Eden Hill Journal

Comments, dreams, stories, and rantings from a middle-aged native of Maine living on a shoestring and a prayer in the woods of Maine. My portion of the family farm is to be known as Eden Hill Farm just because I want to call it that and because that's the closest thing to the truth that I could come up with. If you enjoy what I write, email me or make a comment. If you enjoy Eden Hill, come visit.

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Location: Maine, United States

Monday, October 09, 2017

Gabrielle Louise

I've been on a bit of a health foods kick today. I made my whole wheat bread and it was baked and out of the oven by eleven this morning. Then it was on to a pot of black bean chili started in a base of fresh-pressed wild apple cider that my wife and I pressed Saturday afternoon at her brother's place. All the time I was cooking I was listening to a new CD my wife bought of a mature young female Colorado folk singer.
Here's how all those things tie together.
I needed to have the health food kick today to recover from eating this enormous pastrami Rubin at a family gathering of my wife's brother's wife's family Saturday afternoon after we had finished making the cider. It was a restaurant meal and was supposed to be by reservation so we crashed the party about an hour, maybe an hour-and-a-half late thinking everyone would be having desert by then and we'd just have a desert but oh no, the meal hadn't even been served so we each had a Sam Adams OCTOBERFEST and ordered a meal. Mine was pastrami on rye - stuffed (!!!) with pastrami.
I'm not much of a meat eater but not because I don't like a good Rubin, or for that matter a good feed of just about any good meat. Not eating meat is a health thing for me. So today I just needed to pig out on fiber!
So there's that connection. Now to the music which is also connected to the family gathering at the restaurant.
The family gathering was celebrating the presence of a charming young musician member of the family who had agreed to come to Maine to perform for family and friends at a tiny fireman's hall in her grandmother's tiny (by small-town Maine standards) town. It was at that event where my wife bought her newest CD and that's what I was listening to this morning. The musician's name is Gabrielle Louise.
A little confession here...
At the restaurant we sat at the same table as Gabrielle and her mother and I did my very best, a genuine manly effort, to ignore this very attractive tall blonde female, Gabrielle. Nobody even introduced us. At the evening performance where she was by far even more attractive I did the same thing, seriously trying to ignore her.
I was able to keep up the effort through at least the first two or three songs, but she is one convincing musician. Her music broke down my resistance and by the end of the show I was - let's say - about as firm on my conviction to ignore her as melted chocolate. My cause was lost.
Anyway, her last song Saturday was by request. I have found it on YouTube. It's called Try the Door. She performs it here at eTown Hall in Boulder.

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Mara's One One One Peanut Butter Cookies

Here's a recipe for quick and simple but outstandingly delightful peanut butter cookies. All you need are three ingredients for cookies that melt in your mouth with flavor.

One egg
One cup of sugar
One cup of peanut butter

Mara never told me how to go about combining these three ingredients or how to bake the cookies and being a guy I was too embarrassed to ask, so I have been experimenting. The last two times I made these cookies I beat the egg first and then mixed in the sugar until they were blended well. No need for an electric mixer. Then I mixed in the peanut butter until the dough had an even texture. Then it's onto greased cookie sheets and into the oven. Simple as that!

The last two times I made these I used different oven temperatures and different cooking times. The first was one single giant cookie baked below 300 degrees oven temperature and the cookie came out a bit undercooked which means it broke easily coming off the cookie sheet but was enormously soft and tasty!
The most recent try I used a 325 degree oven and baked the 16 cookies for 30 minutes. They came out overcooked but not burned. They had quite a crunch once they were cooled down.
So I'm tempted to use a 300 degree oven and bake for 30 minutes next time I make these.
Update: Mara suggests baking at 350 until the bottoms of the cookies begin to get brown (but see my January 2018 update below).

I have tried adding other ingredients to the recipe. Coconut didn't work and neither did cocoa powder. The cookies lost their charm that way. But I have tried chocolate chips and the cookies were still delightfully delicious. They also do well with rolled oats. I used a half cup of rolled oats in my most recent two batches with good results.

Update January 2018:

I seem to have a routine worked out now for making these cookies so I'll share that with my readers.
I now use a cheap hand-held two-blade electric mixer to beat the egg to a foam and then to mix in the sugar until the batter is creamy smooth. Then I mix in the peanut butter using a spoon.
I make from twelve to sixteen cookies rolling each one into a round ball by hand before placing them on the cooking sheet lightly greased with, of all things, wheat germ oil. Then I flatten them with a fork first in one direction and then crossways in the typical peanut butter cookie fashion. This works well for me even when I add chocolate chips to the dough.
I bake in an oven preheated to between 310 and 315 degrees, baking for fifteen minutes, then remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet before attempting to remove them.

Mara told me this recipe came from her grandmother so I want to thank both Mara and her grandmother and I'll bet if you try them yourself, you will too!

These go on the menu for sure.