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B Edulis

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  1. B Edulis


    Wow, what great ideas! I'm going to print this thread.... BTW the reason that peaches have such an affinity with almonds is that they're closely related. In fact, when you a peach pit open, there's an almond inside. It's a bitter almond and has amazing flavor. It also has a little cyanide, so you should only eat it cooked. Ever since reading an old recipe, I always use the bitter almonds in my pies and cobblers -- gives an extra kick! And recently I made a Jean George recipe using sour cherries where he the pits and simmers them with syrup, so, cherries, also being a stone fruit, also have that flavor.
  2. Another one! I got this one from Desserts 1-2-3. You take a couple of cups of blueberries, a cup of water and some sugar (under a cup) and simmer it for 20 minutes and then strain and squeeze out the berries. Reduce the syrup for a while. Meanwhile, cut some peaches in half, sprinkle with a little sugar, put them in a roasting pan with a little water, and roast them at 450. Take 'em out, plate 'em, mound more fresh blueberries on top, then pour syrup over. It's great, especially with vanilla ice cream. Probably also good with shortbread cookies. Of course, fat-free by itself.
  3. Suvir -- take blueberries, stuff in mouth, chew. Mmmmmmm. Just kidding. I'm up in the Catskills at a friend's, it's early in the morning, and I was just about to go out and do some early morning blueberry picking -- the wild bushes are out in the meadow. Last night I made a blueberry peach pie. They're great together! We ate it served on Stangl "Blueberry" plates! With their chrome yellow border it was beautiful. Blueberries and cornmeal are a wonderful combo -- can't wait to see that old tart recipe! A friend of mine makes what she calls "blueberry caviar" -- blueberries swirled in a pan with butter and sugar. Serve on anything that's rich and, what's the word I'm looking for? Bland? Like vanilla ice cream, pound cake, crumbled cookies. It would be good with a little lemon zest added. I grew up eating blueberry cobblers with drop bisquits on top, but other kinds of cobbler using pie crust dough seem more common. I saw a recipe recently for the bisquit type in an old cookbook (Meta Given's Encyclo.) that called it an old Mohawk recipe! (Didn't know that baking power was an indiginous ingredient (My mum put the blueberries in the oven in the pan while she made the bisquit dough to give them a head start in cooking, and she sprinkled sugar over the bisquit drops. Thanks all for the excellent ideas! I believe in gorging on what's in season till you're sick of it! Next thread -- blackberries! They're out there ripening now!
  4. B Edulis

    Fresh herbs

    Gosh, do you think Popeel will have a home irradiation machine available soon? But wait, if you order before midnight, you get a bonus lead apron!
  5. B Edulis

    Fresh herbs

    According to Madeline Kamman, in The Making of a Cook, infusing herbs in oil can make you dead! She goes on and on about how infusing herbs in oil can be a recipe for botulism. Here's a short quote: "The skins of [many] vegetables are liable to be contaminated, even after you wash and dry them well, with many kinds of bacteria, which of course are undetectable since they are microscopic. Clostridium botulinum is one of these bacteria and especially nasty because it can survive anywhere there is no oxygen and very little acid." She goes on to describe death by botulism, but then says not to be put off from making flavored oils, just follow safety precautions, which she outlines. They precautions are intense, and include sterilizing and the caveat not to use oils more than 48 hours old unless they are cooked. Jeez! It put me off from making flavored oils, I'll tell you that! (That's why I'm interested in syrups) But she's really a clean freak and maybe that's one of the reasons I don't use that book so much...... Anybody here have an educated opinion about whether she's exagerating the risk?
  6. There's a thread I started about pb and pickle sandwiches, which I was turned on to by a friend from Kansas. I was wondering about the origins and constitution of bread and butter pickles. B + B Pickle Thread I'm trying my first thread link, if it doesn't work, the thread's in cooking........
  7. Steve -- that's so interesting. Having lived in coal-mining country, I know that old coal (that has been sitting around above ground for a while) has released all its gasses and won't burn. But I guess charcoal is a completely different animal. When I had a country place up near Ellenville an old timer at the hardware store told me that Ellenville, like many other towns, had a local guy that made lump charcoal for sale. My pal Richard told me, over the weekend, that charcoal briquettes were invented by Henry Ford, who was looking for a use for the hardwood cut-outs from A frames.....
  8. Wow, I'm so surprised to find so many of the eGulleters who I consider serious cooks in the Weber camp! I feel redeemed! And I'm delighted to find that they've made improvements to both of my complaints! Now all I need is a country house to park a Weber on...... (Meanwhile, I've got a portable weber in my car trunk!)
  9. Just came back from spending the holiday in the Catskills where I discovered the processing plant in Fallsburg for Murray's chicken. I threaded my way back to the office and also found big discounts -- about half price. But the most amazing this was the quality. I'm presuming the chicken I bought had been killed only hours earlier and the texture was very different from any chicken I've ever worked with. The flesh was really soft and there was this obvious transparent connective tissue that held the skin and fat and flesh together. It was pliant and stretchy, which made the chicken really easy to de-fat and skin. And cooked, it was extra tender. It also didn't have that faintly icky smell that most chicken has (I might be more sensitive to this since chicken's the only warm-blooded critter I eat or cook). (The plant didn't smell much either.) I think I might be spoiled for life.
  10. I am also a charcoal user. I can't tell you which is the best, but I've been using the standard big round free-standing Weber for years and it works well (it cooked a pie in an emergency, once, beautifully, and you know how I love pie), but it seems to have a design flaw. Every one I've ever used needs to have the lid slightly ed or the fire burns low. Even when all the vents are open. Anybody else experience this? But obviously the BRW is not the grill for you, since you're cooking for so many so frequently.... Also, the worst chore associated with charcoal grills is getting rid of the ashes, and I don't know if any designs take this into consideration. The round Weber makes this particularly difficult, I think, as you have to tip the whole damn thing over and ashes go everywhere.
  11. Coffee and peanut butter -- a delicious combo yet to be exploited by anybody that I know of! I really don't know how you'd combine them, but they taste great consumed at the same time.
  12. Nobody has mention my favorite Pocky, which I haven't seen for a while, so maybe it's no longer made -- they call it "tea" flavored, but it's actually chocolate flavored with Earl Grey (bergamot). It's quite good -- right up there with "Men's Pocky." But why isn't there "Women's Pocky"? Or "Children's Pocky"? Perhaps they could call little ones "Pockettes"? Or maybe that's what all fans of Pocky should be called.....
  13. My first thought was salt on cantalope but John beat me to it. I've never run into anyone else doing this, John, I've thought perhaps it was a southern thing -- my "daddy" came from Virginia.
  14. At the Pakistani Tea House on Church Street, near Chambers (NYC) in the freezer right inside the door they have two flavors of home made popsicles - pistachio and coconut. They're both made with evaporated milk, I think (there's no ingredient list, natch). They're terrific, a favorite of my fairy god daughter, Jemma.
  15. So, now I know! All this talk has be jonzing for a peanutbutter with bread and butter pickle sandwich. Pearl ate them growing up in Kansas, but it really sounds like a malaysian combo to me! But I'm glad to hear that the bread and butter has such a committed following! Thanks!
  16. My friend Pearl, who loves peanut butter and pickle sandwiches, recommends bread and butter pickles, not sweet pickles. She sez there's a difference, but she doesn't know what. The sandwiches are terrific. Anyone out there know?
  17. A couple of days ago I was on my way to a swanky cocktail party with a mint in my mouth. You know how you feel when you're going to a party alone, and you're not going to know many people, and you're sure most of them are going to be chicer than thou? On entering, for some reason, I swallowed the mint and it lodged sideways in my throat. I could still breath but felt that at any moment my condition could become severe and I'd be a Heimlich spectical. I was really worried. Eventually it melted. Let that be a lesson to you all!
  18. Welcome, VM! I really like cooking for a crowd every now and then. And I like cooking with other people, too. Is doing what you like theraputic? I know right after 9/11 the only place I felt remotely okay was at the respite center on Pier 40, serving food to rescue workers. Something about being of service, and perhaps being surrounded by such strong, capable people calmed me.
  19. Most of this stuff really sounds like a frat boy approach to food -- a combination of sadism and "daring" with not too much regard for taste. I ate at a small sushi bar in Tokyo once that was considered one of the best by my host. When we sat down I notices a bunch of critters running and moving around inside the glass fish case. But the sushi master did them in before serving them. And the sushi was fantastic. As to the idea that live food is by its nature fresher, Bittman points out in his fish book that a lobster that's been kept in captivity too long is no good, even if alive. I've seen live fish in Chinatown aquariums that have eyes as foggy 3 day old dead fish (that really creeped me out! Living dead.....).
  20. I was just thinking that if we were to do this regularly, we could adopt a routine and it would be simpler to organize. I'd be willing to host again -- tho' I can't guarantee more fresh fungus party favors...
  21. B Edulis


    I use mine to make potato chips that I roll and skewer. Slather 'em with flavored oil and herbs and hit the grill! Yum! I think calling the guard the "chariot" makes it seem much more fun and exciting. When I was in a pinch for one once, I used a spiked floral frog!
  22. The week since Sunday has been a whirl for me, but I'm finally getting a chance to check in. What fun we had! What food we had! It just goes to show what can happen when everyone contributes a bit. The photos are fun to see, thanks Mark. And I've really been enjoying the leftovers this week! What luck for me to find that chicken mushroom in Staten Island Sunday morning. Its botanical name is Laetiporus sulphureus, it's also known as sulfur shelf since it becomes bright orange and sulphury yellow as it grows. They are best when they are young and moist and pale yellow and this one was at its peak of deliciousness. As they grow they become more fiberous. I forgot to weigh it before I cut it up, but I'll bet it was over 4 pounds -- which, incidentially, is not that big for a chicken mushroom, it's not unusual to find 20 pounds growing in one spot. It's so interesting to hear what everyone did with their chunks. I'm glad that no one died or became a zombie.... I sliced mine and marinated it with orange and lemon zest and juice and olive oil and shallots, then roasted it (from Schneider's Vegs from A to Z). It was great served on greens with pecans, and the leftovers made good "chicken" sandwiches!
  23. B Edulis


    But how are you going to shave thin slices of your fingers without one? Makes a great garnish! But seriously, I was given an expensive stainless steel one from William Sonoma as a gift and couldn't make it work at all. When I brought it to the store the clerk said that that model was terrible and that I should get the steel one that Dean and Deluca carried. Instead I got a $35 plastic and steel one by Borner, Germany at Broadway Panhandler. It's terrific because I only use it once and a while so durability/heartiness isn't an issue, and it works really well.
  24. B Edulis


    B Edulis -- When you have a chance, are you aware of any other names by which sour cherries go? Also, how sour are they, and have you eaten them on their own (i.e., without adding any other ingredient)? Sour cherries are too sour to use on their own. They're great for pies because their acidity counters the sugar perfectly and the filling has lots of flavor without being cloyingly sweet. They are bright red and I don't know if any other names. BTW, a hint I picked up from one o' my mother's old cookbooks: you can pit cherries with a hairpin (I use a paperclip) bent into a hook with a diameter slightly smaller than the pit. Just hook it out. Good job for kids! And they seem so much tastier whole.....
  25. B Edulis


    Probably obvious, but the word "mastic" comes from the latin, "to chew." Must have a rubbery component that helps make it like gum.
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