A Tale of Two Cookies

Friday Favorites

Macaron. A delicious French confection with a hundred different flavor combinations.

Macaroon. A delicious Italian coconut cookie.

Somewhere in their humble beginnings there is some kind of crossover hence why, when you type macaroon into the Pinterest search bar both types of sugary goodness pop up but when you use the word macaron only the sandwich cookie is offered. It is somewhat confusing and the best way to differentiate in my opinion, has been to use the word coconut when you want that little mound of slightly caramel tastiness.

I have to admit that I am more fond of the French treat than the Italian, no matter how their origins and stories intertwine. The flavors, the colors…more pleasing to my eye and my palate.

But they are a bit more demanding to bake and while I want to make some, I have not as of yet.

But the other night the coconut macaroon was a part of the Great British Baking Show and I learned that my beloved likes them. A lot. So I googled and pinterested and found they can be incredible easy to make. Obviously, the televised baking show required a little bit more from the cookie, and there are two different way to shape them, but for my first time I was willing to go easy and set myself up for success.

I made them while we were all home and I mean all of us. Emily wasn’t working and Sarah came over for dinner. It was such a pleasant evening and I treasure those moments because I realize as they keep getting older that it will be harder to make that happen.

What was funny to me is that they kept coming in to the kitchen wanting to know when they could have one…when will they be ready…cane we have more? I had no idea my people would enjoy them so much!

Three ingredients! That’s all you need to make these and if your people like coconut they are going to thank you and sing your praises. Next week I will share the recipe I used and you can give it a go and let me know how you like them!

For my local friends, we have so much to be thankful for going into the weekend as Hurricane Delta makes its way west, don’t we?
Have a lovely weekend friends, no matter where you are and enjoy a cookie or two.

Apple Trivia

Food, Trivia

Something you should know about me: I am a sucker for good packaging. Meaning, if you package it just right you will get my attention and an “Ooooh” and “Ahhh”. And, as in this case, maybe my money.

There were these cute little bags with handles full of cute little apples in the produce department the other day and it totally bamboozled me into buying one. Even though my people are apple variety specific. Even though I had no idea how this kind would even taste.

What can I say?

Apples. The quintessential autumn fruit right up there with pumpkins.

The other thing you should know about me is that I love autumn. And really I blame that impulse buy on that affection because honestly, the bag was cute in shape but wasn’t even just brown with handles. It was just small and made of a white waxy paper. The apples, the name of which escapes me now, were meh on their own. I enjoy a slightly firmer apple than these. But they photographed well (an actual reason I use for buying produce) and made up a rather tasty apple crisp for church Sunday.

Plus you cannot go wrong with the smell of apples and cinnamon in your house.

Some interesting facts about apples:

The science of apple cultivation is called pomology. China is the largest producer of apples in the world. In the 2019/2020 crop season they grew a whopping 41 metric tons of apples!

Apples are the second most produced fruit in the United States coming in behind oranges. There are around 2500 varieties of apples grown in the US with 7500 varieties being grown world wide. There are about 100 different varieties grown commercially in the US with the most popular being the red delicious but apparently the honey crisp is gaining in popularity.

An average person will eat 65 apples in a year.

It takes about 36 apples to create one gallon of apple cider.

The rarest apple in the world is the Bardsey apple. Bardsey Island is located off the coast of northern Wales and home to the the mother tree, discovered in 1998, growing in the remains of a monastic orchard. They estimate the tree to be 1000 years old. You should look it up because it has been pruned and cultivated to grow up the side of the house. It’s also referred to as Merlin’s Apple because legend says there is cave above the house where Merlin is buried in a glass coffin. Cuttings have been taken so that the tree is being grown and cultivated off the island.

The energy of 50 leaves is needed to grow one apple and 25% of the apple is air which is why they float.

A bushel of apples weighs around 42 pounds.

The world record for largest apple was grown in Japan and weighed just over 4 pounds. The most expensive apple in the world also comes from Japan and cost $20 each. Sekai Ichi variety is a large apple that weighs 2 pounds. It is hand pollinated and washed in honey to protect against blemishes. It is a cross between the red delicious and golden delicious varieties.

Apples are a rather versatile fruit that can be eaten fresh or made into about a bazillion different dishes. This is a handy guide to knowing which types of apples work best in different recipes.

Guide to the Best Apples to Use in Cooking and Baking :: PocketChangeGourmet.com

I mentioned making an apple crisp this past Sunday, which was a first for me but probably not my last. I liked the flavor a lot with that mix of butter and brown sugar caramelized with the oats.

I do have a really delicious homemade applesauce recipe to share with you over at She Feeds Her Family. You should pop over and give it a go!

Most Random Friday Favorite

Friday Favorites

Confession: I have literally picked out a piece of produce based purely upon its photographic potential.

What can I say? I really enjoy food photography. Not sure what to do with fabulous pictures of cherries and radishes and now corn, but I have some if anyone needs them!

Confession number two: this isn’t even the first time I have taken pictures of corn on the cob. I’m fascinated by focusing on the little details and I am amazed to see the science and magic visible in something as simple and common as a piece of corn.

Plus it is really just fun to me.

Do you know that corn is actually classified in the grass family? And while most plants that we grow could continue to survive in the wild without human assistance, that is not the case with corn. Human selection of seeds and growing methods over the last six thousand years means that the corn of today has very little resemblance to its humble ancestor. In fact our corn is about 1,000 times larger than the original plant and doesn’t look much the same at all.

The average cob of corn has about 800 kernels in roughly 16 rows. There is a strand of silk for every kernel too. And apparently cobs will always have an even number of rows.

A bushel of corn equals 8 gallons and that can be used to create 32 pounds of starch.

Except for Antarctica it is produced on every continent.

So, why am I giving you all of this random trivia on corn? Why do I even know all of this random trivia about corn? I’m glad you asked because a few weeks ago Rob and I had the opportunity to visit a sister church in Mississippi and one of their members had a truck full of corn available for anyone who wanted some. We brought a bagful home and the family that was hosting us for lunch also got some to throw on the grill to go with our lunch.

And I am not kidding when I say it was the best corn I had ever eaten in my life! Sweet and delicious. But what really made the afternoon lunch experience was this nifty little gadget.

Behold, the corn zipper.

I love fresh corn but it makes my teeth hurt and can be so messy. Confession number three: I usually have Rob cut it off the cob for me. That might be why he saw this little guy in action and immediately got on Amazon and ordered one for us. It is simple to use but does have a wee bit of a learning curve to it. Which made it quite fun when we used it at home for the first time when some friends were over. There was a lot of laughter as corn shot across the table until the right amount of pressure was figured out.

There you go. Today’s Friday favorite can help you impress your friends with your wide range of trivia knowledge and make you enjoy this summer’s cookouts more.

Have a great weekend, y’all!