25 Mar 2011, Posted by admin in MEET, 0 Comments
English poet Thomas Tusser may have had his male comrades in mind when he penned A Hundreth Points of Good Husbandry, a rather long — very long — poem written in that era of let’s show everyone how clever we are rhyming couplets. The circa 1557 poem was popular, though likely not for the reasons it could very well be today. Consider those references to freshly baked loaves (“New bread is the Divel… but mouldy is worse). And heaven help us, a fantastically crusty loaf (“Much crust is as evill.”). Tusser included these in the section of the poem titled “The Good Housewive’s Day.” Curious? Yup, me too. Ladies, read up on your early morning, pig slop and bread baking duties here.
23 Mar 2011, Posted by admin in EAT, 2 Comments
The Husband: Your James Beard books arrived, several boxes. One weighed 50 pounds.
James Beard Reviewer: Ha, you’re funny.
TH: I’m not kidding. I had to help Jerry [our UPS guy] carry them up the stairs.
JBR: Seriously? Shit.
Those text messages summarize what happened when this writer was asked to be a cookbook judge for the 2011 James Beard nominations. (Note: Judges can reveal that they are reviewers but not what cookbook category they judged.) “What an honor, it would be a pleasure,” was my exact response. This will be fun and relatively easy, right?
21 Mar 2011, Posted by admin in EAT, 0 Comments
Hannah Glasse’s The Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Easy (1747) has given us many insights into the foods of 18th century England and Colonial America. Turnip soup, apple fritters, and nose-to-tail eating in its purist sense — meaning before chefs got involved and turned that pig’s ear into a high dollar delicacy. What hasn’t gotten much attention in Glasse’s book is the drink recipes, more specifically beer. Making beer was, like bread baking and cooking in general, among the chores that the female head of household tackled. And so homebrewers might want to bend a reverent ear when Glasse casually says things to well-brewed readers like: “There is not certain Rule” for making beer. A wise woman.
18 Mar 2011, Posted by admin in MEET, 0 Comments
For Cristiano Creminelli, preserving family recipes means more than just passing down those casalingos. The artisan Northern Italian salumi maker arrived stateside intent to teach us how to enjoy proper traditional — Italian, of course — salumi. But that doesn’t preclude Creminelli from coming up with his own salumi takes. He’s Italian American now, after all. Turn the page for more on this artisan salumi maker in this week’s LA Weekly….
13 Mar 2011, Posted by admin in EAT, 0 Comments
We all have some great last minute dinner guest-worthy recipes stashed away, or so we hope when doorbell panic sets in. But judging by a c. 1876 sour milk cake recipe in The Essential New York Times Cookbook (ya, I still really love this book), late 19th century cooks had us beat on the last-minute dessert front. For starters, sour milk cake is easy to whip up and uses ingredients that every well-fed household likely did — and still should — have on hand: Milk on the verge of spoiling, butter, a little sugar and flour, some dried fruit. Baking soda rather than baking powder does the leaving work, which gives the cake a more robust (and moist) crumb.
06 Mar 2011, Posted by admin in MEET, 0 Comments
Lidia Bastianich on why food television of old is often better than much of what is on the airways today… Bellissimo!
“I think in today’s world, this approach of creating things then shoving them in front of people, as opposed to presenting something to the intelligent viewer, is not where we need to be. You are ultimately giving the customer or viewer a message with everything you do. It should be a good message. You have the opportunity to respect the customer, their intelligence, and let them choose for themselves what quality is, or you can shove cocoa puffs down their throats on the television screen.”
05 Mar 2011, Posted by admin in EAT, 0 Comments
Deli sandwiches may get all the attention (Do we really need another corned beef vs. pastrami battle? Don’t answer that.). But the po’boy? Now that’s a fascinating sandwich. Sure, there’s the circa 1929 nostalgia of it all. As Steve Garbarino reminds us in a great article in this weekend’s edition of the Wall Street Journal, Bennie and Clovis Martin, two bakers in New Orleans, first handed out free split loaves of bread filled with whatever was on hand during a streetcar strike (the Martin brothers were former trolley conductors).
02 Mar 2011, Posted by admin in MEET, 0 Comments
Steve Heil isn’t the sort of guy you’d expect to be making — growing, harvesting and commercially packaging — greenthread herbal tea, also known as Navajo tea or cota. For starters, Heil isn’t Navajo. He is an elementary school teacher, a darn good one, who happened upon the herbal tea fifteen years ago when he began teaching art classes in Gallup, New Mexico, a small town bordering Navajo and Zuni reservations. “People were saying someone should grow this tea again, it is very traditional and it was disappearing,” he says of the sustainable perennial herb that is native to the Colorado Plateau that he sells under the label PlaTEAu.
21 Feb 2011, Posted by admin in EAT, 0 Comments
In the distilling world, vodka makers like Telluride Vodka’s Brad MacKenzie often prefer column stills. In a nutshell, column stills (exactly what they sound like — tall rather than squat) tend to make your vodka “cleaner” tasting. Pot stills, the old guys on the distilling history block, are what you want for full-flavored spirits (whiskey, for instance) because they in theory add more flavor. Impurities, beautifully flavorful impurities. There are exceptions, of course. As Pete Wells pointed out in Food and Wine, California craft distillers Hangar One and Charbay both use pot stills, as does Tito’s in Texas. A few bigger guys like Kettle One and Absolut, too. That might seem like a lot, but in the vodka game, the column still rules.
19 Feb 2011, Posted by admin in EAT, 0 Comments
“Italy Dish By Dish: A Comprehensive Guide To Eating in Italy” is the first English translation of Monica Sartoni Cesari’s Mangia Italiano (an infinitely more appropriate title), a book that covers the more than 3,000 dishes found in various regions of Italy. Susan Simon’s translation is the sort of guidebook – more of a mini food encyclopedia, really – that you pull out when you are in a tiny trattoria in Lombardy, just settling in for lunch (lucky you). But you have no idea what timballo di piccione might be, nor does your waiter have any idea how to explain in English that the Renaissance-era dish is made, according to Cesari, “with rigatoni or a similar pasta shape, mixed with boned, stewed pigeon, then wrapped and baked in short crust.”