Things are going very well for my brother, and again, thank you for all your good wishes. It turns out the stroke happened because he has an extra chamber in his heart. The doc (a nice cardiologist, as opposed to the Pompous Ass) says that about 20% of people have this condition--who knew? I didn't--and that for most people, it's not an issue. However, for a select few (like my lucky brother), the extra chamber acts as a breeding ground for blood clots, which can then be sent to the brain, and, well, bad things happen. Fortunately they have a procedure to patch this extra hole, which they've done, so hopefully another stroke won't happen. He's out of ICU, and by the end of today should be transferred to Sister Kenny for a couple weeks of inpatient rehab. Lots of hard work ahead, but the prognosis is for full recovery. Whew.
In celebration of a return to health, and because the grocery store had some lovely cherries this week, I decided to--gasp! Bake! I know, I know. I never bake. But my brother likes cherry pies and the like, so I thought I'd give it a go. I saw this recipe in the latest Bon Appetit, and it looked easy and tasty and sort of more like cooking than baking, since it involves a skillet.
It lived up to my expectations. Of course, good ingredients help.
Yummy fresh cherries, good balsamic vinegar. Oh, and cornmeal.
It starts out with some stovetop action, melting butter, brown sugar, and the balsamic vinegar in an ovenproof pan:
Then stirring in the cherries and bringing all the juices to a boil so they thicken a little. Truthfully? I could have stopped right here. This, all by itself, is splendid. I mean, c'mon--cherries, butter, brown sugar, and balsamic vinegar! Heaven.
But I carried through on my commitment to bake.
How's that for an action shot! Beating butter and sugar together! Then I added egg yolks and vanilla. Eventually I added whole milk, cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt. After that, it was time to whip the egg whites with a bit of cream of tartar, then folded the whites into the rest of the batter, which was then poured over the cherries in the skillet, and the whole thing went in the oven for a while. At that point, I sternly kicked the kids out of the kitchen, warning them of the dire consequences involved in eating raw batter with raw eggs, horrible disease, lack of sanitation, etc. After they were gone, I slurped up what was left in the mixing bowl. Hey, I'm older, and I was raised on raw egg batter. This is really good batter.
Bake until golden brown. Your kitchen will smell really, really good. Trust me on this.
After it's cooled in the pan for a few minutes, it's time to put it on a platter. A pretty platter which has not been used in years. Because, you know, I don't bake.
Then served warm, with ice cream. Mmmmmmmmm. Ice cream.
So, yeah, it was easy, and yummy, and now it's all gone. One piece made it to the hospital for my brother. The rest was inhaled by the family. I would definitely make this again. But maybe next time, no baking, just cooking the cherries and serving on ice cream. That kind of cooking suits me just fine.
Stay tuned--long hours in hospitals have lead to much more knitting than usual. Nothing finished, but at least noticeable progress.