The Raggedy Awards

Raggedy Ann&Andy1943

We did it!  Blogged for a year.

Some end-of-our-first-year-blogging thank-you’s are in order (I feel like I’m giving an Academy Awards speech):

The Raggedys Oscars

First: thanks to all who forwarded our blog to others who might be interested.  Please do it again and suggest they sign up to receive a notice when we post a new blog.

Second: thank you to everyone who responded to something we wrote.  It’s great to get feedback.

Third: thank you to everyone who tried a recipe (Here’s to you, TRICIA! :).  And we encourage y’all to do more home-cooking.  Research at the University of Washington indicates that “people who cook at home more often, rather than eating out, tend to have healthier overall diets without higher food expenses.”  Did we need research to tell us that?

Fourth: many thanks to our guest bloggers, David from Albuquerque and Moss from SF.  San Francisco and Albuquerque appear to produce folks with great food capabilities because 2 more bloggers from those wonderful cities are on our up-next-guest list.  You’ll enjoy their blogs.  If you have any interest in joining this awesome group, just send us an email.

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Thank you, Please, and I Love You!

Finally: thanks to everyone who put up with Andy’s humor, including me. 🙂  Wait till you read Andy’s Corner today; it may be his Hay Day.

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As you know, every year the Raggedys present the Raggedy Awards.  Yes, I hear you when you mention that we’ve just now blogged for a year and you’ve never heard of the Raggedy Awards, but, guaranteed,  this shall become a yearly and highly-anticipated tradition.  The Raggedy is a self-congratulatory thing between Andy and me.  He awards me with The Raggedy for my best blog and I award him The Raggedy for his best Andy’s Corner contribution.  And together we pick our favorite “Food for Thought” and our favorite food item of the year.

We’ve published about 45 blogs since our first one went out in May 2017.  Andy has written about 25 essays.  And we’re still together and having fun with this little food and life blog…well, most of the time 🙂

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Some of the time.

And now to the Awards Ceremony:

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The Raggedy for Andy’s Corner’s BEST goes to:

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The runner up for Andy’s Corner’s BEST is a tie between:

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The Raggedy for Ann’s BEST BLOG goes to:

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The runner up for Ann’s BEST BLOG is a tie between: 

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The Raggedy for FOOD FOR THOUGHT goes to:

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The runner up for FOOD FOR THOUGHT goes to:

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The Raggedy for OUR FAVORITE FOOD ITEM OF THE YEAR goes to:

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These Holsteins west of Petaluma, CA, appear to live an especially lovely life.

Admittedly, loving butter – and most dairy products – is a tricky push-pull kind of affair.  Temple Grandin, the fascinating Colorado State University researcher, has some disturbing insights in this Washington Post article.  The NYTimes gives another overview (informative and interesting – but also depressing) of the situation.  And those don’t even touch health issues: i.e. butter vs margarine (disclaimer: when my grandfather was in Congress he worked to protect the dairy industry by helping to get a law passed that required margarine served in restaurants to be shaped differently than butter; that was after agreeing to margarine being dyed to be the same color as butter – all in the Oleomargarine Tax Repeal of 1950.  Clearly one of the highlights of his Congressional service!).

So do we think of cows as Robert Louis Stevenson did in his lovely little poem, The Cow, from 1913  – or do we think of them as environment busters, destroying everything with their burps and farts?  Do we embrace butter – or reject it and everything else associated with cows?  Oh, please, don’t make me make that choice.

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The friendly cow all red and white,
I love with all my heart:
She gives me cream with all her might,
To eat with apple-tart.

She wanders lowing here and there,
And yet she cannot stray,
All in the pleasant open air,
The pleasant light of day;

And blown by all the winds that pass
And wet with all the showers,
She walks among the meadow grass
And eats the meadow flowers.

At least for today we’re going to let butter be the star.  Andy’s birthday was yesterday, so, of course, we had a cake (clearly made with butter) to celebrate.  And we’ve looked through our recipes and picked our favorite butter-ish ones.  

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For desserts, you’ve got to love Katharine Hepburn Brownies.  They’re simple; they’re delicious.  And they’ve got lots of butter in them.

Shortbread&Strawberries

Butter is what Super Simple Shortbread is all about.  There are so many variations to this little recipe that you could make it 10 times and never have it be just the same.

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Give me Caramel Dessert Sauce when I need perking up, and it will do the trick.  It may be the sugar high, but I’m thinking it’s a better Butter High!

And main dishes can also benefit mightily from the addition of butter, Carrot Ginger Soup being a great example.  Healthy, simple, delicious, pretty – and enough butter to keep even me content.

CarrotSoup2

Or try Marcella Hazan’s classic Tomato Pasta Sauce which has a large dab of butter to enrich the flavor.  It’s Super Simple, too

SpaghettiPlated2.

With Andy’s birthday this week, we’ve decided to share the recipe for a favorite cake of his, which we got from one of our “Go-To” cookbooks, The New Orleans Cookbook by Rima Collin and Richard Collin.  If you want to splurge, you might try a fancy European butter, such as Kerrygold, but the cake will be to-die-for even with plain old Land O’Lakes or any good butter that you choose.  And I’m sure the carrots add enough health benefits to offset any butter issues, though I remain unconvinced that butter could EVER be an issue.

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Eggs from Sandy and Stacey’s hens have lovely deep yellow yolks – hence the gold and orange; Andy prefers his carrot cake unfrosted….sometimes!

Carrot Cake

Recipe adapted from The New Orleans Cookbook by Rima Collin & Richard Collin

for the cake:

  • 2 1/4 c flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg (freshly grated is nice)
  • 1/8 tsp allspice (optional)
  • 2 c sugar
  • 1 c (2 sticks) well-softened butter
  • 5 eggs
  • 3 c grated carrots
  • 1/2 c finely chopped pecans or walnuts

For the frosting:

  • 1 8oz pkg cream cheese
  • 1/4 c (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1 T vanilla
  • 1 lb confectioners’ sugar

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and flour a 9″x13″ cake pan or a 10″ tube or bundt pan.   If you want cupcakes, line the pans and fill each cupcake tin about 3/4 full.

Put all the dry ingredients into a medium bowl and whisk together well.

Beat sugar and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until well blended and fluffy.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating a little after each addition.   Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the egg mixture until it’s well incorporated.  Add the grated carrots and chopped nuts and mix together well.

Pour the batter into the pan and bake for about 50 minutes for the rectangular cake pan or 1 hour 10 minutes for the bundt or tube cake pan – or approximately 30 minutes for cupcakes.  Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake; it should come out dry.  Set the cake pan on a rack to cool.  After 15 minutes of cooling, the cake should be removed from the bundt cake pan, if that’s what you used, and allowed to cool further on a rack.

For the frosting, cream the cream cheese and butter and vanilla together with a pastry blender or spatula or electric mixer (on low) until smooth.  Add the sugar and mix or beat in thoroughly.

Frost the cake when it has cooled thoroughly.

Recipe brought to you by BigLittleMeals.com and Andy and Ann.

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 Comments

  1. theRaggedys says:

    Just in case you missed our former guest blogger David’s hilarious comment on our previous blog, we are copying it here:

    Go-To generation, eh? That could explain why Frankie is continually telling me, “Go to.” But that’s her deal, not mine. I’ll have to leave interpretation in her culpable hands. I’m a Boomer of ’46, the Boomer vanguard. It’s challenging being married to a woman of an older…ah…vintage. Just when I worry she’s gone to vinegar I discover another layer of delicious complexity. Then I take a deep, appreciative sniff and she’s back with, “Go to…”

    Like

    • theRaggedys says:

      The carrot cake is really good. We definitely recommend it (we each had about 3 pieces yesterday). Again, thanks for both commenting on and trying out some recipes – even if they’re only desserts 🙂 Come to Glen Ellen and we’ll feed you well!

      Like

  2. Bob Carleton says:

    Ha. Read this while at the zoo this a.m. Using my phone so got no pix or recipes. Excellent. I thought you’d been doing this for years! Wow! Seasoned and well-aged in every way! ThanX! so much for being there/here/everywhere. (I was walking a Kestrel on grounds this morning… a great conversation-starter.)

    Liked by 1 person

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