Dinner June 10th – Last of the Asparagus
Spring on a Plate Salad
Dinner June 10th – Last of the Asparagus
Spring on a Plate Salad
It’s time to talk cheese people – both metaphorical, and literal.
Yet another year of Eurovision has come and gone, and I remain disappointed that no network in the US airs it live. I have, however, noticed more and more references to it, so I am cautiously optimistic that someone somewhere will understand the genius of Eurovision and air it so that I can have a viewing party some year.
Now, you have to understand, my criteria for who/what I think should win Eurovision essentially boils down to who gives the most balls-to-the-wall crazy-cakes performance. None of the songs are even in the vicinity of good, so that is never a deciding factor. And, if I wanted tasteful, well I probably wouldn’t be watching Eurovision. So what I look for is a group who really commits to the insanity. I want vampires who turn into boats, and dancing gumbies, and twins in futuristic pompadours (all of which have featured in performances in the last three years alone). Read the rest of this entry ?
Bits and Pieces of recent food-related news
The next season of Top Chef is filming in Boston. Apparently Padma Lakshmi has already been spotted at the Copley Square farmer’s market, and is as tall and gorgeous in person as she appears on TV. I predict that there will be some adventure on a lobster boat, and something involving food carts on the Greenway. Guest judges will definitely include Barbara Lynch (#9 Park, Sportello, Menton, etc.) and Tony Maws (Craigie on Main), with possible appearances by Tim Maslow (Ribelle), Ana Sortun (Oleana), Jody Adams (Rialto), and Barry Maiden (Hungry Mother) Read the rest of this entry ?
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 ?
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 ?
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 ?
I drove myself a little bit crazy last week in a quest for authenticity. I did research, crowd sourced my father and uncles, dithered, and fussed in search of an ‘authentic’ elegant Dutch meal to celebrate the Abdication/Enthronement of Queen Beatrix/King Willem-Alexander*. Then I went ahead and did things like roasting my Brussels sprouts with balsamic, and adding garlic and rosemary and orange zest to my Hazenpeper. I also threw in a splash of buttermilk to my Hete Bliksem for a touch of creaminess. I did this mostly because I couldn’t help myself, and because I thought they would enhance the dishes, even if the additions were inauthentic. This, however, begs the question of what we mean when we say ‘authentic’. Read the rest of this entry ?