Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Remembering May & June

The month of June debuted The Monthly Cookie with those delicious lemon bars that so many of you tried & loved.  What I didn't tell you in that story was that I was actually given this recipe (after much begging) back in college during my senior year.  My friend Ashley wrote it on a 3x5" card that I kept in my files for quite awhile; that card saw a lot of use & a lot of kitchen stains, I can assure you.  After graduating from college in the late 90s, it made the trek with me from California to New York City.  Several years later, the recipe somehow got lost in the shuffle after I made my move from New York to Philadelphia.  I was completely bereft of all that tangy sweetness for over a decade!  It wasn't until last year when I finally "found" Ashley again, that I was reunited with those bars, and I made it a priority to record the recipe without a moment to lose!  Now that it's in the "archives", I won't need to ask for it again. 


The day that I made those bars & was photographing them, I noticed my friends Steve & Tim working on the barn (more on that in the future) next to our house.  I stopped by to check their progress and asked them if they wanted to try my lemon bars.  Tim said yes, but Steve gave me a puzzled look and asked, "what's a lemon bar"?  Well (!), I raced down my driveway, went into the house and came back with a few bars to offer them.  Tim devoured one and Steve, after one bite, gave me the biggest smile.  He said, "these are very summery and so good"--he ate two! 

When I thought about that cookie, along with the many others that I've grown to love over the years, The Monthly Cookie idea was born.  I think we all love cookies, whether we like to admit it or not.  Cookie baking should be enjoyed by everyone because it takes such little time to mix, shape, cut & bake these little tasty treats.

Let me show you some pictures from that photo shoot that didn't get published after finding flaws with them while doing my editing. 


Hoffman Lemon Bars



I think I became distracted by a phone call & mindlessly picked up one of the bars to "nibble" on.  My friends will tell you that I'm often eating something whenever I'm on the phone (it's a bad  habit, I know).  After hanging up, I picked up my camera & began shooting.  Then I realized my blunder...see the missing bar in the left-hand picture? The picture on the right shows a smudge on one of the bars as I was stacking them.  After noticing this, I quickly decided to do a zoom in shot instead. 

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This past May I showed you some pictures of the foxes that reside on the grounds of our home and I also made a delicious Strawberry Rhubarb pie.  I took many pictures during those two stories that I found it difficult to make up my mind & choose the best ones.  Here's a small sample of some that didn't make the cut.

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 Strawberry Rhubarb Pie



 It was a bit dark on the right hand side and the strawberries didn't look enticing enough.



I actually like this picture because it shows all of the bits of butter properly dispersed throughout the pastry, but I didn't use it.  Click on the picture to zoom in.




Here I am showing how I trim my pate brisee with a sharp paring knife. 




This zoom-in shot shows how flaky & golden brown that pastry turned out, but I decided against using it.




Extra pictures of the Mother Fox & Kits. Enjoy these!



The mother had an itch.



As she was cleaning one kit, the other was trying very hard to get her attention.



Now the baby has an itch.



I just love this shot of mother & baby.




She was about to pick up that stick in front of her & begin a game of fetch.





Here she is carrying it to one side of the lawn.  The kits would then grab it with their mouths & take it back to her.  This went on for a small length of time.





A beautiful profile.




A few days after I took pictures of those kits, these two adult foxes began grooming each other out on the lawn right behind the house. 





Although I was standing on my back porch well within their sight, they seemed to have not a care in the world.


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