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LET'S COOK: Pantone’s Pick

January 19, 2018
Chuck Repnow , Pierce County Tribune

Colors come and go as do the seasons, but releasing of the Pantone color of the year remains part of artistic adventure each year. It's the best excuse to pause briefly and think of how fashion runways, automotive manufacturers, furniture, and even kitchen magnets will reflect the chosen noble.

As a family Jan, Lydia and I share our special interests with one another often. Jan's area of concern is education and sewing. Lydia significance comes in books and makeup, and my relevance is art and culinary. It made me smile recently when both of them noticed the release of Pantone's 2018 color of the year Ultra Violet.

You may recall Lydia's concentration of the Pantone Color of Year for 2014 Radiant Orchid. There is one defining moment of her explaining this color that will forever remain close to my heart. We were at Minot State's Homecoming and the lady seated across from us ask this: "Lydia now that you have a new bedroom in Minot, what colors did you use to decorate?" Lydia immediately responded with, "My bedroom features the Pantone color of year which is Radiant Orchid and it offsets my French provincial furniture nicely." As a father who appreciates artistic qualities, it was a defining moment and reminded me that our influence can color the lives of our children when least expected.

Article Photos

Pantone has declared Ultra Violet as their choice for 2018. It is a dramatically, provocative and thoughtful purple shade that communicates originality, ingenuity and visionary thinking that points us toward the future. Wow-all of this from one color. One has to wonder what influence the theme from Johannes Brahms Fourth Symphony has on our lives!

Considering the lure and obligation assigned to Ultra Violet, I knew that I would need assistance in implementation the impact this hue would have on us here in the North. So I strolled into the living room and asked my assistant colorist, Lydia, to make a list connecting us to Ultra Violet. She opened her ink bottle and loaded her quill pen. Here are her results: Purple mountain majesty, Vikings playing football, sometime in cool cars on Broadway, when passing by Bishop Ryan High School, sunsets in North Dakota, blooming clematis and lavender plants and their calm reminds me of prairie calm. She ended her list by remembering violet can have so many shades including many warm tones that make me happy.

She then asked for my list. The ball was now in my court, and I had to score. I ran with the following: purple cauliflower at Niewoehner Funeral Home, stunning gladiola at the Farmers Market, a flowing scarf at the ice skating rink, and in fond memories of Rugby's foremost purple enthusiast, Phyllis Vangsnes with her superb blending of violet tones in her wardrobe finesse. Lydia's eyes lit up, and I can see that I scored.

Fact Box

Celebration White Cake

Lard is well known for perfect pie crust, but it also works well in cakes. The lard gives an old-fashioned richness to this recipe.

- cup lard

- 1 cup milk

- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

- 1 teaspoon almond extract

- 2 cups sifted cake flour

- 1 tablespoon baking powder

- 1 teaspoon salt

- 1 cup sugar

- 3 egg whites

Add to the lard, 2 tablespoons of the milk, vanilla and almond extracts. Whip until light and fluffy.

Add sifted dry ingredients to lard mixture with 2/3 of the milk. Beat until smooth, or about 2 minutes with electric mixer. Add remaining milk and unbeaten egg whites. Beat until smooth.

Pour into two greased and floured 8" layer pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Lemon Curd

- cup fresh lemon juice

- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest finely grated

- cup sugar

- 3 eggs

- 6 tablespoons butters

Whisk eggs, sugar and lemon juice in a double boiler over simmering water until mixed well, then continue to stir until thick about 7 to 10 minutes. Drain through a mesh sieve to get rid of lumps. Fold in butter until well incorporated. Mix in lemon zest. Cover curd and chill in refrigerator until it has thickened, about 4 hours.

7-Minute Frosting

This tried and true recipe is wonderful and easy to make.

- 2 egg whites, unbeaten

- 1 cup sugar

- 1/8 teaspoon salt

- 1/3 cup water

- 1 tablespoon, light corn syrup

- 1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine all ingredients in top of double boiler; beat with rotary beater for 1 minute. Place over boiling water and beat about 7 minutes, stopping a few times to clean beater and sides of pan with scraper.

Remove from boiling water when frosting stands in glossy peaks. Continue beating until frosting is cool and thick enough to hold swirls. This is make enough for two 8 or 9" layers. If desired you can dust the frosting with coconut for added richness.

Suggestion has been made that the blending of Democrat and Republican colors of blue and red could signify the importance of Ultra Violet in our nation. It would serve as a symbol that both sides could blend; thus, benefitting those most in need in our nation. Some in Congress have been claiming that they are ready to move forward, and perhaps if they wore Ultra Violet, it would assist in their efforts. After all, Ultra Violet is the hue of visionary thinkers.

When pondering the influence of Ultra Violet in our lives, I am taken back to our front porch in Rugby where the violet curtains have always displayed a shade of Ultra Violet. It was in this room where Jan, Lydia and I laughed, enjoyed cake and thought about our futures. It is only fitting that the background for the featured dessert, Celebration Cake, was taken in front of this Waverly violet fabric.



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