Monday, June 27, 2005

the cooks next door

A visitor from New Orleans stopped by the other day and asked me some questions about my cooking references. He was preceded by a neighbor who also had questions about when I learned to like working in the kitchen.

Msr. Danno had these questions for me:

Number of Cookbooks I've owned: I can count 123 on the shelves in the common room and I have several by the bed. But that doesn’t count several books that fell overboard the canoe on the trip across the lake.

Last book that I bought: La Varenne's The French Cook, Englished in 1653

Last (Food) book I read: The History of Food, Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat
Cookbooks: Paris Sweets, Dorie Greenspan

Five Cookbooks that mean a lot to me: La Cuisine, Raymond Olivier
Savoring the Past:the French Kitchen Table from 1300-1769, Barbara Ketcham-Wheaton
Nouvelle instruction pour les confitures, les liqueurs et les fruits. de Massialot
Varenne's The French Cook, Englished in 1653
La Techinque, Jacques Pepin

Previously Msr. Chefdoc had these questions for me.

What is your first memory of baking/cooking on your own? When I was six, I got caught in the pantry eating chocolat tablets—ma mère taught me to bake biscuits that very day.

Who had the most influence on your cooking? Peering into the pots and pans of LaVarenne and Massialot via their livres de cuisine.

Do you have an old photo as "evidence" of an early exposure to the culinary world and would you like to share it? Yes, a very old picture of my cuisiniere.

my first cuisiniere

Mageiricophobia - do you suffer from any cooking phobia, a dish that makes your palms sweat? With good instructions or a mentor, there is nothing I am afraid to try cooking.

What would be your most valued or used kitchen gadgets and/or what was the biggest letdown? I couldn’t live without my mortar and pestle—such a wonderful food processor. My biggest letdown was a bundle of sticks tied and used to whip—it didn’t work well.

Name some funny or weird food combinations/dishes you really like - and probably no one else does! Bleu fromages and fruit.

Your favorite ice-cream... Citron Crème Glacé

You will probably never eat... Pork or shellfish

Your own signature dish... Paté de Campagne

Added by Chefdoc of A Perfect Pear... Any signs that this passion is going slightly over the edge and may need intervention? My husband thinks so at times, but I’m sure he’s mistaken!

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Canadian Wild Grapes - an Ode

 Posted by Hello

Ode: a lyric poem usually marked by exaltation of feeling and style—and sweetly did the Vikings of yore, brave boatmen of Leif the Lucky, son of Eric the Red, sing as they discovered the wild grapes (Vitis riparia) near L’Anse aux Meadows, Northern Newfoundland. Grapes meant wine, a heady beverage to quaff after a hard day’s rowing and a necessity for a new land to become civilized. Vitis riparia can still be found growing along the rivers of Nouvelle France, from Upper Canada, the Pays Illinois and down into Louisiane, and today makes a foxy wine and great jams.

Glaze a roast with jam prior to putting on the spit. Use the wine to deglaze a pan to capture all those tantalizing juices for your sauces or as a refreshing hearty taste with artisanal cheese at the end of your meal. Grapes can be dried and later used by soaking in spirits to liven up great breads and sweets. Enjoy with me some of the oldest tastes of Canada.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Fromage: Pied-de-Vent

If you like Brie, you will like this cheese. As Derrick expressed, “ I'm always fascinated to read about these lesser-known breeds, especially when I hear they're making a comeback.” And I would like to encourage you to support this brand of cheese, Pied-deVent, which comes only from the Vache Canadienne.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Fraise et la Rhubarbe

Blog Appetit! de ce mois appels pour les fraises et la rhubarbe.
Tandis que j'ai un bon nombre de rhubarbe accroître dans le jardin, les fraisiers communs sont tardifs cette année, avec seulement des fleurs, mais aucun fruit réglé encore.

Pour véritable un dessert de printemps, la crème de vanille de couche dans un verre de parfait avec la rhubarbe cuite et de culis de fraise. Dans ce cas-ci j'ai employé le dernier petit pot de conserves de fraise de la moisson de l'année dernière.

* * * * *

This month’s blog appetit! calls for strawberries and rhubarb. While I have lots of rhubarb growing in the garden, the wild strawberries are late this year, with only blossoms, but no fruit set yet.

For a truly Springtime dessert, layer vanilla custard in a parfait glass with stewed rhubarb and strawberry culis. In this case I’ve used the last little pot of strawberry preserves from last year’s harvest.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Buttermilk & Honey Sorbet with Date Crunch Topping

Buttermilk, honey, dates (medjul) and eggs are this month's Paper Chef competition. Unfortunately my illustration apparatus (digital camera) is on the fritz and I can only describe my entry.

I made a buttermilk and honey sorbet using this recipe from a friend named epicurious.

Just before the sorbet had finished curing in my ice cream machine, I beat an egg to a froth and put in a cup of kasha or buckwheat grains and dry-fried them in a hot dry skillet stirring the grain until it began to pop open. Then I poured on some boiling water and a pinch of salt, covered the skillet and set it at the back of the fire to cook and fluff the buckwheat. When the buckwheat was cooked and still crunchy, I mixed some with cut dates for a crunchy topping for my sorbet. The buckwheat adds an interesting crunch and flavor with the sometimes too-sweet taste of the dates but compliments the unique flavors of buttermilk and honey in the sorbet.
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