Cool enough

choccake.jpgThe pot roast and the Sonoran pork stew taste great and will help us get through the week but just weren’t pretty enough to go into the picture along with the pumpkins, the Breton chocolate pound cake with five ounces of chocolate, and my very last bottle of Adams pure vanilla extract from here in Austin instead of Gonzalez. Yes; now that the weather has at last changed, it’s fun to engage in marathon cooking and baking sessions.

Thanks are due to the South Austin farmers’ market for the beautiful eggplant that’s already gone and for the chiles and three kinds of summer squash, plus thyme, that went into the Sonoran stew. The pumpkins are from the pumpkin patch at Grace UMC, just a block from Congress. The three eggs for the cake are local Del Valle eggs from Farm to Market Grocery on South Congress. This is a very forgiving cake recipe as to the size of the eggs. It even worked very well at 7,500 feet above sea level, and most cake recipes do not, without alteration, and it will bake in the oven of a wood-range, too.

Having violated the first rule of cooking and baking, which is to assemble all ingredients and equipment beforehand, I really panicked when vanilla was at first not to be found. And then I found this bottle, which I’m going to keep even after it’s empty. Vanilla is good pretty much forever, so long as it doesn’t evaporate. This bottle goes at least as far back as 2002, the last year that the Adams Extracts business was in Austin. Part of the label says “true fruit flavor.” Until 1955 Adams was on San Gabriel, but then moved out to a new showplace on the San Antonio Highway, later with the address of 11266 South IH-35. That used to seem so very far away!

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