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July 9, 2010 / gracelesswonder

I actually made something!

When I left the office on Thursday last week, I had high hopes for the weekend. If I was capable of doing a cart-wheel without personal injury, I would have.  On Friday I watched a good friend graduate from the Police Academy, had lunch at Olive Garden with him and his family, and took a nap. That’s my idea of a productive day.  🙂

Saturday I found myself at the local Farmer’s Market. It was the first time I’ve been this year, and I was almost overwhelmed. There was just so much stuff! Blackberries the size of my thumb, peaches and watermelons and more blueberries than I had ever seen in my life. Fresh herbs, goat cheese, pies and breads….. vegetables I’ve never even heard of. I walked around a little bewildered at first. The crush of people made me a bit claustrophobic. I wanted to touch and smell everything, to wander and compare, but with all the jostling and reaching it was impossible.

As I type this, it almost sounds nightmarish – but it wasn’t. It was exciting. Like being forced along with the tide at an amusement park. Instead of roller coasters, I was looking at piles of vegetables and feeling the rush of creativity instead of adrenaline. 

I left with some fresh peaches, blueberries, and tomatoes. The first produce to enter my new kitchen! I had planned on making the cheesecake s’more’s bars for a cookout – but after I saw all that beautiful fruit, I knew I had to do something with it.  My solution – let’s make both!

Sunday is where the weekend started going down hill. I pawed through the boxes in the garage, searching for my mixer. I must’ve searched every freaking box twice, and never found the damn thing. This was going to make my baking endeavors a little, uh, complicated. 

I ended up hauling everything to my mother-in-laws house, so I could make the S’mores Bars and the Blueberry Peach Crisp I was going to try. I don’t know about anyone else, but I always feel weird cooking in someone else’s kitchen. I can’t find the things I need (which, apparently I can’t do in my own house either), the oven cooks differently… it’s just…. ugh.

So, I started w/ the S’mores Cheesecake bars I went on and on about before. Aside from fighting my husband off the jar of Marshmallow Creme, it was pretty easy to make. I think I overbrowned the graham cracker crust just a tad. I actually made 2 batches – I mean, they’re S’mores Cheesecake bars after all! The first tray I didn’t brown the marshmallows as much, just a light golden color. The second I left in a bit longer- giving them a nice dark carmel colored crust on top.  Definitely better in my opinion!

All in all, they were Good. Not GOOD.   I was going for something that was so amazing, you mumbled a cuss word around the first mouthful. These were more, “Hey isn’t that cute, yeah maybe I’ll just take one more small one as I pass by” kind of good. I think there was a little too much graham cracker (or maybe it just tasted too graham cracker-y because it was a little overdone). I didn’t get that velvety chocolate I was looking for. I would definitely try them again, maybe with a bit of tweaking they’d give me what I was looking for.

Now, on to the Crisp. This is what I was looking for. This was the “Mmmm…. damn that’s GOOD!” that I was after.  I’m going to post the recipe, the link to the blog I got the inspiration from, and the photos from where I make it again this weekend next week.

Yes. I am making it again! It’s so simple, but it’s so perfect. My husband doesn’t really like fruit desserts (yeah, I know) and even he loved it. The chewyness of the rolled oats mixed with the brown sugar, the butter and the cinnamon… wow. I’m going to get some more peaches and blueberries this weekend at the Farmer’s Market and I’m going to bring it to work on Monday. The reason I’m bringing it to work is because I would eat it ALL BY MYSELF otherwise.

We ended up getting to the cookout late, we were both starving, and not much in the way of food left. In my and my husband’s family, when you say a cookout starts at 5, people start showing up at 5. You mingle, make last minute preparations, and the strangglers wander in. Everyone starts grubbing around 6 or 630. There’s enough food to feed you, your friends, your friend’s friends, and anyone who wanders in, with enough leftovers for some to-go plates wrapped in tin foil. With these people, chowtime’s at 5:01 and not much was brought, so all the good stuff’s gone at 5:08.  I was sorely disappointed! There was not a single dab of homemade potato or pasta salad, a ham biscuit, or coleslaw.   Where I come from, the dish you bring to the dinner party/cookout/etc is a source of pride.  I don’t know what happened here. It was really….. weird.  Good people, but ya’ll need to come to one of my family’s cookouts and see how you really throw down!


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