Van Gogh’s Potatoes

There it was in the magazine – FoodNetwork? Rachael Ray? It was July…..this July, just a month ago.

Van Gogh

painted four

still lifes of

Potatoes

He only painted one

STARRY NIGHT

9th-wonder

This is part of the Potato Promo

SOOOOOOO….

In this Potato Salad season of the year,

I give you Vincent Van Gogh

ON POTATOES

800px-Van_Gogh_-_Stillleben_mit_Kohlköpfen,_Kartoffelkorb_und_BlätternBaskets of Potatoes, 1885, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

Van Gogh – Still Life with Potatoes, 1885, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

Vincent van Gogh, Baskets of potatoes, March-April 1885.

Vincent van Gogh, Baskets of potatoes, March-April 1885.

800px-Van_Gogh_-_Stillleben_mit_Karoffelkorb Baskets of Potatoes, 1885, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

Van Gogh Still Life with Basket of Potatoes 1885, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

Still Life with an Earthen Bowl and Potatoes c.1886 Rotterdam Musuem Boi.

Still Life with Earthen Bowl 1886 Rotterdam Boi

vangogh stillife potatoyellow bowl Rijkmueums 1888

Van Gogh Potatoes in Yellow Bowl 1888 Rijksmuseum

and of course…..

Van_Gogh_Digger_(1882)

Van Gogh, Digger 1882

Van Gogh Potato peeler NY met

Van Gogh Potato Peeler 1885 NY Met

Van-willem-vincent-gogh-die-kartoffelesser-03850

Van Gogh The Potato Eaters 1885 Rijksmuseum

And if you’re not Van Goghed out,

Van Gogh The Life

By Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith

 

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People, people who need pudding….

National Indian Pudding Day isn’t until November, but Indian Pudding was in the headlines recently…

with Barbra Streisand

streisand Paul Marotta wireimages for BSB

Paul Marotto Wireimages for BSB

Who was in Boston to sing……

(review of her show here )

and nosh…..

But one thing Babs said really caught everyone’s attention: she said in one of her first visits to Boston, she went to Durgin-Park and ate Indian Pudding. But then just recently, she said, when she asked about Durgin-Park, she was told it was closed!

We’re not sure who Babs was talking to, but clearly they provided her with wrong information. Durgin-Park is still open for business, and after Streisand’s concert, the restaurant was deluged with phone calls the next morning.

“Were not closed, we’re still open,” said Petya Petkova, one of Durgin-Park’s managers.

Globe Story

indian_puddingdurgin park

So this is Durgin-Park’s

Baked Indian Pudding recipe

in case they ever do close. They have been serving Indian Pudding since 1827 when they opened.

Barbra – save this recipe!

Here’s a slightly different version:

Indian Pudding

and another:

An Ode to Durgin Park’s Indian Pudding

 

Ipforbes closeup

Durgin-Park Indian Pudding with ice cream

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Filed under Autumn, New England, Recipe

two blue

 

 

 

I love blue berries. Usually I just eat them. Occasionally I actually leave enough or buy enough more that I make something. Blueberry pancakes. Blueberry Betty and Buckle (not to be confused with Betty Buckley..

betty-buckley-footer-watermark

Betty Buckley in Cats

Blueberry Cobbler. Blueberry Pie. Blueberry corn muffins. Blueberry tea-cake ….or was that a pound cake? Lemon pound cake with blueberries???? And Jordan Marsh Blueberry muffins….coming down the escalator, with box tied up with blue twine, hoping to NOT eat them all on the bus, so there would be more then crumbs in the box by the time we got home.

 

muffin-closeup-jpg

A Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffin….a fresh one from the original recipe from someone who used to work there AND it was on the news, so it must be true

I want to search for the recipe, but I’m not baking in this heat. Turn  the oven on? It already feels like the oven is on.

Wasn’t there a blueberry sauce for ice cream????

Blini with blueberry sauce…blueberries cook up just fine.

I’m resisting some serious cookbook/paper file searching, because in THIS heat, salad is the most cooking I’m doing with the berries.

And there aren’t enough left for a pie, so I’ll just have to eat them, and then I’ll go to the Plymouth Farmer’s Market and buy more.

Genius moment. Blue cheese dressing on a salad …..with blueberries on top.

Two Blues!

 

Now about this salad…I actually saw someone at work do it. He had the greens, and blue cheese dressing and then he dumped blueberries on top….

total lunch envy moment.

And evidently cases of SCURVY are up….so I should really eat MORE fruit. 1 cup of blues has 14.4 mg of vitamin C. An orange has about enough for a whole day of C (a woman needs 75 mg – an orange has 70).

Anyhow, I don’t have scurvy, not even close.I just want more blueberries !

SOOOOOO

I tossed some blue cheese, some blueberries and some smoked almonds on my greens…

Gorgonzola_1 300px

Gorgonzola -the blue I happen to have on hand

…the squishyness of the berries made the nuts seem even bigger and harder then they are. It was like there were bones in my salad. Next time: chop the nuts.

But smoked or spiced nuts are the way to go, to balance the richness of the blue cheese and the sweetness of the blue berries.

A little bacon would not be amiss. Fresh croutons could make the whole thing a meal.

Two blues with bacon and bread – salad of the week at ChezMoi.

 

oaksandbluberry 1905

Oaks and Blueberry Bushes – Georges Lacombe – 1905 -Indianapolis Museum of Art

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Eating, Lunch, Summer

Happy Birthday Roses!

for Rose Marie

also known as Sally Rogers

Rose-Marie-8

… my favorite on the Dick Van Dyke Show.

I loved that she was funny and sharp and quick and witty, and proudly, and without explanation wore her  little hair bow like angel kisses on her temple.

Sally Rogers always seemed to have a real life going on, somewhere out of camera range, not a just a TV set life.

emmys - 3

Rose Marie has three Emmys for the Dick Van Dyke Show

Even when the Dick Van Dyke Show ended, Rose Marie kept popping up – guest spot here, another there, Hollywood Squares, mother of the Monkees…

But I knew nothing about her.

I always wondered why she didn’t have a last name…..Hey, Marie is my middle name….

There was the whole child star thing…a little before my time

Her career began in 1929

rosemariebring bacon3

Radio Digest 1930

rose marie babyvit-94-baby-rose-marie-mike

But she wasn’t in the gossip pages or even in People magazine all that very much.

rosemariefinal book cover without copyright

She wrote a book

At least that I noticed.

But it’s her birthday  today and…. she’s 93 and still kicking.

Miss Rose Marie official sites

She is also famous for her spaghetti sauce.

Rosemarie sauce to doris day july2016

Rose Marie recently whipped up a batch for her friend Doris Day from her Facebook page

 

August is just a saucy kind of month this year

Directly from her website:

Rose Marie’s Spaghetti Sauce

  • One pound of ground round

  • One-half pound of ground pork

  • One-half pound of ground veal

  • Three eggs

  • Salt and peper to taste

  • Three colves of garlic (chopped fine)

  • Three-fourths cup of Italian cheese (Romano)

  • Three-fourths cup flavored bread crumbs

  • Two tablespoons chopped parsley

  • About three-fourths cup water

  • Olive oil

  • Two cloves garlic

  • Three to four pieces medium size country spareribs

  • Eight to nine Italian sausage links

  • Three large cans Italian tomatoes (no puree)

  • Three cans Del Monte tomato sauce

  • Two large cans of water (use Italian tomato can for measure)

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • One-fourth cup oregano

  • One-fourth cup chopped parsley

  • One-eight cup chopped sweet basil

  • Use ingredients in order listed.
    Mix ground meats, eggs, salt and pepper to taste, three cloves of finely chopped garlic, Romano, bread crumbs and parsley in one bowl. Dampen with water, using enough to keep mixture fairly moist. mix with hands, but do not handle too much. Put aside.
    Cover bottom of large sauce pan with olive oil. Chop the two cloves of gralic and brown. Remove garlic.
    Brown spareribs and sausage until fairly well cooked; remove from saucepan.
    Make meatballs with two full tablespoons of meat mixture for each. Brown in olive oil; remove from saucepan.
    Put Italian tomatoes in blender and process until pureed. Put tomatoes in the saucepan containing the olive oil. Add the tomato sauce, the two cans of water, salt and pepper, oregano, parsley and sweet basil. Bring to boil; reduce heat to low. Put in the meatballs, sausage and spareribs which have been cooked. Let cook for three to four hours over low heat, stirring frequently. Keep tasting for salt and pepper need. If sauce gets too thick use water to thin it out.

Roses_-_Vincent_van_Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh – Roses  -1890 – National Gallery, Washington D.C.

 

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Filed under Birthday, Recipe, The 1960"s, TV shows

Cherries, Take Two

Take some cherry tomatoes

Tomates_cerises_Luc_Viatour(1)

Add some fresh mozzarella  –ciliegini – little cherry size

mozzerella, fresh

 

With basil and  a little olive oil …a lovely summer salad. Serve with Scali bread to mop up the juices..

scali bread

If you can’t find Scali bread, here’s a link on how to make some : http://blog.kingarthurflour.com/2008/03/26/for-the-love-of-scali-bread/

The next night…

Take what’s left of the tomato and cheese, which has been marinating in balsamic vinegar all night…..drool….And add to hot pasta

Practically instant, low cook supper.

 

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Filed under Bread, Eating, Recipe, Summer, Supper

Go for the BURN

It’s a summer for burn

There’s this Bern….

              

BernieSS -DNCDAY1-0726-16

Senator Bernie Sanders speaks during the 2016 Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Penn., on Monday, July 25, 2016. (LiPo Ching/Bay Area News Group)

 

         And the ever-present Sun-burn

Sunburnt_woman

Not me – a total stranger via Wikipedia

The good on the Grill burn  – more like a char, really

               grillingMeat_fillets

charburn2014-markby-sally

Charcoal Burn – it hasn’t happened yet, but it’s sneaking up there

And then there’s

Joanne’s Spaghetti Sauce.

I learned about this famous sauce from her son, Rick.

Back in the day, Rick was a pilgrim…..

Rick M WSJ Sally Rothemich

Rick McKee as a Pilgrim – as seen in the Wall Street Journal Nov. 29, 2012 – photo credit Sally Rothemich

We had some sort of pot-luck at work…I think it was charcoal burn….if not the first time, then later times. I witnessed this sauce on multiple occasions

Rick had a bag of groceries. He needed a pan for the sauce, and chopped onions and garlic and got them going, and open cans of tomatoes and sauce and threw them in.

He then wanted a frying pan. A HEAVY one. For the paste. To burn it.

Excuse me?????

A heavy pan to burn the paste in.

Yep, that’s what he said. That’s the secret.

Well, it’s no secret if the firetrucks come……make sure that the window is opened, turn on the overhead vent fans, and shut the door to keep the smoke detectors quiet. Fire extinguisher? Check and ready to go.

There’s a beautifully season cast iron skillet in the kitchen. If anything happens to it, all who touch it are doomed. Does he understand?

DOOMED! 

Rick puts the 10” cast iron skillet on the burner, turns the heat UP, opens the cans of paste and dumps them in. Wooden spoon in hand, he starts stirring, talking the whole while.

The darker you can get the paste, the better the sauce is.

Stir, stir, stirring.

It concentrates the tomato flavor. It releases the tomato flavor. It brings depth to the tomato flavor.

Stirring fairly vigorously.

Paste is already concentrated – frying it on high concentrates it even more.

Stirring, stirring, stirring.

The color changes.

This was in the long ago olden days before Alton Brown could explain about caramelization of the sugars in the paste, and who knows what else that high heat can bring out.

Finally, he says it’s done. He scrapes it into the pot of sauce, uses some water to deglaze the pan and adds that to the sauce, and turns the sauce down to a simmer.

After the deglazing, the skillet cleans up like a water glass.

He adds seasonings to the sauce and the kitchen smells DIVINE.

Like Sunday gravy. A visit to Italian side of the family.

It was good. Every time he made it, it was good.

Rick learned to make the sauce from his mother.

Joanne’s Favorite Spaghetti Sauce

Cover the bottom of large pan with oil. Chop one large onion and 2 cloves of garlic (cut garlic very fine). Add more garlic if so desired.

Cook in the oil over very low heat for a few minutes. (watch the garlic – it burns easily).

Add one large can of tomatoes and 2 cans tomato sauce. Add salt and let simmer.

Meatballs: 1 lb hamburger (or more if you want a lot of meatballs)

2 cloves garlic very fine, salt, pepper, add flavored breadcrumbs to own taste.

Add 3-4 eggs mix well. Roll in flour, fry til browned, let cool.

Fry 2 cans tomato paste.

Use high heat – in fact burn the paste. THIS is the secret.

Add to sauce.

Add water (2 cans or to own taste).

You can use the water to deglaze the meatball frying pan and add remnant paste to sauce.

Add Italian seasoning and sweet basil. Add meatballs. Let simmer 5-6 hours.

It always tastes better the next day.

 

* italics added by Rick

I got a copy of the recipe in 2009. Her family had it printed up to go with the Mass cards at her wake.

A recipe is one impressive memorial. You get to remember while cooking and again while eating.

And so in August, there will be one night that’s not quite so very hot, and I’ll see if I have tomato paste and bring out the cast iron skillet and go for the burn.

In loving memory of Joanne “Nana” McKee

August 8

1939-2009

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Filed under Recipe, Summer

Rabbit, rabbit, rooster

rabbits and other roosers 17th c

Rabbits and other roosters

rabbits, roosters and doves

Yet another rabbit, another rooster

rabbit and rooster 17thc

David de Coninck

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A Deepe Coffyn

Willem Clausz. Heda

SOOOO ……

I’m  reading and writing about PIES, specifically apple pies, and I get a package in the mail from a dear friend.

A book.

deepe coffyn

.

 A Deepe Coffyn by Janet Laurence

It’s a culinary murder mystery…the main character is cooking up an Banquet for a   group of culinary historians…and the next thing you know

someone is DEAD

But not because of the food.

If there’s one thing I love to read at the end of a week, it’s a murder mystery. Something about a problem and a solution all wrapped up in under 400 pages….It’s Murder, She Wrote between covers.

(Is there a book series for the TV series?)

Msw ss

 

And this book is the first of a series, a series I haven’t read. The author is from England. And there are nine more where this came from. They evolve/revolve around Darina Lisle – the cook- and William Pigram- the cop.

So now when pies are too hot a thing to contemplate (is there ANY cool weather out there anywhere?) I have something a little lighter to keep my brain occupied.

Thank you, Clarissa! A most appropriate and timely gift.

 

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Filed under Books, Summer, TV shows

Birthday Cake!

Today is someone’s birthday….

Well, that’s true about every day, but today it’s someone close to me….

Jacob and me

and much, much taller then he was twenty five years ago!

I found the recipe I used for his fifth birthday, so it seemed time to use it again.

First, get out the trusty 9×13 pan

13x9-pan nordicware bake and store

one with a lid…and get to work.

Chocolate Birthday Cake

2 eggs

1 ½ cups firm packed brown sugar

2 oz (2 squares) unsweetened baking chocolate, melted

2 cups sifted cake flour (like I had a 5 year old and cake flour in the house at the same time – HA!)

1 t. baking soda

½ t. salt

¼ C white vinegar

¾ C milk

1 t vanilla extract

½ C butter, softened

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Have all the ingredients at room temp
  3. Butter and flour a 13x9x2-inch pan.*(I used a pan that has its own travel lid.)
  4. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt (the Drys)
  5. Separately, combine vinegar, milk and vanilla (the Wets)
  6. In a big, deep bowl beat together eggs, brown sugar and chocolate (3 minutes by hand – 1 minute with an electric Mixer)
  7. Into the big, deep add the drys and half the wets.
  8. Beat 3 minutes by hand and or 1 minute electric.
  9. Add the rest of the wets and beat for another minute.
  10. Pour into the prepared pan.
  11. Bake for 45 minutes or until it shrinks from the sides of the pan and tests done.
  12. Cool completely and frost.

*or 2 8-inch layer cake pans

– Adapted from ‘3-Minute Fudge Cake’ in Nika Hazelton. From Nika Hazelton’s Kitchen. Viking Penguin. 1985. p. 298.

from-nika-hazeltons-kitchen

And don’t forget the candles – and some matches….

Birthday-Cakecandles closeup

Happy Birthday!

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Filed under 1990's, Birthday, Cake, Holiday, Recipe, Summer

HOPE

Hope is a thing with feathers…..

EmilyD

 

I was going through my files and found a recipe  for HOPE cake.

Not dated, not accredited, just a print out. I have no memory of ever  making it….it sounds great, though – Pineapple and orange pound-cake with a cream cheese honey icing….is HOPE Honey-Orange-Pineapple …???Eggs????

Google and discover.

Monday, really Big Fourth Celebrations here in America’s Hometown (that would be Plymouth, not to be confused with all those other America’s Hometowns). Parade with lots of fire trucks and police trucks, all with sirens blaring. Politicians smiling big, waving like the Queen of England, shaking hands; floats with people tossing candies into the crowd. Youth sports teams and other groups of young people, waving their trophies high. Bands, oh those bands. Marching bands, jazz bands, and even rock bands on floats…..and a group from the Priscilla Beach Theatre did a number from A Chorus Line in front of the Grandstand.

pbtchorus line

 

ONE

(Singular Sensation)

Kay and Bunk were there on their red, white and blue bicycles…this image is from another year…..there’s photo another of Bunk at July 4th – Plymouth MA

Bunky and Kay 4July

Cheering, waving.

Dragonflies like crazy all morning. HUGE dragonflies.

The woman seated near me up on Cole’s Hill passed her sunscreen over to me as the morning wore one, Hawaiian Tropics coco-nutty SPF 50 or 70 or 85 – something uber screening for pale Irish skin.Hawaiian tropic several

…..Hawaiian Tropic, an old summer friend, shared by a new friend by location

Milling with the post parade crowd, old friends to catch up with.

Time to head home, buy some OFF and take a little nap to go back for the Phil concert.

july-4th-ply-WATD-2016-phil-concert-full-v3-500x.jpg

Sprayed the OFF on, milled about, kept seeing people I knew, but not able to get up to them before they were lost in the crowd. And it was a crowd. Finally picked a spot where I could see the firework barges in the harbor that didn’t have trees crowding the view overhead AND see the bandstand.

A Bus comes down the blocked off street – the Philharmonic arriving!

They played all the  usual suspects, as well as a Star Trek tribute (50 years since the show first aired) and a tribute to the King – Elvis Presley.

Last number – The 1812 Overture, of course.

And then the fireworks begin.

OOOOOWWW!

AAAAAAHHH!

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

 

And then – and then a really big display, mostly low down, close to the water.

And I thought to myself,” It almost looks as if the barge is on fire.”

Plymouth-photo---Denise-A--Maccaferri--1--jpg

Denise Maccaferri Photography

july4th 2016

Then nothing.

People around me started saying it was a pretty short show this year and were getting up to leave.

I had to get up so I wouldn’t get trampled by the people climbing up the hill to get to their cars.

Almost every announcement about the fireworks during the day included remarks about how expensive they were, it wasn’t too late to donate…..so a short show WAS a possibility.

I only live a couple of blocks from the waterfront, so I was home lickety-split.

An hour or so late, I found it there really was a fire on the barge.

And thus begins a week of promise that just kept going downhill……

As if Orlando weren’t bad enough, St. Paul, Baton Rouge and then Dallas….too much red blood on too many American streets….

Early this morning a little bird held on the the edge of my window screen,

House_sparrow04

and I thought of Emily Dickinson…Hope is a thing with feathers…..

 

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –
And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –
I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.
– Emily Dickinson

And I remembered the cake –

A  Cake called HOPE

It was from Tinky Weisblat’s blog  In Our Grandmothers Kitchens to celebrate the Inaugural of Barack Obama back in January of 2009…
Tinky had also e-mailed me on Thursday to ask me to judge in a Pie Contest.

I said YES.

I’ve been to Pudding Hollow before for judging Puddings….and I love Pies
Pudding hollowjudgesweb

Edie Clark on my left; Michelangelo Wescott to my right – was this 5 years ago?

Feathers of hope, wafting this was way and that

 

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Filed under Cake, Holiday, Pie, Recipe, Summer