Fruit Fries

(Aug. 17, 2018) As the summer starts to wind down, I cannot help but think another year is almost gone.

I try not to think about the future and stay focused on the present. Each day is meaningful and it is up to the individual to make the most of it.

But as one walks the path of existence, you cannot help but question some of your decisions. Life is a journey and mistakes are sure to follow. Just remember, regret is a reaction and does not have to become a reality.

Whenever I take a moment and sift through the many remembrances, the kitchen seems to be the common denominator. It represents so much more than just sharing a meal; the love that is present is part of our daily bread.

I remember mother taking me under her wing and showing me how to bake. I was mesmerized how flour, sugar and eggs could be magically transformed into a delectable dessert.

To this day, the aromas of sweet recollections brings me to a time where family was fundamental.

Nanny, bless her heart, cooked heirloom recipes for all to enjoy. Sausage gravy and liver pudding are still some of my favorites.

I can see Nanny’s petite frame hovering over the stove and carefully nurturing a pot of greens. A little fat, salt and pepper instantly turns back the hands of time.

It takes years of experience to properly stir a pot of beans. Faith helps one assess the timing of the gifts we are about to receive. My grandmother knew the placing of the hand on the pot is most crucial.

This sanctuary breathes new life to future generations. The knowledge that simmers in the pot do not come easy and that is why it must be handled with utmost care.

As a child, I could not wait to go to Uncle Clark’s and Aunt Bessy’s house. Breakfast was a smorgasbord of mouthwatering food.

Crispy country ham, breakfast gravy, creamy cheesy egg casseroles, hot biscuits, homemade jams, fried apples, fried tomatoes, hash browns, and much more graced their table first thing in the morning. A hearty meal was a must when putting in a full day’s work. Hard work has been the backbone of this country; hopefully it will not be a thing of the past.

Times have changed; American families are busier than ever. We should not become a society that depends on fast food and frozen meals. But more importantly, let us not lose the real meaning of sharing a meal.

Take the time to cook with your children. Sharing treasured stories about your family keeps your ancestry alive. Updating traditional dishes adds zest to your menu planning.

Coming up with creative ideas is a fun way to involve the children. The lessons learned in the kitchen go well beyond the table and its offerings.

That being said, who says fries have to be savory. Fruity fries are an enjoyable, healthy alternative to sugary desserts and at the same time teach children to develop their creativity.

Baked low-fat pound cake cut into the shape of French fries, strawberry ketchup, and a dusting of powdered sugar (salt) and freshly ground pepper are simple to make and perfect for the little chef in your family. Fruity fries are finger licking good. Enjoy!

* Strawberries and coarse, freshly ground black pepper pair well together. Adding black pepper is optional.

* 8 mini square fry baskets can be purchased at Amazon for $23.99. These baskets are a must if one relishes the art of entertaining.

Fruity Fries

Pound Cake Fries

16 oz. favorite light pound cake

non-flavored cooking spray

Strawberry Ketchup

2 cups fresh strawberries, finely chopped

2 cups strawberry fruit spread (can be found in the jam and jelly section of your favorite supermarket)

few pinches each ground cinnamon, allspice, cloves and nutmeg

2 pinches kosher salt

Garnish

powdered sugar

coarse, freshly ground pepper (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Spray cooking sheet lightly with cooking spray.

3. Combine the ingredients for the strawberry ketchup in a medium bowl.

4. Slice pound cake into ½-inch slices. Spread slices evenly on baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes on one side and 3 minutes on the other side or until golden brown. Place slices on a cooling rack.

5. When cool, slice the pound cake into the shape of fries.

6. Place fries in a mini fry basket. Serve ketchup on the side. Garnish with powdered sugar and freshly ground pepper.

Serves 6

Secret Ingredient – Fun. “Never, ever underestimate the importance of having fun.”

— Randy Pausch

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