It's a great feeling to be inspired. Sometimes that inspiration comes from the darndest of places.
I was lazing around early Friday morning because I had the day off, flipping through movies on a gloomy May day. I stumbled across that Catherine Zeta-Jones movie No Reservations. It had just started and I hadn't seen it, it was about food, Aaron Eckhart is easy on the eyes- 3 reasons that made it good enough for me.
If you've seen the movie (and probably even if you haven't), you know that while it's not exactly Oscar-worthy, it's a cute chick flick that satiates the sweet/sappy craving that some people feel at one time or another. But if you're a cook at heart, it also kind of gets your burners fired up. Since I had the whole day to myself, cooking is what I did.
I got out all of my mom's old cookbooks from throughout the years and spread them around my living room floor. They were stacked high but not at all intimidatingly so. I carefully looks through each one, separating them into piles of good, no good, and downright hilarious. It was so fun reading through them, coming across some of my big grandma's (which we lovingly called her because she had a big house) newspaper clippings that were neatly folded and tucked away inside the books. My big grandma was a great cook. I wish that she had been around longer so I could have learned some of her recipes and cooked with her. I loved, so much, finding these hidden little gems so many years later (and I can't wait to make her newfound beloved recipes).
I can't explain it well, but it felt like I was going back in time when I read these recipes. The recipes were so different from what you'd find in current mainstream cookbooks, food TV and the foodie blogosphere that I frequent. One of the New Orleans Donut recipes called for the little pillows of dough to be deep fried in fat. What does that even mean? Most recipes today hold your hand through the entire process. Is it lard? Canola Oil? Crisco? Halp?!
I have many-a-recipe now dogeared, awaiting my attention, but the first one I went for came out of this book:And the recipe that I based mine off of (I only altered the frosting):
*Old Fashioned PB Bars*
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
2/3 cup butter or margrine
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
8 oz good quality semi sweet chocolate
2/3 cup cream
Combine peanut butter, butter or margarine and vanilla in a large bowl: beat with electric beater until well-blended; beat in sugar until light and fluffy; beat in eggs, one at a time.
Stir in flour and salt just until well-blended;spread batter in a greased 13x9x2 inch baking pan.
Bake in moderate oven (350) for 35 minutes or until center springs back when lightly touched with fingertip. Remove pan from oven to wire rack; cool.
Heat your cream in a heavy saucepan just until you almost see a boil, but don't let it boil. Take the cream off the heat and stir in your chocolate until smooth.
Slather the top of the cool cake with the frosting.