My Emu Is Emo

I cook. I listen to music. Mayhem ensues.

  • Published: Oct 17th, 2010
  • Category: Dessert
  • Comments: None

Retro apple-cheese cookies

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apple cheese cookiesAccomplishing my week 1 tasks in the Kitchen Cure did predictably result in a burst of inspiration to make these apple-cheese cookies. According to Faith from TheKitchn, this recipe comes from a mid-century cookbook and she updated it with a more modern twist on a key ingredient.

That calls for a band that takes a mid-century sound and gives it a modern twist, so let’s go with Gold Motel (listen). A solo project of Greta Morgan of The Hush Sound, Gold Motel gives us a sound that bridges summer sunshine and autumn haze… with several twists. The band’s most recent album, Summer House, is rumored to be line for an autumn 2010 follow-up. Preheat the  oven to 375 and let’s get cooking!

wet, dry, mixed, fruit, cheeseThat there is a cut-up apple. It’s one of the tart pie varieties: I buy whichever is on sale, but always tart because I want depth of flavor. That preference may also explain my pash for female voices like Morgan’s, as there’s a layer of whiskey-soaked nettles under the pretty, and it works with the lo-fi sound she’s aiming for here.

Whisk together an egg and 3/4 cup olive oil. Asking yourself “am I making mayonnaise?” is not an unreasonable question here, as if you added vinegar or lemon juice, you would be. Instead, add a tablespoon of rum. Keep whisking.

By now you’ve surely gotten through the first track of the MySpace sample: is that not girl-band, circa 1962? Simple chords, tambourine on the back beat, chorus you can sing embarrassingly loudly in the car with the top down… even a few ooh-ooh-oohs.

Welcome to Motown, complete with lo-fi appeal, four-on-the-floor dance beat, important back-up vocals, and odd flourishes (xylophone? triangle?) that ornament a relatively simple arrangement. This isn’t a sound I know much about, but it seems to be making a comeback, if we judge by the popularity of Cee-Lo. I suspect part of the appeal comes from the ongoing mid-century modern revival in design (buy enough vintage LPs for the covers and it becomes tempting to play a few) and another part from getting back to a sound that was one of the roots of rock-’n'-roll.

Achieving some fancy Motown footwork should not interfere with mixing together:
–3/4 cup flour
–1/4 cup brown sugar
–1 teaspoon ginger or apple pie spice or whatever seems handy in that vein
–1/2 teaspoon baking powder
–1/2 teaspoon salt
–1-1/2 cup of oats

To this, add the egg-oil-rum mixture and stir well. Take that cut up apple and whirl it through the food processor, then add it and a cup or more of golden raisins. Keep mixing. Reflect on the fact that Morgan learned to play the piano at age two and wrote her first song at age three. (It’s such stories that keep me humble. It’d be kind of interesting though, to list what one oneself at age three and whether it was in any way predictive of future activities.) She’s classically trained on piano, which shows up on the final MySpace track.

Add a big handful of shredded cheese. I used Italian cheese mix rather than Gouda. Mix, mix, mix. Drop by tablespoonfuls on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 15-18 minutes.

apple-cheese cookiesGiven five minutes on the cooling rack to crisp up, these babies are addictive. (Later, they benefit from reheating.) They’re sweet and salty, and since they contain oats, they must be healthful!

I’m on my second or third listen for Gold Motel, which means a purchase is imminent, when I manage to rectify my iTunes confusion across various moribund computers. I’m also more than usually torn on a wrap-up video, since there’s a lot here that I like. Heck, let’s go with hand-claps, rockabilly roots, strong guitar riff, and the inevitable tambourine.

Also, it has a retro microphone. Forget which band member is hot: it has a retro microphone.

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