20 January 2017

Jessica Fechtor's Cherry Clafoutis #CooktheBooksClub

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Cook the Books read Jessica Fechtor's memoir called Stir: My Broken Brain and the Meals that Brought me Home for our bimonthly selection. Jessica's writing is what we teachers like to call "authentic voice."  Even though I have never met her, I know I would recognize her when she spoke. Her book tells the story of her brain aneurysm at the age of 28, her nothing-short-of miraculous recovery, her food blog and how food and cooking helped her return to the world.


I was completely, soulfully and utterly mesmerized by this book.

Jessica writes her story in carefully crafted, simple yet powerful sentences, that sets the story free to soar. We walk beside her bleeding brain, recover with her outside of surgery, struggle with physical therapy and the loss of sight and taste, celebrate when things start to go well, cry when they aren't. And between all of this, is food.

Not just any food, but food, like Jessica, that has a heart.  In its own simplicity, she talks about toast with good bread and butter.  She talks about fruit in a way that makes you sit up and take notice. There are certain canned tomatoes and a certain salt that make food sing.  (You will need to read the book to learn these things!)

While I read her journey to recovery, I was thinking about mine, several years ago, and how I thought about food.  Food is a connection between love and wellness, between love and healing, between love and caring.  Food is offered when things are bad, when things are good and when things are just right. Find the foods that say love to you, and you can find your way back home.

I was intrigued by all the foods Jessica mentions in her book, but I was certain I wanted to create the Cherry Clafoutis at home.  My husband loves cherries and I wanted to taste this simple dessert that features cherries at its core.  It was delicious and I hope you find it so, too.  I modified her recipe to fit our dish.  Here's how I made it:



Cherry Clafoutis

1 T softened butter
sugar for dusting the pan
1 cup of fresh cherries, pitted
1/2 c milk
1 T brown sugar
1/2 t baking powder
1 egg
1 t vanilla
1 T brandy
1/4 t salt
2 T flour
confectioners sugar for finishing

Preheat oven to 375. Use the butter to coat a round cake pan, thickly coated. Dust the pan with sugar and shake out any excess.  Put the cherries in the baking dish (I halved mine) in a single layer.  In a blender pitcher, add milk, brown sugar, baking powder, egg, vanilla, brandy, salt and flour.  Blend on high speed for 1 minute.  Pour the batter over the cherries and back for 30 minutes.  The clafoutis will puff up and turn golden brown.  A tester will come out clean.  Serve at room temperature, dusted with confectioner's sugar.

Serves 4



Read the book.  It will nourish you in both mind and spirit.  Come back and thank me later.

39 comments :

  1. Yum! That looks so good! I have to try making this at home. I'm sure my family will love this!

    Belle | www.OneAwesomeMomma.com

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  2. This looks delicious and easy to make. I'm sure since it calls for 2T of flour it might be easy to substitute gluten free

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  3. Wow that looks absolutely delicious! I know many people would love this especially because it's cherry! Sounds like a good book!

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  4. Love that you are trying new recipes and keeping things fresh in the kitchen.

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  5. This looks so bubbly and delicious! I don't eat a lot of cherries but these looks great!

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  6. This sounds like an awesome read! Thanks for sharing.

    Alix | www.apintsizedlifeblog.com

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  7. This sounds like an awesome read! Thanks for sharing.

    Alix | www.apintsizedlifeblog.com

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  8. This looks so good!! I love to try making new desserts, this looks like one that my whole family would love.

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  9. I am going to add that book to my to read list. I can't wait to read Jessica's story. Your dish looks amazing too!

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  10. That looks so good! I love cherries! I want to try that. I am so glad Jessica survived her brain aneurysm. A few months ago we lost a very sweet coworker to the same condition. It is such a heartbreaking illness.

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  11. Ahhh... drooling looking at what you baked! I want a bite! And want to check out this book because I totally agree with the toast being GOOD bread/butter. That type of vibe in finding really GOOD food items is so #Necessary.

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  12. Oh man this looks amazing! We love cherry desserts and this looks delicious. Add a scoop of ice cream and I'm in heaven.

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  13. You're totally right, food is about love. That's why when someone makes something from scratch, I make a point to eat it. I haven't heard about Jessica Fechtor's book, will have to look for it.

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  14. This looks delicious! I haven't heard of the book and I just started working on a new one, but in the meantime, this dessert would be incredible.

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  15. Wow, what a glowing review of this book. I'll definitely have to check it out. And your cherry dessert looks really, really good. Would love to have a slice of it right now.

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  16. That looks delicious! I hadn't heard of this book, but I totally want to read her story now.

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  17. I definitely appreciate bloggers that promote or review books on their blog! It helps give me an idea of what to expect before I make a purchase. This book looks really good!




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  18. Trying new desserts is my favorite thing to do. I would love to try this yum

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  19. I have been urning for a book to catch my soul like this! And the fact that there are some awesome recipes in here makes me even more excited. That cherry clafoutis looks delish!

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  20. This sounds amazing!!! I've only seen stuff like this on food tv shows. I bet it's so yummy!

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  21. This story sounds so familiar. I'm wondering if she did a TED talk about it? I'm definitely going to check out this book. I love a good story, especially when it is paired with delicious recipes.

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  22. Yum. This looks awesome. This past Christmas. I've been obsessed with Cherry anything.

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  23. I love it when a book can describe something so good you want to do it or enjoy it. I have never heard of a clafoutis, but it looks delicious!

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  24. This book sounds really interesting! Also, I'm not a huge cherry fan but I know my family would love this Cherry Clafoutis - I might make it for them one day

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  25. It is always so interesting to see what people turn to for solace in times of crisis. I turned to photography. Without that one "thing"/obsession, I would have drowned in sadness during my health crisis.

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  26. The way you write the opening sentences is beautiful! The introducing of the author and her life, then you talk about food in a beautiful way! The Cherry cake looks yum. What a delicious cake to enjoy with a cup of tea.

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  27. Yummm that looks so good. I love cherries, but I have never heard of a dish like this before. I will have to try it out.

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  28. That looks so yummy! It is starving me to death right now. I want to have this.

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  29. This book sounds wonderful. I can't imagine going through what she did, so young! It sounds like an inspiring story. Will add this to my reading list - thanks!

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  30. That book sounds like one I would really enjoy reading. I will look for it thank you. And that dessert! gaaaa omg. We can't really get cherries here I wonder if you can make this with other fruits.

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  31. Oh, I haven't had anything like this Cherry Calfoutis. It looks amazing though!

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  32. Sounds like a good book, I'll add it to my reading list. I love stories of how people overcome their struggles, it's inspiring.

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  33. Wow this book sounds amazing. It is important to view food the right way. I hope my children will love to cook healthy and beautiful things

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  34. This yummy looking delicious dessert has my mouth watering! I too love sharing my food. Sharing is caring right?

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  35. I have never heard or came across this recipe before. It looks really good though. I wonder why I never spotted this prior. I am glad however to stumble across your post. Thank you! I will give it a try asap.

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  36. That sounds like a lovely book that's full of life and inspiration as well. It's the kind of book that you'd like to read when you're going through a tough time in your life. That cherry clafoutis looks so delightful! Thanks for the recipe!

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  37. Hi Terri,
    I just saw your comment on the CTB post. I checked and double-checked and just now triple-checked and don't seem to have an email from you for this round. So if you sent one I do apologize if I accidentally deleted it. I usually am pretty careful to reply, comment as I get them, and put them into a CTB folder until I do the roundup. I did see your previous comment that you had the book and planned on participating and so I went and looked for a post on your blog when writing the roundup but must have missed it there too. Anyway... I just added it to the roundup now.

    I love Cherry Clafoutis--so easy and delicious. Your Clafoutis looks amazing. Thanks for joining in!

    Aloha,
    Deb

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  38. Very good review, Terri. This was a favorite for me, too. I love the simplicity (and deliciousness) of a clafoutis. (Glad Deb got you in!!!)

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  39. Lovely review and great choice of recipe! I bookmarked it for when cherries are in season here.

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