As seen in Green Door Magazine Winter 2013 Issue
I’ve always dreamed of owning a set of shiny copper pots hanging in my kitchen. Well that dream came true when I recently went to a sweet little auction of cookery from the kitchen
of the Sally Darr estate (former food editor for Gourmet Magazine) in High Falls, NY. It was a crisp sunny day with a crowd of well-spirited go-lucky bidders.
Sometimes auctions can be more miss then hit, but this one was a winner on all fronts. The seven copper pots I ended up winning only cost me $22! When I arrived back at the farm I eagerly rolled up my sleeves and started to attempt to clean my winnings with soap and water.
These pots had years and years of lovely crusty kitchen history baked on to them. Nothing I did was working! Turns out there are many approaches to cleaning up copper pots. I tried vinegar,
baking soda and lemon, acids and bleach.
The white vinegar certainly shined up the less needy pieces, but my approach on the super crusty ones failed miserably. When my fingers started to look raw and scabby, I buckled and bought Wrights’ Copper Cream and used an industrial stainless steel scrubbing brush. Each pot required at least three cleanings but they were clearly improving with each pass. I then
finished them off with the white vinegar for that sparkly sassy shine.
One thing I failed to consider was the need for re-tinning of the interior of my vintage copper cookery. You see, ingesting copper can be toxic, so when using copper pots and pans you need to have a solid tin lining that prevents the toxic copper from leaching into food. Do I need to have my seven vintage pieces retinned? Answer: Yes.
I ended up sending my copper pieces to Jim at EastCoastTinning.com where I paid $8 per piece for shipping, and $5 per measured square inch for re-tinning and polishing. GULP! So, I sucked it up and sent my money, as I had strangely developed this unrelenting attachment to these old copper pots. They deserved to be saved and passed down to future generations!
The day my refurbished copper collection arrived felt like Christmas. As I opened my salvaged shiny treasures my heart was full. Well, it just so happens I was prepping for a dinner party that day. Tripping with excitement, I decided to bake my Chocolate Yogurt Zucchini Cake in one of my newly reconditioned pans and served it for dessert, cradled in the copper pan. My original recipe for this cake is the perfect combination of rich dark chocolate paired with creamy local
yogurt and grated home grown zucchini for added moisture. A real blue-ribbon winner. As I placed the cake on the table in the shiny copper pan I secretly smiled knowing this cake had layers far deeper then the eye could see. All was well.
4 oz of unsweetened dark chocolate morsels
½ cup canola oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened Cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ cup softened organic butter
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla
½ cup yogurt
3 cups grated zucchini (with skins)
Pre-heat oven to 350. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans. On medium heat, combine chocolate and oil and mix until thoroughly melted and set aside. Sift dry ingredients (except for sugar) and set aside. Cream butter and sugar in a mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Add melted chocolate mixture followed by yogurt. Add dry mixture 1/3 cup at a time. Fold zucchini until fully combined. Bake for 40 minutes on center oven rack. Insert metal knife into one of the cakes, it should come out clean. Cool on racks then frost with your favorite frosting.