About This Project

My Aunt Carol (Giampa) was a life long cook and the holder of my family's culinary traditions. When she passed, her recipe collection came to me. Having learned many of my cooking skills from her and forging traditions of my own, I am honored and challenged to explore the many recipes of her mother and aunts that never made it into my repertoire. Many of these recipes are desserts. This project is an attempt to both memorialize Aunt Carol (or Jumpy as she was known to most others) and explore/test/review these old family recipes. Join me?

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Harvey, the reflection

When we first realized how much the bottle of Galliano was going to cost, Mander and I tried to think of other options. I thought of Craigslist and then thought better of it. The local food preservation/canning dork club was a better chance, at least we all know other, sorta. But Mander’s idea is the one that caught fire and became the official plan B, right behind just asking to order a smaller bottle, which is what we ended up doing. Which is almost a shame because the image of us madly searching for a bar with Galliano at all and then trying to discretely squirrel pee-yellow liquor into a Tupperware in my purse makes me cackle with glee. Ahh, to be young and silly.

I’m actually much more likely to do this the older I get.

Speaking of young and silly, I mentioned Harvey to my friend Ina, who told me a funny story about her daughter, when Caryn was about 5 and on a cross country trip with her other mom. Caryn and Carol had enough time before flights to grab a drink in the lounge. Ina reminds me that this was back when you could take kids into a bar!

They’re looking at the drink menu and Caryn complains that there’s no Harvey Wallbanger on it. I’m sure Carol was at least a little taken aback and asked why and Caryn said she just wanted one. So they got a Coke and a Wallbanger and split them and made the rest of their trip just fine. Hahah! No kids in bars indeed, they’ll drink up your Wallbanger!

We don’t go out to bars or lounges often and not with the kids so far, but I never know what to order if I don’t just want a glass of wine. Eric and Darcey are the friends most likely to hear me complain about this, since it’s usually with them we go out, so I brought the Galliano over to their place to give it the ole taste test. I’m not going to put it in a cake if it’s gross!

Floating a shot of Galliano on top is what takes a Screwdriver to a Harvey Wallbanger. The cocktail wants a maraschino cherry too, but I didn’t have any, so we skipped it. I made up for that by buying the big jar when I made the cake. Instead we just perched a half orange slice on the lip of our tall boys and boy did that look festive! I, for one, felt tres elegante and would get one in a lounge if I could. Now we know!

After tasting the cocktail and agreeing that expensive liquor may indeed be added to a boxed cake mix, I made the cake. This time I was super perfectionnoyed about greasing the pan, the Bundt Pan. Greased it, floured it, followed the batter recipe and everything. I almost forgot it was baking and was upstairs where I can’t hear the timer go off, but all was saved just in time and the cake came out of the pan beautifully! Success! The glaze on the other hand. Whoops. I forgot to MELT the butter before adding the sugar, instead trying to cream confectioner’s sugar and soft butter. Did not work! MELT the butter!

Because it was so good I had to get rid of it. I sent some to Eric and Darcey, who along with their son shouting praise in the background, EACH contacted me about how much they loved it. I felt bad only sending them 1 big fat slice for sharing and sending about 3 times that to work with Mander. Hey! They’re on a diet challenge right now, I thought I was being kind! Work was a good place for it though now we have hints about trying to recreate the cakes of her manager’s grandmother.

Our friend and neighbor Glynis stopped by last night and I was telling her about the blog. Mander whipped out the phone picture she had of Harvey and Glynis made involuntary yummy noises just looking at it. I said, it’s so sunny and 70s, doesn’t it just make you HAPPY? She agreed and then told us about her grandmother’s pineapple upsidedown cake. While she was here we chose the next recipe: The Good Neighbor Loaf.

Mmm, loaf!

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