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Settle in this morning, good readers, to a conversation with recipes as the frosting on the column-wide cake. Ana Felix was ordering her favorite drink, lavender honey latte, from Milk & Honey's new outpost on Main Street. Then she thought of her grandfather's vast garden and wondered how she could grow the lavender and then prepare the mixture needed for both hot and cold lattes. We told her you all could help.

Another anonymous reader found a magazine photo for a dish that was "a vegetarian riff on Indian butter chicken, this fragrant stew of chickpeas." There was only a photo, but she could not find a recipe. Could you help?

In a letter received this week there was a mention of black garlic. Where does one find such a delicacy? (We had a previous request for black rice, so you are herewith invited to inform about where to find both garlic and rice that are black.) And as to hard-to-find-locally, a reader's question about buying rhubarb nearby still awaits an answer. One of Trenton, Georgia's well-known cooks turned up at a family dinner with a strawberry rhubarb pie that got rave reviews, and the guests were surprised to learn that she had purchased the pie from Ingle's delicatessen. Was the rhubarb locally grown? We do not know, but we can tell you that food columnist Anne Braly's Side Orders column offers some guidance on other stores that carry rhubarb, as well as a recipe for when we find it. Perhaps you can help too, and when you do, new recipes are waiting.

Today we begin building a collection of hometowners' favorite blogs. Thank you, Barbara Mann, for stoking the fire. "My favorite food blog is 'Recipe Tin Eats' by Nagi. She is Japanese living in Australia. Her recipes are great, and her photography is outstanding. For us dog lovers, she always includes a photo of what Dozer is doing that day. Very entertaining."

Your favorite blog? Come on; tell us. And you bloggers who are reading, please give us a taste or a teaser to read yours.

 

FAMILY FAVORITE

Where would we be without recipes? Diana Brown sent "one of my family's favorite recipes. The condensed milk replaces 14 ounces of milk as called for in the directions on the box of pudding." If there is a comfort food, this just may be it.

Banana Pudding

1 large box banana cream instant pudding

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

1 cup plus 2 ounces milk

8 ounces or more Cool Whip

4 to 5 sliced bananas

1 box mini vanilla wafers, crumbled

Blend pudding mix, sweetened condensed milk and regular milk until smooth, about 2 minutes. Gently blend in Cool Whip topping.

Stir in sliced bananas. Stir in crumbled wafers, leaving some to sprinkle on top.

Pour into serving dish, sprinkle with crumbled wafers, and chill until ready to serve.

 

NO-BAKE PIE

Every once in a while I discover a very regular contributor in the wrong inbox: Junk Mail. So it was this week when blogger Margaret McNeil's recipe was rescued from that fate. She wrote, "I saw the request from Yeast of the Ridge for a recipe for lemonade pie. I'm not sure if this is the recipe she's looking for, but I thought I'd share it with you. The pie is delicious and so refreshing on a hot summer day. Unlike many no-bake pie recipes, this one doesn't use Cool Whip. If you'd like to read more about it, this link will take you to the blog post from 2011: margaretsmorsels.blogspot.com/2011/10/no-bake-dessert.html.

"In the meantime, here's the recipe."

Lemonade Pie

2 (5-ounce) cans evaporated milk

2 (3.4-ounce) packages lemon instant pudding mix

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

2 (3-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

1 (12-ounce) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed

1 (9-ounce) ready made prepared graham cracker crust

Whisk together the evaporated milk and pudding mix in a bowl 2 minutes or until thickened. Beat cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add lemonade concentrate, beating until blended. Add pudding mixture, and beat until blended. Pour into pie crust. Freeze 4 hours or until firm; transfer to refrigerator. Garnish, if desired. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator.

Makes 8 servings.

 

BRUNCH DISH

Susan Potts noted the request for "a three-ingredient brunch dish. It immediately brought to mind the following recipe. Although it has more than three ingredients, I wonder if One Neighbor might like this version."

Chili Cheese Squares

1 can (4 ounces) diced, peeled green chilies, drained

8 ounces (2 cups) shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1 cup Bisquick

1 cup light cream

4 eggs

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup sliced olives (optional)

Sprinkle chilies and cheese in bottom of lightly greased 9-inch square pan. Combine Bisquick, cream, eggs and salt in bowl; beat until thoroughly blended. Pour over chili-cheese mixture. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until puffed, golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Garnish with olive slices if desired. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting into squares. This may be frozen; reheat at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

 

GO-TO COOKBOOKS

Now we return to the go-to cookbook conversation. There are two new nominations, first from G.C. and next from E.K., after many years in the kitchen.

G.C. has a simple formula: Anything from Thomas Keller. "It might be his huge cookbooks, or his advice about cooking eggs in his Master Class to which we have subscribed, a series of classes that we watched on our television. My husband and I trust his taste completely."

E.K., a lively octogenarian, wrote, "I have an extensive collection of cookbooks. However, the first one I bought after I married was a two-volume 'Meta Given's Encyclopedia,' now out of print. I agree 100% with Linda Morris about the Betty Crocker cookbooks. I got mine in 1963, and the cover is held together with electrical tape and, yes, both books' pages are 'batter-spattered.' I am 84, and I still use them regularly."

Finally, Suzanne Bock received a request from another reader for buying information for "Recipes and Remembering," published in 2005 by Edith Parker Middleton, who just happens to be Ms. Bock's beloved grandmother. Ms. Bock directed her fellow Exchanger to Amazon, and her grandmother was "absolutely tickled" to have another reader. So keep them coming, your cookbook favorites, your wise ideas, your batter-spattered recipes.

It is good to have the pleasure of your company, even if remotely.

 

REQUESTS

* Growing lavender for recipes

* Vegetarian Indian butter chicken

* Black garlic sources

* Rhubarb sources

* More favorite food blogs

 

To Reach Us:

Fare Exchange is a longtime meeting place for people who love to cook and love to eat. We welcome both your recipes and your requests. Be sure to include precise instructions for every recipe you send.

Mailing address: Jane Henegar, 913 Mount Olive Road, Lookout Mountain, GA 30750

Email: chattfare@gmail.com

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Jane Henegar
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