I have so many amazing memories of my dad. From his time in service to our country to his great food and gentle spirit. Looking at old photos of him, I’m also reminded that he was one handsome man and a great dresser. One of the last things he told me before passing was that he liked the shirt I was wearing. We had a unique and special bond, and it took both of us to keep up with my mother. So, here’s to you Dad.
On Saturday and Sunday, we tried to spend as much time as possible in the “cement pond,” the pool at One Britt. It is over 60 years old and was built by Dr. Johnson many years ago. Unfortunately, his mid-century modern pool house did not survive, but we have some great photos and a newspaper clipping of the space, courtesy of the Cherokee Historical Society.
After last week’s tornadoes, we had a lot of cleaning up to do, but it was worth it to be able to float peacefully for a couple of hours. Before pool time on Sunday, we visited Cherokee Market Farm Fresh Produce on Highway 20 at Union Hill Road.
Lisa Meyer purveys the freshest local produce, breads, grassfed beef and heritage pork in the area. She does a great job, and it is always fun to see what the store has to offer. While you are there, make sure you check out the Scott Boys BBQ food truck. Their barbecue is divine, and it’s a great setting with a picnic table and even greater jazz music.
At the market, I picked up some of my dad’s favorite ingredients for tonight’s Sunday Supper. I made nests of country ham with peach, mango and jalapeño chutney.
For the sides, I roasted some Brussels sprouts and baby yellow squash. Our friend, Cory Wilson, foraged the gardens to create a beautiful table setting on the side porch, and we enjoyed a relaxing meal.
In Food and Wine magazine, they included some of their Best New Chef All Stars from over the years. One was my friend and chef/owner of Bacchanalia in Atlanta, Anne Quatrano, and they included a recipe for her Olive Oil Cake.
I had tried this recipe years ago but decided to bake it again tonight for dessert. This cake is heavenly and so simple, but you must use the best extra virgin olive oil possible. I topped the cake with some local macerated strawberries and whipped cream.
This is a great cake to top with whatever local fruits that are in season, and it is good enough to also serve plain.
So cheers to all the great fathers, living and passed, that have inspired us to be thoughtful, responsible, resourceful and accepting of others. Next stop, summer 2013.
Georgia country ham with Coca-Cola and bourbon “brown eye” gravy
Georgia peach, mango and jalapeño chutney
Roasted local Brussels sprouts
Baked baby yellow squash with Parmesan Reggiano
Anne Quatrano’s Olive Oil Cake with Georgia strawberries and whipped cream
Anne Quatrano’s Olive Oil Cake
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons whole milk, at room temperature
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons or tangerines
Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter and flour a 10-inch round cake pan. Into a medium bowl, sift together the 1 3/4 cups of flour, baking powder and salt. In another medium bowl, whisk the melted butter with the olive oil and milk. In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer, beat the eggs with the sugar and citrus zest until pale and thickened, about three minutes. Alternately beat in the dry and wet ingredients, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the cake is golden brown and the side pulls away from the pan. Transfer the cake to a rack and let cool before serving. Serve plain or top with seasonal fresh fruit or berries and whipped cream.
NOTES: Anne suggests Ligurian olive oil for this lovely, light cake, because it’s more delicate and buttery than many other Italian oils. I used Luciano Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Publix, and it turned out great. Make it ahead. The cake can be stored at room temperature for up to three days.
Bill Grant writes Bill’s Sunday Suppers at www.billssundaysuppers.blogspot.com.