The Kingdom of Leftovers is always problematic. How do you define leftovers, and having defined them what do you do with them? In my personal Taxonomy of Cooking the Kingdom of Leftovers is divided into two Phyla, and then further categorized into more and more specific Classes and Orders*. Read the rest of this entry ?
Posts Tagged ‘Side Dish’
If you’ve ever tried to cook a vintage recipe – or tried to recreate some recipe your grandmother always used to make – you’ve probably run into the problem that older recipes tend to be frustratingly short on details. For example, my grandmother’s recipe for Moravian Coffee Cake (which incidentally is (a) the best coffee cake ever, and (b) why I don’t particularly like the crumb topped coffee cakes you usually see – see below the crunchy sugary glory of a Moravian Coffee Cake)
is a little too vague on specifics for me to attempt to make it without doing some research to nail down quantities, times, and textures. It’s got the basics (flour, sugar, yeast, mashed potato), but veers into ‘here there be dragons’ territory when it comes to exactly how much flour (enough to make a stiff, but not too stiff dough), and how much butter (enough to cover tuck into indentations all over the dough).
Apparently we’ve just grown the first hamburger in a lab. And by this I mean, it’s the first hamburger that is technically meat, but has nothing to do with an actual animal. PETA must be plotzing.
It was shaped and fried up (with the addition of lots of butter – which, to me, somewhat defeats the purpose of a lab grown hamburger patty – because surely part of the reason to do this is to get away from the ethical concerns of animal husbandry and while dairy cows aren’t slaughtered for hamburgers, I don’t think their living conditions are any better than the average meat cow, so unless the butter was also lab grown I don’t think you’ve achieved independence from the commercial meat industry) earlier this week in London. Read the rest of this entry ?
Do you ever get intense cravings for foods you don’t normally like, or is this just me?
I got through periods where all I can think about is eating a rich eggy potato salad, or a traditional creamy cole slaw. These are dishes that I normally pass over in a buffet because I prefer my potato salads dressed with lots of mustard and vinegar, or with a pesto sauce, and my cole slaws bright and tangy with vinegar and citrus.
Similarly I will take a no-thank you helping of pasta salad when presented with it in a situation where I have to take some to be polite, and skip it entirely if etiquette permits. I don’t like mayonnaise, and I’m not particularly fond of cold pasta, and I find that even the smallest serving sits leadenly in my stomach. I have, nonetheless, been day dreaming about pasta salad for the past three weeks straight. I don’t want a bowl of spaghetti dressed with rich tomato sauce, or a plate of fettuccini tossed with decadent alfredo sauce. I don’t want buttered and salted noodles to soak up the sauce from a braised stew. I want cold pasta. Go figure. Read the rest of this entry ?
It is officially corn and tomato season. Let the gorging commence.
I stopped by the Stillman’s stand at the Wednesday farmer’s market on July 3rd and stared in blank astonishment at the pile of corn they had on display. Surprised, I asked how on earth they’d achieved corn in time for the 4th of July. The way that Kate Stillman muttered, ‘you have no idea what it took for us to achieve this’ left me wondering if small animals had been sacrificed on the edges of fields. Turns out it was a somewhat more prosaic method involving seeds from Germany, and hot houses, and constant constant vigilance – the guy at the stand looked exhausted just talking about it. It is possible virgin sacrifice would have been less time consuming all round, although you do then have to do something with the body. Read the rest of this entry ?
One of the more enduring culture wars between the US and Europe is over the correct way to hold/use a knife and fork. I was brought up strict European – fork in left hand, knife in right hand, you use both simultaneously, and only rest them on your plate if you are doing something else with your hands, like taking a sip of water (or wine), or tearing off a piece of bread.
If you learned your table manners in the US you are more likely to pick up your fork in your left hand, your knife in your right hand, cut yourself off a bit of food, lay down your knife, swap your fork to your right hand, spear the bite of food – eat – chew – swallow – move your fork back to your left hand, pick up your knife again in your now free right hand and repeat the process all over again. Read the rest of this entry ?
In a stunning example of either unfortunate coincidence or blackest irony, in the same week the Supreme Court ruled that a key provision of the 1965 Civil Rights Voting Act was unconstitutional the reigning doyenne of Southern Cooking, Paula Deen, was dropped like a hot potato by just about everyone after a deposition revealed that she had used ‘the n-word’. Read the rest of this entry ?
I’m a little behind on my posts – mostly because I’m struggling to figure out what I want to say about the unfolding Paula Deen debacle. However, at the beginning of June we celebrated the 15th Anniversary of Dinner. You can read all about it here. This is what we had pre- and post- that Very Special Dinner. Read the rest of this entry ?
On Tuesday, April 30, 2013 an era ended. After 33 years on the throne, her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands stepped down in favor of her son, Crown Prince Willem Alexander. It was the end of her reign, and it also marked the end of 123 years of women at the helm of the Netherlands. Read the rest of this entry ?
In my experience, Celebrity/Name Chef cookbooks tend to come in three varieties.
The first is what I call the ‘It’s more about the lifestyle than the recipes’ variety. Much as I love Ina Garten, this is where I put most of her cook books. I basically want to be Ina Garten – I want her house, her garden, and especially her pantry – but I find her cook books are more about an aesthetic than they are about new and/or interesting recipes. I don’t know that anyone needs another recipe for butternut squash soup, or for chicken salad, or strawberry shortcake. The genius in her books is providing inspirational aspirational pretty pretty pictures of food and friends. I’d also class Nigella Lawson (who I also love) in this phylum of the cookbook world. Read the rest of this entry ?