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Everything posted by tanabutler

  1. tanabutler

    Ramps: The Topic

    Whadda ya know? There are ramps at the San Francisco Ferry Plaza market. I'll get up there next week, perhaps. Thanks!
  2. tanabutler

    Sideways Dinner

    I promise I don't know any Californians who actually eat this. I've had it at my mother-in-law's house in San Antonio, though, made with Lipton Onion Soup mix. (However, Dungeness crab is very Californian, as are artichokes, and either of those would make a fine dip, as would the noble avocado in guacamole.)I know you want a main course, but just add this to the hopper: most of the best strawberries (not those nasty Driscoll monsters) are grown here: they are Santa Cruz's #1 crop (unless you count medical and non-medical marijuana ). Much of the grass-fed beef today comes from California...why not feature that? Skirt steaks and tri-tip are pretty Californian. My friends back east are always asking about tri-tips. Of course, there are regional differences between NoCal and SoCal. Southern California has more of the citrus orchards, and we've got more stone fruits up this way.
  3. tanabutler

    Ramps: The Topic

    Will there be ramps when I am in NYC at the end of May?
  4. The recipe for Royal Icing at Gayle's Bakery here in town calls for: 1 cup confectioner's sugar 1 t. egg white 1 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 t. corn syrup 1 t. water Mix the egg white w/the sugar. Whisk -- it will be lumpy/crumbly. Add lemon juice and corn syrup and mix until smooth. It should run off the whisk in a slow and even stream. If not, add a little water. (I don't add it all at once.) Throw it into your pastry bag (1/4" tip for hot cross buns, e.g.) and you're in business. I have made this recipe many many times and it comes out perfectly. It's so white it looks like it had its teeth bleached.
  5. I can taste the artificial ingredients in cake mixes and frosting in a can, so I don't like them at all. (I will use a pre-made pie crust, though, if it has quality ingredients in it.) As for cakes, it's scratch, and only scratch, for me. Once I learned how easy (and enjoyable) baking cakes are, I've never gone back. (If I were on a budget, I just wouldn't make cake. There have to be other, better ways to conserve money than by buying fake cake.) But I guess if you can't tell the diff, what's the diff? I'll have some pie, please. EDIT: here is a cake recipe I made week in and week out, when I catered ("Beauty and the Feast"). We had the food concession at Kuumbwa Jazz Club in town, and I made this recipe for three chocolate cakes (with minimal flour) every week, until I got tired of chocolate. Yes, that is English: I got tired of chocolate. I used to have it on a daily basis, and now, only rarely. The honeymoon of 30 years ended when I catered. Chocolate Gratification Cakes
  6. 91,283. If the drink recipes are bound in book form (as my Mr. B is) sure! ← Not so fast, there, Missy. I sold a bunch of mine.
  7. tanabutler

    Gruner Veltliner

    This is a bottle I just found, too, here in Santa Cruz at Soif wine shop. I'd won a client's contest (hmmm!) for a $125 gift certificate anywhere in town -- we had dinner at Soif last month, and I had a left $25. This bottle was $23 with tax. I think it is one of the best GV's I have had yet. I bet they're even cheaper in NYC, where I'm headed next month.Big thumbs up.
  8. Dear Marlena, STAND IN LINE!!!
  9. Mmmmmm, Jazz and Heritage Festival out at the fairgrounds. Nothing' better than an oyster po' boy and some gospel music. Dear God, what a great way to spend a weekend. I went for my birthday back in 1982 -- it's always right around my birthday, how sweet of them is that?
  10. I have a great Mollie Katzen recipe for stir-fried asparagus and mushrooms with tofu in linguine or vermicelli, and a marinade comprised of garlic, fresh ginger, soy, crushed red pepper, lemon juice, sesame oil, brown sugar, water, and salt. After the tofu has marinated, you put a little cornstarch in a bowl, add 1 cup of the marinade, and whisk, returning it to the marinade. After everything gets stir-fried, the marinade goes in, and thickens up. It's really really good. I have never had asparagus turn grey from steaming; I do shock it in ice water when it's done, regardless of cooking technique. EDIT: Hey, whadda ya know? The recipe for asparagus-tofu stirfry is online!
  11. tanabutler

    Dinner! 2005

    Winged it last night: reached into pantry and refrigerator and came up with artichoke hearts, roasted red bell peppers, sun-fried tomatoes and orzo. Salad on the side, and some grated asiago on the pasta.
  12. Put me in the camp with the cool people who think this shallow woman makes for an article that had me squirming with discomfort from beginning to end. Shallow? Yes, she is writing a book on female celebrities. I rest my case. And I'm surprised no one picked up on this horrifying bit: That means all the crap people are eating is pre-made, packaged, manufactured, assembled, industrial stuff. THAT creeped me out more than her refrigerator full of diet soda and the part where her husband says she can boil water, just not very well. Male or female, the subject of this article is repulsive to me. She thrives on the attention of waitstaff to recharge her batteries? I'm thinking not only soulless but narcissistic. Whatever. I'm just glad she's not married into my family.
  13. Ain't that what all them little Varmints is for? Great kitchen, there, Mr. Varmint.
  14. Hey, has anyone here heard of "The Real Dirt on Farmer John"? It's a film based on a farmer in Caledonia, Illinois. You can watch the preview at the Angelic Organics web site. Devotay, I am very interested in the progress of your book.
  15. It smells like gefilte fish. I worked at a restaurant in the Catskills called Rudy's Big Indian. (I bet some of you ate there -- I worked there in 1986 when I lived in Phoenicia.) Mark, the owner, was a Jewish guy who often catered. I once had to stick my bare hand/arm into a cold vat of gefilte fish to stir it up. My arm broke out into a nasty rash all the way to the shoulder. I never want to see or smell that stuff again. I don't know if it was the fish that caused it, but given that my only other food allergy is to a kind of fish, I wouldn't be surprised.
  16. Good golly, Miss Molly! I am surprised no one mentioned that Molly Stevens won an IACP award for "Best Single Subject" for her book. Russ Parsons article in the Los Angeles Times here.
  17. tanabutler

    Spring Radishes

    Julia Wiley, of Mariquita Farm, has a bunch of radish recipes on the Mariquita website. (Sign up for their newsletter and you'll get recipes all year 'round.)
  18. A technique I learned in a cooking class last year (my first ever) with Chef David Kinch has replaced all other methods of cooking asparagus, if I have time to do more than steam it. Peel (extremely important) big spears, blanch to medium rare in salted water, and shock in ice water. Then toss in beurre noisette (browned unsalted butter) until done (medium rare or so). Top with a citrus vinaigrette (lemon zest, lemon juice, s/p and EVOO) and pecorino. I wrote up the class and took some photos, and exhaustive details are here. It had never occurred to me to put cheese on asparagus. This is just fantastic, though.
  19. Use a longer shutter time, and get creative with your props there. I have used wine glasses, empty plates, or my purse to steady the camera. You might get some interesting angles, as an added benefit. Nothing is as boring as a shot of food taken from overhead, and flash photography in restaurants should be a ticketable offense.
  20. If someone has an actual copy of the magazine, can you please PM me? Thanks so much.
  21. tanabutler

    Dinner! 2005

    Roasted pork tenderloin with a cherry preserve/rosemary/red wine reduction, along with mashed new potatoes and pea shoot salad with vinaigrette. No photos as it was dark already, and pork tenderloin with cherry sauce looks like roadkill. Seriously. But ooooh, it smelled so good and tasted even better. Little Logan (The King of the Babies™) snarfed it up with his brand-new two-year molars (he's only 14 months). Leftovers will make good sandwiches, right? I wonder if I could fiddle around and do a makeshift Cuban sandwich with this meat.
  22. I own and love The Italian Country Table. Here is another thread about Italian cookbooks with a slightly different bent. http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=54218
  23. Unbelievably, but I enjoyed driving in Rome, too. Lanes are as meaningless to a Roman as they would be to a bird or a fish, but the cars all flow together with a kind of extrasensory knowledge. Sleeping in Rome, on the other hand, was a nightmare that I intend never to repeat again. I'll stay in the countryside, thank you very much. Glad your marriage survived!
  24. Glad to see you carrying on the tradition, Hathor. Two years ago today, I was coming to the end of my two weeks in Italy. I know the weather, I know the smell of the land in springtime. We spent the night in Tivoli at the Hotel Sirene. I am looking forward to your unique take on your experience there. Congratulations on your leap.
  25. This is just a guess on my part (and I'll try to remember to ask the farmers I know) -- often when farmers grow highly desirable produce, a restaurant will buy the entire crop for the year. I know a chef in town who has an exclusive on gooseberries.
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