Archive for March, 2010


WND – Still Not Spring

March 25, 2010

Dear Editors of food magazines:

Please stop taunting me with your Spring ingredients and Spring menus.  I know that America is a large country and that it’s probably Spring somewhere – California perhaps?  But for those of us who are laboring in the frozen North, for whom the crocuses have only just this past weekend bloomed, Spring is still a long way away. Read the rest of this entry ?


WND – And the moral of the story is . . . .

March 18, 2010

I’m not the kind of cook who invents recipes. If I want a specific flavor combination I tend to go in search of a recipe that will provide that for me. I edit recipes on the fly sometimes – more cinnamon, less stock, a little heavier on the paprika – but I don’t do a lot of wholesale inventing. Usually if I think a recipe needs that much help I’ll go find a recipe that I think will actually work as written. However, this week I was well into my recipe before I realized how unworkable it was, and what I ended up making bears so little relationship to the recipe I started with I might as well have started from scratch. Read the rest of this entry ?


WND – Oscars 2010

March 12, 2010

I acknowledge that I am not sane about the Oscars. I don’t mean about caring who wins – although I’ve seen more than a usual number of the movies up for awards this year and hoo boy did I have firm opinions about who shouldn’t win Best Picture/Best Director. Mercifully, the Academy chose to reinforce my faith in humanity this year rather than crush it like they did in 2006 so four years from now I won’t still be grousing about what should have won but didn’t. Sadly there were very few really entertainingly terrible dresses this year – which, let’s face it, is the real reason I watch the Oscars. There was far too much pale pink, and flesh-tones, and Miley Cyrus needed to stand up straight (apparently Lauren Bacall agrees with us on this, which is reassuring because it means that I could be turning into a classy dame and not just channeling my father) but nothing that approached the cheerful insanity of Bjork’s swan dress from 2001, although that is the gold standard for insane Oscar dresses and would be hard to beat.

All that being true, the reason I like entertaining for the Oscars is because it’s an excuse to experiment and make things I’m not entirely sure people will like (b’stilla), things that are just too rich for everyday (cauliflower tart), and things that are just fun (pickled grapes). The Oscars are a chance to fiddle with appetizers and try things in small quantities because I’m not entirely sure what they’ll taste like, and if they’re not entirely successful it won’t be disastrous because there are other things on the table to eat. Read the rest of this entry ?


WND – Jedi Mind Trick

March 4, 2010

I firmly believe that there should be a vegetable on the table at all meals. I don’t think it count unless it’s a green vegetable – or tomatoes, because tomatoes are totally a vegetable in my book. But, when it comes to eating them I tend to smother them with something else that’s on the plate to mask the taste – the sauce that came with the meat, or a forkful of mashed potatoes. I know I’m supposed to like my vegetables, and I’ve never served a meal that didn’t include a green vegetable (unless I’m cooking on a weekend and have run out of salad, in which case it’s possible that I’ll count tomato sauce as a vegetable). I just wish I liked them more, but honestly just not so much. Read the rest of this entry ?