Good food makes its way into my stories. Here are some companion recipes to pair with your enjoyment of Smoke, Steel, & Ivy. Find me and tell me about your culinary adventures.
I adore jam. I have no interest in the process of canning it, and I do not want to be responsible for anyone getting botulism. So this is fridge jam. After it cools down enough not to break or damage your fridge, that’s where it lives for the next week or so. If it lasts that long.
2 generous cups of frozen berries
1/4 cup of sugar
Juice of one lemon
Add all ingredients to small saucepan. Heat over medium heat stirring frequently. Bring to a boil. Simmer, stirring near constantly, until berries deflate and mixture becomes…jammy. Pour into clean jar. I save Bonne Maman jars for just this purpose. Let cool. Cover. Refrigerate. Enjoy. You can substitute 3 tablespoons honey for the sugar. Frozen strawberries are my favorite. Mr. Trent prefers mixed berries.
My grandmother made these. I have cherished memories of making them with her. I now make them with my kids and serve them with butter, jam, Nutella, whipped cream, and/or powdered sugar. Plain butter was my favorite as a kid. Butter and strawberry jam is my favorite as a grown woman. Below is the family recipe, courtesy of my sister, but you do you. Working with yeast is an adventure in alchemy.
Proof one package of yeast in a cup of warm water. Add a teaspoon of sugar. Stir and then let it sit covered for 15 minutes or until frothy.
2 and 1/4 cups of white flour (you’ll need more for kneading)
1/3 cup canola oil (plus an abundance of more for frying)
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoons of salt
Mix all these ingredients in a large bowl. Add the yeast/water/sugar mixture and mix some more. Knead. You’re looking for a smooth elastic dough, so if you need more water or flour add accordingly as you knead. I know, going off of feel can be frustrating, but you can do this.
Let the dough rise in a clean, covered bowl in the fridge overnight (or all day if you’re making these for dinner…. Just not longer… if you do less, the flavor won’t be quite right).
Punch it down. Roll it out. Cut into squares. Tug a bit at the edges of each square (like you’re on the Great British Bakeoff, holding the dough up to the light). Fry in canola oil (one side, then another–you’re looking for golden brown on each side). Drain on paper towels or a cooling rack. Serve hot. Enjoy.
‘Amy Was A Fighter’ Ice Cream
My grandfather had an ice cream named after him at his alma mater, and I have forever thought this was the dopest accolade anyone could ever have. Don’t wait for a uni to validate your contribution to humanity, do like Jade and Matthew and create your own for you and yours! Remember, a flavor of ice cream in your namesake needs to say something about who you are, your defining narrative, your fight.
1 can coconut milk
2 cups chocolate almond milk (the sweet kind)
3/4 cup blue agave syrup
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 scant tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4-5 candy canes (optional)
Blend everything in a blender (like Vitamix or its ilk). If you have candy canes on hand (and you would if you were celebrating my birthday), add them in once the mixture is consistent. Blend until smooth. Chill in fridge for an hour while you go write or read something. Pour mixture into your ice cream maker of choice. Follow its best practices until you have ice cream. Listen to “Amy’s Song” by Switchfoot. Put your feet up and contemplate your defining narrative while you enjoy.
Note: I’m not vegan, but life has created situations where I’ve had to eliminate dairy, gluten, soy and other goodies from my and my family’s diet. I am proud of the work I did in that season, especially since it was erased at every meal.