Chat Leftovers: Buckle Topping, Relationship Menu Planning
Morristown, N.J.: Whenever I make a blueberry buckle (like last night) the crumbly topping is less crumbly and more hard and sort of cracks when you press a fork against it. It tastes good, it is just not the right texture. Am I adding too much/too little flour and/or sugar?
When I first discovered buckle a few years back, I too had issues with the topping, as did many MA readers. In this case, the topping was too soft (too much fat, not enough flour) and would sink into the buckle batter rather than sit on top and behave crumbly, as a buckle topping should.
After several rounds of kitchen tinkering, here's what I've come up with: a buckle topping that yields plenty of crumb with just the right amount of fat to keep it from becoming cement.
Buckle Topping, Take 68
1/2 cup granulated sugar or light brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 stick unsalted butter, cold, cut into dice
Go here for the complete recipe, with tweaks.
Sterling, Va.: Hey Kim. My bf has very simple tastes...white bread, cheese, meat and a select number of vegetables. I try to eat whole grains, lots of vegetables and stay meat-free as possible. I would like to cook more for the both of us, but the gaps between our palates seem so huge I just get overwhelmed, give up and end up settling for some horrid instant-pasta dish. Do you have any suggestions for how to 'start' identifying meals and dishes we would both like? I am floundering and would really appreciate any help I can get.
Sterling, this is not just your problem -- it's his, too. Is he wringing his hands about the weekly supper lineup as much as you are? I'm thinking a big fat No. And I'd argue that if BF wants to see some of his food represented at the table, he needs to share the responsibilities -- be it meal planning, shopping or rolling up his sleeves in the kitchen.
The burden shouldn't be yours alone to tackle -- nor should it be even if your diets were more in sync. Not that long ago, Mister MA called me from work, asking me what was for dinner. "Hmm, I don't know," I replied. "What IS for dinner?" It was a rather uncomfortable moment for us, but a powerful springboard for further discussion -- and resolution (she says, crossing her fingers).
Before we start talking about meals for all mouths, let's scrape the stuck bits from the bottom of this pot and start talking. And this weekend, tell BF that the two of you are going out on a date -- to your neighborhood farmer's market -- for ideas and inspiration.
The last word:
In response to one reader's request for yogurt-based popsicles, Kelly from Fredericksburg, Va. shared her firsthand blogged report and recipe.
In a post-chat e-mail, Kara P., of Annapolis, Md., came to the rescue with a Washington area source for locally milled flour. She and her husband, who co-write a blog, recommend checking out Wades Mill, a family-owned mill in Raphine, Va., in the Shenandoah Valley, which accepts mail orders by phone.
More from this week's What's Cooking buffet table.
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