While sitting on a pier under a pecan tree with my feet in the cloudy, brackish water and a crabbing line in one hand, I started thinking about the hand Eastern NC and her people had in raising me. I went back to my chilhood and here’s the short list of lessons I learned in my formative years, with the exception of one or two.
A hybrid between a shortbread and oatmeal cookie is a perfect base for sweet, rich banana pudding. The cookie itself is not too sweet and stands up to the pudding without getting too soggy. I made homemade pudding here because it’s not that much more laborious than the heat-and-serve kind you get in the grocery store, and I had control of the amount of sugar. The boxed variety could easily be substituted.
A sweet potato casserole topped with maple granola is a more nutritional alternative to the traditional version (or at least the one I’m used to). It’s great by itself or paired with pork or turkey. I promise: you won’t miss the marshmallows.
This Old Bay compound butter is a perfect accoutrement to all the meats, corn, potatoes, and grilled bread. So, it’s versatile. And spicy. And salty. And delicious. I also think it would be phenomenal as a base for scrambled eggs. I can’t tell you for certain because the batch I made was polished off in one sitting.
The narrative throughout Brooklyn Rustic is one best summed up by a quote from The Slow Food Movement included in the “Perfect Ripeness” essay within: “May suitable doses of guaranteed sensual pleasure and slow, long-lasting enjoyments preserve us from the contagion of the multitude who mistake frenzy for efficiency.” It’s Calvert’s strategy to take ingredients away from a plate rather than adding them, and making an ordinary meal unforgettable through the art of simplicity.
This roasted potato salad tossed with fig butter vinaigrette gives an update to an old classic and is perfect for a cookout. It sounds and tastes fancy, but it’s super easy, and there’s no peeling potatoes which is definitely a win in my book. It’s just as delicious hot as it is cold and packs a flavorful punch in every bite.