Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Cook the Books Club: The Little White Horse
The May/June selection for the Cook the Books Club was The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge. It is a lovely and mystical fantasy story that sends a message of hope and courage along with tasty culinary tidbits along the way.
Although it took me awhile to find the time to read this novel, once I made it past the first chapter, I couldn't put it down. It was such a nice change from the busy-ness of my current reality.
As I read, I kept part of my mind open for a culinary inspiration. The description of one meal caught my attention -- pork chops with onions and apples -- so that is what I made for dinner last night.
First, I caramelized the onions, then sauteed and lightly cooked the pork chops. While they were cooking, I made fresh applesauce, from Braeburn apples, as the accompaniment. I did add some mashed potatoes as a side dish.
For dessert, I made a Lemon Syllabub, which was mentioned several times throughout the story. It is a simple, quick, and light dessert. Instead of white wine, though, I used limoncello to accent the taste of the lemon. My daughter approved, saying it was like ice cream only better.
For the basic recipe for two, I combined 2 tablespoons of sugar, 1 healthy tablespoon of limoncello, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest and let it sit while dinner was cooking. After dinner, I started whipping about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of whipping cream, and just as it began to thicken, I poured in the lemon mixture and continued beating. It immediately thickened, so I kept beating until it reached my desired thickness, then spooned it into chilled dishes. It was a perfect way to end the meal and to celebrate the story of Maria and the other characters.
Perhaps you can join us for the next good book.