Apple Cake

Apple Cake 2

After two months of experimenting with Nonnie’s busted binder of recipes, I’ve discovered two things to be true.

The first: Nonnie’s savory recipes are hit or miss. For every deliciously browned, crispy-on-the-outside-soft-on-the-inside oven-roasted potato, there’s a nasty onion parade or questionable amalgamation of boxed mac and cheese, tomatoes, and canned tuna. (Not that we didn’t eat the whole pan of the latter anyway.)

The second: When it comes to pastries, though, Nonnie knew her shit. Continue reading

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Coffee Cake 4One of the best and weirdest parts about working in media is the sheer number of perfect strangers who line up to give you stuff for free.

Case in point: This spring, for reasons I still don’t totally understand, I was invited to a party celebrating the various different types of flours manufactured by Bob’s Red Mill. (Seriously, the invite was a total mystery; I hadn’t even started my incredibly well-trafficked food blog yet.)

Because I figured (rightly) that such a party would involve not only the standard open bar but also a variety of professionally made baked goods, I jumped at the chance to attend. Continue reading

Polka Daters

Polka Daters 1

Expansive as it is, there are a few major recipes missing from Nonnie’s cookbook — things I keep going back and looking for, only to be surprised all over when I realize again that they’re not there.

There’s no simple roast chicken recipe, for instance, even though I know Nonnie must’ve roasted billions of birds in her day. (Maybe it’s not in there because Nonnie thought only a moron would need to follow a recipe in order to roast a chicken — “just turn the oven on and stick it in! You need me to draw you a map?”) There’s no kugel, either, although Nonnie made an ethereal noodle pudding that my mom’s been trying to recreate for 40 years. To this day, she swears it never comes out like Nonnie’s did. Continue reading