27 March 2009

Famous Food Friday -Lotte Lenya

Maxine de la Falaise edited a book entitled Food In Vogue. It is a collection of recipes from some rich and some famous who appeared in Vogue in the 70' and 80's. Among the recipes she collected was one for meatloaf by Lotte Lenya.

Lotte Lenya was the wife of Kurt Wiell. They were married in 1926. The next year she and appeared in the controversial Brecht–Weill work Little Mahagonny at the Baden-Baden Festival in 1927. She alternated the roles of Jenny and Lucy in Weill's most famous work, The Threepenny Opera.

Lenya and Weill became estranged and finally divorced before they fled Nazi Germany for Paris in 1933. They continued to live separately, as they made their way to America. In 1935 they reconnected and remarried in 1937. Their second marriage lasted until Weill's death in 1950. She continued to work in the theatre and movies and her role in Roman Spring received a nomination for an Academy Award in 1961.

Lenya’s Meat Loaf

1 pound chopped sirloin
Salt and pepper to taste
1 egg
1/2 cup good quality poultry stuffing
1 small can vegetable cocktail juice
1 small can button mushrooms
2 to 3 tablespoons sherry, or to taste

Preheat oven to 375

Mix the meat, salt, pepper, egg, stuffing,and half of the juice together and form a loaf. Place in a greased loaf pan and bake for one hour. About 5 minutes before the loaf is ready, pour into a small saucepan the other half of the vegetable cocktail, the mushrooms and the sherry. Heat, then pour over the loaf. Serve with noodles, rice, kasha, pilaf, or any other starchy accompaniment you like.

Lotte Lenya died in New York from cancer in 1981. She remains one of the most interesting characters of the 20th century. For more information on Weill and Lenya, read their collected letters, Speak Low (When You Speak Love): The Letters of Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya.

24 March 2009

Breast Cancer Awareness

We dropped off the earth for a while. My friend Ann had a mastectomy. If you read this, please do a self-exam and schedule a mammogram.
You can give someone a free mammogram by going to Click to Give.

14 March 2009

Spring Is...

nowhere to be found!

Still we are optimistic and this week we are chitting potatoes to plant. These are the remaining potatoes from last years harvest. They were cut so that each piece has an eye. Now they sit in the sun (that big yellow thing that sits in the sky every now and then). In a week or so, the cuts will have skimmed over, the eyes will make little sprouts and they will be ready to plant.

We are taking a chance with these little potatoes and planting them a bit early, hoping that any late season frost won't destroy them. Hey, I said we were optimistic.

13 March 2009

Blackberry Jam

Harry Lowe picked some blackberries for me at the end of the summer, but I kept forgetting to rescue them from the freezer.

Finally, I remembered.

Some people don't like blackberry jam because of the seeds, but I like the grittiness.

I had a box of preserving sugar I picked up in England. Preserving sugar is sugar with the pectin already mixed in. It makes for easy preserves.


2 pounds of Virginia blackberries
1 box preserving sugar (32ounces)
the juice of one lemon

Place all the ingredients in a preserving pan or deep pot.

Let the sugar leach out the juice for about 1 hour

Bring the preserves to a rolling boil ( you know it's rolling if you stir it and it keeps right on boiling)

Boil for 4-5 minutes

Take off the heat and cool for a few minutes, then skim off any "imperfection" foam

Can as you wish.

(I pour the jam into hot jars, screw on the top, invert, leave for 5 minutes and right the jars. PLEASE do not scream at me. I know the USDA hates me for this, but really, I've done it this way for YEARS and I'm still alive. Two of the best jam makers in the whole wide world, Christine Ferber and June Taylor, use this method. FEEL FREE to put the jarred preserves in a hot water bath for 10 minutes if you wish.)


11 March 2009

Etiquette Wednesday

Emily Post

Need I say more? This week I am immersed in Laura Claridge's biography, Emily Post: Daughter of the Gilded Age, Mistress of American Manners.

So far, the Civil War ends, Chicago burns to the ground, Emily's parents marry an go on the Grand Tour, Emily is born, weighing in at over 9 pounds! That's just the first 15 pages!

I am just finishing Part Three. Let's see, marriage, kids, novels (Purple and Fine Linen is a fave) scandal, divorce, etiquette books...

I'd tell you more, but I really need to get to my reading.

Here's you etiquette tip!

My handwriting sucks. But do drop me a line and do not, under any circumstances, piss off the Post Office, or the Emily Post....

03 March 2009

Chocolate Chunk Pumpkin Cake

As a child I wouldn't touch pumpkin. Probably because my mother hated it. Ah, but as I grew up, I put away the things of a child. Now pumpkin is one of favorite vegetables. It is so versatile, it can go from appetizers all the way to dessert. This is one of my favorite cakes. The pumpkin makes it moist and and the chunks of chocolate make it gooey. I use my favorite dark chocolate and chop it into irregular hunks. I like the chunks of chocolate but if you would like it a bit more refined, you can add chocolate chips. You can also use milk chocolate if you wish.

Chocolate Chunk Pumpkin Cake

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons quatre-epice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick softened butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 cup pumpkin puree or 1 15 ounce can pf pumpkin
1 1/2 cups chocolate chunks

Whisk together flour, spice, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

Cream the butter and sugar together to fluffy yellow, about 3 minutes.

Add the eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition.

Stir in the pumpkin puree.

Add the flour mixture into the batter about a cup at a time.

Fold in the chocolate chunks.

Pour into a prepared Lucinda's Wood Cake Box

Bake at 300 for 90 minutes.

I like it plain, but you can add a ganache glaze to dress it up. And add even more chocolaty flavor.

Ganache Glaze

1 cup heavy cream
9 ounces chopped chocolate
1 tablespoon butter

Add the chocolate and butter to a small bowl.

Heat the heavy cream till it steam, but don't let it boil.

Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and butter.

Let it melt, then stir the mixture until smooth, bout 2 minutes.

Let it sit for about 5 minutes, then pour over the cake.

This cake travels really well, so bake one up and send it to someone you love.
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