by Carol Masters, Becketwood Member
We were thankful in mid-November to the Food Committee, chair Judith Maddux, who sponsored a “Tasting” of enhancements to Becketwood’s menu options, focusing on foods that were vegetarian, vegan, and/or gluten-free. The event was necessarily limited to fifty tasters; reservations filled within days and a waiting list grew for a possible second event.
Chef Jason guided us on a tour-around-the-plate of Asparagus Puree Soup, Summer Squash and Mushroom Frittata with Green Sauce (tomatillos, Spanish peppers), Autumn Garden Vegetable Stuffed Eggplant, and Walnut and Cheese Meat(less)balls in Marinara Sauce. The delicious meal was capped with a gluten-free Date Pudding Cobbler (recipe below).
Chef Jason pointed out how the menu items were drawn from fresh ingredients and cooked and seasoned with particular care. The walnut balls were a variation from a famous Trempealeau, Wisconsin, hotel recipe. He has been using various flours for many years, including gluten-free flours, and is knowledgeable about the health (and taste) benefits of using good olive oil and other oils that can take higher heats without burning. In a question and answer session, Jason spoke about his suppliers and gave us some insights into reading labels (shorter list of ingredients is better) and buying fewer processed foods.
Reactions from the gathered tasters were overwhelmingly enthusiastic.
A panel from the Food and Environment Committees also shared information about benefits of eating less/no meat, health-wise and planet-wise!
Date Pudding Cobbler
- 1 ½ cups rice flour
- 1 ½ cups packed brown sugar, divided
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp cold butter
- ½ cup milk
- ¾ cup chopped dates
- ¾ cup chopped walnuts
- 1 cup water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a bowl, combine flour, ½ cup brown sugar and baking powder. Cut in butter until crumbly. Gradually add milk, dates, and walnuts. In a saucepan, combine water and remaining brown sugar; bring to a boil. Remove from the heat; add the date mixture and mix well. Transfer to a greased 8-inch-square baking pan. Bake 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Whipped cream and ground cinnamon, optional.