To commemorate the 74th anniversary of V-J Day on August 15, herewith, a couple of family recipes for War Cake a more-or-less appetizing (de gustibus, and all that) sop to the sweet tooth of the war-weary denizens from the Old and New Worlds. One is from 1942 and was shared with me by a friend in the early 1970s, and the other we found handwritten on a slip of paper that fell out of my grandmother’s favorite cookbook when we were sorting out her stuff after she died. It and the paper it’s written on are of sufficient antiquity that it’s quite possible this one is from WWI. Our guess is that it was sent to Granny by the branch of the family that emigrated to British Columbia; hence its name, Canadian Cake (click to embiggen):More
Thought I ought to thank those here that have enabled me to cook an edible steak in a cast iron skillet on the stovetop. Taught me how to cook pork chops in the oven so they are a good meal. Educated me in how to cook asparagus (both in the oven and on the stovetop) […]
History claims that the first “modern” restaurant was opened by one Monsieur A. Boulanger, sometime in the middle of the eighteenth century, and somewhere in Paris, where his small establishment served, mainly, soup to the middle classes. Although the tradition is robust, extensive research has never actually turned up any proof of his, or of his restaurant’s, existence, and La Grande Taverne de Londres, a much more upscale affair which opened in 1782 under the direction of Antoine Beauvilliers, is generally credited with being the first “real” modern restaurant. According to his Wikipedia entry, it catered to an aristocratic clientele, with
tables made of mahogany, crystal chandeliers, and tablecloths of fine linen, an extensive wine cellar, and elegantly-dressed waiters. Dishes on the restaurant menu included partridge with cabbage, veal chops grilled in buttered paper, and duck with turnips. The restaurant Beauvilliers became a rendezvous of conservative political factions, in which Beauvilliers was implicated; in 1795 he was forced to close his establishment and to live away from the trade that was his life.
On Valentine’s Day, enjoy some sweetly spiced red tomato jam. Really, tomatoes are a fruit. In a jam, they offer a good balance of sweetness and acidity that is less cloyingly sweet than other red fruit jams. I use a spiced tomato jam/butter recipe from Allrecipes.com. There is, of course, a tale in how I […]
I love pork chops, but I really dislike pork chops the consistency of shoe leather. Fortunately, I did not have to eat leathery pork chops while Janet was alive, and I learned her technique for cooking them before she died. Pork chops have become one of my go-to meals when I have company over, and they all marvel over their tenderness. Yet making them is ridiculously easy. Here is how.
You will need:More
I bought a rotisserie chicken at the local grocer. You can get a lot of mileage out of it. First night was chicken enchiladas. On night two, I asked my husband what he wanted, a chicken salad or chicken with sides? “What kind of sides? How about beans”??, he asked. I frowned and said, “What […]
What do you do with your Thanksgiving leftovers? I imagine some of you get quite creative.
It’s possible desperation, not creativity, inspired the day’s menu presented below, but for your delectation, I thought I’d share it:More
(I may have chosen the wrong category for this, I figured there were three options – marriage, environment, or religion – so I chose the latter. Some will understand, some won’t.) Just clarity of communication, in my lexicon this is for grilling: More
I love to eat fish. I freely admit I’m a bit of a fish snob, in the sense that I’m fussy about fresh fish, and if I can’t have it fresh, I’d just as soon have the stuff that’s flash-frozen on the fishing boats, or I’d rather not have it at all. I’m deeply suspicious of most “fresh” fish in the grocery store and I just won’t buy fish I don’t like the look or smell of (this is most of it). I prefer wild to farm-raised, and if it’s been out of the sea for more than about ten minutes, I’m not sure it’s fit to eat.
It’s easy for me to trace the origin of this prejudice: In my high-school and college years, I spent most summers on Prince Edward Island, stuffed into a 19-foot trailer with the rest of my large and argumentative family and at least one dog, and we caught and ate fresh fish every day. Mackerel, cod, hake, halibut, and the occasional salmon which Lorne Vessey, the one-armed fish peddler would leave for us in a plastic bag with some ice, tied round the doorknob of the trailer for us to find when we returned home at the end of the day. Clams (if I had a nickel for every pound of both steamer and quahog clams I’ve dug in my life, I’d be a millionaire). Lobsters (straight out of the ocean, boiled in seawater, and served hot). Smoked fish. Salt fish (if I had a nickel for every lobster trap I’ve pulled at 4 AM or every pound of fish I’ve salted or smoked … ditto).More
This morning my husband finished up a laundry load of sheets, and was folding up the bottom sheet on the guest room bed. At that moment, our cleaning person came walking into the room and looked surprised, her eyes opening wide. Husband: I can do laundry! More
Most of the posts dealing with food at this time of year deal with Christmas food. There are cookie posts, and posts on how to cook turkeys, and what to do with leftovers, and what to do when you’re eating with relatives of different political persuasions. (Ignore them? Mock them? Burn them at the stake?) […]
“???” I’m glad you asked. Every year in the third weekend in May, my hometown puts on the annual Tulip Festival. You may remember my post from last year around this time about our church food stand. One of the attractions at the Tulip Festival are the poffertjes made by the Dutch Heritage Boosters. I love these little rascals, and some years back I started volunteering to make them.
A poffertje is a little pancake-like treat about the size of a 50-cent piece or so, made with buckwheat flour, water, oil, egg, and a few other things. (According to legend, the exact recipe is known only to the upper echelon of the DHB. Or something like that.) We cook them up on a griddle that’s basically a large square with a 10×10 grid of depressions in it – into each, we pour a dollop of batter, let it cook up, then flip it over, and put in a tray. Then we brush them with melted butter flavored with some rum extract, dash on powdered sugar, and hand them off with a napkin and a toothpick with the Netherlands on it. We sell trays of ten for $2 a piece. They go like hotcakes!More
As I pondered the topic for this month, I realized that the things that came to mind, rather than being “things,” were more sensory experiences: moments where I touch, see, smell, taste or hear. Let me share some of those moments with you: Spontaneous hugs—I love them! Especially from my husband and special friends. More
I write a weekly book review for the Daily News of Galveston County. (It is not the biggest daily newspaper in Texas, but it is the oldest.) My review normally appears Sunday. When it appears, I post the previous week’s review on Ricochet. Seawriter More
It’s almost been a year since we had a family get together that evolved into something more significant. In July 2015, we cooked dinner with my sisters-in-law one Saturday night. It was a fancier meal than we would normally make so my wife Michele Bledsoe brought her camera, intending to document the process. What began […]
No politics in this one. Let’s talk food. For those of you who like to cook, what are your favorite recipes, or what of your recipes are the favorites of your family and friends? Do you have these written down, or can you wing it? I’ll start: Turnips and Caramelized Leeks Au Gratin:This one scales […]
I’m fixing spaghetti for supper tonight, and I just remembered a disagreement my wife and I had: do you break the spaghetti noodles or keep them whole when you cook? More
While most of us are still running around the malls, scooping up gifts for friends and families, the Christmas feast is just as important a tradition as the presents around the tree. Anglophenia’s Kate Arnell shares yuletide food traditions from around the globe in this entertaining video:More
We had some tasty Vietnamese noodle soup on this cool evening. I used this paste in two or three quarts of water, added to taste–maybe about a quarter cup. I get it at our town’s local Asian store. Once the water in the stock pot boiled, I took it off the heat and covered it to […]
If you’re the one in the household doing most of the shopping, cooking, and kitchen clean-up, you know that being the family cook is time-consuming. Feeding the family–providing infrastructure for a healthy, productive life–is an undertaking that compares to a part-time job in hours and energy invested. Although the role can be satisfying (for example, everyone’s favorite spaghetti sauce that can […]