KQED Food Blog: Bay Area Bites: April Fool
Bay Area Bites: culinary rants & raves from bay area foodies and professionals
Previous Posts
Check, Please! Bay Area: Season 2: Episode 13
In a Fever for Tonic Water
Food & Poetry Contest
Mediterranean Spirit, San Francisco
Devil's Food Cake
Morning Rituals
The Easter Egg
Check, Please! Bay Area: Season 2: Episode 12
Chocolate News
Eating Locally on a Budget
BAB Guidelines

'Bay Area Bites' is part of KQED's Blog Authors Collaborative. Blog contributors and commentators are solely responsible for their content. If you're interested in writing or contributing to a blog on kqed.org, email us with your idea.
Friday, April 13, 2007
April Fool
Yes, I know. It's not April 1st. I'm not that stupid. I have a calendar in front of me. It tells me today is Friday, April 13th. I just choose to pretend it is otherwise.

April Fool's Day. I'd always wondered what was especially foolish about that particular day. I thought it might have to do with the first whiffs of spring in the air-- causing hormones to surge, making people do idiotic things. As it turns out, it has more to do with the calendar and boring papal policy change than anything else.

You can blame the French, if you like. They were the first country to switch from the Julian to Gregorian calendar in 1582. The new New Year's Day moved to January 1st from the previously celebrated April 1st. News did not travel fast in the 16th century and those who missed the email still celebrated the first day of the year in April. They were called fools.

Personally, I rather like celebrating the new year in Spring. It makes much more sense to me; the sun begins to warm us again and flowers begin to bloom-- all that fluffy, happy stuff that happens about now. I'm generally exhausted come January 1st, what with Christmas and all. I consider it a rather lame idea to celebrate the New Year when everything about us is cold and dead with worse to come. Call me a fool if you like. You certainly wouldn't' be the first person to do that.

In honor of this old New Year, I'll give you three guesses as to what I'm making.

Yes, a fool. No lame plays on words please. Although, since I am working from my own kitchen and not wearing gloves, there will most likely be traces of my own DNA in the dessert. Therefore, and quite truthfully, I could be able to say that I am indeed making a fool of myself. That's as far as I am willing to go.

The fool is closely related to the trifle and the syllabub. So closely related, in fact, that they are practically sisters. With parents who had an interesting talent for naming their children, of course.

The fool is possibly the oldest and certainly the simplest of the trio, dating back to at least 16th century England. It is whipped cream and fresh or cooked, pureed fruit. What could be more English than that? Okay, a couple of things, I'm sure, but it's still pretty English.

Here's my recipe.

Strawberry Rhubarb Fool


For the puree:

1 pint strawberries, slices or chopped
2 stalks rhubarb, sliced in 1/4 pieces
2 tablespoons sugar, 1 for the strawberries, the other for the rhubarb, or to taste, depending
upon the sweetness of the berries.
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier, because I said so.

For the Cream:

1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Place rhubarb, 1 tablespoon of sugar and perhaps (these things are never precise) 1/2 cup of water in a sauce pan. Cook over medium heat until rhubarb is soft, releases its pink and is generally rather unattractive looking.
  2. Put into shallow dish and cool.
  3. Toss strawberries with 1 tablespoon of sugar and Grand Marnier. Let sit while the rhubarb cools.
  4. Toss, or place gently, rhubarb and berries into a food processor and blend until smooth. The mixture doesn't have to be too terribly smooth, some lumpiness may be desired in certain dessert circles. Set aside.
  5. In a bowl, combine cream, and buttermilk. Whip. About half way through the process, add sugar and vanilla. Whip until fairly stiff peaks form.
  6. Combine half the fruit puree with the same amount of whipped cream and fold together. A real fool will have some streakiness to it, as though perhaps pressing matters of Empire might have gotten in the way of a thorough folding.
  7. Into your selected glasses (parfait glasses are preferred, but I don't have any), place a tablespoon or two of the fruit at the bottom. Next, layer the cream and fruit mixture on top of that. I like a final layer of whipped cream on top, like the final flourish of non-dairy topping that finished off the Jell-o parfaits of my youth.
  8. Cover and refrigerate for as long as over night. Garnish with fruit or mint or bullets or whatever you want.
Serves 4 to 6, depending upon the glasses you use.

For a slightly healthier alternative, do away with the cream entirely and substitute yogurt. It will be like fruit-on-the-bottom Dannon or Yoplait, except you know exactly what you put into that fruit and, therefore, exactly what you're putting into your body.

To learn more about the Fool and her sisters, please visit In Mama's Kitchen because mother knows best.

Labels: , ,



Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Locate CP Restaurants:
Check, Please! Google Map
KQED Food Sites
Check, Please! Bay Area
Jacques Pépin Celebrates!
Jacques Pépin:
Fast Food My Way
Jacques Pépin:
The Apprentice
Jacques Pépin:
The Complete Pépin
KQED Wine Club
KQED.org Cooking
Weir Cooking in the City
Tasty Food Sites
Chowhound SF
Eat Local Challenge
Edible San Francisco
Food Network
Food Talk
Group Recipes
Hungry Magazine
Leite's Culinaria
Mighty Foods
NPR: Food
Om Organics
Serious Eats
SFGate: Food
SFGate: Wine
SF Station: Restaurants
Slow Food SF
Top Chef
Wikimedia Commons: Food & Drink
Yahoo! Food
Yelp: Reviews
Tangy Food Blogs
101 Cookbooks
A Full Belly
Accidental Hedonist
An Obsession with Food
Anna's Cool Finds
Becks & Posh
Between Meals
Bunny Foot
Butter Pig
Cellar Rat
Chez Pim
Chocolate & Zucchini
Confessions of a
Restaurant Whore
Cooking For Engineers
Cooking with Amy
Cucina Testa Rossa
Culinary Muse
Denise's Kitchen
Eater SF
Feed & Supply
Food Blog S'cool
Food Musings
Food Porn Watch
I'm Mad and I Eat
In Praise of Sardines
Knife's Edge
Life Begins at 30
Love and Cooking
Mental Masala
Moveable Feast
Organic Day
Passionate Eater
San Francisco Gourmet
SF City Eats
Simply Recipes
The Amateur Gourmet
The Ethicurean
The Food Section
The Grub Report
The Petite Pig
The Wine Makers Wife
Vin Divine
Wandering Spoon
Well Fed Network
Word Eater
World on a Plate
Yummy Chow
Search BAB

Eye Candy: Food Photos
BAB on flickr.com
Join Flickr for free and share your photos with the Bay Area Bites and Beyond group pool.
Food Books
The Moosewood Cookbook
by Mollie Katzen
Baking: From My Home to Yours
by Dorie Greenspan
Grand Livre de Cuisine: Alain Ducasse's Desserts and Pastries
by Alain Ducasse, Frederic Robertmison
The Big Book of Outdoor Cooking and Entertaining
by Cheryl Alters Jamison, Bill Jamison
Tasty: Get Great Food on the Table Every Day
by Roy Finamore
Whole Grains Every Day, Every Way
by Lorna Sass
The Soul of a New Cuisine: A Discovery of the Foods and Flavors of Africa
by Marcus Samuelsson
Michael Mina: The Cookbook
by Michael Mina, Photographer: Karl Petzktle
What to Eat
by Marion Nestle
The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
by Michael Pollan
Essence of Chocolate: Recipes for Baking and Cooking with Fine Chocolate
by John Scharffenberger, Robert Steinberg
Romancing the Vine: Life, Love, and Transformation in the Vineyards of Barolo
by Alan Tardi
What to Drink with What You Eat: The Definitive Guide to Pairing Food with Wine, Beer, Spirits, Coffee, Tea -- Even Water -- Based on Expert Advice from America's Best Sommeliers
by Andrew Dornenburg, Karen Page, Michael Sofronski
The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook: Stories and Recipes for Southerners and Would-be Southerners
by Matt Lee, Ted Lee
Bread Matters: The State of Modern Bread and a Definitive Guide to Baking Your Own
by Andrew Whitley
Coloring the Seasons: A Cook's Guide
by Allegra McEvedy
All-new Complete Cooking Light Cookbook
by Anne C. Cain
Modern Garde Manger
by Robert B. Garlough
The Spice and Herb Bible
by Ian Hemphill, Kate Hemphill
The Improvisational Cook
by Sally Schneider
Lunch Lessons: Changing the Way We Feed Our Children
by Ann Cooper, Lisa M. Holmes
Cradle of Flavor: Home Cooking from the Spice Islands of Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia
by James Oseland
My Life in France
by Julia Child, Alex Prud'Homme
A Passion for Ice Cream: 95 Recipes for Fabulous Desserts
by Emily Luchett, Sheri Giblin (photographer)
Au Pied De Cochon -- The Album
by Martin Picard
Memories of Philippine Kitchens
by Amy Besa, Romy Dorotan
Simple Chinese Cooking
by Kylie Kwong
An Invitation to Indian Cooking
by Madhur Jaffrey
Hungry Planet
by Peter Menzel, Faith D'Aluisio
Sunday Suppers at Lucques : Seasonal Recipes from Market to Table
by Suzanne Goin, Teri Gelber
Simple Soirees: Seasonal Menus for Sensational Dinner Parties
by Peggy Knickerbocker, Christopher Hirsheimer (Photographer)
The Cook's Book
by Jill Norman
Molto Italiano : 327 Simple Italian Recipes to Cook at Home
by Mario Batali
Nobu Now
by Nobuyuki Matsuhisa
Cheese : A Connoisseur's Guide to the World's Best
by Max Mccalman, David Gibbons
Bones : Recipes, History, and Lore
by Jennifer McLagan
Whiskey : The Definitive World Guide
by Michael Jackson
The New American Cooking
by Joan Nathan
by Lisa Yockelson
Easy Entertaining: Everything You Need to Know About Having Parties at Home
by Darina Allen
Cooking at De Gustibus: Celebrating 25 Years of Culinary Innovation
by Arlene Feltman Sailhac
Dough: Simple Contemporary Breads
by Richard Bertinet
Chocolate Obsession: Confections and Treats to Create and Savor
by Michael Recchiuti, Fran Gage, Maren Caruso
The Food Substitutions Bible: More Than 5,000 Substitutions for Ingredients, Equipment And Techniques
by David Joachim
Recipes: A Collection for the Modern Cook
by Susan Spungen
Spices of Life: Simple and Delicious Recipes for Great Health
by Nina Simonds
Mangoes & Curry Leaves: Culinary Travels Through the Great Subcontinent
by Jeffrey Alford, Naomi Duguid
Chocolate: A Bittersweet Saga of Dark and Light
by Mort Rosenblum
Vegetable Love: A Book for Cooks
by Barbara Kafka, Christopher Styler
A History of Wine in America: From Prohibition to the Present
by Thomas Pinney
Fonda San Miguel: Thirty Years Of Food And Art
by Tom Gilliland, Miguel Ravago, Virginia B. Wood
Matzoh Ball Gumbo: Culinary Tales of the Jewish South
by Marcie Cohen Ferris
Washoku: Recipes From The Japanese Home Kitchen
by Elizabeth Andoh, Leigh Beisch
Weir Cooking in the City: More than 125 Recipes and Inspiring Ideas for Relaxed Entertaining
by Joanne Weir
Rick Stein's Complete Seafood
by Rick Stein
The Great Scandinavian Baking Book
by Beatrice A. Ojakangas
Serena, Food & Stories: Feeding Friends Every Hour of the Day
by Serena Bass
John Ash: Cooking One on One: Private Lessons in Simple, Contemporary Food from a Master Teacher
by John Ash
The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook: Eating Well for Better Health
by Donald Hensrud, M.D., Jennifer Nelson, R.D. & Mayo Clinic Staff
Foods of the Americas: Native Recipes and Traditions
by Fernando and Marlene Divina
The Provence Cookbook
by Patricia Wells
Olive Trees and Honey: A Treasury of Vegetarian Recipes from Jewish Communities Around the World
by Gil Marks
Last Chance to Eat: The Fate of Taste in a Fast Food World
by Gina Mallet
by Thomas Keller
A Blessing of Bread: The Many Rich Traditions of Jewish Bread Baking Around the World
by Maggie Glezer
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
by Molly Stevens
On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen
by Harold McGee
Entertaining: Inspired Menus For Cooking with Family and Friends
by George Dolese
The Breath of a Wok: Unlocking the Spirit of Chinese Wok Cooking Through Recipes and Lore
by Grace Young, Alan Richardson
Cooking New American: How to Cook the Food You Love to Eat
by Fine Cooking Magazine
The Japanese Kitchen: A Book of Essential Ingredients with 200 Authentic Recipes
by Kimiko Barber
Arthur Schwartz's New York City Food: An Opinionated History and More Than 100 Legendary Recipes
by Arthur Schwartz
Poet of the Appetites: The Lives and Loves of M.F.K. Fisher
by Joan Reardon
Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes
by Jeffrey Hamelman
Everyday Dining with Wine
by Andrea Immer
Copyright © 2005-2008 KQED. All rights reserved.