Monday, October 29, 2012

Robert Redford / Cherry Cognac Bundt Recipe

Danny Klecko is not the brightest bulb you've ever warmed up to.

And there might be many topics that he may not be able to shed light on.

However, if there is one thing he can illuminate......

Klecko is a Master of Observation.

Friday night, 9:30 p.m. to be precise I was rifling through the channels and stopped @ Turner Classic Network.

Lo and Behold, they were running one of my all time favorite movies ever.....


And it was just starting, the credits were still rolling.

If you haven't seen this film, too bad, it really is wonderful.

It was released I think in 1976 or 77, and the premise was 2 guys......


Are investigative reporters, and these two reporters were the upstarts that blew the whole Water Gate thing open.

Is there anything more rewarding than watching persistence pay off?

Ecspecially when that persistence is faced head on by insurmountable odds.

I usually see this movie once or twice a year, and at least one time during the film, my mind leaves the turmoil of Washington D.C. and heads back to my life in the Twin Cities.

"I wonder if my friend Kim Ode's work area is like that of Woodward and Bernstein's?" I ask myself, knowing full well that her employer "StarTribune" might have made several adjustments.

Adjustments like banning smoking in the newsroom (however I have it on authority that the book review woman...Laurie Hertzel might be known to sneak a cig...

And I'll bet they might have even foregone typewriters for a newer invention called the computer.

But for whatever reason, the romantic fiber in the Klecko DNA strand really wants his friends at the paper to work in the old world setting.

In all the years I've known Kim, she has come to my office a million times.

She has baked with me in the plant 500 times......

But anytime Klecko has stopped by the Strib, he never ventures to go past the lobby.....

If you already have a utopian newsroom set up in your head....why risk misperceiving Utopia.

Yeah-Yeah....I regress......

So I'm watching the movie, and it occurs to me how good Dustin Hoffman is, some may state he steals the show.....And then in my mental warehouse I deduce this may be the only film in Klecko's Top 100 Movies list where Hoffman even makes an appearance.

Redford on the otherhand.......

He might be in 3 of my top 10 films ever.......




But then all of a sudden it was like the Angels of Warsaw shook my head to remove some rust, in hopes of giving me clarity.....and it did.

I don't know if you'll want to consider this an ephiphany....but I do

Robert Redford was in 3 of the top 10 films ever made on planet Earth.

That's 30% of the Klecko award winners, but then when you look at his other films.....

Films that he had to shoulder alone......they pretty much suck.

Some people are just meant to give their best performances in the company of others.

I just laid on the couch with Deedle - Deedle processing this, and it almost freaked me out.

But when lifes observations frighten me, more often than not....I retreat my mind to the kitchen to find a foot hold.

And this evening was no exception.

Some baking ingredients can kinda be like Robert Redford, great when accompanied by a carefully selected ingredient, but overpowering and out of control if left on it's own.

Cilantro would totally be a Robert Redford ingredient, great in Mexican dishes, but July-Hamper musty left alone.

I can see you knodding your head...LOL.

But that's more of a cooking ingredient.

In baking, I have always respected the power of cherry.

But often times I've wondered if by itself....cherry just might have too much power.

Often times when I deal with "tart" flavors, I try to really be thoughtful as to how I can delude that flavor w/o stripping it of it's integrity.

Recently, as some of you know, I've kinda been into Bundts.....

Submitted for your approval....

Chocolate - Cherry / Cognac Bundt

1 cup oil

1 cup water

2 eggs

1/2 cup sour cream

Glug vanilla extract

1/3 cup cocoa

1 3/4 cup sugar

2 cup All Purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoon b-soda

After setting these ingredients up.....

Wet with wet and dry with dry...........

Take one cup of dry cherry and soak them in Cognac.

Once the cherries cover with booze, step away and let them soak for around an hour.

If you soak shorter, you won't pick up optimum flavor, but if you soak much longer than an hour, the cherry will break down and shred.

So after preparing your pan......

Add alll the wet ingredients and mix.

Next add the dry ingredients and fold them in (don't overmix)

Finally....add your cherries last, and if you are shrewd.....reserve the cognac and blend it in with your glaze.

To revisit my point.......

When you take Tart Cherry and buffer it with Cocoa, Sour Cream, and Cognac....

You've domesticated the flavor and your palate need not worried about being accosted by savage flavors.

In closing....

Some might say that Redford's role in "The Natural" merited consideration for a film that he headlined alone....

I wouldn't know, I was busy staring at Kim Basinger!


  1. Replies
    1. Oh-OH.....I may stand corrected, I never saw it. Apoligies if I'm wrong.

    2. I do like your Redford baking analogy!

  2. you put ONE ASH TRAY on the cover of your book, and everyone thinks you're a smoker...

  3. Ah. "The Natural." The movie that I also appeared in.
    Good point on the cherry, though. It's a flavor I tend to avoid, but I think it's because few take the time to prepare it the right sidekicks.