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Depending on what time of day you are reading this, I could be in any number of places. I could be tucked into a CRJ, flying westward at 6am. Maybe I’m finally eating some breakfast at Bubba Rosie’s [er, that’s “Bubby Rose’s”!-Ed.] or walking by the sea . . . . . with my sweet sister, D!!!! Every time I visit “Auntie D.” it seems like it is more work to leave the hubby and the kids than staying home, but I wouldn’t get some quality time with my younger sister and a much needed break as well. Better make some cookies for “Guy Weekend” as it has been so aptly named (I’m the only female in the house) because it might very well be the healthiest thing they eat for the next three days.

Some facts about the following recipe:

I probably make these cookies at least every two weeks. Grandma (that is Florence or Mrs. Pulvermacher for the rest of you) has been making them since . . . well, I do not remember. Forever! These oatmeal cookies have always been around. The whole family makes them. They are chewy and soft with a lovely coconut and vanilla scent. They are THE most requested recipe in my collection. I send this recipe as a baby gift. A friend of mine just made them for the first time as she needs to put on a few pounds for her next round of chemo. I have brought them on canoe/camping trips and they pack well. If you make them large enough you don’t need lunch. The only people that do not like these cookies are people who do not like coconut. We have to store these in the freezer so you don’t eat the whole batch in two days. The three and five year old eat one (sometimes two) frozen cookies a day. I’m sure I do not have to tell you they taste better made with butter. What can I say? These cookies are good for impressing friends and intimidating other people Last, but not least, these cookies have sentimental value and that is why I can’t bake any other. It is easy to memorize – just take a look.

Grandma’s Oatmeal cookies

Grease three cookie sheets. Preheat oven to 350F.

2 c flour
2 c brown sugar (lightly packed)
2 c unsweetened coconut
2 c oats (not quick oats)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
pinch salt
1 c chocolate chips

Mix dry ingredients in a big bowl (just use your hands, it is easier!)

Melt 1 c of butter and mix 2 tsp vanilla into the butter. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add butter/vanilla mixture. Crack 2 eggs in the bowl and mix it all together. Again, just use your hands. Make the dough into golf ball sized balls – I usually get 12 onto a cookie sheet for a total of 36. Press them down a little with your hand into thick hockey pucks. Bake for about 10-15 minutes until golden brown.

Sometimes I add another egg if the dough seems to dry. Depends on what kind of cookie you like.

Okay, they are not as old as the oatmeal biscuits Roman soldiers used to travel with however I am sure they taste far better. Today is also apparently raisin day but there is no way I am putting raisins in these cookies. I’m sure they taste good but it is just not right.

via Victoria! Wohoooo!!!
J

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Hey y’all. It’s  shrimp scampi day.  Scampi, in north American parlance is a butter/wine/garlic sauce, usually served over shrimp (in the UK “scampi” is a type of lobster!). Tonight I made some truly stellar salt roasted jumbo shrimp with a scampi sauce...the shrimp where roasted in their shells for extra shrimpy goodness, and then just dipped in a thick scampi sauce. Lip smackingly good. I think this is one of the very best dishes I have made for this blog thus far, and dead easy. This would be great dinner party dish. The scampi sauce starts out with a nice lemon kick, and then finishes with smooooth butter.

Tonight, I’m lacking words, but feeling visual. I hope you’ll accept the maxim that a photo is worth a thousand words, and enjoy this little slideshow instead of a play-by-play…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

~Dea

Butch: I’ll be back before you can say “blueberry pie.”
Fabienne: Blueberry pie.
Butch: OK, maybe not that fast.
~ Pulp Fiction

National Blueberry Pie Day

Growing up in Britain, blueberries were an exotic fruit, which I think I solely experienced as the synthetic flavouring in purple foods and drinks. Native to North America, blueberry, rather than apple, pie was the confection I associated with the good ol’ USA. Perhaps this was partly due to one of the staples of my childhood literary upbringing – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – in which Violet Beauregarde falls foul of a blueberry pie recipe gone bad.

Violet, a highly competitive character, is the second child to be kicked off the Factory tour due to her gum chewing habit (one of the features that Roald Dahl uses to slyly identify her as an American). Wonka invents a gum that contains an entire three-course dinner: tomato soup, roast beef and blueberry pie, but forbids Violet to chew it, as it’s not ready for human consumption. Violet argues that she holds the world record in chewing gum and goes at it anyway.

The blueberry pie stage is defective of course, causing Violet to turn blue and expand into a giant blueberry. Due to her impossibly massive girth, Wonka tells the Oompa Loompas to roll her to the juicing room to extract the blueberry juice immediately, as more swelling will cause her to explode.

Mrs. Beauregarde: “But I can’t have a blueberry as a daughter. How is she supposed to compete?”

Veruca Salt: “You could put her in a county fair.”

Other than this literary accident, there is simply nothing bad about blueberries. In fact, chemicals in blueberries may inhibit cancer cell development. The fruit is reported to have a beneficial effect on a number of other conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, urinary tract infections, heart disease and blood pressure. The leaves help block replication of the hepatitis C virus. And a recent study found that wild blueberry juice enhanced memory and learning in older adults, while reducing blood sugar and symptoms of depression.

I promise that the blueberry pie below will have all these beneficial effects. It will only lead to you being rolled around due to an impossibly massive girth if you make 10 pies and eat them all this week. Which you might be tempted to – it’s darn tootin’, as they say Stateside.

Incidentally, I served it with So Good soy vanilla icecream – a great alternative to the dairy kind.

Bon appetit,

Deb

All of the benefits!

Messy but delicious!

Blueberry Pie Recipe

Ingredients:

Crust:
One double recipe for butter pie crust dough (I have to admit I used store-bought pastry – it worked out fine)

Filling:
6 cups of fresh (or frozen) blueberries, rinsed and stems removed (if using frozen, defrost and drain first)
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (for thickening)
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 Tbsp butter (unsalted), cut into small pieces

Egg wash:
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk

Method:

  1. Prepare the crust. Roll out half of the dough to 1/8-inch-thick circle on a lightly floured work surface, about 13 inches in diameter. Fit the dough over a 9-inch pie pan, and trim the edges to a 1/2 inch over the edge all around the pan. Put into the refrigerator to chill for about 30 minutes.
  2. Gently mix the blueberries, sugar, flour, cinnamon, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a large bowl. Transfer them to the chilled bottom crust of the pie pan. Dot with butter pieces. Roll out remaining dough to the same size and thickness as the first. Place on top of the berry filling. Tuck the top dough over and under the edge of the bottom dough, and crimp the edges with your fingers. Transfer the pie to the refrigerator to chill until the dough is firm, about 30 minutes. Heat oven to 425°F.
  3. Whisk egg and milk together to make an egg wash.
  4. Remove the unbaked pie from refrigerator. Brush the top with egg wash. Score the pie on the top with 4 cuts (so steam can escape while cooking), or make a hole in the centre. Place the pie on the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 20 minutes at 425°. Reduce heat to 350°F and bake for 30 to 40 minutes more or until juices are bubbling and have thickened. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Let cool completely before serving.