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Posts posted by rlibkind

  1. Picked up some humanely raised veal short ribs from my fav cheesemaker at a farrmers' market. I'll braise them, figuring a lightter touch than with beef short ribs. Due to some medications Im temporarily on. even if most alcohol cooks off, would like to afoid booze in braising liquid. Any suggestions? Maybe a touch of tomato? Of some simple herbs in light stock? Normally I'd add a toicjh of good riesling, but not today.

  2. I'm curious. Do you have access to really fresh, high oil-content fish? If you do, a worthy endeavor. But I'd avoid such a project if I couldn't get right-off-the-boat pristine fish.

  3. If your friend says she likes diabetic chocolates without sugar by all means get them for her.

    But unless you know she enjoys these, do not assume she will.

    Many people without diabetes think that diabetics must absolutely avoid sugar. This is not true. What diabetics need to pay attention to is the total number of carbohydrates that they consume. Sugar is just one carbohydrate. Carbohydrates are also contained in fruit, bread and most other foods you can think of (the major exceptions being fats and pure protein foods).

    I would rather pass up on the non-sugar version. None are satisfactory. Instead I limit my consumption of high quality regular chocolate rather than avoid them.

    Of course , if I need a laxative , the non-sugar chocolates work great, since that's a side-effect of the sugar alcohols used to manufacture them.

    Obviously each individual diabetic has to make his or her own choice. But there's no law that says diabetics must avoid sugar.

    Again, if you know as fact that your friend enjoys non-sugar chocolates, get them. But if you're just making an assumption, don't.

    • Like 1
  4. .

    Edited to add, here's a link to a recent story on them from a local news station:

    "Local company produces cotton candy grapes"

    Tv news item confirms my taste impression of "musky" more like American than European grapes. Story said it's a hybrid of two wild grapes. Makes sense.

  5. Iovine's Produce at Philly's Reading Terminal Market had these last year and again thus year. But at about $6/pound I'm not a buyer.

    They don't taste like cotton candy to me, but they are a nice tasting grape. The flavor is more "musky" in the best sense, more like an American than European grape, I.e., concord rather than Thompson. But they're seedless and nicely sized.

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  6. Wonderful article on Eau de Vie by the late, great R. W. Apple:

    Eau de Vie: Fruit's Essence

    I've been using a tablespoon or so of the appropriate eau de vie in the fruit sorbets and ice creams I've been making thus summer. Great way to add alcohol to lower the freezing point, I.e,, keep product from getting rock hard in freezer.

  7. I've made two batches of black raspberry ice cream this week. Hardest part but well worth it is seeding the raspberries.

    I let 3 cups of the raspberries sit for two hours in half a cup of sugar bruising them a bit to let the juice run out. Then they get pressed through a fine mesh strainer or chinoise.

    Next I reduce the juice for a little bit on the stove. A cup of sugar goes into a pint of heavy cream pasteurized but not ultrapasteurized, gently heated and stirred until the sugar dissolves, adding a couple tablespoons of plain corn syrup. Mix the raspberry juice and cream together along with a tablespoon of vodka or framboise eau de vie. and place in the fridge overnight before placing in your ice cream maker. A half cup or three quarters of cup of the smallest chocolate chips/chunks you can find can be added a few minutes before you stop the ice cream maker. Let ripen in the freezer for at least four hours. It's been yummy.

    • Like 1
  8. You're better off making your own pickles afresh. All it takes is two pounds of kirbies, sliced lengthwise in halves or quarters. Dissolve 1/3 cup Diamond Crystal kosher salt (1/4 c if its Morton's kosher salt) in cup of boiling water. Then throw in a handful or so of ice cubes to cool. Add kirbies, 3-8 crushed cloves of garlic, some fresh dill or some coriander seeds, add enough more cold water to cover, then keep it all submerged with plate smaller than bowl's diameter and a weight -- perhaps a glass jar filled with your old pickle juice! Place in cool space (not fridge) and taste after 12 hours. Depending how "done" you like them they might be ready or need another 6-36 hours. Just keep tasting! When ready repackage to clean glass container with your homemade brine and refrigerate. They'll keep fermenting, but more slowly. Will last two weeks or so ... But they're likely to be consumed long before then.

  9. Since the content tends to overlap, I'll be posting items about both the Reading Terminal Market and farmers markets I visit in this new topic.

    First up:

    Livengoods Quit City Markets

    The Livengood Family Farm won't be selling their produce within Philadelphia's city limits this season.

    The Livengoods -- Earl and Joyce and their son Dwain -- were mainstays at Reading Terminal Market's Center Court until 2010. At that time they continued to sell their certified organic produce at the South & Passyunk, Fairmount and Clark Park farmers markets until this year. Now they're limiting their presence to the Bala Cynwyd and East Goshen markets on Thursdays, and the Saturday markets at Artisans Exchange in West Chester, Upper Merion, and Bryn Mawr.

    Dwain Livengood hopes to continue at the Saturday Clark Park winter after Thanksgiving.

    The South & Passyunk market, by the way, has switched from Tuesdays to Saturdays. It's the oldest of the current farmers markets in the city.

    Sumer Is Icumen In

    If you're into English medieval music, you'll recognize the title Sumer Is Icumen In as a little ditty probably dating to about 1260. You might even recall Alan Hale's Little John whistling it in the 1983 Errol Flynn classic Robin Hood.

    Translated from Middle English it pretty much means what you think: Summer Has Arrived. Nowhere can that be seen more clearly that at local markets.

    The produce of spring -- strawberries, asparagus -- are still around but fading fast. Instead, cherries made their first local appearance this past week, with more to come over the next few weeks. Jersey blueberries will be plentiful soon, and it won't be long until we see apricots, raspberries and other summer sweet fruits.

    Some photos are attached to this post

    Farmer Bowes Leaves Reading Terminal

    Steve Bowes, the organic farmer who occupied space in the piano court for the past few years, has left the Reading Terminal Market. Instead he's concentrating on wholesaling to local restaurants and his Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. Among his wholesale customers, and headquarters for his CSA in Philadelphia, is Russet Restaurant on Spruce Street.

    Bowes started out at the market three years ago when it briefly, and unsuccessfully, partnered with Farm to City to operate a traditional farmers' market across 12th Street. After that effort failed, Bowes elected to sell directly inside the market, using day tables set up in the piano court opposite Metropolitan Bakery. Bowes filled a gap in the market's offerings when Livengood Family left center court.

    Paul Steinke, general manager of the Reading Terminal Market, said there's no active search for a replacement. Instead, market shoppers will have to rely on local produce sold by eisting produce vendors:

    • Fair Food Farmstand sells the widest variety of local produce, from some of the same growers who populate the city's farmers' markets, as well as items from coops.
    • Kauffman's Lancaster County Produce, operated by Benuel Kauffman, gets most of his fruits and vegetables from the Leola Produce Auction or his neighbors, though some items occasionally come from his wife's garden.
    • L. Halteman Family primarily sells meats, but also offers seasonal local produce, frequently at the best prices you'll see.
    • Iovine Brothers Produce has been displaying local produce prominently in recent years. Most of the local items are vegetables, particularly greens from larger growers in Maryland and South Jersey, but they also work with smaller farmers like Shady Brook in Bucks County, which supplies corn in addition to other items.
    • OK Lee will feature local produce, though not as extensively as Iovine's.




    • Like 1
  10. Brilliant rant, allthough somewhat not very applicable to the hot dog situation here where I live, in Norway. Here the standard hot odg is either a boiled wiener or a fried sausage. The fried sausage comes in many varieties,

    There's a great hot dog stand in Bergen, across from the Fisketorget. Photos accompany this post.

    On more than one occasion during my all-to-infrequent visits to Norway a couple of hot dogs at 7-Eleven or Narvesen has allowed me to eat in the cheap, a considerable achieve t in the land of $30 pizzas.

    Here's a link to a blog post about Polse Porn:



  11. Couldn't have said it betted! Especially the minimal toppings rant: guess that's why I'm not a fan of Chicago dogs that have walked through the garden, even when they use a quality Vienna Beef dog. Heck, I even prefer my "Syd's" dog boiled!

    Best hot dog bargain: 50-centers at Ikea. Yeah, they're small and almost tasteless, but the''re cheap: you can get half a dozen for what you'd pay for just as tasteless a dog at the ballpark.

  12. Why try to replicate the sense of or give the illusion of salt?

    Salt does more than contribute "saltiness" to food: it's a flavor enhancer. Finding no-or low-sodium mechanisms to enhance flavor surely is a worthwhile pursuit for all, but especially those who elect to restrict or limit sodium intake for health reasons.

  13. If you are grilling -- which to me means over direct heat -- then you definitely should go with boneless leg butterflied. That said I've made an ersatz lamb pastrami using either shoulder or leg on the bone, but strictly with indirect heat; the reason why I cooked it indirectly on a charcoal fire is so that I could add smokiness with wood chunks. Otherwise an oven roast makes more sense for the bone-in cuts, at least to me.

    BTW, the lamb pastrami recipe:

    Coat meat in full fat yogurt for 24 hours.wipe off, then coat for another 24 hours in mix of mashed/minced garlic, salt, sage, coriander seeds, black pepper before cooking.

    • Like 1
  14. Can't speak to the indent issue but George (Secrets of a Jewish Baker) Greenstein's recipe just combines raw minced onion with poppy seeds, veg oil and salt: no cooking before going into oven. The couple times I tried his recipe it worked for me, no burned onions.

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