I taught a fabulous Provence cuisine class today that let us all channel our inner Julia Child. Two star recipes emerged and I wanted to share them with you! Please enjoy a gorgeous, eye-appealing and tantalizing salad with light and delicate homemade French rolls. C’est Manifique!
What a delicious way to combine Mother’s Day with a delicious Spring Pie! This Heart Shaped Strawberry Pie has a sweet history that’s worth remembering! In 1949 if you had wanted to know about rural life in Iowa, you would have looked to Evelyn Birkby, the newspaper columnist, author, and radio personality who for almost 60 years shared stories of farm life, recipes and tales from her own country kitchen. Evelyn was also one of the famed “Radio Homemakers” who, for 40 years broadcast across a five-state area on radio station KMA in Shenandoah, Iowa. (In the 1950s, domesticity dominated the lives of most rural Iowa women. Somewhat isolated on the farm, many relied on the radio to hear a friendly voice. The KMA Radio Homemakers were the ones they turned to for advice and information about cooking, gardening, household hints and beauty tips.) Evelyn Birkby was by far the most popular of the “neighbors on the air,” helping women with everything from menu planning to child rearing. For more than a quarter century Evelyn was a regular monthly columnist for Kitchen-Klatter Magazine, and broadcast on the syndicated Kitchen-Klatter radio program. Birkby is the author of ten books radio homemakers. Her book Up a Country Lane stitches together stories, photographs and recipes from Iowa farm life in the 1940s and 1950s. The Strawberry Pie in Up a Country Lane is reflective of all of the recipes in the cookbook. They are fun, simple, and were often sent in to Evelyn from her adoring radio fans and newspaper readers. While so many recipes for Strawberry Pie use a strawberry gelatin as a thickener, the
natural pureed strawberries in this version really gives this pie a through and through fresh strawberry flavor. I think you Mom will enjoy a little neighborly Iowa hospitality with Evelyn Birkby’s summertime favorite!
I’ve always thought this cake is perfect for Easter time with its fluffy white frosting. Elaine Nall’s Italian Crème Cake is just plain crazy, out-of-this-world delicious. Period. The recipe was given to Elaine, a longtime Scottsdale educator, more than 40 years ago and it has withstood the “friends and family favorite” test ever since. It’s apparently the most requested dessert at Nall Family birthdays, anniversaries, holiday gatherings and even at Elaine’s church group—the one that has met for four decades every Christmas for a White Elephant sale. I’m just happy that when daughter-in-law Donna Nall quietly mentioned to me that Elaine was famous in the family for this cake, I paid attention. In between three ever so rich-tasting layers of buttermilk cake is a luscious slather of cream cheese and pecan icing. Yes, it’s absolutely perfect for Easter, or Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, just because, for no reason…
Watch my How To Video for Italian Crème Cake here!