August 09, 2010

Treats to Try: Babootie, Barbecue, and Blueberry Cocktails

My grandmother has recently moved into a long-term care facility, which is all kinds of depressing. Instead of dwelling on that, let's take a moment to observe the gloriousness that is Granny's sun hat.

Can you tell that I'm obsessed? I may or may not still have it on as I type. It's my thinking cap.

Since this ain't no fashion blog (and that ain't no fashion hat), I thought I'd move on and share with you this installment of Treats to Try: Babootie, Barbecue, and Blueberry Cocktails.

First up is one of the best cookbooks I discovered while packing up Granny's kitchen. And by best, I mean rarest. And by rarest, I mean no one wants this cookbook and therefore no one printed more than like six, and that's why I love it.

1. Yankee's Main Dish Church Supper Cookbook

  • This cookbook features recipes for those hallmarks of New England cuisine such as "Red Flannel Hash" (tastes like hipsters?), "Beef Strips Oriental" (bahahahaha those old WASPs), "Carrots Excelsior" (does anyone else picture a giant carrot sword?), "Fish Casserole," and a WHOLE section entitled "Meatballs, Meatballs, Meatballs." It also features something called "Babootie" (South African by origin), which is all kinds of wrong. Ground beef, tomato, onion, banana, apricot jam, apricot, almonds, sugar, curry powder, and vinegar. Wowsah. How the hell that counts as Yankee cuisine is beyond me. Maybe a really, really high Yankee.
2. The North Carolina Barbecue Society Historic Barbecue Trail

  • As its name suggests, this is a trail of twenty-five North Carolina barbecue restaurants that meet standards ranging from "cooking their meat on pits fueled by wood or charcoal" to "operating continuously for fifteen or more years and enjoy[ing] the high esteem of their communities, the barbecue industry, and barbecue afficionados." Consider this fair warning; I will conquer the trail. You know how much I love barbecue, and T has already promised that we can spend our weekends hunting down all twenty-five restaurants on the trail (it will be grueling, eating all those ribs and hush puppies) when we move to North Carolina.
3. A Blueberry Gin & Tonic

  • Speaking of WASPs, I'm always reminded of gin & tonics when summer rolls around. I have a hard time with gin, though, and I usually prefer either to drown my gin & tonic in a gallon of lime juice, or trade it for a glass of chilled sauvignon blanc. However, blueberry gin & tonics are a different story. You can make your own blueberry simple syrup, or you can be lazy (like me!), and buy some real blueberry juice and add it to a standard gin & tonic. The tartness of the blueberries cuts that leathery gin taste really nicely, and you end up enjoying your cocktail, rather than wishing you could risk your street cred by trading it for something tastier.
That's all for now--I'm off to do another PhotoBooth photo shoot with Granny's hat and try to figure out which of the Yankee recipes I'll be testing out for you, my darling little Babooties. Blech.

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