Thursday, August 26, 2010

Show and Tell Friday ~ The Gerber Baby

A highly recognized and loved sketch of the precious Gerber Baby is my Show & Tell this week.
I got this sweet lithograph quite a few years ago.  The envelope indicates a lady from Charleston, W Va. received it from Gerber Products Co. in Fremont, Mich. back on June 23rd, 1942.

Ever wonder who that sweet little baby is?
From the Gerber website:
The Gerber baby—the face that launched a brand
The tousled hair, the bright eyes, the round, pursed lips. The Gerber baby is recognized all around the world. So who is this special baby?
People polled throughout the United States surmised that the Gerber Baby had to have grown up to become someone famous: Guesses ranged from movie stars Humphrey Bogart and Elizabeth Taylor to Senator Bob Dole. But mystery novelist and retired English teacher Ann Turner Cook knows the real answer. Because she is the Gerber Baby.

The back-story on the Gerber Baby

In 1928 Gerber was looking for a face to represent a baby food ad campaign. The baby Ann Turner Cook posed for artist Dorothy Hope Smith. Her simple charcoal sketch competed with lots of portraits, including elaborate oil paintings. (Smith offered to finish the sketch if it were accepted.)
Whether it was the simplicity of the drawing or the cuteness of the baby (or both!), the judges fell in love with the adorable cherub face of Ann Turner Cook. They were so taken with it that Smith didn’t have to finish the sketch. Gerber used it just as it was.
The illustration became so popular that Gerber adopted it as its official trademark in 1931. Since then the Gerber Baby has appeared on all GERBER packaging and in every Gerber advertisement, making Ann Turner Cook the world’s best-known baby image.

A photo of Ann Turner Cook from her website
 
 Joining Cindy @My Romantic Home for Show & Tell Friday

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Crunchy and Custardy Peach Tart ~ TWD

My favorite taste of summer... Peaches!
August peaches are just the sweetest and juiciest.
I anxiously wait for them knowing what a perfect pie they will make.
Our Tuesdays with Dorie pick is also a delicious option for peaches.
Crunchy and Custardy Peach Tart 
it is the choice of  Rachel of
Dorie uses a 9-inch tart pan but I made individual tarts.  It begins with a Sweet Tart Dough with nuts then filled with the peaches and cream mixture with just a hint of almond.  Finished with a Streusel topping and baked until set and golden.

Pretty little tarts, don't you think?
Dorie suggests just a sprinkling of confectioners' sugar but I was wishing for a scoop of vanilla ice-cream alongside my piece.

Crunchy and Custardy Peach Tart
From Dorie Greenspan's Baking From My Home to Yours

1-9 inch tart crust made with Sweet Tart Dough with Nuts, partially baked and cooled

For the Streusel
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons (packed) light brown sugar
2 tablespoons chopped almonds
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

For the Filling
3 large ripe peaches, halved, pitted and peeled*
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 large egg
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon pure almond extract

confectioner's sugar, for dusting

To Make the Streusel: Working with your fingertips, blend all the ingredients together in a small bowl until evenly combined. Cover the streusel tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate it until needed. (Wrapped well, the streusel can be refrigerated for up to 2 days).

Getting Ready to Bake: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.

To Make the Tart: Slice 5 of the peach halves crosswise. The best way to do this is to place each peach half cut side down on a cutting board and slice it crosswise into thin slices, keeping the sliced half intact. Then lift each half on a spatula, press down on the half lightly to fan it just a bit and place it in the crust, with the edge of the outer peach slices almost touching the edge of the crust, so that you have 5 peach "spokes" and an empty space in the center. Trim the remaining unsliced peach half so it will fit into the center of the tart and, using the tip of your knife, cut a little tic-tac-toe pattern in the center of the peach. Set aside while you make the creamy filing.

Whisk the cream, egg, sugar and almond extract together in a small bowl. When blended, rap the bowl on the counter to knock out the air bubbles, and pour the filling over and around the peaches.

Bake the tart for 10 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees F, and bake the tart for another 20 minutes, at which point you should add the streusel.

Remove the streusel from the refrigerator and, using your fingers, break it up into small bits. Carefully pull the baking sheet to the front of the oven (if you can manage to get the streusel onto the tart without removing the tart from the oven and jostling the delicate filling, so much the better, but pull it out completely if it's easier) and sprinkle the streusel evenly over the creamy parts of the tart.

Bake for another 20 to 25 minutes (total baking time is 50 to 55 minutes), or until the filling is set and the streusel is golden. Remove the tart from the oven and transfer the pan to a rack to cool until barely warm or at room temperature. Just before serving, dust with confectioner's sugar.

*To Peel Peaches: Blanch peaches for 10 seconds in a pot of boiling water, transfer them to a bowl of ice water to cool, then slip off the skins.

Storing: The tart can be refrigerated overnight; cover it to protect it from drying and from odors.

Sweet Tart Dough With Nuts
From Dorie Greenspan's Baking From My Home to Yours
Makes enough for one 9-inch crust

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup finely ground almonds
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon (9 tablespoons) very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk

Put the flour, confectioners' sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine. Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is coarsely cut in--you should have some pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and some the size of peas. Stir the yolk, just to break it up, and add it a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. When the egg is in, process in long pulses--about 10- seconds each--until the dough, which will look granular soon after the egg is added, forms clumps and curds. Just before you reach this stage, the sound of the machine working the dough will change--heads up. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and, very lightly and sparingly, knead the dough just to incorporate any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing.

To Press the Dough into the Pan: Butter a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan, using all but one little piece of dough, which you should save in the refrigerator to patch any cracks after the crust is baked. Don't be too heavy-handed--press the crust in so that the edges of the pieces cling to one another, but not so hard that the crust loses its crumbly texture. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer, before baking.

To Partially or Fully Bake the Crust: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil and fit the foil, buttered side down, tightly against the crust. (Since you froze the crust, you can bake it without weights.) Put the tart pan on a baking sheet, and bake the crust for 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil. If the crust has puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon. For a partially baked crust, patch the crust if necessary, then transfer the crust to a cooling rack (keep it in its pan).

To Fully Bake the Crust: Bake for another 8 minutes or so, until it is firm and golden brown. (I dislike lightly baked crusts, so I often keep the crust in the oven just a little longer. If you do that, just make sure to keep a close eye on the crust's progress--it can go from golden to way too dark in a flash.) Transfer the tart pan to a rack and cool the crust to room temperature before filling.

To Patch a Partially or Fully Baked Crust, If Necessary: If there are any cracks in the baked crust, patch them with some of the reserved raw dough as soon as you remove the foil. Slice off a thin piece of the dough, place it over the crack, moisten the edges and very gently smooth the edges into the baked crust. If the tart will not be baked again with its filling, bake for another 2 minutes or so, just to take the rawness off the patch.

Storing: Well wrapped, the dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 2 months. While the fully baked crust can be packed airtight and frozen for up to 2 months, I prefer to freeze the unbaked crust in the pan and bake it directly from the freezer--it has a fresher flavor. Just add about 5 minutes to the baking time.

Linking to Foodie Friday @Designs by Gollum

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Eastern Black Swallowtail Caterpillar

See what I found on my parsley?
A colorful caterpillar.
Once it is old enough, it will form a chrysalis.
It will overwinter in the chrysalis, meaning it won't hatch into an adult until Spring. Next year it will look like this butterfly visiting our butterfly bush:
The Eastern Black Swallowtail (Papilo polyxenes) is a common swallowtail butterfly. Both male and female Eastern Black Swallowtails are bluish-black with yellow spots on the wings. They also have two orange eyespots with black dots in the middle.

The male has a yellow band on the hindwings with a blue cloud under it. The female has a row of yellow dots above a blue band. It's easiest to remember that males have more yellow, and females have more blue.

Joining Susan@ A Southern Daydreamer for Outdoor Wednesday!

Oven Fried Chicken

Yes, Today is Tuesday and I am supposed to be posting a TWD recipe.
I thought I was getting organized and on top of things after my very busy August.
I baked my TWD recipe, took photos and wrote up a post.
Ready to hit the 'publish' button when realized I made next weeks recipe, not the one for today.

so, here is my (Thursday)

Barefoot Blogger
post.

Vicki of My Fare Lady
has chosen Ina Garten's Oven Fried Chicken!
After sitting in buttermilk, the chicken is coated in flour and fried in oil for a few minutes on each side, then transferred to the oven to finish cooking giving the cook time to prepare the rest of the meal.
Our family doesn't like dark meat so I used bone-in chicken breasts.  I removed the skin and the chicken was still moist and delicious!

Oven-Fried Chicken

Ina Garten
 Ingredients
  • 2 chickens (3 pounds each), cut in 8 serving pieces
  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil or vegetable shortening

Directions
Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl and pour the buttermilk over them. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine the flour, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Take the chicken out of the buttermilk and coat each piece thoroughly with the flour mixture. Pour the oil into a large heavy-bottomed stockpot to a depth of 1-inch and heat to 360 degrees F on a thermometer.
Working in batches, carefully place several pieces of chicken in the oil and fry for about 3 minutes on each side until the coating is a light golden brown (it will continue to brown in the oven). Don't crowd the pieces. Remove the chicken from the oil and place each piece on a metal baking rack set on a sheet pan. Allow the oil to return to 360 degrees F before frying the next batch. When all the chicken is fried, bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is no longer pink inside. Serve hot.
Barefoot Bloggers

Monday, August 23, 2010

Chickens

Erin's little ladies have been producing...


Lots of these!
All from these little fluff balls!
Erin said they are Red Stars which is a mix between Rhode Island Reds and White Rocks. She has six of them.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Morning Glories and Roses for Mosaic Monday

Somehow the Morning Glories and Roses are still giving a lovely show through this summer of heat, humidity and d.r.o.u.g.h.t..  We had rain today but much more is needed.
When I was a child, our next-door neighbors were an older couple that were like grandparents to me.  Mrs. Paul was Lithuanian and a wonderful cook.  She would often send over plates of food from her kitchen for us to enjoy.  She made pierogi unlike any I have ever had since. They were filled with pork, simmered in water and served with butter and sour cream.  I will forever have that taste in my memory!
~*~
Mr. Paul had the best garden I ever saw!  He used every inch of space on the side of their house in a typical suburbia home in the 60's.  Many times I would sit on a lawn chair and help them shell peas, often spilling the bowl and having to gather them out of the grass.
Perhaps I love Morning Glories so because Mr. Paul would always greet me with a cheerful,
 "Good Morning, Glory!"
Joining Mary @Little Red House for Mosaic Monday!

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