November, 2007 Archive

Saturday, November 17, 2007

pie crust 101

pastry blender

To begin, I want to make a note about the zillions of pie dough recipes out there: I barely buy it. Not the value of a recipe, mind you, but that new ones will ever come to pass. At their very base, they’re all just some type of solid fat (butter, shortening or lard) cut with powdery ingredients (flour, sometimes salt and sugar) bound with a liquid (usually water, but some folks get creative with milk, cream, buttermilk or vodka), and I’m amused that every year, so many cooking publications feel a need to pronounce that By Golly, They’ve Got It! They’ve found the perfect pie dough. In my mind, it was never lost.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

q&a, vol. II

q&a, vol. II

[Q&A Vol. I] Phew! You guys really came through with that Q&A request, so thank you. In the interest of not writing The Longest Food Blog Entry, Ever I’m going to handle these in batches of ten, in the order they were received, and pepper them throughout the next month or so. (Only on days where the task of cooking seems ludicrous–can I hear it for the day after Thanksgiving? I mean, seriously. That was the only day last November that I was skeptical about the value of daily posting.)

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

brussels sprouts and chestnuts in brown butter

brussels sprouts and chestnuts in brown butter

Every so often, a recipe crosses my browser’s threshold and I know immediately that it Must Be Made. Surely, you know the feeling. This happens a lot more in the fall, because I simply love the cooking this time of year–warm, soupy, stewy and rich. We haven’t yet succumbed to hibernation and meals scraped from whatever was in the pantry because the famers’ markets looked so paltry, and you seriously cannot deal with another butternut squash.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

oatmeal, chocolate chip and pecan cookies

oatmeal, chocolate chip and pecan cookies

Someone asked me yesterday how I manage the day job, this site, cooking, hobbies and attempting some semblance of a social life, but I didn’t answer because the gritty truth is that I don’t. I’m horrible at time management, not because I’m a slacker so much as I lack an attention span of more than 12 minutes. Take tonight. I swore I’d leave work at 5:30, but left at 6:20 instead (still earlier than last night), I had planned to give you guys a pie crust how-to but instead flitted from one thing (side project) to another (Thanksgiving thumbnails in sidebar) and as usual it’s 11 p.m. and oh right! I haven’t updated yet today.

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Monday, November 12, 2007

creamy white polenta with mushrooms

creamy white polenta with mushrooms and mascarpone

Because I am a complete and total Yankee, I really didn’t know a thing about grits until Alex and I took a trip to Savannah and Charleston earlier this year. But when I tried them, I fell hard. I found them in a small puddle beneath the most saucy, delicious chicken dish in a large-rimmed shallow bowl, shredded Brussels tangled around them and then the next day loaded with cheese and chives adjacent to my eggs. They seemed to be open and ready for anything put before them–on so many levels, exactly what I needed.

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