Sunday, April 5, 2009

250th Post Celebration Extravaganza

I like having extravaganzas. They spice things up.

Today's extravaganza celebrates the 250th post here at the Big Red Couch.

It seems like only yesterday, the Big Red Couch
was just a twinkle in my eye.

Here are some things that I think of when I think of extravaganzas:

Cotton candy and monarchs aside, a 250th Post is a Terrible Thing to Waste. Which is why this one will have all the variety of a juggling, sticky-sweet, circus elephant, visiting-dignitary extravaganza.

First off: two oven-free, get-it-done-while-the-kids-are-napping recipes.
Ha! Bet you weren't expecting RECIPES during an extravaganza. But wait til you see what the recipes are!

I say oven-free, because has anyone else noticed how difficult it is to regulate indoor temperatures during spring? I mean, one day it's 40 degrees out and you're shivering and need the furnace on, the next day it's a balmy 75 and your un-tree-sha
ded house is baking in the afternoon sun. And turning on the oven in a small domicile only complicates the seasonal hot flashes.

So why not make Pioneer Woman's pots de creme recipe, and follow it up with a new twist on an old Betty Crocker lemonade recipe?

PW's pots de creme = sublime. And yes, that's pronounced Poe, which is why, if I were a lit prof, I'd make Edgar Allen Poe de creme for class the final day. I'll simply post her photo and a link to the recipe, but this can literally be made in ten minutes, without an oven, and it tastes like heaven, or, more specifically, like rich, grown-up chocolate pudding - though more of a mousse consistency.
It does need to chill 3 or 4 hours - so if you make it during the afternoon, it's ready for evening dessert. YUM.

And now for something completely different: a tweaked Betty Crocker pitcher of lemonade. See, spring makes me want lemony things. But every day of the week makes me want chocolatey things. So if you space them far enough apart - say, five minutes - you don't get an undesirable mix of lemon and heavenly chocolate.

I turned to Betty Crocker for lemonade, because I had a bad lemonade experience once. You see, reader-turned-therapist, it all started when I used a recipe one time that directed a syrup to be made from water and sugar, to sweeten yon lemonade. It turned out toooooo syrupy! Blech.

So I found this recipe, and the only thing wrong with IT was that it was too lemony (yes, yes, I was a lemonade Goldilocks).

Here is my tweaked, for your pleasure, strawberry lemonade recipe.


Mix 5 cups of cold water with the juice of 4 very ripe lemons (very ripe = feels surprisingly heavy for size; juice should total about 1 1/2 cups).

Stir in 1 1/4 cups of sugar.

Slice 4 or 5 ripe strawberries, throw into the lemonade. Stir around a bit.

Chill. Drink. Listen to appreciative "yum!"s.

Now, the original recipe called for 3 cups of water, 1 cup of lemon juice, and 1/2 cup of sugar. YIKES. Do you realize what a 3 to 1 ratio of water to lemon juice IS? My throat is tingling just thinking about it. Very, very tangy. Suspiciously so. So I tweaked.

And here's the secret to happiness - in the kitchen: don't feel bound, hand and foot, to a recipe. If you don't like the result, don't think you're a bad cook: just change it! I know many beginner cooks who are paralyzed with fear at the thought of digressing from the printed page. Be free! Be emancipated! If it's too lemony, dilute! If it's too tangy, sweeten! If it's too lacking in strawberries, add strawberries!

Which means, if you make my lemonade, and something doesn't taste right - well, feel free to change it! I'll never know.

I do recommend using a pretty glass pitcher. But that's just me.

What's that? You want to know why my nickname is Bitty? Well, you'll just have to wait to find out: but not for another 250 posts.


vanilla said...

Congratulations. Stay with it! We look forward to the next 250.

Cari L said...

I know why... but I won't tell! :)I didn't know you had a blog! I love blogs!

Carrie said...

Mmm. I'll have to try your lemonade--has soon as the weather rises to above 35 degrees. Until then, on to the Pots de Creme!

Bob said...

If you make this for Cambodian dictators, would you call it Pol Pots de creme?... ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

Bob said...

..oh, and no one ever looks at my blog anymore and I don't know if it's unattainable to so many people or if they just don't care or if they can't leave comments...I just don't know.

Bob said...

..and how do you know how many posts you've done?