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Everything posted by Priscilla

  1. Inspiring topic. And it just happened to me yesterday. Creamed Spinach and Basil, from a Tivo'd Jean-Georges Vongerichten appearance on Martha (which happened to have been from my b.d). I have hardly met a creamed spinach I didn't like, but wow what a great preparation. The basil flavor is supported by a little bit of fennel. Reminded me of the various spinach dishes which get a hit of Pernod. So good! The fresh spinach, and basil, and fennel, and celery, and shallot, all from my favorite vendor at the farmer's market, certainly helped, but the idea is an excellent one to begin with.
  2. As an aside, the guy who wrote the theme song for Astro Boy (called "Tetsuwan Atom" or sometimes "Atom Boy" in Japan) spoke at the school I work at a few months ago. He's quite a famous author and poet in Japan (and he also translated the entire series of the Peanuts comics into Japanese). His visit ended with the entire school (and him) singing the theme song for Astro Boy (in Japanese, of course). It was very cute! ← Rona that sounds very cute indeed. Serendipitous connection between Astro Boy and Peanuts! Peter, I loved the photo of Scud sitting w/the takoyaki. Very atmospheric. And very cool to see the international language of rock music being spoken in that bar.
  3. ChezCherie, yes, even the back seat was out of sight out of mind. I keep it behind the passenger seat and usually not forget, but it has taken a long time and I do recidivate occasionally.
  4. There have been a few discussions about shopping bags, reusable and not, including this current one about the use/overuse of plastic bags. Another, mostly about a gadabout Central Market paper bag also touches on the topic of reusable bags. And there was this earlier round-up. Smallworld, in her recent foodblog, showed us her efforts in this regard as a Canadian living n Japan. Maybe it would be useful to have a place to posit strategies that have helped instill the reusable bag habit. What would make it easier? What would be an encouragement? Does the type of bag affect ease of use? For all the years I've been shopping at them (something approaching 21) I have had no problem at all bringing my own bag or basket to the farmer's market. It is a part of the experience, has been from the beginning. It has taken a LONG time to transfer this habit to regular grocery shopping. I don't worry about 100% success, but as a person who shops frequently for single-bag amounts it is an approachable improvement in Plastic Bag Blight in my immediate environment. A drop in the ocean of the total population of plastic bags, but at least doable. What has finally worked for me was PUTTING THE BAG WITH MY PURSE IMMEDIATELY AFTER UNPACKING. This way it gets right back in the car when I go out. Also, and I am a fusspot about such things, having a bag that one likes is essential. I have a variety of vessels, but try to keep that number under control as well because too many reusable bags becomes its own problem. My collection includes a German nylon bag, surprisingly large, that folds into its own small pouch and fits in my purse, as well as the classic floppy canvas bags, an over-the-arm market basket, and Russian linen string bags that magically coil up into a palm-sized skein. All washable -- necessarily, seems to me. Popular among us for a while now is Trader Joe's blue and green plastic-coated canvas one. It has very sturdy handles, a flat bottom (ooh er missus) and enough structure to stand up by itself, making it very easy to pack. Holds a ton. Even Ivan took to it right away, which has been, shall we say, not exactly the case with all the other bags in the world. The $25 raffle is small incentive since I never win, but the bag gets taken into all sorts of stores besides Trader Joe's, some of whom credit a nickel, so after a mere 500 visits to these other stores I'll earn that $25 myself! Take that, TJ. One lives in each car. What are your thoughts, Hobson?
  5. Man, I am so glad that guy was eliminated. I thought he should have gone when he proudly displayed how he had no idea in the entire world what a souffle was. His comments to or about Rick Bayless and Mexican cuisine were just beyond moronic. What an ignoramus.
  6. Peter, this is a wonderful travelogue. Of course, as a person who retains her original 45 of the Astro Boy theme song purchased from the Helms bakery truck man in the 1960s AND has her own 16-year-old son I find it especially relevant.
  7. Multi-bag blight is real. On top of having to head off at the pass the Helping Hand putting asparagus UPSIDE DOWN with a #10 can of Italian tomatoes on top. It is in fact EASIER to bring one's own, esp. from the retrograde perspective of standing there with the multi-bags a-billowing, inducing the forgotten-bag brain scream and concomitant self-recrimination. Multi-bag blight occurring simultaneously, whilst, at the same time as, massive Green agitprop. Deep-underground counterprotest, with agents installed as baggers across the nation?
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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!
  21. 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?
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
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