Cooking, Food, Recipe

Eat This While you Read That: Tom Rogneby

I didn’t realize when I asked Tom for a dish for ETWYRT that he also food blogs. Which makes sense, really, I know a few authors, like myself, who are rather fond of this food thing, and putting things in our mouth, especially tasty things. Tom, being a father, makes foodstuffs for his baby bears (totally makes sense if you look at his blog or read his Tales of the Minivandians). So he sent me a pair of recipes when I asked, with links, and I said ‘yippee! less work for Cedar!” So thanks, Tom.

This didn’t, of course, let me out of the cooking, photographing, and inevitable clean-up involved. But that’s ok, because this was a very tasty meal and I’m glad for the opportunity to have eaten it. While Tales of the Minivandians is a lovely book to read while cooking, because it’s vignettes and shot bits of a story in a post-apocalyptic medieval setting (it works, really it does), you might also want to check out his latest, Via Serica, which I reviewed recently. Via Serica is a historical novel, and a very well-done story. Now that we have the reading material out of the way, we shall commence with the food porn, links to recipes are in the titles. I’ve added my cooking notes.

Pork Roast with Potatoes and Apple Gravy 

When I do this again, I will omit the green peppers. They didn’t really add anything to the flavor, and they were an off-green when cooked, not appealing. Or, as the First Reader will point out, I could just be prejudiced against green peppers.

pot roast ingredients
Gathering my ingredients, including the bourbon…

When I was first looking at the recipe I turned to the First Reader and asked “what’s cooking bourbon? I’ve heard of cooking wine, even if I don’t use it, but cooking bourbon?” He shrugged, “the cheapest stuff in the store?”

So that’s what I got. The flavor of the finished sauce (it’s not properly a gravy) was quite good, so I did something right I guess.

The only problem I have with the slowcook when I'm gone all day is the pork gets overdone. But still tasty.
The only problem I have with the slowcook when I’m gone all day is the pork gets overdone. But still tasty.

The sauce took forever to cook down. I’d done the initial cooking in the slow cooker and mine is quite well sealed, keeping all the liquid in. I would either cut back the bourbon to one cup, or actually do a gravy with a roux base, if I try this again. I did do it from scratch, with fresh mushrooms and cream rather than the cream of mushroom soup. But I was in the mood to fuss, which isn’t always the case.

Pork roast meal
We had ours with garlic bread, and over a bed of fresh spinach.

Applesauce Spice Cake

Apple Spice Cake
Applesauce Spice Cake may be the quintessential fall dessert. Forget Pumpkin spice, this is much better.

This cake comes out very dense. If you prefer your cake a little spongier, use all white flour instead of the whole wheat portion. I doubled down and added 1/2 cup of walnut meal to this one. I also added a little ground cardamom to the spice mix.

Applesauce Cake
Super dense and moist. I baked mine in a 9″ round dish. It would work nicely in a tube pan with fried apple in the center, a sprinkle of powdered sugar, and served with ice cream… now I need to make it again.

We talked about making caramel sauce to have over this – from Dave Freer’s Sticky Date Pudding, and this is closer in texture to English pudding – but wound up eating it as-is. It’s yummy, and not terribly sweet so it’s nice for breakfasts (says the busy student who grabbed a slab of it on her way out the door and was surprised at how long it lasted for fuel).

Applesauce Spice Cake
Breakfast! Coffee cake! Whatever you call it, it’s delicious.

Eat This While You Read That! index page is here.

2 thoughts on “Eat This While you Read That: Tom Rogneby

  1. Thanks.

    Cooking bourbon is indeed the cheapest you have on hand. I normally use Jim Beam or Makers, but I’m spoiled by being able to drive to five or six good distilleries in less than an hour. Whatever you have on hand will be fine. I use it to add a little sweet and smoke to the recipe.

    The green peppers went in the recipe because when I came up with the dish, I had a couple of late-season harvests on the counter and figured “Why not?”.

    The cake does tend to be a bit dense, but I did it exactly because I knew that my teenager would snag a piece for breakfast, and wanted it it to stick with her. As a matter of fact, I’ll be making a double batch of this tonight to take on a campout with 30 JROTC cadets over the weekend. Hopefully it’s a good addition to their junk food. I’ll have to try your addition of walnut meal and cardamom. That sounds delicious.

    1. My Dad hates green peppers and I think I inherited that – although this might be nice with a Poblano or an Anaheim for some heat. The bourbon added nice flavor – I’m really pleased that your recipe got me to try it. And the cake is worthy of many repeats! Thanks!

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