Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Splendid Table

HEY Folks, Starting Tomorrow Night you can download an interview with me on NPR's The Splendid Table with Lynne Rosetto Kasper. I think it's the best food show out there.

ALSO, just in today, a very nice review on culinate (that really sounds like a dirty verb to me) nonetheless:

and another on

BTW, the effect of these was immediate. Sunday afternoon the book is #496 on amazon. Only behind Pollan in this category. THANKS LYNNE! And Kind Reviewers.

nope make that #398 as of 5:30

Friday, September 24, 2010

Serendipitous Fall

My larders had been largely cleared out midsummer for tastings, talks and parties. So I started a lot of projects, all of which appear to have come to fruition at exactly the same moment, on a single plate for breakfast, on an ordinary weekday.
Clockwise from 6, there's my first bread made from hand milled flour. Dense, a little gritty, and lightly sour, it is actually phenomenally tasty. Then there's the last batch of pickles, which did indeed make it through the summer heat on the counter. Still crunchy. Then the coppa, actually not sure what it should be called. Cured pig parts, stuffed into casings. Chewy but sweet and a little smokey from something else in the wine fridge. And taste a little like the GoG's fingers. Then my last cheese, rather hard, a little like kashkaval I think. Piquant and crumbly too. Incidentally oiling the rind (after Vincenzo Tanaza's 17th c. directions) does work. And lastly an experiment. Kimmy and Brett's mission figs, a whole shopping bag, boiled down with a little sugar, spread on parchment paper and left outside to dry to a solid paste. Rolled up and sliced. Serious fig mojo.
Is it serendipity or planning? A little of both. Be sure to stop by for a nibble before it's all gone, that's all I can say.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Melon Mojito

Do you remember about 20 years ago there was a popular drink called a melon ball? Horrid. Midori Liqueur, Vodka, I think even pineapple juice. Let's banish that thought. But the idea of a melon drink is still singularly appealing. And refresing, especially after a run in serious heat. Another story.

This happened mostly because I went to visit the operation of a friend who breeds melons. Yes, I mean breeds. DID you know that each individual flower must be hand pollinated - you must manually faciliatate sex with melons? It was dizzying.

Out in the field she cut a big box full of melons for me last Wednesday and I have been eating melon, a LOT, ever since. Then today it occured to me. AH, a melong drink. Bought some rum, and someone broke my blender. Will be no mango daquairis today.

So here's the recipe. YES, I will do it. In the standard recipe format, lest someone accuse me of never writing recipes. OK?

1 large lemon, juiced
1 small lime, juiced
1 tablespoon sugar, preferably white, but organic raw fair trade sustainable demerara mayy be subsititued
1 knob ginger*
1 green fleshed melon, the best you can possibly imagine. These were netted skinned cataloupes and kind of honeydew that makes you faint with pleasure. Firm but sweet. Oh, sorry. Back to stilted recipe format.
Yo ho ho. (i.e. a bottle of rum) If you can afford no better, use Bacardi, unless you're snob.

Mix the first 3 ingredients. Stir well, in a counter-clockwise motion, twelve times. Grate the fourth ingredient into the palm of your meticulously sanitized hand and squeeze the juice into the citrus mixture. That's ginger juice. Cut the best part of the melon into chunks. Without the seeds. Preferably the interior, the outer rind is relatively flavorless. But do save the rinds and squeeze them into your citrus-ginger juice. You will be amazed at how much melon juice somes out. A cup at least.

Mix all the previous ingredients with the final ingredient. Exactly 3.4 ounces. Any deviation will result in poisoning an immediate asphyxiation and painful death.

Actually add a shot, or two. I may have added three. Put some melon chunks, a handful of ice cubes (which as always was not mentioned in the original list of ingredients because anything to do with water is not an ingredient) and all the rest in a nice big wine glass. Makes two drinks.


* ginger is a root that can be bought in most Asian groceries and some other stores.