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Priscilla

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Everything posted by Priscilla

  1. Hee. My Mom brought us a See's Easter box last Sunday. Sadly, no Bordeaux egg in the mix, but other good stuff. How can a chocolate-covered marshmallow egg have an almost savory depth of flavor? Back in Feb I was in a See's getting the traditional nuts & chews heart for the same Mom's Valentine's Day and brought home dark molasses chips for Ivan and a milk chocolate See-gar for the 16-year-old, pronounced Best Milk Chocolate Ever later that evening. Makes sense, as we love Guittard chips, both milk and dark, for baking. Eyed the Bridge Mix through the case... didn't buy any that day, but had a strong feeling that it is due for a resurgence.
  2. Cattle/sheep range wars reminds me of that Ogden Nash poem on the subject. Depending on my plans I use various sources. The Middle Eastern market, all halal, is good for ground-fresh-all-day lamb for kebabs and so forth, and has more mature shanks and legs than one sees elsewhere. They have fresh, more expensive and domestic, and froz, of unknown provenance. No racks, though, ever, at this market. Other ME markets sometimes do. Imported NZ and Aus dependably available at Costco and Trader Joe's, the little racks are mild to a fault but OK for Marcella Hazan parmesan crusted chops in a pinch. Domestic, seems to be mostly Superior Farms from CO, the best taste and texture, legs run $3.99 or $4.99/lb., occasionally at a regular supermarket but always at the butcher shops, and racks $15.99 or $19.99/lb., more than twice what the imported ones cost. The butcher shop where they are already trimmed and Frenched is often on the lower end of the scale, fortunately, but feeding more than 2 is going to cost. 100% worth it, to me, but then lamb is a favorite in our house and so we make room for it.
  3. I made the sables this week, advance testing to accompany Easter strawberry dessert, and they are wonderful, as others have observed. Just the texture a person wants in a sable.
  4. Linda, this is a great blog. Great writing. Daisy Sour Cream: I find it a little hard to believe that something so good is available in the regular old supermarket, any time. And I think it is very nice that the whole fam eats on turquoise Fiestaware.
  5. This seems unduly hostile. I think making a connection between positive comments on an amateur food photo and the serving of "gruel," not to mention health problems of any sort, is quite a stretch.
  6. Nothing planted yet. On the wknd. the 16-year-old unearthed a couple of perfect small yellow potatoes volunteering in the compost when turning it for me. Very cute, but not enough for a serving. Osmanthus, which suffered badly in the unusual cold, is springing back... lots of new leaves, lots of fragrant blooms. Dwarf Meyer lemon seemed stalled after a healthy 20-fruit crop its first year -- replanted in mostly sand, thick layer of mulch on top, per Gary Matsuoka of Laguna Hills Nursery, and there was new growth seemingly overnight.
  7. Our favorite sushi place has always served, depending on availability, butter-soy asparagus, and butter-soy shishito peppers, both just delicious, the latter gets a dusting of undulating dried bonito flakes.
  8. Priscilla

    Dinner! 2008

    Last night, hummus topped with seasoned ground beef in addition to parsley and olive oil, the hummus my longtime usual, the topping from a long-ago very good Saveur article on hummus history and variations. Farmer's market chopped salad w/romaine, purple onion, tomato, Bulgarian feta, lemon juice, olive oil, parsley. Fresh pita.
  9. Elie, do you have the UK edition of Cook with Jamie? The squid-cutting technique with the two knives made me cringe a little, too, but I liked the results. I was thinking of something wooden, like a ruler, to use inside the squid instead, but the shape of the knife does fit perfectly. Those leeks, I was just considering adding to my Easter menu.
  10. Am advised that some consider this Bob's to be in Toluca Lake rather than Burbank... duly noted, but also noted is the restaurant's website clearly indicates Burbank. I think it's a Riverside Dr. juke -- even T.J. Hooker, who, with Romano, careened down it in nearly every ep, would be forgiven the confusion.
  11. Priscilla

    Dinner! 2008

    Another run of beautiful dinners up there. Little yellow potatoes from the farmer's market potato guy, cooked, skinned, rolled in melted butter and parsley, matched up with their ideal mates, bockwurst from the German sausage guy, plus the dense perfect rye bread and the excellent pickles they also sell there. Two kinds of German mustard. Small starter of their meat salad, which everyone in the family knows better than to come home without at least a little of. Schlumberger riesling, so good with weisswurst.
  12. Wow have I been remiss. Reminded by shuffling my Current & Recent on the wknd.: How I Learned to Cook, Judith Jones's The Tenth Muse, Martha's Original Classics, and as mentioned in relevant topic, Jamie at Home. These four I can account for at least, as well as commend. How I Learned to Cook is extremely unevenly edited, lapsing often into the dread and hackneyed general cooking or bad restaurant customer anecdote, but extraordinarily cheap on the used market and worth the quick rip-through for its highlights. The Martha I haven't had a close look at yet, and how did it get into my Costco cart anyways? Judith Jones seems to pull her punches a little, could be due to gentility, an excellent read at any rate. Jamie, sincere and chockablock with good info.
  13. Thank you, Heidi. And yes. I think of it adding up to what Madeleine Kamman calls cuisine personnelle, a life-long thing. The life-long aspect is one of the very best things about cooking. ← MK's "When French Women Cook" is in my top 5 favorite reads. ← Good to hear. I think Madeleine is sorely underappreciated. Not by me, however!
  14. Well I know you know how lucky you are to have experienced such cooking, MtheC. Aside from the Lenten seafood, yet further evidence for my strong belief that if vegetarians would familiarize themselves with the Italian tradition, self-styled vegetarian cuisine would not have such a spotty reputation. I lovelovelove pasta e fagioli... do you have Nonna's recipe?
  15. Saturday's show was another good one... love seeing crucifers properly honored. The Italian dry soup was very appealing. The sheer volume of veg he packs into a single preparation resonates strongly with my own cooking, which is I guess why I'm liking this show. Jamie's foundation in the Italian tradition serves him well.
  16. Priscilla

    Duck Confit

    Choosing the most chickeny of the many confit topics to revive. Made confit chicken the other week w/whole legs. Cured a couple of days acc. to Madeleine Kamman's formula in (the newer) Making of a Cook, with rosemary sprigs and Meyer lemon peel and a sprinkle of Turkish oiled chile flakes in there as well. Rinsed before cooking. Used mostly chicken fat, topped up with extra virgin olive oil, which accounted for perhaps less than a quarter of the total volume of fat. Excellent result.
  17. Wonderful blog, Amy. Your meals are beautiful! Could you tell about the spring cabbage preparation? And eagle-eyed Hiroyuki got me wondering why you have homemade ponzu as well as Ajipon... do you use one or the other for specific dishes? Did you say that was just your second time preparing the tamago? Looked absolutely perfect.
  18. Helen, Jamie also has a recent book called Cook with Jamie that is described as a compendium of basic skills for cooks... I have not vetted it, but might be worth a look-see for your purposes.
  19. Went to the Burbank Bob's Saturday while visiting my sister. Those present with prior Bob's experience agreed it was still excellent. Tasted quite as we remembered, owing to the proprietary special red relish. There is also something about the bun and the shredded lettuce which contribute to its singularity. The salad actually comes on its own discrete plate now, too, rather than in the little triangular dish that used to nestle next to the burger and fries. The chocolate shake, which looks the same, is not called Bob's Silver Goblet Shake on the menu as before but which did come with its overage in the stainless mixing beaker alongside, was pronounced Best Shake Ever by its consumer, and that ain't no small thing. A short wait, alleviated by absorbing people watching and eavesdropping, and cheery, even enthusiastic service from a nice waiter. Sadly, the wiglets are no more. But thinking about Elvis's '68 comeback special, particularly his black leather jeans-style suit, buoyed me.
  20. Thank you, Rachel. That onion lesson is a biggie. No surprise it is ingrained in good Southern cooking, because of course it is part of good cooking no matter the tradition. In the beginning it is so easy to think of onion as one of the strongest flavors in the cook's arsenal, what with the attention it gets from picky eaters refusing to eat it and so forth, and, like garlic, it is one of those ingredients a novice cook is likely to multiply unreasonably in a preparation, or chop unpleasantly coarsely and (very common, in my experience, producing the dread slimey squares) seriously under-saute. Knowing how to deal with onions, like lemons, no matter how you feel about them personally, is beyond essential. As Nora Ephron said in Heartburn, you really can't cook without onions.
  21. Thank you, Jeanne. Was the tomato-sauce fish common in your region, or a family tradition? Victoria returned to Mexico several years ago, where one of her sons and two grandchildren had remained, and died soon after.
  22. Thank you, Heidi. And yes. I think of it adding up to what Madeleine Kamman calls cuisine personnelle, a life-long thing. The life-long aspect is one of the very best things about cooking.
  23. I bought the book through Amazon UK, received this week. Making very good reading. It's due for American release this month I believe.
  24. Well, my goodness, if FoF can save nice greyhounds and collaterally usher them to good rescue homes, that lowly fast-food sandwich has far exceeded whatever potential I might imagine its provenance could provide. I have neighbors with three beautiful rescue greyhounds, all brindle (which I consider the canine equivalent of my beloved feline tortoiseshell), and I never fail to stop and admire the array when the greyhound rescue people are outside the pet food big-box emporium on the wknd. Extremely sweet nice dogs. Puts me in mind of how the writer Daniel Pinkwater on his NPR commentaries said how his Malamutes howled for English muffins when they saw by the Golden Arches.
  25. Wonderful blog, Ilana. Your children and your kitties are beautiful. How could I have grown up all those years with all that hibiscus and never tried the green-thing-on-the-nose? When I am next at my Mom's I am SO doing that. That same mallow always wants to grow in my garden, and I've been yanking it out with the rest of the weeds. There are a couple of little ones just now I'll have to let mature.
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