Thursday, May 20, 2010

How To Perk Up A Rainy Day

I have it on good authority, from a neighbor who is a Californian by birth and has lived here her entire life, that this crappy weather is not normal. The weather forecasters claim that we were just spoiled by the sunny, dry drought years but my friend Kate denies that heatedly.

Oh, thank heavens!

I moved to California about 13 years ago to escape the gloom of western New York. When I got divorced, I knew that wherever I lived, it would be sunnier than I had experienced for the past 20+ years. For the most part, California has fulfilled that wish. The frequent morning fogs don't bother me as long as the sun shines from about 10am on. When I awoke to another rainy day, long after the rains normally end, I was in a blue funk.

After rolling out of bed, letting Cora out and picking up the newspaper in a spitting drizzle, I headed for the kitchen and saw a basket of fresh strawberries, a sure day brightener. Then I remembered I had a new recipe to try - one for strawberry clafouti - and the day took on an even happier aspect. Once the clafouti came out of the oven and I was sharing it with the hot tub repairman who even braved the rain on our behalf, bless his heart, the sun might as well have been shining.

The recipe comes straight out of Sunset magazine - I made no changes. I'd suggest you do, however, if you make it. A little spice would have been nice - some cinnamon? a little allspice? perhaps a little lemon zest? It was fine, and particularly fine warm just out of the oven, but it would have been even better with some flavor layers in addition to the vanilla.

Still, it proved to be the day brightener I needed and the hot tub guy was pleased, too.

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Blogger Louis la Vache said...

Zoomie, a whisper of lemon zest gives just the right zing to this clafouti. «Louis» also adds lemon zest to his recette for blueberry clafouti.

Thursday, May 20, 2010  
Blogger kudzu said...

The most interesting clafouti I ever ate was one that MFK Fisher served at lunch one late September day. It was made with several varieties of red wine grapes and their less-sweet qualities made it really appealing. (And the fact that it was baking in her open kitchen when we arrived, giving us all a scented welcome, was a bonus.)...I've always loved this dessert that you can make all year round with whatever good fruit you have on hand.

Thursday, May 20, 2010  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Lucky hot tub guy!

I'd change one other thing in the recette (I love the lemon rind idea): It uses too much vanilla, in my opinion. I like vanilla, but I must be sensitive to it. Even a single teaspoon might be too much for me. Wanna taste the fresh fruit!

Your clafouti came out just beautiful.

Thursday, May 20, 2010  
Blogger Anna Haight said...

Gorgeous Zoomie! It fairly leaped from the page into my eyes and down to my tastebuds which tingled!

Thursday, May 20, 2010  
Blogger Ms Brown Mouse said...

It's a beautiful clafouti!
Isn't if funny, I've been quite cheery with a spring in my step for the last couple of days, all because it's been cold and raining!
Different strokes eh? :)

Friday, May 21, 2010  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Louis, I like lemon with blueberries, too, so why not strawberries! I'll try it next time.

Kudzu, you've actually _eaten_ with MFK Fisher??? I recall you've also met Jacques Pepin. I'm envious.

Cookiecrumb, pretty is as pretty does - I'll try your idea of less vanilla along with the lemon zest idea. Thanks.

Anna, yes, I was pleased with the photo.

Ms Mouse, yes, but we don't have the extremes of heat that you suffer from in your summers. It rarely rises above 75 F here. We've had 188% of normal rain this year so everyone is crabby when the sun doesn't shine.

Friday, May 21, 2010  

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