Sunday, October 28, 2007

Going Biblical

Chana started a fun-looking biblical character meme recently. I thought that answering the questions would be an easy way to produce a quick non-culinary post, but then I realized that they weren't easy to answer at all. Here are my best responses for now:

Which biblical character do you feel you are most like?
Often, I think I'm most like like Isaac: a quiet, gullible type who generally does as he's told. Other times, I think I'm more like Eve.

Which biblical character would you marry?
This was harder to answer than I expected. Barak is an obvious choice — he's very loyal — but I don't feel like I know him very well. Elisha can do lots of neat tricks, but he's bald and I don't think he's very good with children. Bilaam has a great ass, but that's about it. (Yeah, I know. Sorry.) I might be able to learn to love Jacob, even though he is a bit of a jerk at times. But if I were Isaac, he would be my son, and that isn't even legal in Massachusetts. So I really don't know. Boaz, maybe? He seems nice. And he's rich, which doesn't hurt.

Which biblical character would you want on your team (or on your side, during a war?)
I'm going to have to be unoriginal and go with YHWH (a.k.a. God).

Which biblical character would you want to be close friends with?
Ruth. I know she'd always be there for me. Also, she has balls (metaphorically speaking, of course), which I kind of admire.

Which biblical character do you think would make an excellent Disney villain?
I'm going to be unoriginal again and choose Haman. He's devious and thoroughly evil, but also a bit of a buffoon. Disney seems to like that in a villain.

Join in the fun! (You can see some more responses here, here, and here.)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Whole Grain Apple Cake with Bourbon Sauce

Looks like I'm late to the SHF game again. The posts were due at midnight and it's now 12:22. Typical timing (though I really was working on something much more important). Maybe Spitton Extra will be gracious and admit me, anyway. If not, my loyal readers will still get the recipe.

This month's theme is apples and alcohol. This was convenient for me, since I already had an 8-inch whole grain apple cake in the freezer and was trying to come up with an accompaniment. I settled on bourbon sauce.

The cake recipe is based on "Legacy Apple Cake" in King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking. I clipped it from the Boston Globe, where it was published on May 31, 2006. The sauce recipe is from Adger House B&B (I found it through Google). My only significant change to both recipes was to substitute Earth Balance sticks for butter. All in all, it was a good dessert. The cake was a little bit crumbly, but otherwise it averted the usual pitfalls of whole grain baking: it was nice and moist and not at all bitter. The bourbon sauce was very intense. It would be a great booster for one of those non-dairy ice creams.

Whole Grain Apple Cake with Bourbon Sauce


Makes 9x13-inch rectangular cake or two 8-inch square or 9-inch round cakes

Butter, margarine, or vegetable oil spray for the pan
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, plus more for the pan (the original calls for King Arthur brand traditional or white whole wheat; I used Arrowhead Mills pastry flour because I had it)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter or margarine)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice, or 2 teaspoons apple pie spice
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, preferably unsalted
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup boiled cider or apple juice concentrate
3 apples, peeled, seeded, and chopped (don't ask me what size)
1 cup walnuts, chopped (I substituted pecans)

1. Set oven at 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x13-inch pan or 2 smaller pans (see above).

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice or apple pie spice; set aside.

3. Using an electric mixer in a large mixing bowl, cream the butter or margarine with the brown and granulated sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, stopping between each addition to scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl. Beat in vanilla and cider or apple juice.

4. With the mixer set on low speed, beat in the flour mixture until evenly moistened. With a rubber spatula, fold in the apples and nuts.

5. Spread the batter in the prepared pan. Transfer to the oven and bake for 45 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

6. Remove the cake from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool completely.


1/2 cup brown sugar
3 teaspoons butter or margarine
1/4 cup Bourbon

Melt butter over medium heat. Add brown sugar and Bourbon. Simmer on low heat, stirring often to cook off some of the alcohol, about 5 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature, spooned over the cake.

I took a picture of the cake, but I can't find the cable for my digital camera, so it'll have to wait. (I'll post the pic whenever I find the cable, which I hope will be soon.) In any case, head over to Spitoon Extra this Friday for all the SHF recipes (which may or may not include this one). I'm sure it'll be great.

Hey, man, I thought that you were dead. . .

...No, man, I've been right here this whole time
playing bass guitar

I don't actually play guitar, but that's a pretty cute clip, don't you think? (Lyrics are here. Hat tip to PaleoJudaica.) Anyway, the point is, I'm not dead. I just haven't been blogging because my computer crashed at the beginning of September, and then classes started (I'm teaching Hebrew for the first time), and there were the holidays, and then I guess I just fell out of the habit. I'll post again soon, though, with a recipe, and there will be some non-food-related content later on.