Kitchen experiments

Savory quick bread

I used a Joy of Cooking recipe for “olive nut quick bread” as the base for a bread to serve with soup tonight. No olives or nuts, just fresh rosemary and sage. It was a little dry and needed more flavor – more herbs, definitely, and maybe more salt. Or maybe it just really wanted to be a biscuit or something. If I get a recipe that works, I’ll share it; so far, it’s not worth sharing.

Pumpkin pasties


This picture is a total lie. It’s not a pumpkin pasty, and I didn’t make it. It’s an apple turnover, and my friend Kat made it from the recipe I linked to. But this is what the pumpkin pasty looked like, before I inhaled it without pausing to photograph it. Bad food blogger! No pasty for you! Um, or…not…

This recipe came from about six places at once. I’d made a version before for a Harry Potter-themed party, and they were good, but tedious (essentially rich sugar cookie dough filled with extra-thick pumpkin pie filling). Then, a week or so ago, a friend and I were musing about why no one makes a pumpkin pop tart. Wouldn’t that be awesome? With cinnamon icing? And I don’t even really like pop tarts. Then my brain flashed on the apple turnovers from October’s Preserving Traditions workshop, and it came to me: make a turnover with slices of butternut squash instead of apples! Not too sweet, so definitely pasty-like, and waaaaaaay easier than making pie filling and dough and assembling them.

I started with this recipe for turnover dough. Rolled it into a long oval. Dropped a spoonful of sugar/flour mix on the dough, then I sliced the neck of a small butternut squash into half-circles and placed them on top of that. Topped with cinnamon-sugar and a pat of butter, and baked for 35 minutes or so.

They were great!Definitely not-too-sweet (each one only had about a teaspoon of sugar), flaky, and yummy. The only thing I’d do differently is to use more cinnamon-sugar and coat each slice with it, so it was more evenly distributed. The version I did definitely had a very cinnamon-y spot and some spots that were just like baked squash.

Cabbage salad

I hate calling this “cole slaw” because that brings to mind such gloppy, horrible stuff. But chop a sweet, juicy cabbage into 1/4″ dice, add a shredded carrot, and maybe some slivered pickled radishes, and dress with a dressing of equal parts cider vinegar, oil, and mustard-horseradish pickle juice (plus some salt and  a squirt of mustard), and you have a thoroughly addictive salad that beats out field greens any day.



  1. Tammy Coxen said,

    November 15, 2009 at 10:16 pm

    Homemade poptarts are delicious – I’ve been thinking about making some with some pumpkin butter a neighbor made. There’s a link to a great homemade poptart dough in the post I give above. But your squash pasty sounds delicious too!

  2. Ken said,

    November 16, 2009 at 10:53 am

    Oh, Emily — these sound thoroughly delightful! I’ve got a pie pumpkin that may get pasty-fied.

    We made regular pasties this weekend, along with madras pasties — the regular filling with a bit of Patak’s curry pasty mixed in. Almost like a samosa.

    Also: innovations in pasty-making — we have traditionally followed Great Aunt Helen’s recipe, which calls for wrapping the raw ingredients in uncooked dough, but that often ends up with a dry, overcooked crust by the time the stuffing is cooked. New approach: make roasted root vegetables, wrap in dough, cook for a shorter period of time (20 minutes instead of 60) — much happier crust!

    • Emily said,

      November 16, 2009 at 1:24 pm

      Oh, my! All that sounds wonderful. Oooh, and it gives me ideas for a post-Thanksgiving pasty…

  3. ilex said,

    November 16, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    MMMmmmm, pasties…

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