Monday, January 10, 2011
Molly MacRae: Meet Bitsy, She Puts the Noise in Annoying
Molly: Hi, welcome back to Vintage Cookbooks where we’re meeting characters from their new book, Lawn Order. With me is protagonist Margaret Welch. Margaret is a bookseller in Stonewall, Tennessee. Joining us is her sister, Bitsy. Good morning, Bitsy. How are you?
Bitsy: This is so exciting. I’m fine, thank you. (Smiling at Molly while whispering from behind her hand to Margaret: Margaret, I can’t believe you wore that sweater.)
Molly: Maybe I should mention that we’re using topnotch microphones.
Bitsy: Oh. Well, I was just telling Margaret it’s a relief she’s feeling so much better. She had a cold. Anyway, I understand you’re collecting spicy and flaming recipes and I’ve loved every single one so far.
Margaret: You made the Beanie-Weenie?
Bitsy: Um, I haven’t gotten around to . . . I’ve loved reading all the great recipes and I’m so glad you contributed Leona’s Salmon Loaf, Margaret. I haven’t thought about that since forever. Actually, I’m amazed you kept track of the recipe card all this time.
Margaret: I use it as a bookmark in The New New Can-Opener Cookbook.
Bitsy: That explains a lot. I’m also kind of surprised you could even think about eating fish after what happened to Doug’s fishpond. Ugh.
Molly: (interrupting) So, Bitsy, what recipe did you bring? Spicy or flaming?
Bitsy: It’s cake with a kick! Now, I haven’t actually tried this yet, but it sounds delish, and Margaret told me how much our host, Amy, loves prunes. So, what with the prunes and the teaspoon of pepper, I thought Pepper Cake with Pumpkin and Prunes would be perfect.
Molly: No question but Amy will love it. Thanks, Bitsy. And thank you all for stopping by. We’ve been talking with Margaret and Bitsy from their new book, Lawn Order. Next Monday their cousin, Leona, joins us. She sent me an email with a hint about her recipe – something about flaming tea. Should be interesting!
Pepper Cake with Pumpkin and Prunes
(from Maida Heatter's Best Dessert Book Ever)
Yield: 20 Slices
1 ½ c Flour
1 t. Baking soda
1 t. Cinnamon
1 t. Ginger
½ t. Nutmeg
¼ t. Cloves
¼ t. Salt
6 oz Prunes, dried but soft/moist pitted (1 cup)
3 oz Preserved stem ginger in syrup (1/3 c diced)
1 c. Walnuts
8 T. Unsalted butter
1 t. Black pepper, fine ground
½ c light brown sugar, packed
½ c Sugar
1 c. Unsweetened, canned pumpkin
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter and flour 8-cup loaf pan (10 1/4 by 3 3/4 by 3 1/4 inches).
Sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and salt and set aside. Cut prunes into 1/4-inch slices. Drain ginger lightly and cut into very thin slices or small dice. Break nuts into coarse pieces.
Beat butter until soft. Add black pepper and then both sugars and beat to mix well.
Beat in the eggs and then the pumpkin. Beat in the prunes, ginger, and walnuts. Then, on low speed, add sifted dry ingredients and beat only until incorporated.
Turn into prepared pan and spread even. Bake for about 1 hour 40 minutes, until a cake tester gently inserted in middle comes out dry. Cool cake in pan for about 15 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on rack.