Q. My family and I love getting the newspaper to see what delicious recipe you have found or prepared. In Middle Georgia, the fair is about to begin shortly and I would like to know what is the recipe for the smoked turkey legs you get at the fair. Please help my family and I find out the recipe, you’d be doing us a favor!
James Bernard Scott
My cousin Tina once astounded the family by forsaking college to join a Renaissance Fair that traveled the country. I always envied her that free-spirited adventure! Twenty years later she is still a free spirit, making a living by drawing intricate henna tattoos on tourists at Clearwater Beach. She makes a mean Renaissance Fair turkey leg, too, and helped me with this recipe.
Most important is that you’ve got to do smoking to get a true fair flavor. Sure, you can try to add liquid smoke if you have to resort to using an oven or grill without a smoking option, but what makes the turkey legs distinct is wood smoke, preferably hickory or apple wood. You also should buy the biggest turkey legs you can find, no smaller than half a pound each, or the meat can be dry.
This recipe uses some pungent spices, as was wont during the Renaissance. If you’re not a fan of ground cloves or cinnamon in a savory dish, they can be omitted.
Sometimes you have to forget the cholesterol and go with butter, because no substitute comes close to giving the flavor and texture of the real thing. At least that is how I approach baking and a lot of my cooking, though I do try to cook healthier than I once did. That’s the idea behind the recipe website goboldwithbutter.com, sponsored by America’s dairy farmers and the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, which gathers recipes from bloggers who use butter as an ingredient.
What I love about this apple tartlet recipe from the site is its simplicity. It’s a beautiful presentation that requires no artistic leanings. And what could be better for fall than the apple/caramel combination with the crunchy burst of flaked salt? The recipe is by Karen of familystylefood.com. You can make the caramel sauce up to 2 weeks ahead.
Q. When we visited the Blue Ridge mountains in Georgia we stopped at a barbecue restaurant in Jasper and had a wonderful piece of chocolate cake. It reminded me of the cake my grandmother used to bake. The cashier told me it was just "old fashioned chocolate cake." Well, I have looked online, in many recipe books and cannot find a recipe. The restaurant version was baked in a sheet pan and was white cake with a cooked chocolate frosting, the kind you "pour" over a cake. Any chance you have a recipe for this kind of cake?
You can find a good from-scratch white cake in any basic cookbook. What you need to make that cake special is poured icing, a fudgy thick soft frosting that t isn’t made much anymore. That’s because it is a little tricky to make — like a from-scratch fudge — but once you’ve mastered it you will never go back to your quick recipes again.
Your grandmother probably knew what “soft ball” stage was without even testing, but I recommend investing in a candy thermometer you attach to the pan so you can watch as the temperature rises.