Friday, November 03, 2006

Guest Blogger...Amy Lathrop

A Recipe and A Funny Story...

Here is a yummy recipe I adopted from the Barefoot Contessa (love her recipes) for an earthy rustic Spanish dessert called crostata. It is a WAY easy hand formed pie. In France, it's also known as a gallette, but it's basically the same thing.

Mixed Berry Crostata

For the Dough: Makes 2 pies
2 1/4 cup unbleached flour
3 Tbl sugar
1 3/4 sticks butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 t0 1/2 cup ice-cold water

Place flour, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter until most of the large chunks of butter are gone. Add water 2 tablespoons at a time and mix with fork until the dough just holds together. On lightly floured surface separate dough into 2 balls. Flatten dough into disks, wrap in saran wrap and refridgerate for 20-30 minutes. You can make this dough ahead of time. It will be fine in the fridge for up to a week or you can make several and stick in the freezer until you need them. To thaw, leave on counter for 1-2 hours or in fridge overnight.

You can use whatever you have on hand: apples, berries, peaches, nectarines...anything.
This is a recipe for a Mixed Berry Crostata
3 cups berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, marionberries)
1/2 cup to 1 cup sugar (depending on sweetness of berries)
1/2 tsp freshly grated lemon peel or lemon extract
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Mix all ingrediants. If the berries are really juicy or you are using frozen, add 3 tbls of cornstarch to berries.

To assemble:
Preheat oven to 450, line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

On floured surface, roll out dough in a circle, 1/2 inch thick.
Place fruit mixture in center of dough and fold edges of dough over fruit, leaving the center open. Brush dough with cream and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar or with turbinado sugar.
Repeat with second dough.

Bake until fruit is bubbly and curst is med. brown.
Let cool 10 min.
Yum, Yum!

And here is the funny story:

A few weeks ago my husband was watching our children while I was at a catering job (I cater, too). He and the kids went to our friends' house for a dinner of clam chowder, salad and homemade bread. Sounds great, right? Well, not to my picky daughter. She took one whiff of the clam chowder, and said "I'll just have salad, please". So salad she got, smothered in ranch dressing. My daughter loathes salad dressing. Think gag reflex.

So while the others chowed down, my daughter sat there quietly. Not eating. Trying to be polite and not draw attention to herself--hoping no one would notice that she wasn't eating so she could quietly get up from the table and go play. Of course, her dad was SO on to her. After several "Maddie, you need to eat your dinner", "eat your dinner, NOW", and finally "you're not getting up from this table until you have eaten your dinner"; she was left at the table alone.

And there she sat, sour look and all. Then...she got an idea. She sneakily loaded her salad into her napkin, squished it closed in her hand and asked to go to the bathroom. Once there she triumphantly flushed the hated salad down the toilet. Mission accomplished. She then went back to the table, where she was promptly greeted with, "Maddie, did you just flush your salad down the toilet"?

CAUGHT, red handed. We all know that is the worst feeling. After trying to deny it, she knew she had to confess, and confess she did--in a crying torrent of unintelligble words. She was so embarrassed. Even now, weeks later, if you just mention the incident, she turns bright red.

It made me think of how many times in my own life I try to get away with "stuff". How I fall into the mindset that if no one knows what I've done then it's like I didn't really do it. But, that really only lasts for so long. It is in these moments, that I see God's hand. How he uses our own stubborn willfulness to grow us up. Whether we are 8 or 33, the lesson is the same. I love to look back at the person I was and compare her to the person I am today. I am thankful for the convicting Spirit of God in my life.

Amy finds herself smack in the middle of Generation X. Born in 1973 and a graduate of The Evergreen State College (think greeners, granola and bare feet liberality). She's been married for 12 years to hubby Bryce, and is mommy to two awesome kids, Dakota 9 and Madison 8. She is a woman of many directions--part-time caterer, part-time writer assistant, part-time writer, bible study leader, and official Mom-of-the-Year award winner!


At Friday, 03 November, 2006, Blogger Tricia Goyer said...

Amy, this does look easy. Like something (gasp) I could make.

My son, Nathan, does the same thing with his food. He'll never complain, he'll just sit there and then when everyone is talking start clearing the dishes. He's only caught 1/2 the time and we make him sit down and at least try it. And the other half???? Well, let me just say the dog needs to go on a diet!

At Friday, 03 November, 2006, Blogger Jim said...

I've never understood the point of forcing kids to eat things they don't like, nor of purposefully embarrassing them as punishment. I don't find this story "cute" at all - flat out bad parenting.

At Friday, 03 November, 2006, Blogger Tricia Goyer said...

"J" Hmmm ... I don't think that was the situation at all. She didn't have to eat the clam chowder right? Her dad just wanted her to eat a little salad. They were guests in people's home after all.

As a mom, I know that if I only fed my kids what they wanted to eat, then they'd live on hot dogs and mac and cheese. Sometimes we have to take a hard stand, even if our kids don't like it. My kids love veggies now, because I made them try it.

Also, we're big people here ... calling someone a bad parent isn't very nice. I know these appear as typed print on a screen, but they are real people with real feelings.

And one more thing, if all of us handled every situation perfectly there would be no need for blogging or connecting with other parents. Right?!

At Friday, 03 November, 2006, Blogger amyanne said...

"J", While we normally don't prepare things at home that our children don't like, we do expect them to eat what is put in front of them while at someone else's home. It is food that someone else paid for and spent time preparing.

There was really no reason my daughter couldn't have eaten at least a little bit of her salad. She struggles with trying to have her own way and be in control. We've been trying to teach her to do the right thing even when she doesn't "feel" like it. This was clearly a battle of wills between father and daughter.

Also, these were our best friends who were clued in to what my husband was trying to accomplish. She was not embarrassed until she was caught being devious and disrespectful.

Hope this helps explain the situation a little better.


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