wanting to try. I love pound cake and Ina's Honey Vanilla Pound Cake sounded divine. Please note that I will not be giving you the recipe, so you will either have to buy or borrow the book or wait for the recipe to show up on her show.

My mise en place: eggs, baking powder, cake flour, sugar, honey, vanilla, kosher salt, unsalted butter and lemon zest.

The butter and sugar must first be creamed. The eggs, lemon zest, vanilla and honey are at the ready.

I wasn't sure that my old hand mixer was going to survive the recipe. In fact, I was pretty sure that it was going to expire while creaming the sugar and butter.

Hey, do you see that? One of my hands is holding the hand mixer while my other hand is pouring the liquid ingredients into the creamed butter and sugar. So who is taking the picture? You'll have to thank my dear daughter for helping me out by taking this picture for you.

The dry ingredients are sifted together before they are added to the wet ingredients.

After just barely mixing, the batter is poured into a greased, parchment-lined baking dish. This went into the preheated oven for the prescribed time. I started checking the cake at the lower given time. The cake is done when a tooth pick that is inserted comes out clean.

The pound cake is allowed to cool on a wire rack.
And in case you are wondering, the hand mixer did survive the experience.

Oh heck, I can't wait any longer. The flavors are subtle and not overpowering. The cake is rich, dense and decadent. And yes, it is delicious. Take that, Andrew Knowlton. Sometimes delicious is just the right word.

1 comment:

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Glad to hear the good news about Midnight.

And if you wanted to send me the recipe for the pound cake,
that would be OK by me.