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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

By any other name is as sweet

The Spicy Jack Panino - turkey, very spicy jack cheese, grilled red onion and zebra sauce.

Vegetarian Tortilla Soup, Gazpacho, and Split Pea are our soups.

Also made a batch of Cherry Almond Scones and .........
.......a Blueberry Buckle!

What, you ask, is a buckle? Essentially, a buckle is fruit-filled coffee cake with streusel topping. I hesitate to use the word coffee cake because so many of us equate "coffee cake" with dry yellow cake, a crunchy top and powdered sugar mess pulled served in an aluminum pan pulled from a cardboard box. Debunking that sad state of affairs will have to wait for another day. Trust me that a real buckle is so tasty your knees will buckle!

It is related to a host of other classic American fruit desserts such as the crisp, betty (or brown betty), cobbler, crumble, grunt, slump and pandowdy (I kid you not), but unlike these other colorfully named creations, the buckle is an almost equal union of cake and fruit.

The recipe for this Blueberry Buckle was taken directly from Cook's Illustrated's 2009 American Classics edition. The folks at Cook's Illustrated are the hosts of America's Test Kitchen, a great PBS series that airs locally on the weekend. These people are the ├╝ber geeks of all things cooking and kitchen related and, to their credit, operate without advertising or endorsements. So why subscribe to a magazine or pay-site when so many recipes are available free online? Because if they say that xyz produces the best roasted turkey it is because they roasted 100 turkeys 100 different ways. Sometimes playing around in the kitchen is fun and the results are not so important; sometimes you need to make sure it's right the first time. Fifteen years ago, long before brining became a verb every cook knew, I was soaking the Thanksgiving turkey in a pot out on the back porch thanks to my subscription to Cook's Illustrated.

If you have never seen or read the magazine look for it the next time you are in one of the large bookstores or William Sonoma. It is well written, beautifully produced and ever back cover illustration is frameable.

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