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In honor of the upcoming Tour de Cluck here in Davis I thought I would post one of my favorite recipes that uses eggs. I have a small backyard flock, 3 hens, and they each lay about an egg a day. 21 eggs a week! For someone who doesn’t like eggs for breakfast, that is a LOT of eggs. I do love to bake, however. Searching for recipes that use a lot of eggs led me to my trusty “American Woman’s Cookbook” published in 1948. The American Woman's CookbookEvery home needs a comprehensive cookbook like this. Other similar cookbooks would include The Joy of Cooking or the Fanny Farmer Cookbook. The many chapters of arcane food information include:  “Useful Facts about Food”, “Soup Accessories” “Entrees and Made-Over Dishes” and “Cookies, Gingerbreads, and Small Cakes”, where I found the recipe for cream puffs.

These are not the cream puffs you can get at Costco, frozen and filled with some unidentified white, sweet filling.

These are substantial, puffy and light all at the same time. I like them as a base for savory or sweet fillings. To me they are equally good with a slice of cheese and a bit of meat, or drizzled w/ honey, or split and filled with freshly whipped cream.

I double the recipe, which uses 8 eggs. To start I get all the ingredients together, which is a cooking term called, “mise en place”

Ingredients: 2 sticks of butter, 2 cups sifted flour, 2 cups boiling water, and 8 eggs.

sifted flour

eggs and butter

So to make Cream Puffs:

  1. Boil water and butter together.
  2. When that is boiling, turn off the heat and dump the flour in all at once.
  3. Beat vigorously with a wooden spoon. The mixture will quickly form into a ball, with a texture similar to Play-Doh.
  4. Still beating, add one egg at a time. Do not add the next egg until the previous one is fully incorporated into the batter.
  5. The batter will be glossy and stiff when you are done.
  6. Drop by teaspoonfuls or tablespoonfuls onto an un-greased cookie sheet. The size just depends on how big you want the final puff to be. For deserts I suggest the smaller, but if you are using as sandwich rolls make them bigger.
  7. Cook at 450 degrees for 20 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 and cook 20 minutes more.
  8. Enjoy!

`boil water and butter together

after flour and 4 eggs

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Speaking of Painfully Good, last fall I took a trip up to Nevada City to experience Dorothy Truth”s one woman show, Death as a Salesman. Dorothy is the mysterious twin sister of Nevada City painter Douglass Truth. (Douglass’ fantastic paintings are also Painfully Good, but that will be the subject of another post…)

This absurdly hilarious show combines humor and gender bending with the serious topic of Death and how to make your inevitable encounter w/ the big guy (a.k.a. Todd) more bearable.

Dorothy tells the story of her beginnings as an invisible child struggling for cookies and a nesting area  in the Truth household and how she eventually gets hired as a Public Relations manager for the New Death Incorporated.

Truth’s play is, in effect, a traveling infomercial for The New Death, designed to both test new marketing strategies and to educate consumers.

Readers on both sides of the Bay will have a chance to experience Death as a Salesman themselves. I strongly urge you to do so if you can. In Oakland, Dorothy will be performing at the Humanist Hall in downtown Oakland, at 7:30 on Saturday February 20, 2010.

On the other side of the bridge there will be  two shows at the Jellyfish Gallery at 1286 Folsom St., in San Francisco, Friday, March 12 and Saturday, March 13 at 8pm.

Dorothy singing

Dorothy Singing

Vickie teaching

Teaching computers to 3rd graders

Let me introduce myself…I am one of the new contributors to PG thanks to mrrrrrp’s openness and generosity. I appreciate the add!

I am a transplanted Midwesterner, but have lived in Northern California a long time. I grew up in a family of artists and designers, and while I don’t earn my living that way, I do have an informed appreciation for art, music and design. For about 6 years I earned my living as a commercial DJ…during the early 80’s. Our radio station (long since defunct)  was the first in the area to play “laser music from the compact disk!”

These days I earn my daily bread by teaching elementary school kids how to use computers.  I also do a bit of web-design, edit literature reviews, and coach reluctant technology users through their fears and into greater productivity with their computers.

I hope to add some food related posts to PG.  I also will share my enthusiastic reviews of any Painfully Good art, performance, or music I encounter.