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Baker. Cook. Gardener. Animal Lover.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Charmed, I'm Sure

It's finally raining out here in bone dry California. Finally. We had such a downpour around lunchtime I had to don boots and coat and take a broom to the front porch. It was raining so hard and fast the garden looked like a lake. I thought Farmhouse was a goner. I thought for sure it would flood. But we made it o.k. We're all high and dry.For now at least.

So on this rainy Monday..my thoughts go to supper. Haven't been able to turn on the oven much. Just been too warm...but not anymore. So I got out one of my favorite cookbooks. "Fanny at Chez Panisse" by Alice Waters. It was first published in 1992. And the illustrations are adorable. The recipes are simple.It's about making good food easily with basic ingredients and simple techniques.And I wanted to make the gingersnaps for dessert tonight to serve with a scoop of french vanilla ice cream. My favorite gingersnap cookie recipe is in "Fanny". The book is just so charming I wanted to share it with you.

When we were little my mom would make Mark and I spareribs and potatoes in the oven on rainy days. She would just get out a big old baking pan, quarter the potatoes, pour a little olive oil over them, toss and sprinkle them with salt, throw them in the pan and place some seasoned spare ribs over the top. Bake at about 375 degrees for and hour or so and...supper. All you need is a salad. And on this stormy night, biscuits wouldn't be bad either.

Whiskey Sour has on his tweed sweater..the one with the leather buttons and is wearing his Christmas scarf. He has a nice spot in the red plaid chair here by "woodstove". And I made Dandelion a cozy bed in an old red wool blanket I brought back from Maine...she is on top of the farm dining table. Just don't tell anybody.She likes it there.


  1. That sounds like tomorrow night's supper decided on !
    Those illustrations are marvellous .Her piled up snack looks well worth a try .

  2. The Fanny book looks like one I need!!

  3. Kary,

    Isn't this weather wild? More coming I think, so batten down the hatches. Your mother's meal sounds pefect for such storm nights.

    Take care,


  4. After reading this, I dashed to my cookbook case and went right to Fanny at Chez Panisse.
    The wonderful illustrations just make you want to cook everything in there. What a good basic cookbook it is. Remember sitting in THE restaraunt with Alice in the next booth?
    There was the best salad i've ever had. And the best bread pudding, made with brioche and dried apricots.
    Keep that woodstove stoked, more rain on the way......
    donkey in the pines

  5. Ginger snaps one of my favorites! Does Buddy have a rain coat? My dogs missed their daily walk because of the rain, but can't complain-we really need it.

  6. Oh Julie...do I ever remember seeing Alice....

    I dream of her....

  7. Gingersnaps and French vanilla ice cream - I could really go for that right now!

  8. That book is absolutely charming! I would love to have a copy of it, myself.

    Stay warm and dry!

  9. your spare ribs sound delicious, thanks for sharing your lovely cookbook.

  10. What a sweet little cook book. Your dinner sounds delish! I've been needing some inspiration in the kitchen lately. I would love to flip through that cook book of yours! Wonder if the library may have it....hmmmmm...
    until the next time dear friend

  11. Charming book :) I loved the pictures on it ... I remember when I was a little girl and there were books like this one with so beautiful drawings besides the wonderful texts about so many interesting subjects ...
    This book is perfect for a rainy day ... rainy days and good recipes always go well :D


  12. Hi Kary,
    I sure hope the weather doesn't get mean on you! We've been hearing that Cal. could be in a bad way. Stay safe and dry!
    I love the illustration in your Fanny cookbook and gingersnaps are one of my favourite cookies.
    Sounds like yours and my mom were both resourceful cooks.
    I'm putting up a post on Blasts tomorrow about my association with food. I think you'll like it.


    P.S. By the way, I'm in Ontario, Canada.

  13. gingersnaps are my favorite! your mom's recipe sounds wonderful too...reminds me of how my mom would cook as well. I can smell the house right now..!

  14. I love the illustrations in that book. Have you ever heard of Emily Luchetti who is Exec. Pastry Chef at Farrallon in SF? She is my sister in law. She has written some lovely dessert books.

  15. What an enchanting book and illustrations! I may have to find that gingersnaps recipe! So the rain is a good thing?
    Thanks for stopping by TKR; the link to the song is up and running now! You were so fast I had not had a chance to check it!

  16. I've never bought any of Alice Water's cookbooks before. I will have to check them out.

    Hopefully one day, I'll actually make it to her restaurant.

  17. Hi Kary,

    This cookbook looks like such a delight, as is your blog:). Thanks for posting a comment. I can see why our 'Happy 101' consists of much of the same things:). I look forward to learning more about you and Buddy and your daily living:).

    Your home sounds lovely. My roommate was actually from Cambria, and her family owned a sweet restaurant out there for quite a long time, though they've recently closed it. I know that it's close to you because when people would ask her where she lived, she'd always reference San Louis Obispo. Looks and sounds like such a nice area.

    I'm going to have to see if I can get my hands on a copy of that cookbook. Those gingersnaps sound DE-lish!

    :) Blair

  18. I adore that book! Sorry your weather is so crazy... well, OK, not really.. I was getting really jealous of looking at and hearing about all your lovely days... it's about time you joined the likes of the rest of the country! ;)

    I second the gingersnap and vanilla ice cream by the way!

  19. Well, first off, I'm glad to hear it didn't flood!!! Hope y'all stay dry these next few days.
    Second, thanks for that little story about your mother's rainy day cooking, it sounds so cozy, simple, and yummy. You were a lucky kid.
    That books looks so adorable, must have it! Off to Amazon...

  20. Well done you for putting the button on the blog!

    I enjoyed looking at those beautiful book illustrations, I haven't seen them before.

  21. Thanks for stopping by my blog! I followed your trail back here and found a delightful post. You are right, the illustrations in that cookbook are so nice. I would love gingersnaps and vanilla ice cream right now and it's not even noon! See you again soon!

  22. Hmmm spare ribs! Love spare ribs... I can't imagine too warm to turn the oven on..but I'm glad the heat abated and you got to do a spot of cooking...cooking is always so pleasurable and good for the soul! xxx

  23. Supper sounds awesome. I love roasted potatoes. I will have to try that recipe.

  24. Somehow, I've missed this particular Alice Water's cookbook and it looks wonderful! Thanks for the introduction.

  25. Hi Kary:),

    The resaturant in Cambria was The Brambles. I have never made it out to Cambria (though it sounds absolutely gorgeous!) but I did hear that they had a decent wine collection at the restaurant. Did you know of it?

    :) B

  26. Wow! What a small world! I can't believe The Brambles has re-opened!! Yes, I was very close with Demetra, the oldest daughter. She was my roommate at college in Boston. She loved that restaurant- it sounded so beautiful! I'd met both of her parents and sisters before and sadly found out about her father on the internet:(. I'm so very happy that it's re-opened and will have to get out there to try the food:). You'll have to give me some recommendations! That is so funny that you know of them and seem to know them well. Demetra and I only keep in touch online now, but I'll have to tell her about you. What a small world.

    Thanks for sharing:).

  27. Kary, that looks like a wonderful book - and I immediately fell in love with the illustrations!

    In fact, I just looked it up on Amazon - I really want to buy it!

    Thank you so much for sharing,

    Agatha x


  28. Oh lovely, lovely Kary! Thanks so much for sharing this. I have some of Alice Waters' books but never heard of this one, I will search for it now! Love the chicken painting SO much! Sorry to hear about so much rain, glad you missed the floods though. And that sort of weather is interesting, I always think - proper weather! Hope Buddy et al not too soggy...Alice doesn't mind the rain, hates muddy paws though (Princess!) China doesn't seem to mind anything, bless her heart. With lots o love, Rachel xox

  29. What a sweet cookbook...the illustrations are so charming!

  30. What a darling book you have there---Chez Panisse is one of my favorite restaurants in all the world. So glad I found your blog via A Cup of Jo --- I grew up in San Luis Obispo! My parents are still there and I miss it dearly. Reading your blog is like a touch of home. What a find!
    XX Kate

  31. That cookbook is adorable! I LOVE LOVE LOVE the illustrations. I think I need it for my collection.

  32. Fanny at Chez Panisse has been on my bookshelf (shelves) since it came out in 1992. My oldest daughter who is now 27 read that cookbook over and over again...I think she liked that someone elses daughter spent so much time in the kitchen. It is still a favorite in our house. Hope you are bearing up to that big storm and all of the rain.
    ♥, Susan

  33. Beautiful book! Really like it. Do you think I still can find one now?


Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by. I appreciate all your kind comments more than you can know.