Father's Day Series : Dads that C😋😋K (1/3)

In this series of articles, LocalHood volunteer @Sze Yeen, an avid cook herself, speaks to 3 fathers of the community that love to cook for their family. These are regular fathers, not professionally cooks or even working in the F&B sector just those who enjoy sharing their love for cooking with those they love most in their lives.

In the first profile of this Father's Day Series, Sze speaks about food, the love for making a meal and the origin of his love for cooking, with Victor George Paddy. HAPPY FATHERS DAY TO ALL FATHERS...ALL AWESOME IN THEIR OWN WAY 😎👍🏻!!!

Read on in Victor's own words....

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I have long been our family’s Sunday dinner doer, the once-a-week author of garlic-heavy pasta dishes, steaks grilled in a seasoned cast-iron frying pan, wine-and-stock-simmered stews and other meat-centred meals assembled from collected recipes, a few good cookbooks and, often, The New York Times inspiring food section. Then along came the global pandemic. Suddenly, I was opening, closing and watching our dodgy oven door with sweet abandon. Baking up an abundance of chaos cookies, quarantine cakes and healing brownies, pandowdies and other fresh delights, and occasional disasters.

Like our Sunday dinners, my baking adventures were initially intended to please my teenage son, our family’s main meat, and sweet, eater. The coronavirus certainly gave me more time to beat butter and sugar, sift flour and flaunt my flair with a spatula. Expanded kitchen time also stirred memories of my

mother.

Pic: Dinner is served by Victor

A Ukrainian-Canadian homemaker, she showed her love for her three children at the breakfast, dinner and supper table. The in-between table, too. Alongside meat and potatoes, we grew up on her old-country cabbage rolls, on dill-spiced borscht, pierogi slathered in fried onions and sour cream and the less-loved jellied pork hocks we knew as head cheese. Then there was dessert. Coming from the Niagara Peninsula, Canada’s finest fruit-growing region, we were spoiled on strawberry shortcake made with just-picked berries, fresh rhubarb, apple and sour-cherry pies, tarts sweet with peaches gathered in the orchard a few steps from our backyard. And for the long Canadian winter, my mother would can pears, plums and peaches, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and other seasonally grown fruit and vegetables.

Unfortunately, I lack my mother’s way with dough, ovens and much else. So while my son is still very much the carnivore, he seems to have lost his tooth for treats. Certainly his daddy’s desserts. Which is why my wife and I ate most of last week’s tart-fruit scones. For reasons unknown, I confess they did not entirely rise to the occasion.

As for my home-baked muffins, I have become our family’s sole consumer, if endless promoter. I welcome you to try them, adapting the recipe to suit your own sweet tastes. Mine came together after several baking sessions. I started with two cups of whole-wheat flour but found the finished product a little dense, so settled on one cup whole wheat flour, one cup all-purpose flour. I love nuts, so went from one cup, to 1½ and, finally, to two cups of pecan pieces. It was much the same with the lemon juice and zest: this recipe is citrus rather than sugar spiked. While most muffin recipes demand a brimming cup or more of sugar, a half-cup is plenty sweet enough for me and my breakfast.

Happy baking!! Happy memories!!!

Lemon-Blueberry Muffins

Yield: 12 muffins

Time: 30 min prep, 15-20 min baking

Ingredients

● two cups of flour: one cup whole wheat, one cup all-purpose ● 2 teaspoons baking powder ● 1 teaspoon baking soda ● ½ teaspoon salt ● 2 eggs ● 1 cup plain yogurt ● ¼ cup milk ● ¼ cup canola or grapeseed oil ● ½ cup sugar (brown or white or mix of both) ● 1 teaspoon vanilla ● 1 cup cooked oats, cooled (I use old-fashioned rolled oats) ● 2 cups blueberries tossed with 1 teaspoon flour ● zest and juice of one lemon ● 1-2 cups oven-heated pecan pieces (or walnuts or a mix of both)

Preparation

1. Preheat the oven to 190°C. 2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large mixing bowl 3. Add the sugar and lemon zest. 4. In another bowl, whisk eggs, yogurt, milk, oil, vanilla and lemon juice. 5. Stir the dry and wet ingredients together in the largest bowl using a spatula, working from the bottom just enough until you no longer see flour. 6. Fold in the cooled, cooked oats, followed by the flour-dusted blueberries. 7. Finally, add the oven-roasted pecans to the batter. 8. Melt a good dollop of butter and baste a 12-muffin pan with the melted butter (or use paper muffin holders if you want a fancy finish) 9. Using an ice-cream scoop, spoon the batter generously into the buttered muffin tray. (Best add the batter in two goes to ensure that it’s evenly distributed in each of the 12 cups.) 10. Place the muffin tray in the oven, and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the muffins begin to brown. Check at 15 minutes, using a toothpick or metal cake tester. 11. Out of the oven, let the muffins sit in the tray for about 10 minutes, then put them on a rack to cool. 12. Muffins keep for a couple of days at room temperature and a few more days in the fridge. They keep for a few weeks in your freezer; just wrap each muffin snugly in cling wrap, then toss them into a large sealable plastic bag.

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