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La Promesa de Persephone

La Promesa de Persephone – Persephone’s Promise – is a mezcal cocktail created by Misty Kalkofen of Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal. She is a long-time friend and collaborator of Susana Trilling of Seasons of My Heart. I made this cocktail recently during one of Susana’s online classes. Misty used a mixing mezcal called Del Maguey Vida (which I actually found in Tucson!), made in San Luis del Rio, Oaxaca by Paciano Cruz Nolasco (follow the link above to read more about it). The drink itself is influenced by the Moscow Mule, but focusing on the seductive pomegranate and the connection with Greek myth. The color is marvelously festive.

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Seasons of My Heart

Class in 2008

Back in 2008, on a birding tour in Oaxaca, Mexico with Mark Pretti Nature Tours, we had a wonderful time at a Seasons of My Heart cooking class with Susana Trilling at her Rancho Aurora. For the most part we watched and ate, but we did get to try our hand at making tetelas, bean-stuffed tortillas cooked on a comal. I bought her small cookbook there, My Search for the Seventh Mole, resolving to work on making mole (specifically negro and coloradito) when we got home, as well as other Oaxacan delights. Click here to see my review (in progress)!

DoubleTree Chocolate Chip Cookies (High-Elevation)

If you’ve ever stayed at a DoubleTree, you’re familiar with the chocolate chip cookies that they give you when you check in. Thick, soft, loaded with chocolate and walnuts, with a touch of cinnamon and some oatmeal. I guess the folks at Hilton were bored enough during the pandemic that they published (they claim for the first time) the recipe – click here. Unfortunately, their version did not quite work in my high-elevation kitchen, so this is my amended version for 5000 ft.

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Isolation Sour

A whiskey sour by any other name … I’ll admit I got this recipe from Sam Heughan (that’s James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser to Outlander fans), part of a fundraiser for personal protective equipment (PPE) in Scotland a few months ago on Instagram. His version was a bit strong for me so I have modified it accordingly. If you are a Scot, and/or made of sterner stuff, then, well, feel free to double the whisky. Or more.

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Colombian Torta Negra

I was supposed to be in Colombia in June, before COVID-19 upended everything. Instead I’ve contented myself with looking at Colombian recipes and seeing what I could make at home. My first effort was arepas – corn cakes, basically – probably the simplest thing one could make. From there I jumped clear over to something that easily takes the most time: Colombian torta negra.

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Swedish Pear Cake with Cardamom (High Elevation)

This recipe for Päronkaka med kardemumma is adapted for my high-elevation kitchen from that in Magnus Nilsson’s Nordic Baking Book. Christina Gyllner has a very similar recipe here (let Google translate it from Swedish): https://www.koket.se/mitt-kok/christina-gyllner/paronkaka-med-kardemumma/ – although be forewarned the flour and sugar measures are in dL. My initial attempts at making this cake, despite cutting back slightly the amount of baking powder, still had some classic elevation issues of rising too fast then collapsing. Third time was apparently the charm as by this attempt I pulled out all the stops on elevation adjustments. So for the record, here’s my version.

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