A Blog for Modern Traditionalists

Month: January 2014

Knitted: Barley Hat and Rye Socks

Knitted: Barley Hat and Rye Socks

The grannies furiously knitting away on ferries and at bus stops: it all makes sense to me now, because I. CAN’T. STOP. KNITTING. I can’t believe I ever sat still and watched things on Netflix without fiddling with needles and yarn. My relationship with Downton […]

Create Curate 2: The Clay Pigeon

Create Curate 2: The Clay Pigeon

Last summer, Tan of the blog Squirrelly Minds and I corralled a herd of Victoria bloggers into a single space and called it ¬†Create Curate. (I know I’ve just used language that implies we’re livestock, but I assure you the company was anything but bovine.) […]

The Nostalgic Library: Wintersweet

The Nostalgic Library: Wintersweet

It’s rather nice to see bulbs tentatively peering out of the earth like periscopes, but I have to admit that sometimes this Pacific Northwester suffers from a flurry of snow envy.

I want to hear the crunch underfoot whilst the rest of the world is eerily muffled. I want to marvel at how bright the night is when the ground reflects the moonlight. And I want a damn good excuse to inhale the things in this cookbook I’m about to tell you about.

It’s called Wintersweet: Seasonal Desserts to Warm the Home, and it’s full of rich goo that is best sampled beside a log fire and a frosty windowpane. Rejoice, all ye who have to plug in your cars and squeeze into long johns!

Says author Tammy Donroe Inman:

“What qualifies as a winter dessert? Anything sweet and delicious made from seasonal cool-weather crops, like apples, pears, cranberries, and persimmons. Anything warm and comforting from the oven made with caramel and spices. Rich, decadent cheesecakes. Nut-studded pastries. Chocolate mousse. Snow cones.”

The unusual chapter titles in Wintersweet really made me warm up to the book, for example: “Persimmons, Pomegranates & Cranberries,” “Roots, Tubers & Gourds,” and “Pears & Quince.” I mean, you may already be the proud owner of a serious cookbook collection, but can you really claim to have a volume that give the obscure persimmon THIS much glory?

As your dutiful reviewer, I made four of the dishes in Wintersweet and served them to eager testers. Here is what I made:

  • Gingerbread Cake with Brandied Pears
  • Butterscotch Bourbon Bread Pudding
  • Cherry Vanilla Bread Pudding
  • Cranberry Almond Oatmeal Cookies

Wintersweet Cookbook Butterscotch Bourbon Bread Pudding

They all turned out brilliantly, especially the butterscotch bread pudding. Yes, I made two bread puddings and I’m not the least bit sorry.

Currently, Billy and I are on a gut-reducing mission so for the time being I have whittled down my relationship with Wintersweet to a calorie-free wish list of recipes that mentally titillate me. I look forward to visiting this cookbook on an annual basis.

My list is:

  • Fried Apple Hand Pies
  • Winter Shortcakes with Maple Creme Fraiche
  • Gingersnap-Crusted Pumpkin Cheesecake
  • Coconut Sunshine Cake with Citrus Curd
  • Persimmon, Pistachio and Coconut Rice Pudding Parfaits
  • Peanut Butter Pie with Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce

Now, strap on your snowshoes and work up a hearty appetite for the above. Do it for me!