• by Chef Jenn Farmer •
On Saturday I was cruising down the field, feeling like an Evil Knievel daredevil. I had just swiped my son’s new motorbike from him, and I was following the “wisdom” of a bumper sticker I had read… RIDE IT LIKE YOU STOLE IT. So I shoved off, giving the little bike a good swift push with my feet, and off I went. Luckily my son’s head is large, so his helmet or “brain bucket” was just the right size for me. Even if I was being less than a great role model at that moment, I was still bound and determined to be a good influence as far as safety went. As I tore across the lawn at top speed, wind ruffling my locks, I felt alive. That was until I was outright heckled by the family. I felt alive and dangerous. But really, I was loping across the yard at a mere jog. If I was not bound by bike and the bike helmet, I could have much easily run faster. I am not exactly a spring chicken, so that isn’t saying much. As my angry child ran up alongside of me, to chastise me for being too big for his motor bike, I laughed him off, and attempted to speed away, giving her full throttle, and putting the pedal to the metal. I was not about to take it easy on him. It was comedic and laughable, as I inched ahead, thinking to myself “ if this bike had more moxie, you wouldn’t see momma for at least an hour or two little boy.” Sadly for me, my delusion was over, and the bike was easily overtaken and commandeered by my son. The little 2 horsepower motor (encumbered by my robust 5 foot 9 frame) just couldn’t outrun him.
After all that excitement, I was hungry and thirsty. And to be perfectly honest it would probably take more than just lemonade to wash down the humiliation of being overcome by a person on foot. I like the motorbike, and I don’t care that it goes slower with me upon it, I do on foot. And I do not feel one shred of embarrassment about being caught by my son, but secretly, I was hoping to take off across the field without turning back, no remorse, no shame. Speed demon city.
- 10-20 fresh local blueberries
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- One lime, juiced
- Several fresh mint leaves
- One cup ice
- One cup rum (888 hurricane rum works wonderfully)
- Splash of soda water
Muddle the berries, sugar, lime and mint in an empty glass or cocktail shaker. Them add some ice rum and soda, and shake well. Strain into a glass of ice, it should be purple or reddish colored and taste delicious. If you don’t have blueberries, use watermelon. It is about the most refreshing drink I can think of on a hot summer day, and I am not afraid to admit it. (Plus wild blueberries are just coming into season, so, double reason to make it)
Speaking of ride it like you stole it, I am going to write it like I stole it, and pass on a recipe that was considered top secret until recently, when the restaurant where I cooked this dish, perished.
Firecracker Shrimp Appetizers
Although this recipe has a dubious name, don’t be too afraid it is simple and delicious, plus the spicy level can be adjusted by using a mild curry paste instead of the spicy red one.
- 1 package fresh wonton skins
- 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Spicy red curry paste
- Enough oil to fill a fryer or deep skillet for frying
- Scallions, shredded or finely cut
- Julienne carrots
Simply rub a small amount of curry paste (half a teaspoon) on enough wonton wrappers to accommodate the amount of shrimp. Wrap the shrimp up in the wonton, folding the bottom up neatly, then dampening the corners, and sealing the sides around the shrimp body. It should have the small tail sticking out, and the rest of the “firecracker” should be sealed tight. Fry the crackers in 350 degree oil for between 2 and 6 minutes, or until the shrimp is cooked, and the wonton is crispy, but not burnt. Serve with duck sauce, or sweet and sour sauce if necessary, but personally I like the curry, and I find dipping sauce is not necessary.
Stolen “Duck” Sauce
Even though this recipe was not actually stolen, it feels that way because it takes several short cuts, but the end results don’t taste that way.
- One half cup orange marmalade
- One half cup apricot preserves
- One tablespoon soy or tamari sauce
- One tablespoon hot chili garlic sauce
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- One tablespoon orange zest
- One tablespoon lemon zest
Blend together ingredients in food processor. Enjoy with Asian cuisine.
As with most meals dessert was calling me, so I did a variation of an old school time favorite.
Oatmeal cookies with vanilla cream filling
- 2 cups raisins
- 1 and one half cup water
- 2 sticks butter
- 2 and one half cup shortening
- 4 cups brown sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 eggs separated
- 4 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- One quarter teaspoon cloves
- 4 cups oatmeal
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 4 Tablespoons milk
- 2 egg whites (pasteurized if possible)
- Pinch of salt
- 1 and one half cups butter
- One quarter teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat up raisins and water in a small pan in order to plump the raisins and get some flavorful liquid to cook with. When it comes to a boil set aside. In a large glass mixing bowl microwave or in a double boiler, melt the butter. Add 4 cups brown sugar and the shortening and mix very well. Whisk in 4 eggs and 2 egg yolks. Next incorporate the flour baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, one half cup liquid from raisins, oatmeal, and raisins. Mix well. Spray or oil cookie sheets, and scoop 12 cookies per sheet and bake for 13 to 18 minutes. Cool on racks.
For the frosting mix together 2 cups of the powdered sugar, milk, egg whites, pinch of salt, and butter. Whip together, and add up to 2 more cups powdered sugar, and vanilla. Ice the bottom of cookies, and then press together to create a sandwich cookie. Omit the frosting, and substitute ice cream for a real cool summer treat