- Hungry. Lunchtime. If have to assemble one more turkey sandwich, might puke. Read More
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My husband loves tomatoes. Raw tomatoes, that is: he will not eat them cooked. (He has the same peculiar picky streak with regard to carrots: loves ‘em raw, hates ‘em cooked.) His sister Julie, on the other hand, does not only dislike raw tomatoes, she finds them repulsive. She will not eat anything with seeds, including olives. A pomegranate would give her a nervous breakdown. Tom’s other sister, Ellen, won’t eat spaghetti sauce, hamburgers, meat loaf, cheese of any kind, jelly (hello?), peas or lima beans. Like her father and Tom, she also dislikes onions and garlic, and, a la Julie, ix-nay the tomatoes and olives.
It’s just another example of how kids are genetically designed to drive their parental menu-planners crazy. Read More
I haven’t been to Paris in a while, but I’ve been to the next best place: Encino.
There are two reasons why I go to Encino, a small city (or enclave or district or borough or cluster or whatever it is) in the San Fernando Valley, north of where I live. One is that I have a superior dentist there. The other is that I know a fabulous cook who lives there, and I like to take advantage of every opportunity to eat at her house.
Last time I dropped by (“Oh, is it dinner time? Who knew? What’s cookin’?”) Suzanne offered me a sample of her French onion soup. While my memory is admittedly badly impaired, I don’t recall eating a better version of it, ever. Read More
Vegetable soup always reminds me of my mother-in-law. This is because she used to feed her family “Saturday Soup,” so named because she made it on Saturdays, using Campbell’s vegetable soup as a base and adding leftovers from the week’s meals. Bette’s kids ate the soup happily, oblivious to the fact that it contained finely chopped brisket from Tuesday’s dinner, or the spaghetti from Thursday’s. Read More
I heard on NPR that what a mother eats while pregnant influences the food preferences of her child. So, a mom who loves steak and spuds will bear a like-minded child. This inspired me to try to recall what the hell I ate when my first daughter was in utero.
Smoked salmon is one of those things nobody ever told me about until I was grown up. I mean, I guess I heard about it, but it was food beyond my reach. It never appeared in our kitchen; in small-town Illinois, it seemed exotic.
Other things I didn’t see much of included calves’ liver and oysters but when I tasted them for the first time, I knew it would be the last. I had quite a different reaction to silky, seductive smoked salmon. Read More
I made a New Year’s Resolution not to be so crabby. But the damn butternut squash soup is challenging my resolve…
What you see here is a picture of a butternut squash I made the mistake of trying to peel.
Well, I don’t care what Ina G. says. Don’t attempt to peel a butternut squash before it’s cooked. As a friend of mine said, it’s like wrestling with a rock. The upper body exercise is such that you will require physical therapy afterwards. Just cut the damn thing into chunks and roast ‘em, THEN peel ‘em and proceed with your recipe.
As usually happens at this time of year, Mother Nature is being a drama queen. One day it’s 60º, the next it’s 90º. This makes menu-planning very difficult. Are you supposed to make soup for dinner or chicken salad? Not that menu-planning is something crabby cooks really do anyway. Generally speaking, I plan the evening’s menu when the evening is already in full swing. Read More
My new favorite bread is Pain Quotidien’s 5-grain bread with raisins. Use it to make a grilled cheese sandwich (to go with your butternut squash soup) and your troubles will be over. If you have no troubles (in which case you are either a Republican or delusional), make it anyway and you will remain trouble-free. If you do not follow this advice, trouble may come your way, but, hey, it’s your call.