August isn’t for much. This makes me sad for August. It’s as if the world — as a whole — took one look at those 31 days and said “heh” before joining hands and skipping off with all the other holidays. August sat there alone, with nothing to look forward to until Friendship Day came along and asked to play. Yes, I have been a quiet fan of Friend Day (the peppy name I prefer) ever since finding it during an August Holiday Search for a work calendar.
How, when, why, where Friend Day started is a mystery. The internet says that Friend Day was started in 1935 by the U.S. Congress. Which I find quite humorous. Proof of this proclamation was not found. Calling the government and asking was very tempting, but I thought, perhaps, just perhaps they needed to focus on another task.
All that really needs to be known is that this holiday is well worth celebrating. A quiet fan no more I yell out live the meaning of friendship, give thanks, celebrate with cake! The cake makes the yelling a little less jarring, you know.
The real dilemma with this post wasn’t in finding a recipe – it was in choosing one. All my friends keep me cooking. Recipes, idea for recipes, sources for recipes, sources for foods, foods never before tried, new ways of cooking foods never before tried, forgotten recipes are suggested and talked about, recommended and encouraged by all of them. Thank you. If only there was time and stomach enough to try each and every one.
While researching this post (internet browsing) I learned that Winnie the Pooh was named the world’s Ambassador of Friendship by the United Nations. (Which also went unverified.*) In honor of him (who knew a thing or two about friendship) and to the United Nations (who is supposed to be about friendship) for being a little silly the featured ingredient had to be honey. While telling a friend of my very incomplete plan to feature honey she said “…and pistachios.”
Friends may not have suggested this cake recipe, but they have been very patient sounding boards. For both of them, kindly, as this one is adapted from A Polymath’s Lemon Rosemary Yogurt Pound Cake.
Pistachio Blueberry Loaf Cake
1 cup flour
½ cup roasted pistachios, finely ground
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup plain yogurt
not quite 1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon brandy
zest and juice from 1 lemon
½ cup sunflower oil
half a pint fresh blueberries
one good drizzle honey
Grease and bottom parchment line a loaf pan. Turn oven to 350°.
In a large bowl combine the flour, pistachios, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl whisk together the yogurt, sugar, brandy, eggs and lemon juice. Add the small bowl ingredients to the large bowl ingredients. Add in the sunflower oil. Though any number of oils would also work. I’d never had sunflower oil before and wanted to give it try. I can’t say I noticed any difference at all, but it does sound so lovely. Stir in the blueberries. Then add your drizzle of honey.
Pour into the loaf pan. Bake until golden brown – like a toasty Winnie the Pooh. Or, until a tester comes out clean. How long you ask? Hmm… If you turn on a movie that lasts 1 hour and 49 minutes when you start putting together the ingredients the cake will be finished before the movie. Long enough before the movie to allow your body to relax and mind to become absorbed in the movie’s magical charm.
Remove from oven. Let cool. Remove from pan. Let cool completely.
In making this my goal was to replace the sugar with honey. I got scared, decided to put in only sugar, then told myself to pull it together and added in a large drizzle of honey. I thought it was quite sweet enough as it was. A larger honey taste would be nice for the future. Next time…I leap, maybe with my eyes closed.
from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook
4 tablespoons (half a stick) of butter
2 tablespoons honey
zest from one lemon
Melt the butter. You can do this in the warm oven. Mix in the honey and lemon zest. Put in the refrigerator to set. It will separate, but that’s okay. Put the butter mixture into a little food processor and whir it all about until it’s combined into a silky soft spread.
At least that’s how it went this time. See I really did try to follow the directions in the book. It didn’t work out. This was how I saved it. It was delicious.
* In fact the only information that seemed accurate was that the United Nations moved Friendship Day to July 30. I consider this to be a terrible slight to August who certainly did nothing to deserve having its one and only holiday taken away. I will not acknowledge this change.