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Pitter

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  1. I HAD to look this up, because I must go there ASAP. If you are going via Rte. 78, get off at exit 3 (Phillipsburg, aka Last Exit In NJ) and take 22 North past the Shop Rite on your right, through 3 or 4 stop lights. The road suddenly bifucates, with 22 bearing left and 57 to the right. Go right onto 57 East and it should be 1/4 mile down the road. 400 Rte. 57, Phillipsburg
  2. Ah, yes, those chocolate cups formed with balloons! I had forgotten about those, and that is something that is foolproof and so easy, and an idea that they can take home to impress their family and friends effortlessly. I spoke with the girl, and face-to-face she had the "deer in headlights" look. She simply has no idea, nor does her mother. (That's why they hired me. Oh.) It turns out that there is sort of a theme, being Hawaii. And she has never had sorbet but was very interested in that. But what kind of tropical fruit goes with chocolate? Does anyone have a recipe for coconut? Beyond that, I'm thinking a carrot cake with pineapple in it, and having them all make flower decorations with royal icing. Problem is, I don't eat royal icing type of stuff and I'm not sure they should, either. Any ideas for mangoes other than sorbet? And that doesn't really go with chocolate. This thing is on Wednesday, and I'm getting a tad panicky. I think it all needs to be pretty simple. Please keep your ideas coming. You are helping me a lot. Thanks!
  3. I've been hired to give an afternoon-long baking class for six teenage girls for one's sixteenth birthday party (a two-day sleepover.) Any ideas? It's been a long time since I was sixteen, so I have no memory of what my skills and interests were. Should I show them how to make a chocolate torte (melt chocolate, whip eggwhites, fold) or is that too sophisticated and technical? Or keep it simple and do a carrot cake? Roll out and decorate cookies? I know we'll make ice cream. I guess I need three or four items for a well rounded presentation and lesson. Any ideas would be hugely appreciated. I'm kinda stuck. Thanks!
  4. After trying all of the usual suspects, a bought a pair of MBTs. They are very expensive, and worth every penny. Because of the design of the sole (by some European engineer) you are forced to stand with perfect posture. I have never felt so much strength, and at the end of 14 hours on my feet, I have absolutely no ankle pain.
  5. I bought a box of Apriums last week, and they were terrible -- mealy, cottony, dry, with very little flavor. I guess I should know better -- fruit that is picked green and shipped 3,000 miles is just that. I am fortunate to have a neighbor with an apricot tree, and let me tell you, there is nothing better. Those orange pucks in the grocery store are not even a faint resemblence to a real, tree ripened apricot. He also has a dozen different varieties of peaches. I am soooo lucky.
  6. I poach whole sides of salmon wrapped in plastic, which I serve at large parties that I am catering. The reason? It traps moisture, thus the salmon does not dry out. After about 10 minutes of poaching on a medium simmer, I add ice cubes to the court bouillon, then let the fish cool while immersed in the liquid. Even avid salmon fishermen have asked me my trick -- and that is it.
  7. This place is in Rosemont, which is not Northern NJ but worth the trip. Locktown is about 10 minutes from Flemington and 10 minutes from Frenchtown. They are the largest growers of chili plants in the country, and have over 130 different types of heirloom tomatoes! They also have many types of asian eggplants. Cross Country Nurseries 199 Kingwood-Locktown Road Rosemont, NJ 908-996-4646 www.chileplants.com
  8. Pitter

    Cooking with Rabbit

    A roommate from long ago said she could not eat rabbit because it reminded her too much of a cat. I held onto those words, though I ate a rabbit dish at Gramercy Tavern in NYC that was absolutely wonderful. This could be the funniest thing I ever read, and it has to do with, what else? eatting rabbits. www.devilbunnies.org/text/bunny-burgers Sorry that I am a computer illiterate. I don't know how to create a link, but do check this out.
  9. Mr. Pollen also has a blog on the NY Times web page, up since Sunday, and already with quite a few replies. This will be interesting to follow.
  10. Thanks MamaC for your recipe. I am making it today as part of a multi-course "eggplant party" for someone who just finished his Ph.D. in plant science, with his thesis on, what else (?) EGGPLANT!
  11. There are so many aspects to this quandary, that I hardly know where to start. I used to work for the largest distributor of foie gras in the country, and have dealt with my own hesitations and hard questions. Please know that I am politically neutral on this whole subject. One argument (highly abbreviated) goes: Ducks eat whole fish including the sharp fins because they have an esophagus that is accomodating -- therefore, we are anthropomorphizing by saying that this is cruel. Ducks flock to their feeders for their gavage, as written in the excellent chapter on foie gras in the History of Food by Toussaint-Samat. Birds, since the beginning of time, have naturally and instinctively eaten to the point of a grossly enlarged liver, in order to store up on fuel for long migrations. Some parts of the counter-argument: The birds suffer. Some have livers that explode. Some choke on their own vomit. Who needs to eat this anyway? Is our own human pleasure our only guiding principal here? And of course, this opens up all those messy conversations about factory farming, animal cruelty, conspicuous consumption, etc. My foremost dilemna here is not necessarily for the ducks, but for the farm workers. As reported a couple of years ago in the NY Times, the workers must go for thirty days working from early morning until late at night, without a day off, the reason being that each duck is assigned to a specific feeder, and comes to accept food only from that particular person. As they are fed three times per day at exact eight hour intervals, and for 30 days, the workers are stuck being there for each session. This also implies that ducks are fairly intelligent -- another can of worms. I visited a foie gras farm, and was truly disgusted by the smell, feces and overcrowding, but this was not different or worse than the chicken (layers and meat), pig, steer and dairy farms that I have visited, even those that proclaim "all natural" and "free range." I can go insane dwelling on what to eat, what not to eat. As for Whole Foods, well, that is another topic that has been discussed at length on the board here. All I have to say is that they are, of course, going to jump on any controversal wagon that is highly visible in the media. My feelings about them are also mixed: I find their mission is often hypocritical, but that they do many things very well.
  12. My big bugaboo is "wild mushrooms," which are inevitably portabellas or cremini mixed with button mushrooms.
  13. Artichokes -- pre-natal -- My mother claimed this was all she ate when she was pregnant for me. Today, this is my favorite food. Roquefort -- age 2, I loved it! This is my first food memory Tongue -- 3, at home Bear -- 13, in Vienna Smoked Eel -- 13, Amsterdam street vendor Kirshwasser -- 13, Freiburg, Germany Pesto -- 14, Genoa, Italy Brains -- 14, on boat crossing Atlantic Squirrel -- 18, boyfriend's house Indian food -- 19, London Squab -- 19, Paris Chevre -- picnic in France Sweetbreads -- 22, NYC Foie Gras -- 35, at my employer, it was part of my job That's about all I can remember. I've eaten almost everything edible, at least once. I can count on one hand the foods I don't like.
  14. A couple of corrections, not that I'm any expert: Szechuan peppercorns were banned because of the canker virus, not some cancer virus. The canker virus can contaminate citrus trees, and the fear was that Florida and California trees could become infected like a plague. They ARE NOT carcinogenic! The reason the ban was lifted is because the exporters agreed to irradiate them before shipping, thus sterilizing them. Virtually all foie gras in this country and Canada comes from ducks, not geese. The main reason for this is that geese require much more time, hence are not at all cost effective for the farms. Occasionally, Hudson Valley raises a few geese, such as at Christmastime.
  15. I recently finished "Eating my Words" by Mimi Sheraton, and loved it. Highly recommended. Right now I am reading "The Language of Baklava" by Diana Abu-Jaber, and it is delightful. She is a very engaging writer who has some great stories to tell. I strongly recommend this as well. I also read "Insatiable" and hated it. Gael Greene is such a narcissist in dire need of a different editor. I don't know why I finished it -- I guess because I paid full freight for this hard-cover, but throughout I was asking myself, "who cares?"
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