This weekend, Bob went to the Farmer's Market and came back with a variety of wonderful foods, including spinach and asparagus. Looking at the produce, I decided to make a simple dinner of muffins and soup. To be honest, there was a muffin recipe using blue cheese, bacon, and fresh basil that I wanted to try. I thought a simple soup primarily made from the spinach and asparagus would be perfect, with the green color to remind me that spring is right around the corner.
And so, I prepared the muffins, which baked as I cooked the soup. The batter was very stiff, so much so that I had a hard time spooning them into the muffin pan. I wound up using my hands to pull off chunks of the dough and put them in the muffin cups. The resulting muffins were good, with a texture similar to biscuits. But the soup? It was vile. I was unable to eat it. This was a case where less was definitely less. It tasted like liquified grass clippings, with a slimy feel in the tongue. I warned Bob that it was odious and watched in amazement as he ate a large bowl of it, pronounced it "very good," then refilled his bowl for a second serving. I don't think he was being perverse. He had just returned from an afternoon rowing on the Sacramento river, and I think he was so hungry he would have eaten a large bowl of library paste and enjoyed it.
(Wisconsin Dairy Council)
1/3 cup bacon fat (can substitute oil)
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
10 basil leaves, chiffonade (thinly sliced)
1/4 cup bacon, chopped and cooked until slightly crispy. Don't let it get too hard
3/4 cup amish blue cheese, crumbled
Combine the bacon fat, egg, water, milk, sugar and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer with the whip attachment. Mix until everything is incorporated. Sift together the flour and baking powder and add into the bowl. Whip until there are no lumps. (do not overmix!) Incorporate the basil, chopped bacon and amish blue cheese. Scoop the muffin mix into well greased muffin tins and bake at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes.
Note: These muffins taste best warm, which makes the blue cheese more pronounced. Like biscuits, you can re-heat them VERY CAUTIOUSLY in a microwave for only around 15 seconds. But, no longer, or they will get rubbery. These are not moist and delicate like regular muffins. I saw another recipe similar to this one, but it contained 1 cup of blue cheese and 1 cup of shredded Jack cheese. That muffin would probably be moister. If you leave the bacon out, it might be a good idea to add more cheese, to provide more moisture.
Vile Asparagus, Spinach And Potato Soup (Suitable for livestock)
(Love to Know)
12 asparagus stalks, washed, cut in pieces
1 pound spinach, washed, chopped
4 potatoes, peeled, quartered
6 cups water
1 cup milk, scalded
Seasonings to taste
Put the first four ingredients in a large pot and simmer until done for about 20 minutes. Puree in a blender or food processor. Add the milk or not. It won't improve the taste. Serve to willing victims. Could be useful for food challenges. Ponder whether to try and improve it by adding cream and butter. Decide not to waste perfectly good cream or butter on this vile stuff. Get rid of the remains by pouring down the drain. If you raise pigs, they might like it.