Category Archives: cooking

butter on your birthday.

Standard

 

“i was 32 when i started cooking; up until then i just ate.” -jc

happy memorial birthday to julia child,

american chef extraordiniare , rebel, eccentric, pioneer, lover of all things butter

and the one who brought the art of french cooking to america.

“with enough butter anything is good.”

-julia child

“miss child is never bashful with butter”

-phil donahue 

 

jc -i plan to whittle a stick of butter into a smaller stick of butter today in your honor. 

 

 

image credits: (b/w) google. com, (color) butter sculptures, pennsylvania state fair

 

 

 

toast.

Standard

I’m not gonna’ lie, i’m pretty good with toast.

 

“What is the right way to cut a piece of toast?”Diagonally, insists the narrator in NIcholson Baker’s novel “The Mezzanine.” It creates a “triangularly cut slice” which in turn yields “an ideal first bit.” With rectangular toast, you must “angle the shape into your mouth, as you angle a big dresser through a hall doorway.” (Dwight Garner, NYT book critic’s new essay on the literature of breakfast food.)

“i have trouble with toast. toast is very difficult.

you have to watch it all the time or it burns up.”

-julia child, master chef (1912-2004)

 

credits: New York Times, Dwight Garner, Nicholson Baker,”The Mezzanine”, google images

primavera.

Standard

watched a live cooking lesson

with chef isabella

working from her home kitchen

making pasta primavera

she’s italian, passionate, spirited, direct

naturally hysterical

i learned some techniques

as well as

her recipe, hand gestures, italian numbers, and lots of improv skills

at one point in the lesson

part of her burner broke

she just cursed and moved to another

there was a live feed for the 500 of us who were watching

at one point, her husband, pazzo, who was helping

made his own funny comment to the viewers on the feed

pazzo to everyone:

“omg, lmao. $100 says that stove is gone when the quarantine is over…if not sooner!”

no wonder they are married

no wonder it was all so fun

no wonder i’m going to make pasta primavera

brilliant, every minute.

“i’m not sure I’d write a good cookbook, but I might make a good cooking show.”

-christopher walken

adjustment.

Standard

the origin soup 

on thursday I went home with a cold

looking for comfort food

not wanting to go to the store

I made soup out of what I found in my kitchen

I  put it all in a crockpot, turned it on, and waited it out

 problem was

after 4 hours

it did NOT taste good

I added more herbs and some fresh salsa

I waited it out

tried again

nope, not good

added more things

now on day 4 of the soup saga

added in even more things

continued cooking

next move

add in tomatoes

but that can wait

until the morning

it’s now taking on

a creamy porridge texture

still slow cooking it

some beans still hard

still does not taste good

now a lot of soup

I could easily survive

the rest of the winter

if snowed in with this soup

it would still not taste good

but I would never go hungry

this might go on forever

like a sourdough starter

perhaps I can pass it on

to my children one day

tomorrow will be the best day ever

when the soup will all come together

I just know it.

“cooking is the art of adjustment.”

– jacques pepin

plans.

Standard

the recipe said it was easy

only 4 ingredients

no cooking

only

melting

spreading

drizzling

chilling

but

they did not say

not to wear a white sweater with bell sleeves when melting chocolate

don’t forget that you have to individually unwrap each caramel

while chocolate is still warm and not solidifying

that the peanut butter chips won’t actually drizzle

that the caramel will come out in blobs

that the chocolate on the bottom won’t easily come off of the foil

that the slab will not actually break in the right way

that the 4 ingredients will re-solidify in the disposal

that the whole thing will not resemble the picture

that it will still taste good if people are daring enough to try it

that this will be a one-time recipe for me.

‘just because you make a good plan, doesn’t mean that’s what’s gonna happen.’

-taylor swift

strudel.

Standard

the master-chef sisters of hungarian strudel

“You need an egg, two spoonfuls of lard, and a pinch of salt, followed by flour, a dash of vinegar, and just enough warm water to create a dough with a dumpling-like consistency.” This is part of the traditional Hungarian strudel recipe that Ilona and Erzsébet, elderly sisters and lifelong baking partners, learned from their late mother. In their small village of Tura, an hour outside of Budapest, the sisters regularly bake the delicate pastry for up to 500 people for weddings and community events.

In the short documentary Strudel Sisters, directed by Peter Hegedus and Jaina Kalifa, Ilona and Erzsébet share how a family tradition evolved into a livelihood. Their quirky rapport may as well be part of the recipe—no strudel-making session is complete without bouts of bickering and singing.

“I loved the sisters from the first time I met them,” Kalifa told me, “and I knew straight away that we had to make a film about them. They are really special people with big hearts and a great sense of humor and just have this warm, grandmotherly feel, which instantly resonated with me.”

Authentic strudel-making is a dying art. It requires a certain moxie: the dough must be worked vigorously in order to activate the gluten, after which it acquires a threshold of elasticity, allowing the baker to stretch it until it’s tissue-thin and nearly translucent. Then, the filling—most commonly grated apple, brown sugar, lemon, and cinnamon—is added intermittently between the pastry layers.

While making the film, Kalifa and Hegedus were lucky enough to taste five different types of the sisters’ strudel. “My personal favorite was the cheese strudel,” said Kalifa. “Strudel is part of their DNA. They’ve been making strudel all their lives, and you can tell.”

“first bake the strudel, then sit down and ponder.”

-austrian proverb

credits: emily buder- author, peter hegedus/jaina kalifa – video/photo, the atlantic

About This Series:

A showcase of cinematic short documentary films, curated by The Atlantic.

jello….is it me you’re looking for?

Standard

with the big holiday looming

don’t spend a minute worrying about

what to do with all the leftovers

the solution is just waiting for you to discover

rest easy.

because, jello.

what’s the weirdest jello recipe you’ve ever been served?

was it considered:

a dessert?

a salad substitute?

a side dish of the main meal?

other?

 

“it’s as if we spend our entire lives avoiding Jell-O

but it is always there at the end, waiting.” 

-john grisham, ford county

 

 

 

image credit: kraft/general foods – vintage ad

so much.

Standard

*DO NOT EAT PIZZA BEFORE BAKING.

*(luckily i caught this very important instruction just in the nick of time)

 

“everybody gets so much information all day long

that they lose their common sense.”

– gertrude stein 

no point.

Standard
 bakers are complaining that something is amiss with hershey’s kisses.the chocolate candy’s trademark tips have been mysteriously missing from batches around the country. they have taken to social media to complain that the lopped-off tops are ruining the look of their holiday treats. without their points, the chocolate candies are left with flat tops.

the hershey company responded to the disgruntled bakers after hearing of a facebook post by the wedding cookie table community group that detailed the problem. company spokesman jeff beckman says they’re reviewing the issue. beckman says hershey has donated baking items to the group as a thank you for pointing out the issue. the candy company has yet to explain what’s causing the missing tips.

“there’s no point in getting too worried about things,

because life is too short.”

-dolores o’riordan – the cranberries (rip)

credits: ap photo/matt rourke, hershey chocolate company, huffington post

soup.

Standard

time well spent

on a cold and sunny day

 listening to music, reading words, and making soup.

 

“there ain’t a body, be it mouse or man, that ain’t made better by a little soup.” 

-kate dicamillo

 

 

 

image credit: jess stockham, illustrator, flip-up fairy tales