Unless you've been living under a rock, you've all heard the phrase "the power of social media" and I've mentioned here before that I have a twitter account. I follow several people/organizations but I don't often tweet.....usually to promote a blog post, but a few times I've used it as a tool to get something accomplished because all other ways have been exhausted. Like yesterday.
A year ago we built a pool house with an outdoor kitchen. Because I had a good track record with Viking appliances, I opted to purchase their grill, refrigerator, and ice maker. Let's just say the train fell off that track. We've had nothing but problems with all three items and to make matters worse, the store where we purchased them in Birmingham has been less than helpful. Their "repairman" needs to head back to repair school and the sales staff needs some customer service training. And the owner of the store? Well, he could care less. Is business really that good??? In a bad economy shouldn't companies want to do everything they could to keep customers coming back to their place of business? Apparently not.
So this past weekend when the ice maker quit making ice ONCE AGAIN and the appliance store basically brushed us off, hubs and I had had enough. He called Viking hoping to get some satisfaction, AND THEY BLEW HIM OFF TOO! Instead of asking how they could help rectify the situation, they told him he'd have to call the regional distribution center. Which he did. They've yet to call us back. So yesterday, I took to twitter to air my frustration. It's amazing how quickly a company can respond when they know thousands of people are reading negative reviews of their products. I had a twitter response from Viking in 10 minutes and an email follow-up within an hour. Really?
So, as of this morning, Viking has all the pertinent information. Let's see what they do with it. I'd really like this shizzle fixed. It's a little hard to enjoy a pool in 100+ degree heat with NO ICE!! How's a girl to make frozen margaritas over the Fourth of July with NO ICE??
Speaking of the Fourth, what's on your menu? I'm keeping it simple.....grilling and firing up the pizza oven. Oh and dessert, of course. I made this strawberry cake a few weeks ago after finding a bucket of what were probably the last of the Alabama strawberries for the season. It was absolutely delicious. I'm going to try this with fresh peaches this weekend, but if you can get fresh strawberries where you live, I highly recommend this.
Here's the recipe:
Strawberry Crumb Cake
Food and Wine
3 lbs (8 cups) strawberries, bulled and halved
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch disolved in 2 1/2 tablespoons water
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
1/2 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 350 deg. F. In a large bowl, toss the strawberries with the sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch slurry and vanilla seeds and let stand until the berries release some of their juices, about 30 minutes. Pour the fruit filling into a 9 x 13 inch glass or ceramic baking dish set on a sturdy baking sheet.
For the crumb topping: In a medium bowl, mix all of the ingredients with your fingers until a coarse meal forms; press into small clumps. Set aside.
For the cake: In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the baking pwder and salt. In a large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer or a stand mixer, beat the butter with the sugar at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between additions. Beat in the vanilla extract and scrape down the bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the batter in 3 additions, alternating with the buttermilk.
Spoon the cake batter over the fruit filling spreading it to the edge. Sprinkle with the crumb topping. Bake in the center of the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes until the fruit is bubbling, the crumb topping is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Transfer to a rack to cool slightly. Serve the crumb cake warm or at room temperature.