Strawberry Shortcakes

This is a very special post. For many reasons. For one thing this is the first of the 5 that will complete the 100 recipes on the blog. Very special. It is dedicated to my eternal second home the good old state of Florida. There were the South opened its arm and welcome me. A desert with character and the true meaning of soul food. Also it was created only days after a dream just died and took me back to square 1. Not the first time. But enough with emotions. Let ’s go together and see what makes this desert so special, so incredible and so surprisingly fresh.

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Lost and Found: A Pie

I am sure you have lost at some point something. Your keychain, your wallet, your pen, your lighter, your dignity… And many of these items you wish you can get back: Your keychain, your wallet, your pen, your lighter, your dignity… Especially your dignity. The last one however is pretty much unrecoverable. But for the rest you can hope. And actually Greeks have gone to great lengths to strengthen their hope. They have a saint for that and it is very popular. His Name St. Fanourios loosely translates to appear, so it is considered the St. that makes lost things appear again. To his honor there is a pie that is made to commemorate his abilities and acknoedge him. And here is when things get culinary interesting. When tradition, religion and superstition meet, the mix is quite interesting. First of all there is a restriction that requires that you either use 7 or 9 ingredients. That is ok as long as there are other specific guidelines for the types or kinds of the ingredients. If not, the someone can easily cheats by adding nuts, or raisins, or fruits artificially raising the number of ingredients to the target value. So I will follow that rule just because tradition dictates but only to a certain point. I will not count for example almonds and walnuts as two ingredients, they are just nuts. The strangest of all, however, is that Greek orthodox tradition requires that deserts are made according to the lent rules: No Eggs, No Dairy and No Meat.
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Dulce de Leche – Milk Jam

Dulce de Leche is one more fine contribution to my culinary education from the south of the border school. It is fine sauce and since the previous post was about cheesecake, the finest dairy concoction, I thought of staying in the same mood. Diary stuff. Dulce de leche was a way of preserving milk in a similar way that jams and preserves are to preserve fruit. I assume that this is the way dulce was envisioned and started. It probably originated rom the la lecheda, a warm sugar and milk beverage, drunk in Argentina. As a sauce dulce de leche resembles caramel but since the major sweetness comes from lactose, the  milk sugar, it is not as overwhelming and the flavor is a little more delicate.  Continue reading

Blueberry Mufins

Blueberry season around the corner and here in Florida the local farms have started the pick-your-own extravaganza. And as an adopted floridian I could help but jump in the train and do some picking on my own. Interesting fruit the blueberry. We call it blueberry where it is actually purple. It is one of the fine contributions to the new world to the americas.

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