I don’t know which is a more unfortunate name for this vegetable: sunchoke or jerusalem artichoke. Sunchokes look like overgrown, dirty ginger, are a cousin of the sunflower (hence, sunchoke) and native to the US, and taste like a slightly sweet potato with a bit of nuttiness and the texture of a turnip. Unfortunately, both its names and odd ginger shape have caused this root to be relegated to the oddball end-of-year bins at farmers markets.1 Comment » Keep reading »
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Pancakes, the limp dicks of the bread world… er… the carb darlings of the American breakfast. I’ll admit, I never liked ‘em. Pancakes always seemed like a sucker punch – refined flour and maple syrup taking turns until you were forced to go curl up in a corner and take a nap. Of course I always loved making them – they were the first food I learned to cook when I was about two. Mom would turn around the kitchen chair (so I didn’t tumble over onto the stove top) and let me (slowly now) ladle the batter onto the griddle. I’m sure there was a lot going through my kid brain at the time, but all I remember was making little dinosaurs and A, B, Cs.
The other day it was easy and breezy in Portland and I was missing steamy NY. This is the yin and yang of the journey. As I get farther away from where I’ve been, I am closer to realizing what matters to me. This Portland summer is altogether wonderfully mild… and sometimes that makes me feel complacent and underwhelmed. We’re about to take a plunge and attempt to live in the woods OFF THE GRID for a few months by ourselves. While this is something I have been dreaming about, here I am missing the most urban place on the planet.5 Comments » Keep reading »
In the early 70s I was a weaver and a member of the Philadelphia Guild of Hand Weavers. I didn’t just want to weave. I wanted to card my own wool, spin it into my own yarn and make my own dyes. I even had fantasies of raising my own sheep. Well, I’m the same way with cooking. Anjuli and I always want to get back to the basics. We make our own ghee. We love it. Recently Anjuli said, “wouldn’t it be great if we made our own butter so that we know what kind we’re using for our ghee?”10 Comments » Keep reading »
I enjoy a good chewy sugar sweet, especially tiny squares of creamy caramel. I love sucking on them until you have just a tiny little drop on the tip of your tongue. Of course anything sweet paired with salt is a wet dream for your taste buds. I also love the more complex caramel flavor of dulce de leche. It’s the most beautiful reddish brown and has a velvety texture that hold its own but doesn’t feel like a thick, sticky caramel sauce. Oh, did I mention, I just adore dairy and sugar combined? Well, if my professed love of caramels and milk wasn’t cloyingly sweet enough for you, please, read on.5 Comments » Keep reading »
That was very fun posting on Anjuli’s blog. I had no idea how excited I was going to feel when I actually saw it up there. It took me by surprise. Sharing with all of you is so tantalizing.
I have been cooking for 2 days straight, 8 – 10 hours per day. Can you believe anyone would actually still do that, more, that they would actually enjoy it? I have burned about 10 hours of music on CDs, all kinds of music; oldies, Latin music, classical and I listen as I cook. I even dance a little. Anjuli’s dad just retired and he cooks too so there actually is a shared experience going on. I can even get him to dance with me once in a while.Leave a comment » Keep reading »
Fish baked in a pouch. Sounds eh, doesn’t it? Well how about Thyme and Lemon Butter Cod en Papillote with Leeks and Purple Haze Carrots? Suit your fancy? Did mine when I came across a variant in Cook’s Illustrated.8 Comments » Keep reading »
Ghee, or Indian clarified and caramelized butter, is hard to relay in a recipe. There are many visual and aromatic cues to watch out for, and all are subject to interpretation. Learning how to make ghee in my family, like most other things, has always been show, not tell. When my parents were newlyweds, they went to India. My mother spent much of the time observing in the kitchen with my relatives. When I learned, I brought my camera along. Now, four years later, I’m attempting a written version for public consumption. So we’re breaking new ground here. Why? Because ghee kicks butter’s ass.157 Comments » Keep reading »