May 19, 2013
Finally! Brick Farm Market in Hopewell opened this weekend, and I am so glad. For now they are open just Friday/Saturday/Sunday, and when I visited on Sunday they were quite busy, with a full parking lot. It’s great to see the community so eager to patronize a new farm-based market.
I bought all sorts of goodies, rich housemade yogurt and ricotta, some Cherry Grove Rosedale cheese, since Double Brook Farm is not making their own yet (they’ll establish a creamery in yet another converted gas station down the street eventually), house made pate, and the bread and lardo you see here.
Their fresh meat counter was doing a brisk business too, and Master Butcher Tim Myers hand sliced this lardo for me - their cured meats are made from their own animals by artisan salumeria, Salumeria Biellese. Now I know where to go for pancetta and guanciale!
I also picked up some fancy-schmancy butter and tender young rainbow chard. The prepared foods case was doing a brisk business (lots of families), and there are a few tables for eating. Oh, and a little frangipane (almond) tart, plus a nice little right-sized (i.e. small) “Healthy Muffin” (bran/fruit) for $1.50.
May 16, 2013
Chef Will Mooney, who owns Brothers Moon in Hopewell along with his wife, Beth Ann Judge (check out her gorgeous new jewelry store!), was one of the area’s first chefs to embrace local products. He’s long worked with farmers and other producers to further the locavore movement, and that is what makes a visit to Brothers Moon so special.
I have often written about Will, and used his recipes in my writing, but I had not been to the restaurant in a while, so when he invited me to attend one of his Wednesday Mushroom Love dinners as his guest, I jumped at the chance, and brought along my mushroom-loving friend, Carolyn Edelmann.
The photos you see here are from that delicious dinner, which also included a chat with Alan Kaufman, whose Shibumi Farm mushroom-growing operation has become a favorite source of exotic mushrooms for select chefs. His career path took him through microbiology, hedge fund management, and restaurant ownership (logical, right?). He got into the mushroom game thanks to acclaimed chef Daniel Boulud, who challenged him to come up with a classic French mushroom to rival the ones he had flown in from across the pond every week. Well, one thing led to another, and before you know it, Kaufman has become a respected grower and purveyor of beautiful and delicious exotic mushrooms to top chefs up and down the mid-Atlantic states.
Carolyn and I both started with “Shittake on a Shingle” (wink, wink), creamed shiitakes on toasted brioche, and showered with microgreens.
- King Oyster with ramp fritters
We split up on the second course, Carolyn going for Grilled King oyster mushroom and asparagus with ramp fritters and pea tops, mint cucumber crème. (n.b. ramps and asparagus are both in the same order, asparagales). I had roasted lemon oyster mushrooms, red onion, local mesclun with shallot, sherry, honey vinaigrette and “shroomed” deviled egg. The mushroom (truffle?) scented eggs were a bit of heaven for sure! And the lemon oysters were a little crisp around the edges, really nice.
- Scallops with Lion’s Mane
My entrée of seared NJ (of course!) scallops came with a grilled Lion’s mane mushroom sandwich and vegetable slaw, while Carolyn’s filet mignon was topped with a ragu of pioppino mushrooms, gratin Dauphinoise, and lovely grilled asparagus.
Dessert? Mais oui! Chocolate cake with Shiitake ganache and crème Anglaise. That mushroom flavor didn’t show at first, but after a couple of bites it was like an echo, a hint, a half-heard whisper. Heavenly!
- Chocolate cake with shiitake ganache
May 7, 2013
I wrote about special occasion desserts for the Packet recently, but a good chunk of the article and one of the recipes got cut due to a lack of space (they are looong recipes!). So, here’s the rest of the article, and if you do want The Pink Cake recipe (From Julie Richardson’s “Vintage Cakes”) mentioned in it, that ran in the Packet on May 3, the recipe is here.
Photo: Alexandria Defurio from Meringue by Linda Jackson & Jannifer Evans Gardner, reprinted permission by Gibbs Smith
Special occasions call for special desserts, be it a wedding shower, Mother’s Day brunch, graduation party, or just a nice dinner with good friends.
In my many years of dining out, few restaurant desserts stand out, but those that do are invariably made in-house. A kitchen that takes the trouble (and expense) of making their own deserts, much less to employ a pastry chef, is, to me, the mark of a committed restaurant.
The best dessert I ever had still resonates in my mind (and taste buds) years later: pistachio marjolaine at the Union Park dining room in the Hotel Macomber in Cape May. This was at the end of an already successful dinner, and yet my palate got excited all over again when I dug into this creation.
The rectangular marjolaine is a variation of the round dacquoise, which consists of nut-based meringue layered with buttercream. In this case, the components were switched up, the disc of meringue contained cocoa, and pistachio ice cream stood in for buttercream. A creamy milk chocolate sauce provided an additional chocolate component, one of those rare (to me) cases where milk chocolate was indeed a better choice than dark. I’ve always loved chocolate, meringue, and pistachio nuts, so this dish was a trifecta winner for me.
Another famous dessert involving meringue is the Australian Pavlova, named after the ethereal ballerina, a meringue base topped with whipped cream and fruit. I found variations on all of these in “Meringue,” one of my favorite new cookbooks from 2012. I had a hard time choosing which of their recipes to use, with the challenging marjolaine below eventually edging out the easier Lemon Mini-Pavlovas with Lemon Curd Whipped Cream and Blueberries. One could even put together a simple version of the Pavlovas with store-bought meringue shells and purchased lemon curd folded into whipped cream, and topping it with blueberries. But there’s no, er, fudging the marjolaine, and sometimes you just want to apply yourself to a knock-out dessert. Think of it as a craft project.
When choosing a special dessert for your party, consider the guests’ sophistication level; some people will like something more complicated, others something more straightforward. I usually tend toward the latter, but when it comes to meringue I’ll swing right over into the high-concept camp.
Almond Marjolaine with Praline Buttercream
Adapted from “Meringue,” Linda Jackson & Jennifer-Evans Gardner, Gibbs Smith (2012)
Note: Marjolaine can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Let stand at room temperate an hour or two before serving. Give a final dusting of powdered sugar just before serving.
Nut Meringue Layers:
Baker’s Joy or a nonstick flour-based cooking spray
1 cup blanched whole almonds
1/3 cup flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
6 large egg whites room temperature (save yolks for custard)
1 cup superfine sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup blanched whole pecans
1/2 cup milk
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 large egg yolks
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup pecans, toasted, cooled, chopped
Meringue: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 10 x 15-inch jelly roll pan with parchment paper, leaving the paper longer than the sides so you can lift the baked meringue out of the pan. Spray with baking spray.
In a food processor, pulse almonds until fine; then add flour and cocoa and pulse again until mixture is very fine.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites until soft peaks form, and then slowly add sugar, about a tablespoon at a time, and beat on high until you have stiff peaks. Fold almond mixture into meringue, being careful not to deflate it. Pour mixture into jelly roll pan, evenly smoothing it across the pan. Bake in middle of oven for 30-35 minutes, or until firm to the touch.
Carefully lift edges of parchment to remove meringue from pan and place on wire rack to cool. Once it is cool, the gently peel off parchment.
Praline: Line a baking sheet with foil. In a dry heavy-bottom small saucepan, cook sugar over moderate heat, stirring with a fork, until melted. Cook, without stirring, swirling the pan, until it turns to a golden caramel. Remove from heat and stir in pecans. Immediately pour mixture onto baking sheet, tilting sheet to make a thin layer; cool completely.
Break praline into pieces and transfer to a sturdy Ziploc bag, flattening the bag to remove the air before sealing it. Crush praline into coarse pieces with a rolling pin. (Will keep 1 week at room temperature, stored airtight.)
Custard Buttercream: In a small saucepan, simmer milk, sugar, and vanilla; stir until sugar is dissolved.
In a medium bowl, whisk yolks and then slowly (so eggs don’t scramble) add warm milk in a steady stream, whisking constantly. Transfer to saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring, until a candy thermometer registers 170 degrees. Pour custard through a strainer into a bowl and cool completely.
In bowl of electric stand mixer, beat butter until light and fluffy then beat in custard, a little at a time, until smooth. Beat in 1/2 cup praline, reserving remaining praline for garnish.
To assemble marjolaine: Place meringue onto work surface and cut in half, then cut in half again so you have 4 rectangles. Spread buttercream, save some for sides, on top of each layer then stack them evenly on top of one another. Use an offset spatula to cover the sides with remaining buttercream.
Gently press topping pecans onto top and sides of marjolaine and dust with powdered sugar. Garnish with some of the leftover praline and serve.
May 4, 2013
Ahhh, Easter dinner! It seems ages ago, and I guess it was. I took the trouble to make a rack of lamb, potato galette, and fresh peas with pearl onions.The photo here doesn’t show off the galette well at all, so I include a separate photo of that. And although the lamb looks messy on the plate here, it was just delicious, and not as raw as it seems to look! (more…)
April 28, 2013
There’s a lot of bad science out there. Even I, a non-scientist, can tell. We are constantly bombarded with misinformation, and a lot of it has to do with food and health. We have become a nation bizarrely obsessed with health and medicine. It seems that nearly every article in the newspaper is related to health and medicine, as is a huge chunk of the evening news, and much other media. Is that all we think about anymore? Could this obsession be, well, unhealthy? Are we are now the dog being wagged by the medical-pharmaceutical industry?
And is it any wonder, therefore, that some of us have developed, let us say, a certain sense of cynicism when the latest news is blasted out to the world? Do this, don’t do that. Eat this, not that. Oh wait, do this or eat that instead of what we told you yesterday. Nowadays I just hit the mute button or turn the page.
Each new study is touted as gospel, and often a mere correlation is mis-interpreted into a cause-and-effect relationship. Correlation does not necessarily mean one thing causes the other! (If more of us understood statistics, and how to interpret them, I suspect we would be less prone to being misled by all this information.)
There are sites that try to de-bunk some of this bad science, and one that I have come across, thanks to a recent post to the NYT’s Diner’s Journal, is the blog, Science-ish. Don’t you love that name? Blogger Julia Belluz has recently taken to task Gweneth Paltrow’s new cook book, “It’s All Good,” about a severe elimination diet she put herself - and her children! - through. All this cleansing, detoxing stuff…seriously, your body knows how to cleanse itself, folks! It was, um, built to do so.
And this reminds me of the juicing craze. (Excuse me while I climb a little higher on my soapbox.) Do you really need a bazillion times the normal intake of vitamin [whatever] that you’ll get from puréeing massive amounts of leafy vegetables? What do you think your body does with all that excess? Uh, it eliminates it. Your body can’t use that overload, doesn’t need it, doesn’t want it. Plus, with juicing, you’ve ruined or strained out the fiber - and the deliciousness! - you would have gotten had you eaten the whole food. Remember that term - WHOLE food.
On the lighter side of questionable food topics, is the practice of throwing out food as soon as it slips past its sell-by or expiration date. We throw out shocking amounts of food, and even though I teased my late father mercilessly about keeping really old (often rank) food around, it is true that many foods are fine beyond those dates. Some of them are described in this NPR article.
(p.s. Now, I wonder how many incorrect facts I have put into this post?!)
April 20, 2013
Elements Chef Scott Anderson launches his summer “Chefs & Craftsmen” series on May 17, teaming up top cooks and artisans from coast to coast, right here in Princeton.
“My team and I wanted put together dinners that honor masters of their crafts—from chefs around the country that I have to utmost respect for, to fermentation experts, and even designers,” explains Anderson. “There’s a strong interplay between what each of us creates, and bringing all of these elements together is going to make for a whole that is greater than each individually.”
The lineup for the first two dinners in the series includes:
Chef Matthias Merges & Cultured Pickle Shop – On Friday, May 17, Chef Matthias Merges of Yusho in Chicago will cook a seven-course meal with Chef Anderson, utilizing products from the Cultured Pickle Shop in Berkeley, CA created especially for the occasion. Pickling gurus Alex Hozven and Kevin Farley spent weeks working closely with the two chefs to develop ingredients that will be featured on the menu—which will be heavily inspired by Japanese culture and cuisine—including fermented myoga, koji, and squab fermented in sake lees. The event is $105 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity, with an optional $45 beverage pairing. The evening begins with hors d’oeuvres at 6:30pm, followed by a seated dinner at 7:00pm.
And on Monday, June 24, elements welcomes Chef Dominique Crenn & ceramics Designer John Shedd. Chef Crenn, of the two Michelin starred Atelier Crenn in San Francisco, CA, will work in conjunction with local New Jersey designer John Shedd to produce a memorable seven-course tasting event. Shedd, who regularly creates custom plates and bowls for elements, is designing a piece of service ware that will aesthetically complement one of Crenn’s dishes that the evening, based upon her personal sketches. As a special treat, all guests will receive hand crafted artisan pottery to take home. The event is $120 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity, with an optional $45 beverage pairing. The evening begins with hors d’oeuvres at 6:00pm, followed by a seated dinner at 6:30pm.
Reservations are required for each event and can be made by calling 609.924.0078. For more information visit http://www.elementsprinceton.com/.
(And don’t forget to look for the opening of Anderson’s new restaurant, Mistral, on the corner of Witherspoon & Hulfish Streets, soon!)
April 13, 2013
A COMMUNITY POTLUCK AT A SOUP KITCHEN BRINGS THE COMMUNITY TOGETHER
Slow Food Central New Jersey and Elijah’s Promise of New Brunswick are holding their second annual Eat Local Meet Local potluck dinner on Friday, May 3, with the goal of bringing together people from all walks of life to share a meal of delicious, local food.
“This is a great way for people to come together to network, learn from one another and work together to build a healthier, stronger food community for all!” says Lisanne Finston, Elijah’s Promise’s Executive Director.
There is also an educational component: “The fast food industry has taught the public to like the taste of junk food,” says Jim Weaver, cofounder and co-leader of Slow Food Central Jersey. “We must collaborate to undo this. Through education, events and community involvement we can retrain people’s palates.”
Participants are encouraged to bring a dish made of local food (if possible). In addition there will be food from local businesses and farms such as Promise Culinary School, Beechtree Farm, Tre Piani Restaurant, George Street Co-op, Tula Restaurant and Lounge, Pitspone Farm, Great Road Farm, Griggstown Farm Market, OQ Coffee and more.
The event will take place on Friday, May 3 from 6:00-8:00 pm at Promise Culinary School. Food will be served buffet-style and there will be informal discussion groups about food, sustainability and food justice. Come, meet new people, enjoy great food and help change the way we eat.
Promise Culinary School, 211 Livingston Ave, New Brunswick.
Free, bring a dish to share. Donations are welcome.
Questions: please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 732-762-1546.
April 6, 2013
I recently wrote an article for the Princeton Packet about my ongoing (but almost complete!) home reorganization project. I am reproducing it here (in slightly longer form and with more photos), for anyone who didn’t see it and might be thinking of a similar project for themselves. While it was a little embarasssing to out myself as such a packrat, I am proud that I took the initiative to deal with the issue, and wanted to share my story for those who might benefit from it. Back to food next week! (Photo: There’s a couch under there.)
A (sort of) Hoarder Reforms
Here’s a news flash for empty nesters: chances are your children don’t want all your treasured possessions, even your photos and mementos - they’ve got their own. That lesson was imprinted on my mind when my brother and I prepared to clean out and sell our parents’ house.
While there were some things we were interested in having, this was not the home we’d grown up in, so that helped limit the sentimentality factor. In the end, we held a two-day tag/estate sale (thanks to DustyOldBags.com), but still had to pay a hauler to remove the rest, including both sets of grandparents’ old china, pretty but undistinguished. Neighbors cried when they saw a bathtub full of unwanted photos, but I had more than enough myself and my nephew had already taken what he wanted.
Meanwhile, I had problems of my own at home, where my clutter had become overwhelming.
- Couch Revealed
If you could’ve seen my apartment, a two-bedroom rental, a couple of years ago, you’d notice a remarkable change today. But no one except myself and the occasional maintenance person saw it before I re-organized it, because I was too embarrassed to allow anyone to come over. And there was nowhere for them to sit or dine, anyway.
The couch was piled high with things I’d run out of places for or planned to give away; the dining table was mostly blocked with boxes I’d never unpacked (I moved in in 2003); and I could barely get to my bookcases full of cookbooks in my office. The bedroom was fast becoming a dangerous obstacle course, and while for the most part I knew where things were, it was getting to be too much trouble to unearth them. And the kitchen…well, my countertop and cupboards were overflowing. Between my full- and part-time jobs, and responsibility for an elderly father, I found it hard to make time to clean anything out, and the task had become too overwhelming to approach on my own.
- Gentleman’s Dresser
I knew I had to get my home in order to make room for what I did want from my parents’ house: some beautiful modern Scandinavian furniture my mother had picked out in the 1960s. I’d never bought good furniture myself, as I’d moved cross country a couple times and had made do with studio living for most of my adult years. But now I had my heart set on my mother’s prized pieces, knowing they would also provide desperately needed storage.
So, I bit the bullet and worked up the courage to call a professional organizer I’d read about, Ellen Tozzi, of Natural Order Design. When she came for her first, exploratory, visit, I held my breath as she stepped inside and looked around. Would she gasp and back right out again?
“I’ve seen worse,” she merely said, and reassured me we could work on it, although it would take some time. Then she asked a good question: “How much of your stuff are you prepared to part with?”
“A third?” I ventured, and instantly wished I’d said a quarter, but it was too late, my fate was sealed!
Since then, we have worked our way around my apartment, focusing on one area after another, during some precious time on Saturday afternoons I carve out of my weekend writing schedule. I tightened my budget for this endeavor, too, but no question, for me it’s been money well spent, because in addition to going through everything with me, cleaning each newly uncluttered area as she goes along, Ellen lists, packs up, and takes away discarded items, usually to the Salvation Army, and brings me back receipts.
Thankfully, she is a collector herself (a “reformed pack-rack” she says), and understands all that, so there is no judgment, just thoughtful input and a sense of humor - and tact, lots of tact. She has contributed creative and constructive ideas every step of the way, and her original written suggestions are still posted in my hallway: Let go of what you don’t love, ask yourself how many of an item is practical, keep like things together.
The first order of business was the living areas, since we had a buyer for my parents’ house and I needed to make room for the “new” furniture. So we cleared off my cheap self-assembled entertainment unit and an old kitchen cart on wheels, and I had Princeton Van Service, in one quick morning, move them to my parents’ house for the tag sale, along with some low shelving I’d had dishes on. They brought back the “good stuff” on the return trip: modular bookshelves and cupboards, two low buffets, and my father’s gentleman’s dresser.
- Display shelves and cupboards for storage
Finally, I could unpack cases of books, at least a third of which Ellen took away to donate to a library. We also unpacked ceramic pieces and other small items that would go on display. While I have a lot of “artsy” things picked up at craft fairs, they are mostly smaller objects that display well when grouped together. Her decorating background made the most of these mini-collections.
In the dining area, a long buffet took the place of old open shelving, and now holds linens and china, with baking and serving pieces displayed along the top. I should let go of more of those, but it’s hard to do when I’m always looking for just the right piece for a photo for an article or blog post. Baby steps.
Ellen researches shelving, cupboard organizers, etc., and measures carefully to be sure I order (or she picks up) the right thing, and even snapped up a sturdy over-the-door wire shelf unit for the inside of one closet at a garage sale for a mere $10. She measured for, then purchased and installed (she packs a drill) under-sink wire roll-out baskets for the kitchen and bath.
I have way too many pantry items - an inherited trait from my father, but I also blame my food writing for wanting to have anything I might need on hand. So we reorganized a small linen closet that I’d already appropriated for dry goods, adding a hanging shoe pocket rack on the inside of the door for small items.
- Dining table
Of course I have enough spices to stock a spice shop, so Ellen put up two pretty spice racks on the kitchen wall and we’re in the process of putting the rest of my spices in two compact countertop racks I found online; each with 20 bottles. Clearing out the cupboard space that was a jumble of spices will allow me to get food items off my kitchen counter so I’ll have more room to work.
After an unsuccessful search for skinny pantry shelving for a long hallway, I threw in the towel and found a carpenter to build me a long shallow cabinet with sliding doors for rows of cans and bottles. And I am learning to throw away multiple long-expired cans of this and that, and maybe buy just one new one to have on hand.
- Hallway Gallery
As a bonus, the top of that long cabinet has become a mini-gallery, one of my best display spots for small treasures and photos. I also have a lot of prints and photographs waiting to go on the walls, much of it the work of friends, and I know that Ellen’s creative eye will be a big help on “hanging day.”
- Under Sink in Bathroom
The bathroom is larger than it needs to be, so while I’ve added some storage there, I’m satisfied for now (but will always wonder why they didn’t make the adjacent kitchen larger instead). Everything under the sink is now organized in bins, and labeled with Ellen’s label maker, our constant companion.
- Office Closet
My office has a new filing system, and I’ve shredded pounds of old paperwork, my own and my late father’s. The closet in that room has been freed up of clothing (lots of donations there!), and is now well-organized with labeled storage for holiday decorations, wrapping paper, luggage, hardware supplies and the like. I still need a tall cabinet with doors to replace a messy-looking wicker shelf unit; when that comes, it will hold office supplies and bulky tax records.
In the bedroom, the gentleman’s dresser is the perfect height to display the costume jewelry I’ve mostly collected at craft fairs over the years, not having a taste (or the budget) for serious pieces. One side of the chest is cupboard space for bulky items, while the other is six shallow drawers that are perfect for socks and such.
A small bedroom bookcase holds current reading (most new books arrive on my Kindle). The walk-in closet has never looked tidier, and the shelving there is put to maximum use. On my own, I went through old photos and slides, throwing hundreds out. I saved just the best, and scanned some, along with pages from old yearbooks, notes, newspaper clippings, etc., using an $80 Epson scanner that also scans slides and negatives. In some cases, I just snapped a photo to memorialize a keepsake before parting with it.
We’re not quite finished yet, but when I come home now, I almost have to pinch myself to believe this pleasant, orderly home is my own. It has definitely improved my life, since I am such a homebody at heart. And what shall I say to Ellen on the day, coming soon, when she suggests our work together is nearly done?
“Have you seen the trunk of my car?”
Ellen Tozzi (www.naturalorderdesign.com/) is a Certified Professional Organizer (see www.certifiedprofessionalorganizers.org). You can use their online directory to find someone near you. As with any professional service, you should have a preliminary meeting to find someone you are comfortable working with.
March 31, 2013
I am getting on my bandwagon today, because this topic just keeps hitting me in the face lately.
I’ve read a few of the books out there about the true cost of cheap food, and cheap products in general. Like so many things that seem wonderful at first glance, that “too good to be true” moment, there is a downside to many bargains.
The incredible amount of cheap everyday household goods in the U.S., including clothing, furnishings, toys, electronics, kitchen wares, you name it, has meant that our dumps and landfills are overflowing because guess what? Cheap doesn’t last. When we can’t deal with our own garbage, we ship it overseas, where, for instance, old computers leach toxic substances into the ground (and water) of less affluent nations.
Cheap food has its own downsides, beyond the litter from fast food restaurants that dots our landscape and fills our garbage bins. Cheap food is often harmful to the environment to produce and of poor nutritional quality. Cheap food often means that the animals and workers in the supply line are treated poorly. Then there are the restaurant workers who have no benefits or sick days, because all that is part of controlling costs, and therefore, keeping consumer prices artificially low. Hey, if you want to add a dollar to my meal so your dishwasher doesn’t have to come to work sick (and contagious), it’s fine by me. I actually think it would be fine with a lot of people, if they only thought about it in those terms.
We have cafés dotted around the campus where I work, and in spite of prices that I think are modest (and carefully set I know), I still regularly hear people say they wish the food was cheaper. Most of these comments come from people much younger than me, and of course with the students, they all are. But when I think back to my life at that age, I had to scrimp and Knew I couldn’t afford to eat most of my meals out. In other words, I brown-bagged it! (And I still do most days, but by choice now.)
Why do we think we’re entitled to have whole meals prepared for us for just a very few dollars? Just how would that work, in economic terms? Even if you pay slave wages and no benefits, and get your food from dubious sources (pink slime anyone?), that hot lunch is still going to cost upwards of $10 by the time it’s put on your plate because you are supporting a business. Maybe you just can’t afford it right now. Does anyone ever say that to themself anymore?
Here’s a suggested reading list on this topic:
The current hot book: http://www.amazon.com/Salt-Sugar-Fat-Giants-Hooked/dp/1400069807 A groundbreaking present day classic: http://www.amazon.com/Salt-Sugar-Fat-Giants-Hooked/dp/1400069807
Nickel-Dimed-Not-Getting-America/dp/0312626681 Written by an academic: http://www.amazon.com/Real-Cost-Cheap-Food/dp/1849713219
The American Way of Eating, à la Nickeled and Dimed: http://www.amazon.com/American-Way-Eating-Undercover-Applebees/dp/1439171963
A good read I enjoyed, about one person’s journey - “How I lost my job, buried a marriage, and found my way by keeping chickens, foraging, preserving, bartering, and eating locally (all on $40 a week)”: http://www.amazon.com/Feast-Nearby-marriage-preserving-bartering/dp/158008558X
Yay for Barbara Kingsolver: http://www.amazon.com/Animal-Vegetable-Miracle-Year-Food/dp/0060852569
This serious work, from University of California Press is about selling cheap flap cuts of pork and mutton to “second class” nations: http://www.amazon.com/Cheap-Meat-Nations-Pacific-Islands/dp/0520260937
About the powerful documentary deconstructing the corporate food industry in America: http://www.amazon.com/Food-Inc-Participant-Industrial-Poorer-/dp/1586486942.
And maybe it’s time to re-read Upton Sinclair?
March 30, 2013
I can’t take credit for this work of art. It was made by my colleague Marybeth, who decided to try her hand for the first time at making this traditional Italian (and many other cultures’) Easter Bread. I think she was thinking of the larger versions, but after viewing a photo and recipe for smaller, individual, pani on the Internet, she made that instead.
This is a yeast bread, something I haven’t messed with in years, but she did an amazing job and I am so lucky she shared one with me. Easter breads are just lightly sweetened (from the era when white flour and sugar were very occasional treats), and tend to be a little dry, so you can dunk them in your coffee or vino. I’m not a dunker (shocking I know), so enjoyed this with a wee bit of butter (Irish Kerrygold), and some berry jam. Heavenly!
For an interesting rundown of similar breads from many cultures (leading off with my father’s beloved choereg), see TheKitchn.