Well, it has been a while. I have had you on my mind every day but just didn’t make the time to write. Notice that I didn’t say that I “couldn’t find” the time because that is never true. One can always find the time if one tries. I was focusing on other things that seem to take me away from writing. Anyway, here I am.
April and May were busy with olive oil competitions. I was invited to judge at the Napa Valley Olive Oil Competition in Calistoga. It was great fun. I didn’t take any pictures that day. I think that was due to the cold weather. We were inside all day with our coats on. I, also, had the opportunity to venture out a little. I tried out for a Honey Panel at UC Davis and was accepted. So, now on Tuesdays, I’m tasting honey. Olive Oil is my passion but I’ve got to say that Honey is a lot of fun. It’s so yummy, too. It’s very exciting to try something so different. I am being exposed to different aromas and tastes. The bad news to that is that I am even more sensitive to smells wherever I go. I am always trying to relate smells to honey or olive oil aromas. It’s weird. My EVOO panel leader had warned us about this. Sue was right.
The beginning of May brought me a family visitor from out of state. It was someone that I didn’t know well, so, it was fun showing him around and getting to know him better.
We went to San Francisco for the day and I had breakfast at one of my favorite places to eat, the Cliff House. Unfortunately, it was foggy so the view wasn’t the best but the food was wonderful as always. I ate my fill of popovers. I don’t think I have had popovers anywhere else but there. My mom never made them. If you have never had them, let me explain how heavenly they are. The outer layer is crusty. Once you open it, you find a large pocket of air. The inner pastry reminds me of a very thin Yorkshire Pudding, soft and custard like.
On a whim, the night before Mother’s Day, I looked up the recipe to see how difficult they are to make. To my surprise, they are very easy. Have you ever tried to make these? I decided to try them for my breakfast the next day. The only problem I was that I don’t own a popover pan. I had to use my 6 oz. glass custard cups which I usually appropriate for flan.
Sunday morning, I woke up early and started my popover experience. I’m not sure if you can tell through my writing but I can be a little bull-headed at times. The recipe called for greasing the cups with shortening or “spray”. I am against the sprays because I worry about what’s in them. One of these days, I’ll go out and buy a can and we can talk about it some more. For the moment, just understand that I don’t have any in the house. So, I figured shortening is just vegetable oil in solid form. This is another thing that doesn’t “feel” right to me. I do have some in the pantry and will use small quantities in a few Christmas treats or pie crusts but I try to limit the use of this fat also. You can imagine that I thought of my two stand-by’s: butter and olive oil. Since I was using olive oil in the recipe, I opted to grease the custard cups with olive oil. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out too well. I’m not sure if I overcooked the popovers but next time I’m going to try butter or better yet, buy a non-stick popover pan.
The bottoms stuck to the glass cups but the popovers were still very yummy. I ate them with gusto, butter and a cup of coffee.
Shortening or Nonstick Spray to grease pan
1 cup Milk
1 Tbl. Olive Oil
3/4 cup Unbleached Flour
1/2 tsp. Salt
Grease Popover Pan or 5 6-oz. custard cups. Set aside. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Beat Eggs, Milk and Olive Oil with a whisk or beater in a medium bowl. Beat until mixture is well blended.
Add Flour and Salt.
Beat until mixture is blended but still a bit lumpy, like with pancakes.
Fill the popover or custard cups halfway. Bake for 40 minutes or till crusts are very firm. Don’t peek.
Turn off oven. Remove and prick with a fork to let out the steam. Return popovers to the oven for 5-10 minutes until desired crispness. Serve hot.
Each popover contains 164 Calories, 8 g. Fat, 6 g. Protein, 16 g. Carbs.
The music to listen to is anything by Tony Bennett, of course. I like his Duet 1 CD. There is a lovely rendition of “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” on it.
So, this is how my cups looked after I took the popovers out. Disappointing but they still tasted great.