In the past week and a half I’ve had finals, my birthday, and three days worth of travel, but I am finally home. And boy is it BORING. My family moved to Jacksonville, FL after I went to school and I haven’t been here for any longer than a two week period. This means I never have any way of finding people to know let alone time to get to know them. Basically, I watch a lot of TV. A LOT of Top Chef. And I spend a lot of time at Blockbuster renting series. I rented Showtime’s series The Tudors about King Henry VIII. HBO’s Rome (which I watched at the end of last summer over a 5 day period) was a better period piece, but I love historical fiction about the early Tudor period, so it’s enjoyable all the same.
Unlike other bloggers, I have no Amazing Cooking Mother. My dad does all the cooking. I realize now, however, that I think I ate the same 5-10 meals throughout my childhood. And I love them. They involve salmon patties, homemade macaroni and cheese, tuna melts, burgers, some dish involving noodles from a package and a protein, in my high school years we got really creative with store bought pizza crusts (ie. take whatever is in the fridge/left over and put it on the pizza with some cheese). My dad and I are totally happy living off of sandwiches. All that is relevant to now is that when I went to bake this morning we had no vanilla! I feel like vanilla extract is one of those things you just keep accumulating and you have 3-4 half bottles of vanilla in the cupboard. I actually had to go to a NEIGHBOR and borrow some.
What did I make? Well, I made the elusive clafoutis. I don’t believe I’ve ever heard this word pronounced aloud before. I did my research and found “kla-foo-tee” to be correct pronunciation (can someone confirm this?). I haven’t actually eaten clafoutis before, but all the pictures looked good and what combination of flour, sugar, eggs, butter, milk, and fruit could really be bad?
I made Blackberry and Mango Clafoutis.
After taking this picture I ate about half this piece then remembered the recipe’s suggestion to sprinkle some pistacio on top, so I added some and it was definitely a good choice. It added a great texture.
Anyway, even though we were out of vanilla it was great to be home where we at least have REAL MIXING BOWLS. And knives that work. And a dad to send to the store to buy blackberries.
I spent some time today learning how to control the white balance on my little Nikon Coolpix. I also spent some time learning how to cut mangoes. My boyfriend is the ultimate mango slicer so he usually does it when we’re at school. On my own, however, with much riper mangoes than I’m used to, it proved a little difficult. You know what? I took a picture of my mango dissection failure…I’m not even going to put it up. It’s too embarrassing.
place fruit on your buttered dish
See, my kitchen here is unfortunately very dark. In fact, this whole house has serious natural light issues. It’s a rental house. Because of this, I was very tempted to use my flash. Especially after I found a white balance for flash setting. But the blackberries, dark as they were, seemed to throw this off. Not to mention the counter top is a dark granite. It was very frustrating. Then, I still have not gotten Adobe Photoshop Elements for my Mac. I used to have it on my old PC. I was SO photoshop savvy way back when in my super duper scrapbooking days.
I so love the contrast in this fruit. Although I complicated my photography, I found the clafoutis quite simple to make! Whisk some stuff together and pour it over fruit.
For some reason I was having some focusing problems with my camera which was a little weird. My favorite thing about this dish? The way the blackberries floated to the surface of the batter, and appear as these little purple clusters of dots just below the surface. My daddy messed up my picture of my whole clafoutis because he picked a couple of those very same blackberries off of the top! I guess I can’t blame him.
I borrowed the recipe from Mandy’s blog: Fresh from the Oven.
So how was my very first taste of clafoutis? Great! Actually, no, it was better once I put the pistachios on. I think it’s a little too eggy of a dish for me. But that MIGHT be because I had a fried egg for breakfast, and quiche for lunch, and then a second slice of this! Oops. In fact I still haven’t had dinner.
On that note, I think I’ll make myself a sandwich and get back to watching my current tv show obsession: The Wire. This is because, unfortunately, the second season of The Tudors is airing now and I don’t get showtime. Also, I’m not willing to hunt it down online because one of the best parts of the show is ogling the detail put into costuming and set. (But for a fabulous endorsement of why you should watch The Wire, skip on over to one of my professors’ blog, Just TV, and poke around.)
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