Art in the Age of a New Age: Ushering in 2012 (Part Four)

January 2012!

As I said, the idea first hatched when colored leaves were falling, and I added a splash of Rhuby to a cinnamon roll recipe– what if an entire weekend of meals were dedicated to the Art in the Age herbal elixirs?

What if that weekend took place in a setting removed from everyday routines, frenzies and fits?  What if that weekend ushered in a brand new year?  A special someone and I schemed “Art in the Age of a New Age:  Ushering in 2012.”  With a rustic crate of alcohols and bags of groceries, we escaped to a memory filled cabin.  I dare say, it was pretty close to perfect!  There were gingerbread waffles, Rhuby roasted salmon, roasted Root veggies and an adult Root Beer cake and some cocktails in between!

On Sunday morning, the first Sunday morning of 2012, the sun was shining and the waffle maker was calling.  Waffles were the bookends- the last brunch of 2011 and the first brunch of 2012.

As a baker who somehow does not own a waffle maker, I was eager to put the cabin’s apparatus to use, albeit two days in a row.  Day two’s waffles had a brand new twist:  root vegetables that hadn’t made it to the roasted Root medley of the NYE dinner.

The First Brunch of 2012

Last night’s root vegetables become…

The Next Morning’s Gingerbread & Roots Waffles

Waffle Ingredients

3 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
*Small Sweet Potato, peeled and sliced
*Small Beet, peeled and sliced
(*enough to make about 1 cup combined when mashed)
1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup molasses
1 Tablespoon Snap
1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter, plus some to butter the iron

Apple Topping Ingredients

2-3 Tablespoons organic, unsalted butter
1 pink lady apple, chopped
A handful of dried cranberries
2 Tablespoons organic apricot fruit spread
Dash of cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg
2 Tablespoons organic brown sugar
2 Tablespoons Snap

Whipped Topping Ingredients

1 cup organic heavy whipping cream
2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 Tablespoons Snap

For the Waffles

Preheat waffle iron.

Boil the sweet potato and beet until soft.  Remove from heat.  Drain liquid.  Use a fork to mash the potato and beet together.  Set aside.

In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt.

In a medium bowl, beat eggs and brown sugar until fluffy.

Then beat in mashed sweet potato and beet mixture, fresh ginger, buttermilk, molasses, Snap and melted butter.

Stir the wet into dry until just moist.  Do not over stir the waffle batter.

Brush the iron with a little melted butter and cook waffles.

For the Apple Cranberry Topping

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat.

Add the apples and cranberries, stirring frequently.

As the apples and cranberries soften, add the apricot fruit spread and spices.  Continue to stir.

Right before removing from heat, add the Snap.  Stir to combine.  Remove from heat and serve with waffles fresh off the waffle maker.

For the Whipped Topping

Place a medium-sized bowl in the freezer until chilled.

Combine all of the ingredients in the chilled bowl.  Use an electric mixer to beat until stiff peaks form.  Keep chilled until ready to serve.

Delicious to the last maple laden crumb!

What’s really going on here…

A Brunch Breakdown

A:  Someone decided to have a little Absinthe cocktail with brunch.  Fortune favors the bold!  Not sure if wormwood does though.  B:  Maps for the days adventuring!  It’s amazing there are maps for some of the “roads” in those parts.  C:  A brand new sketchbook for a brand new year and adventures together.  Part of the cabin companion’s Christmas present handcrafted by yours truly.  D:  Our Art in the Age provisions.  E:  I once made the mistake of thinking I had seen enough of Star Wars to characterize myself as someone who had “seen” the film.  I was wrong.  I’m trying to make up for my great offense through Christmas offerings that shoot out gross candy.  F.  Waffles!  Waffles!  Waffles!  The thrill of having a waffle maker!  G:  Champagne.  Of course!  H:  Only the real maple sweetness for my brunches.  Isn’t it lovely how the label matched the table?!?  I:  That would be the baked applewood smoked bacon in that blue glass dish.  J:  Unprepared for absinthe in the a.m., I chose a brunch staple:  the classic mimosa.  K:  Snap whipped cream.  Lessons from the first batch led to an extra splash of Snap in batch number two.  L:  (as in Lovely view) That window showcases a lovely view of the creek’s flowing waters.  Across the creek is a house I first viewed in its gingerbread iteration (part of why I was craving gingerbread so badly).

M:  (as in Mug) Adding a dollop of Snap Whipped Cream to a mug of good quality coffee is like sipping a divine latte without the expense of an in home espresso machine.  Try it!

N:  (As in fiN!)  It was time to clean up the cleaned plate club dishes and do some more cabin lounging and outdoor exploring…

(Disclaimer: for moderate consumption at a summit, not for drinking while driving)

That’s the road that leads far, far away from reality.  It’s a really wonderful road!

Cheers to brunching in 2012!

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