Friday, July 24, 2009

the fun has begun

We are doing Christmas in July. The table runners have been cut and the machine is ready to go. The pattern is cute. It is a quilt as you go and the Robert Kaufman fabrics are scrumptious. I have been sewing and Jean has been cooking! We have a rhubarb pie, creamy slaw, and deviled eggs under way. This afternoon the biscuits will be started and the baked bean casserole assembled. And those cookies called "Rocks" just came out of the oven. I think we have done enough cooking for today.

On Saturday the weather cooperated enough for the sailboat regatta. So we had entertainment while we recreated our "Sussex, NJ" Sunday picnic.

We will serve the biscuits with peaches, raspberries and real whipped cream!

Orange Shortcake Biscuits

3 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
zest of 1 orange, finely chopped
6 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
2/3 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup half and half

2 tablespoons half and half for brushing the tops of biscuits
1-2 tablespoons raw sugar for sprinkling on tops of biscuits

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. Whisk to blend. Add orange zest. Whisk. Cut the butter into tablespoon size pieces and cut into flour with your fingers or a pastry blender. Work until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Make a well in the center of the mixture and pour in the creams. Mix until dough just starts to come together in a ball. Turn dough onto a slightly floured surface and knead 2-3 times until it just comes together. Do not overwork. Roll or pat to 3/4 inch thickness. Cut with 2-2 ½ inch biscuit cutter or just cut into squares or triangle. Place on parchment lined sheet pan. Brush with cream and sprinkle tops with raw sugar. Bake in a preheated 375° oven for 20 minutes or until biscuits are lightly browned on top and flaky in the center. These are a cross between a scone and a shortcake.

Jean brought recipes and ideas and even a big hunk of barbecued pork which we will have on Sunday when we have a big crowd. We will start cooking again tomorrow. We cooked a flank steak on the grill with spice rub that she brought with her. Tomatoes and corn completed the meal. Easy - we could sit and watch Jack grill.

Meat spice rub
1/3 Kosher salt
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup sweet paprika
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons oregano
2 tablespoons thyme
This a wonderful rub. Sweet but with a little kick. Rub the meat with vegetable or olive oil and massage the rub over the surface. Keep the mixture in an air tight container.
I had to have another one of Dee's paintings for the cabin. There used to be a stove pipe behind those boards. Everyone looked up there anyway so I put something up there to look at! Dee Smart at Sweet Laurel does these paintings and they can go inside or outside.
There will be more recipes and pictures later this week. I need to get everything organized.

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