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Brigit Binns

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    Hudson Valley and Topanga Canyon

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  1. Pork confit and lobster together, yes...the combo spoke to me of New Orleans, or Portugal, or was just a Brigit's Meat-Your-Fish moment...and it was, truly, lobster-licious! Perfect rainy-day food!
  2. Ravensfeast, I have been wanting to make lardo ever since immersing myself in Ruhlman's great book, Charcuterie, but it's been so humid here this summer, and I read somewhere about someone who had a curing project turn green...I got kinda scared off. But Ossabaw is definitely the pork for it. Maybe in the fall I'll get braver. Actually, tonight I'm melting a crock of confit that has been in the fridge (well-sealed!) since June, and I'm going to crisp it up, then add it to a huge rustic bowl of rigatoni with lobster, chick peas, smoked bacon from Allan Benton's in Tennessee, lots of melty collard greens from the garden, and a bunch of garlicky breadcrumbs. Perfect late summer food, right?
  3. Thanks to you, and to Popsicle Toze, for the very kind words! There was an interesting thread atGourmet.com about the different heritage breeds, and why we want to save them. After hearing from Josh Applestone that one day April Bloomfield of The Spotted Pig sent back a delivery of Ossabaw, saying "It's all (expletive deleted) fat! I can't use this!" I have to say I was surprised by all the fuss about the Mangalitsa, the latest high-fat porky darling of the media. If, in the long run, we must cross these fatty breeds with leaner pigs to make a sustainable product, it begs the question: Do we strive to preserve an heirloom breed simply to keep its pure legacy alive? Or, are we engaged in preservation for purely selfish purposes? Or maybe, it can be both....Our small farmers are on the front lines of this history-in-the-making quandary...(I, of course, am at the table with knife and pork poised to take advantage of the edible by-products of the discourse.)
  4. Thanks, Lapin...trouble is, no one ever wants to invite me over for dinner. "Oh, I could never cook for YOU." But, if I can convince them, and they then see my giddy gratitude when someone actually puts pan to flame, spoon to bowl, all for ME, they're happy to make it a habit.
  5. The answer seems to lie in cross-breeding and changing their diets to focus more on nuts and acorns, as Peter and Mark at Turkana Farms, and many champions of the Ossabaw, are now doing. That way, you get the drop-dead delicious meat with a smaller fat cap. The problem is that those who own pure-bred Ossabaws don't seem to want to sell them as breeders.
  6. OK, reporting back: Russell: the fish market is still there at Avila Beach, end of the northernmost pier. I was at the restaurant next door last night for a sunset cocktail, but it was after they'd closed. Will return for dinner supplies this week. Kathy: I am lookin' and lookin' for contact info for NZ Ranch in Edna, and the Nevilles, but not finding much. I'm wondering if they sell from the farm, or where I can get some of their pork for next weekend...Will try New Frontiers and, if no luck, order some from Niman. The Thursday night market in SLO was wonderful, and I just came from the Saturday market in the parking lot at Madonna, which has many of the same producers but none of the street food. Bought many tasty things, plus a Buddha's Hand citron, for amusement value. Today, going up to visit Raoul's olive farm! Next week, visiting Rinconada Dairy in Santa Margarita to meet the sheep, and also to see my friends at L'Aventure. Boy oh boy is it gorgeous here.
  7. I never imagined that my experience earning a B.A. in Chinese Studies in 1979---which involved a month in Taipei, two weeks on the mainland (not easy to do in '79), and six months in Hong Kong---could be so impressively melded with the wonderful times I have enjoyed while accompanying my husband to various Star Trek conventions. Thank you for sharing. Roadfoodie can't wait to get hold of the Top 100, for all those hungry drives across the country; even if Kansas is dry, there must be some estimable dumplings in the interior?
  8. YES, Raoul, I am very interested, and roadfoodie.com readers would love to "see" an olive farm. I used to inhale Graber's when I was a kid growing up in LA. I see they are still around, but getting those mondo-jumbos isn't easy. Note that I haven't been out to Avila pier yet, as my husband had the unexpected pleasure of an emergency root canal in SLO this am. Thus, I haven't yet set out to explore. I will report as to the fish-market-on-the-pier's presence, or non-presence. I am definitely going to track down the NZ pig farm per Kathy, and Thursday market in SLO. Thanks
  9. Hey Kathy - thanks, yeah that could be fun. We are slightly south of SLO (Avila Beach area), but can drive anywhere reasonably close, and will be going to visit friends who own L'Aventure in Paso at some point. I have liked the New Frontiers on Santa Rosa in the past, and have been to the farmers market in Arroyo Grande, last year. Any pig farmers around here? I will def find Templeton for the fish store. There used to be a fish market out at Avila piere, too. Budget is an issue this year (like everyone, I guess), but thanks for the heads-up re Artisan, carpet bagger. That'll be one of the occasional splurges for sure.
  10. Just arrived and will be eating and drinking here until end of Jan. There don't seem to be too many recent posts, although I see that tacos in Morro Bay deserve attention. I have a big kitchen to play in, too, so looking for local farms that sell produce,meat and poultry, etc. V. grateful for advice. Check out Roadfoodie to journey along.... [some people drive simply to arrive]
  11. How did I miss this thread? What a fabulous way to avoid working! It's hard enough to get anyone to invite me for dinner as it is (just because I've written 19 cookbooks, people seem to get intimidated), but I'll risk a little diplomatic sharing. Of the many indifferent meals consumed in England during my 7-year internment, the very first ranks high: Everything on the plate was white: Poached chicken with white sauce, cauliflower cheese, and onions in cream. All proudly served by a girlfriend eager to share the best her native island had to offer. Instead of running back across the pond in abject fear, like an idiot I married an Englishman. He sent me to professional cooking school, where I learned to make suet crust for steak and kidney pudding, babas au rhum, and poulet chaud-froid (more gelatin than a 1950's pot-luck party). Many, many mealtimes were spent dispiritedly chewing overcooked pork in florid parlors. Food made with love always has something to offer, but when made in honest ignorance it can be hard to figure out what that something is. I do always try. My Guilty-Pleasure Web Page
  12. Legend says that the Negroni is the cocktail that "ruined a generation" of post-war youth in Europe. I just can't remember which war they were referring to. Probably, Hemingway had something to do with it. He's usually guilty when it comes to anything involving cocktails... We've been drinking them for years. Glad they've caught on... Am now i.s.o. Punt e Mes and/or the Carpano.
  13. Does anyone know of contemporary recipes for a "Cucumber Cooler" or a "Ginger Cocktail"? The first should have either cucumer-infused sake or muddled cucumber. It's topped up with soda. Use a blender to grind up cucumber if you don't have two weeks to infuse? Then, strain it out, or include some pulp in highball glass? I believe the Ginger Cocktail has sake, ginger, and mint. This is for an entertaining book - I'd be most obliged.
  14. Very, very nice, Alex. Beautiful photography. And if I could somehow attach chicken skin to tuna, I would too. Mmmmm. I'll be sure to come visit the restaurant on my next cross-country drive.
  15. I admit it: I am technologically-challenged!!! But I'm working on this...probably need to hire someone (aaargh!). But THANKS (Probably, around the time you manage to add delicious smells to your blog....) ← Brigit, its really easy, and you dont have to install the software yourself. Just get a free blog on Wordpress or Blogger or Typepad or any of the other places, and just redirect your domain address there. If you want I can give you a simple HTML file to replace your existing home page with, and it can automatically re-direct traffic to your new site. ← You may be my saviour! But then, don't I have to master Wordpress or one of the others? I got bogged down (blogged down) with MySql etc and gave up. I'd like to keep the format the same and not have to re-upload all the pages and images...could it possibly be that what you are suggesting would NOT require me to do that?
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