P.S. Check out my chocolate chip cookies in the Urbanite today!
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There is only one person who can tell Baltimore’s best food blogger that her pages need a little spice: and that’s me. I’ve known Brittany for way too long and she has never listened to a damn word I’ve said. Find some liturgy: but it’s boring. Find a place on the coast to live: but it’s too far. Run away with me: but you’re too smart for me. (Ok, I lied. But only about finding a place to live on the coast: she claimed she didn’t have the money.)
Brittany and I met each other as freshman in college. She took the train in from Lynchburg to visit a friend at Catholic University and I wandered down to the fourth floor of Flather Hall on a Friday night and immediately felt the need to antagonize the Southern belle in front of me. She was fiercely Protestant and had a more grating accent than the guttural Jersey sounds regularly emanating from my mouth. And besides, she used the term “hater-ade” when refuting my Catholic witticisms.
Originally, I thought switching blogs with Brittany would be a simply delightful idea. She could bring a bit of color and class to my blog and I could bring a bit of tongue-in-cheek Jersey humor to hers. And heck, since she’s harangued me both on these pages and in real life for many years, I figured I should return the favor of all the good press I’ve been given.
Then I realized: these noble pages exist as a food blog. I am a man’s man in this way. I eat for happiness, but cook solely for the survival of myself and those around me. You see, the main goal of a cook in a house of ten men is to simply not kill anyone. Anything more than that, and you’re a culinary genius.
Take for instance, last night. I hadn’t spoken to our shopper, so he purchased pre-made hamburger patties for me to prepare.* Now, I’m naturally mistrustful of pre-shaped discs of meat, but since these patties are alleged to be foolproof I raised no objection. My original plan had been to broil them, but then I started getting looks from the natives: there is a grill outside. Put on a sweatshirt and grill them.
I faced, however, a major issue in the middle of the grilling process. The propane ran out. So, please picture me at the nadir of my cooking experience and slowly moving into survival mode. It’s forty degrees; there are sixteen burgers each showing varying degrees of rareness because the grill started to extinguish itself from left to right, without attracting my attention. By this moment, I have also realized the turnip greens might be slowly burning themselves to the bottom of a sauce pan and the leftover braciole might be slowly dying in the broiler. I wield my spatula with precision and attempt to pile the still pink patties onto a too small tray, to get up the starts, to open the door, to get them into the broiler, to get them on the table.
I shall spare you the gory details, but last night was a great success.No one died. And since my gracious host always gives you a recipe, I’ll share with you one from my dear mother, completely unrelated to my story of woe, but simply delightful.
My grandmother made this pie every Thanksgiving until her passing and my mother has taken up her cause. Legend has the recipe coming off the back of a Karo Corn Syrup bottle many years ago, but never you mind, it is good stuff. It is the perfect combination of sticky and sweet. The pecans on top of the pie are done just right and sugary filling would bring even the most conscientious diabetic to his knees. Enjoy.
Adapted from Matt's Grandmother
3 eggs slightly beaten
1 cup Karo light or dark corn syrup
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup pecans- some chopped-some whole
1 unbaked 9 inch pie shell
In a large bowl stir together first 5 ingredients until well blended. Stir in nuts. Pour into pie shell. Bake at 350 degree oven for 50-55 minutes or until knife inserted halfway between center and edge comes out clean. Cool.
If the crust begins to brown too quickly and the center isn't fully cooked, cover the edges with aluminum foil to prevent overbrowning.
* A story about meat patties that falls into the “Even if it’s not true, it should be” category. Several years ago, my RA at college swore he once saw a package of hamburger patties in the dining hall whose packages proudly proclaimed, “GRADE D, BUT EDIBLE.” The burgers were indeed edible, but barely.