Epicurious | November 2013
Approach the clafoutis batter as if you’re making waffles! It’s no more complicated than that. This recipe resonates with me because it is so simple and versatile and, at the same time, elegant. Most often I make a clafoutis in a black cast iron skillet or heavy pie pan because they retain the heat well. You can certainly use individual ramekins, a tart mold, or even a crêpe pan.
When you bake a clafoutis, it will puff up like a little soufflé, browned on the edges, but creamy within. I try to serve it immediately, because it will inevitably fall and deflate—but not to worry: This will happen and it’s just as delicious anyway. If you understand this basic batter, the sky’s the limit: it’s a perfect blank canvas for almost any fruit you can think of: from choppable fruits like mango and banana, to cherries preserved in brandy. It’s a recipe to draw upon all the year long. Variations follow, but here’s the basic batter.
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- (per the script, it was made with pears and apples)
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and butter until the sugar is dissolved. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Pour the batter into a cast iron skillet or pie pan.
- Now add your favorite fruit or flavoring (see below). Bake until the clafoutis is beautifully puffed and golden, 35–40 minutes. Serve immediately.
Concord Grape Clafoutis: Once the batter is in the skillet, scatter 2 cups slightly crushed Concord or other black or red grapes on top.
Cherry Clafoutis: Scatter 2 cups pitted cherries onto the batter once it’s poured into pie plates.
Pear Clafoutis with Pear Eau de Vie: Core 1 ripe pear and cut into pieces. Pour the batter into the skillet and top with the pear pieces. Bake. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons eau de vie and serve immediately.
Milk Chocolate and Hazelnut Clafoutis: Melt 1 cup chopped milk chocolate in a large mixing bowl set above a simmering pot of water. Fold in the clafoutis batter until smooth and fully incorporated. Pour into a skillet or pie plate, sprinkle with 1/4 cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts, and bake.
Reprinted with permission from Cooking From the Heart: My Favorite Lessons Learned Along the Way by John Besh. Copyright © 2013 John Besh. Published by Andrews McMeel Publishing.
Section 2, part 2
(1) Eric C. in NC: Thanks for sharing. I don’t always read BlainesWorld, but when I do, I’m always glad that I did. You do a really nice job providing fun and insightful content! This afternoon I received an email from an account executive suggesting LinkedIn best practices. After reading, I thought of you. Wishing you all the Best!
Why Are You Using LinkedIn?
By David Ackert, AckertAdvisory.com
Being on LinkedIn is all well and good, but unless you know why, you can easily get stuck in an unproductive web of meaningless connections.
For your consideration, here are four LinkedIn goals, along with recommendations on how to achieve them:
1. Target: LinkedIn is a great way to target potential prospects and allies. Given that targeting relies on introductions from your existing connections, make sure you only accept invitations from people who know you well enough to broker an introduction for you. Targeting someone who’s not in your network? Consider upgrading to a Business Premium or Sales Navigator account.
2. Attract: If you have a unique practice or specialty that is likely to be sought out, you don’t have to limit your connections in the way a “targeter” would. Accept invitations from anyone who could have access to relevant business opportunities. Join groups that align with your areas of interest and expertise. Statistically, participation in groups is at least three times more likely to drive relevant traffic to your profile.
3. Broadcast: Trying to make a name for yourself? Connect with anyone whose opinion matters to you. Post content such as articles, blogs and announcements to your feed on a regular basis so that the people in your network become more aware of you. When you post to a discussion group, ask a provocative question that will engage your audience.
4. Service: If your goal is to use your LinkedIn connections to add value to your clients, make sure you are connected to your clients. Ask them regularly about their problems so you can marry content and connections to their needs. This is a good way to let them know that you are focused on their problems.
Chances are you want to get something out of LinkedIn (besides spam), so decide on your intended outcome and start linking accordingly.
Please feel free to pass these tips along to your team, clients and colleagues.
(2) Mark B. in FL (commenting on Letterman’s quote from Section 11): The only problem is that middle America is broke, small business is broke….too much government…too many unnecessary rules and regs…. The past 8 years the middle class mostly 90% have gone into lower class the other 10% went up to affluent. Middle America are the ones that hire people and create jobs etc. Just my thoughts.
Response: As for too much government, many have argued that for as long as I can remember. That said, I’m not so sure of the alternative; i.e., less government with respect to rules and regs. Many are needed. The problem: Deciding which ones.
With respect to middle America hiring people, if you listened to many politicians, they would tell you just the opposite. And that’s why we need even more tax breaks for corporation. (I don’t buy that, by the way.)
(3) Maria A. in PA: I never knew there was a pencil for lefties, but I have an anecdote.
(4) Lee W. in PA: The race to nowhere in youth sports
Section 12A, NC events
(3) Holiday Concert and School Supply Drive
The music programs and United Methodist Women chapter of Abernethy United Methodist Church and The Performing Arts Laboratory are proud to announce their upcoming benefit concerts ‘Silver and Gold’ on Sundays December 14th and 21st , 2014 at 7:00pm. The Performing Arts Laboratory is celebrating FIVE YEARS as a working voice studio that has morphed into a full performing arts production and education center. These concerts require no tickets for admission, however donations of cash and goods will be accepted at the door. For a list of needed goods please visit the event page at www.AvlPALab.org
These benefits are for Children First/Communities In Schools (CIS). This is a local non-profit committed to advocating and empowering children and families living in poverty. This is achieved through education and direct services such as the Family Resource Center at Emma, after-school Learning Centers, Latino Outreach, Project POWER/AmeriCorps and Success Coordinators in Emma & Johnston Elementary Schools. For more information please visit www.childrenfirstcisbc.org.
Silver and Gold will be a mix of sacred and secular holiday favorites by different community groups. The LAB Singers is an all-volunteer chamber choir brought to us by the Performing Arts Laboratory. (www.AvlPALab.org
The Celebration Singers who are a wonderful group of local children. (www.SingAsheville.org
The Asheville Dance Theater which is a local dance studio based in East-Asheville. (www.AshevilleDanceTheater.org
The United Methodist Women which is comprised of a dedicated group of ladies. We are lucky to have them all involved!
‘Silver and Gold’, both Sundays December 14th and 21st, 2014 at 7:00pm. For more information about the Performing Arts Laboratory please visitwww.AvlPALab.org or reach out by phone/email
(4) You are invited to an intimate afternoon of Empowering Guidance with Charley Castex.
At this holiday event, Charley will offer spiritual guidance and field personal questions.
Sat Dec 6th **4-6 PM**
Private Residence, $20. Call or email for details. (Kenilworth Ave., Asheville)
Seat Reservation at 828-251-5043 or firstname.lastname@example.org
(5) Vic A. in NC: We saw the Feral Chihuahuas 10th Anniversary show at ACT tonight. It was very funny sketch comedy and a full house. Also, for you, free beer. It is a tradition that there is free beer at everyone of their shows. They have 1 more show next Saturday. It is also a fund raiser for Brother Wolf.
I think you would enjoy this and it is definitely for mature audiences.
Note: I have already seen this production. It is excellent! More details in next week’s issue.
Get Tickets for The 38th Annual Bernstein Family Christmas Spectacular!
|Asheville’s favorite, raunchy, screwball holiday comedy from The Magnetic Theatre returns this December! The 38th Annual Bernstein Family Christmas Spectacular will have a limited run at the Bebe Theatre in Downtown Asheville.The bawdy, bodacious, and boisterous Bernsteins have some special surprises in store for old fans and new friends! Judy Bernstein (Tracey Johnston-Crum, voted best actress in WNC in the Mountain Xpress poll three years in a row) is ready to get up close and personal with audiences at the Bernsteins’ most intimate venue yet. “I just can’t wait to get cozy—very cozy—with all of Asheville,” Judy said with a wink in a recent interview.The Bernsteins will bring their signature mix of skits, songs, dance numbers, and excessive drinking to the BeBe for a limited run (which will, as with all Bernstein Spectaculars, be intended for mature audiences only). “It always takes us quite awhile to clean up all of the vodka bottles and tinsel from the Bernstein spectacular,” said producer Chall Gray, “but it’s worth it to warm the cockles of the hearts of their many Asheville fans.”Get your tickets early for this year’s Spectacular, which Tony Kiss of Asheville Scene called “the Christmas show to see in Asheville.” The show is expected to sell out as usual, so advance ticket purchase is highly recommended.
The 38th Annual Bernstein Family Christmas Spectacular will be performed at the Bebe Theatre on Commerce St. in downtown Asheville December 4-6, 11-13 and 18-20. Showtimes 7:30 p.m. nightly, 10:00 p.m. late shows Fridays and Saturdays. Advance tickets are strongly recommended. To purchase tickets click this link- Eventbrite
(8) At NC Stage:
Nelson S. in NC had this to say about the above production: By the way, you MUST get to NCStage to see “Don’t Dress for Dinner.” Absolutely outstanding, Charlie and Scott were joined by some really talented women in one of the best and funniest productions I’ve ever seen.
Note: Strother Stingley, one of the funniest guys in town, also appears in the play.
Section 12B, PA/NJ events
(3) Theatre Students Present ‘Normal Heart’ at MCCC’s Studio Theatre Dec. 5-7
West Windsor, N.J. – It’s the early 1980s and an unidentified disease is killing off an oddly specific group of people: gay men, mainly in New York City. Students in the Mercer County Community College (MCCC) Theatre Program present the Larry Kramer drama “The Normal Heart” at MCCC’s Studio Theatre Friday, Dec. 5 at 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 6 at 2 and 8 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 7 at 2 p.m. The Studio Theatre is located adjacent to Kelsey Theatre on the college’s West Windsor campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road.
Recently adapted into an HBO film, “The Normal Heart” is a searing journey back to the dawning days of the AIDS epidemic. It focuses on Ned Weeks, a writer and gay activist based on Kramer himself. Recognizing that a deadly illness is overtaking his community of friends, Weeks struggles to pull together an organization to raise awareness and promote action. His cause is furthered by Dr. Emma Brookner, a physician whose patients are increasingly falling victim to the mysterious outbreak. Weeks’ relationships with friends and family are tested as he and other activists look within their community and then to politicians and the press to provide support and funding for research. Premiering off-Broadway in 1985, “The Normal Heart” enjoyed a Broadway revival in 2011 that was nominated for five Tony Awards.
MCCC Associate Professor Jody Person, Coordinator of Theatre Program and the play’s producer, observes that the play presents a very real treatment of a dark time, an era that demanded leaders and answers. “The students are fully engaged in telling this dramatic story, which is based on those at the center of the AIDS storm. Some of those people lived – but many of them died. Most of our cast members were not born when the AIDS epidemic first surfaced, so the play serves as a history lesson as well,” Person said.
According to director Bob Terrano, the cast is a joy to work with. “This is an emotionally demanding show that requires the actors to portray their characters clearly while conveying multiple layers and feelings. Rehearsals are draining but the cast springs back each time with energy and dedication. The actors are committed to accurately depicting the sense of urgency, fear and anger that so many gay men experienced at that time,” Terrano said, adding that he is dedicating the show to his cousin, Nelson, who lost his life at 31 in the early ’80s to HIV/AIDS.
The cast for features Charles Acuna of Plainsboro as Hiram Keebler/David; Nicholas Andrejco of Ewing as Ben Weeks/Ned Weeks (alternate performances); Jonathan Cintron of Trenton as Mickey Marcus; Jovan Griffin of Ewing as Craig Donner/Orderly; Michaelyn Haley of East Windsor as Emma/Examining Doctor (alternate performances); Dan Johnson of Ewing as Bruce Niles; Mariah King of Jersey City as Emma/Examining Doctor (alternate performances); Madison Kotnarowski of Trenton as Grady/Orderly; Jorge Martinez of Jersey City as Tommy Boatwright; Jonathan Polanco of Hamilton as Ben Weeks/Ned Weeks (alternate performances); and Tristan Takacs of Hamilton as Felix Turner.
The production team includes director Robert Terrano, producer Jody Person, costume/set designer Kate Pinner, lighting designer Star McCloud, light board operator Chris Nielson, sound designers Evan Paine and Eric Collins, stage manager Amanda Suchil, assistant stage manager Megan Haltmeier, and make-up artist Koren Zander.
Tickets are $18 for adults, $16 for seniors, and $14 for students. (Tickets for MCCC students with current IDs are $8.) Tickets are available online at www.kesleytheatre.net or by calling the Kelsey Theatre Box Office at 609-570-3333.