Category Archives: Eating

French Toasted Fluff

Fluff Fest is coming up – Saturday the 23rd  – in Somerville  Fuff Centennial Fest 2017

It’s been 100 years since Joseph Archibald Query created the magic that is FLUFF in his kitchen in Somerville, MA and sold it door to door.

He didn’t invent marshmallow. He just repacked and renamed it for immortality.

7 millions pounds of Fluff

were sold last year.

There is a recipe contest at the Fluff Festival..I’ve been thinking of Fluff….

I was reading Laura Shapiro’s What She Ate

whatsheate_cover3

In the introduction (no, she doesn’t mention Fluff….bear with me) she writes of Nell B. Nichols who published a food calendar in Woman’s Home Companion. For May 7, 1953 Nell offers a recipe that dips peanut butter sandwiches in an egg-milk batter and then fries them. That’s right – Peanut Butter Sandwich French Toast. And I thought….

FLUFFERNUTTER

FRENCH TOAST

That baked French Toast that I made a variation of, has been on my mind. My brain has been full of all kinds of bread and egg and milk things.

But, before I have a recipe to test, I have a few more thin gs to ponder. Like – what bread? It has to hold up, but fluffy white bread is classic for a fluffernutter…and maple syrup wouldn’t be assertive enough on top…..

Chocolate syrup on top would be better then maple.

Or how about chocolate BREAD….now it’s officially dessert…and chocolate syrup doesn’t go on top of chocolate bread.

See – close, but no actual recipe.

Yet.

Maybe next year.

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Books, Eating, New England

Salad Daze

Photo by Chalmers Butterfield

The Hollywood Brown Derby Cobb Salad….

The same, real Brown Derby restaurant that Lucy and Ethel went to when they went to Hollywood. The Episode  where Lucy dumps food all over a movie star – William Holden.

Holden-portrait

William Holden orders a Cobb Salad…a Hollywood Salad! A GLAMOUR Salad!!!!

Brown_Derby_Cobb_Salad_(2440195933)

Cobb Salad – named after a Brown Derby owner, Bob Cobb.

Of course, since Lucy is involved……and there was a pie…….

bill-holden-cobb-salad2

Before Lucy – After Lucy

It was a few years later that I found out what was in a Cobb Salad….

brown-derby-cobb-salad

page from The Brown Derby Cookbook, probably the 1949 edition – here are several versions of the Brown Derby and it’s cookbooks

 

One way to remember the ingredients:

EAT COBB

Eggs + Avocado + Tomato   Chicken + Onion + Bacon + Blue Cheese

I recently had a Cobb Salad that was a variation on the theme. It was made with radicchio  instead of greens, which was a little too warming for a summer salad, but for an autumnal one…..Mmm Mmmm Good!

And it was chopped up nicely. Somewhere in the 21st century we’ve forgotten that salads are eaten with forks in public places and that they’re supposed to be ready to eat and not need more knife work.

This version also had roasted butternut squash and turkey instead of chicken and dried cranberries, a Plymouthy version.  Good, and got me thinking about a few more tweaks. I’d do chopped radicchio as the base, great color, nice change from  KALE (hasn’t the clock ticked past that by now????)

RadicchioNL

Anyhow – turkey instead of chicken – but a roasted turkey. A roasty flavor would help here. Maybe toss a turkey breast in while roasting the butternut squash.

butternutlarge_58e44083-ff75-4340-951a-eb4b357ecd3d

Now that the nights are cool – last night was downright COLD – a little “toss a sheet pan of something in the oven”  action is NOT out of the question., and if it helps to stave off another night of not turning the heat on…more power to that!

I might use fresh cranberries, once they once they come in, instead of dried. Blue cheese. Hard boiled eggs – easy. Bacon? No hardship there. I also have managed not to start a jar of bacon grease, so get a jar ready….I’m going to go with black olives as the O…..I just don’t like raw onion, and since it doesn’t like me right back, we’re even on that score.

What have a got so far?

Egg + A…….+ Turkey  Cranberry + Olive + Bacon + Blue Cheese

Hmmmm – What the A?

A stands for Apple!

this-is-not-an-apple-1964(1).jpg!Large

Rene Magritte 1964

If I make an Apple/Maple dressing, a little chopped apple will temper it, give the sweet to go with the rich/spicy/…apple cider vinegar, chopped apple, maple syrup and a touch of oil….

The temptation to ‘pumpkin spice’ this is nearly overwhelming, but I’ll try to resist.

September Salad – The Thanksgiving Cobb  –  check.

 

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Filed under Autumn, Eating, Lunch, New England, Thanksgiving

Salad Daze

It’s August.

Too hot even for toast.

Salad.

Easy salad.

Take a bunch of fresh things, of the leafy/ veggie/ fruit sort.

Spinach_leaves

Wash.

Pick. Peel. Seeding optional.

Add a Protein:

  • hard boiled egg
  • cheese
  • bacon
  • sliced meat
  • nuts

Greens – pick, wash, chop or otherwise make small enough to fit on a fork and into your mouth. WHY are so many salads with leaves bigger then the bowl?

Fresh herbs – easy flavor add.

Dress. From a bottle or olive oil and vinegar, salt and pepper . A little mustard makes it nice.

Maybe a carb layer – croutons/a little cold macaronis/leftover rice.

Meal in a bowl.

SdeWarburgSalad

The moshav (agricultural village) of Sde Warburg, Israel, holds the Guinness World Record for the largest lettuce salad, weighing 10,260 kg (11.3 short tons). The event, held on 10 November 2007.

There is a song or two titled Salad Days….

BUT

This is way cool

 

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Filed under Eating, Recipe, Summer

National Corn Fritter Day

Everything has a day…..even

 Corn Fritters

Today!

Corn Fritters

1 can corn 2 teaspoons salt
1 cup flour 1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon baking powder 2 eggs

Chop corn, drain, and add dry ingredients mixed and sifted, then add yolks of eggs, beaten until thick, and fold in whites of eggs beaten stiff. Cook in a frying-pan in fresh hot lard. Drain on paper.

Farmer, Fannie Merritt. The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book. Boston: Little, Brown, 1918; Bartleby.com, 2000. www.bartleby.com/87/.

Fannie Farmer 1918 11thed

And Corn Fritters have

aliases.

Why??? Why, are they ashamed of being corn? Or is the fritter part too frivolous? Do they just want to be taken more seriously?  Or is it role-playing, cos-play for fritters??

They are also known as….

Corn Oysters

CORN OYSTERS

        Mix well together one quart grated sweet corn, two tea-cups sweet milk, one tea-cup flour, one tea-spoon butter, two eggs well beaten; season with pepper and salt, and fry in butter like griddlecakes. – Mrs. H. B. S.

-1877. Buckeye Cookery and Practical Housekeeping. p.35.

Buckeye 1877

OysterBed(1)

Eastern Oysters

They do not taste particularly oystery, these fritters of CORN. They taste fried, like the fried part of a fried oyster, but only someone who has never had an oyster, or never been near an oyster or had ever spent any amount of time imagining oysters would be fooled.

And why fool them? Why the charade? Why the name change? Why Mock Oysters?

Crassostrea_gigas_p1040847

Pacific Oyster

Mock Oysters

MOCK OYSTERS OF CORN.

Take a dozen and a half ears of large young corn, and grate all the grains off the cob as fine as possible. Mix with the grated corn three large table-spoonfuls of sifted flour, the yolks of six eggs well beaten. Let all be well incorporated by hard beating.

Have ready in a frying-pan an equal proportion of lard and fresh butter. Hold it over the fire till it is boiling hot, and then put in a portion of the mixture as nearly as possible in shape and size like fried oysters. Fry them brown, and send them to the table hot. They should be near an inch thick.

This is an excellent relish at breakfast, and may be introduced as a side dish at dinner. In taste it has a singular resemblance to fried oysters. The corn must be young.

  • Miss Leslie’s Directions for Cookery. p. 193.

Leslie cookery 1851

They can try hard, but they ain’t no oyster.

And what’s so wrong with being the corn fritter?

Corn fritters are pretty awesome.

Corn

Batter

Butter

Fried

A little salt

All Good.

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Eating, Fish, New England, Recipe, Summer

Slump

Grunt, Buckler, Crisp and Crumble. Add some Cobblers and Pan-dowdies. Betties. We mustn’t leave out the Betties. These are the Goldie-Oldies of the fruit and butter and flour, baked in a dish but not quite a pie, classic New England treats.

These ‘Olde-Thymie’ treats just aren’t as oldie as they like to pass themselves off as. But, since they’re now nearing their centennial….well, I guess they’re old at last!

Welcome to the Colonial Revival! When the New Fashion was to be old-fashioned even though you’re new…..Old Days Old Ways the way they never were…rather like the Bi-Centennial…..we just never stop reinventing the past.

Orchard_House_1941_-_HABS_-_cropped

Orchard House circa 1940.  Home of Louisa  May Alcott in Concord MA – this is where she wrote Little Women. She nicknamed the house “Apple Slump”.

I can’t remember not knowing cobblers, and crisps and crumbles…..and knowing there was some extensional difference between them even if I couldn’t articulate it.But I remember quite clearly when I first heard about  Apple Slump – The summer between third and fourth grade.

The Christmas before Aunt Eileen (Grampy’s only  sister) had given me several brown paper bags FULL of books. She felt it was important to have books on hand, before you thought you could be ready for them, lined up and ready for you when you were ready for them. Chapter books. Book with more words then picture books. And one of them was :

LW

And – I’d seen the movie! Twice!

Little_Women_1933_lobby_card

The Katherine Hepburn one….

and

 

LW1949

the 1949 version with June Allyson

I’ve since seen the 1994 – of course!

Little_women_poster

Hello Winona and Susan Sarandon

Anyhow, I must have looked Louisa May Alcott up in the encyclopedia…that’s a big set of books we used to go to to find stuff out before the internet…..and found out that she called her house Apple Slump.Actually, the house was named Orchard House – Apple Slump was it’s nickname. A house with a pet name!

The first food  Apple Slump reference is in a Salem MA newspaper 2 years before Louisa’s birth

20 November 1830, Salem (MA) Observer, pg. 2, col. 3:
The pumpkin pies and apple slump, bacon and plum-pudding, were smoking on the table, when the old gentleman, gathering round him his smiling guests, said grace in the following manner: “May God bless us, and what is provided for us.”

The Big Apple

Louisa_May_Alcott_headshot

Louisa May Alcott

And LMA left a recipe for Apple Slump –

Slump
Pare, core and slice 6 apples and combine with one c(up). sugar, 1 t(easpoon) cinnamon, and 1/2 c. water in a saucepan. Cover and beat to boiling point. Meanwhile sift together 1 1/2 c. flour, t t/4 t. salt and 1 1/2 t. baking powder and add 1/2 cup milk to make a soft dough. Drop pieces of the dough from a tablespoon onto apple mixture, cover, and cook over low heat for 30 min. Serve with cream.”
John F. Mariani. Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, (p. 297)

http://www.foodtimeline.org/foodpies.html#slump

 

And then there’s pandowdies….

 

 

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Filed under Books, Eating, New England, Recipe, Wicked Wayback

New England Style Poutine

I’m talking about chowder fries.

Why have I never heard of these before?

darling-oyster-bar-1_2000x1500

Chowder over French Fries – New England Poutine

Saveur had a story….just last March.

Thick chowder is key – as are hot and crisp Fries. Frozen will not do. This might be my Summer go out for dish.

The spud on spud left my Irish heart happy.

Here’s what may be the first chowder recipe in print.

Boston Evening Post on September 23,1751.

First lay some Onions to keep the Pork from burning
Because in Chouder there can be not turning;
Then lay some Pork in slices very thing,
Thus you in Chouder always must begin.
Next lay some Fish cut crossways very nice
Then season well with Pepper, Salt, and Spice;
Parsley, Sweet-Marjoram, Savory, and Thyme,
Then Biscuit next which must be soak’d some Time.
Thus your Foundation laid, you will be able
To raise a Chouder, high as Tower of Babel;
For by repeating o’er the Same again,
You may make a Chouder for a thousand men.
Last a Bottle of Claret, with Water eno; to smother ’em,
You’ll have a Mess which some call Omnium gather ’em.

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Filed under Eating, New England, Recipe, Summer

Mr Coffee and the Swiss Miss

Although March is coming to an end, and having come in like a LION, should be leaving like a lamb…

Durer_lions_(sketch)1520

Durer 1580

And because there’s SNOW in the forecast anyhow….

And because April weather is Foolin’ us even before it’s April ….

I’m going to share a little secret I just learned from Sally at work this week.

How to make really great mocha with already brewed coffee and the powdered hot chocolate mix that’s everywhere.

Yes, How to match up Mr. Coffee with Swiss Miss.

mrcoffee

swiss miss

I know – it SEEMS so easy…..put the hot cocoa powder (I’m talking Swiss Miss here, not actual cocoa powder and pour the hot coffee over for homemade mocha that is usually just

NASTY.

Which is spelled like tasty but not at all the same.

The mix doesn’t mix, there’s grainy sludge at the bottom, and the whole cup is less than delightful.

That’s because there’s a secret…

And the secret is:

Put the powder in the cup and mix a little cold milk/cream/half and half …..Make a nice paste

And THEN put the hot coffee in over that.

It’ll mix up nice and rich. If it’s too rich, add a little hot water.

Now THAT’S a treat.

A Heavenly Match!

Creamy, delicious chocolatey caffeinated goodness. Just the thing a cold day cries out for.

Thank you, Sally!

 

Kuzu Kuzu

lamb!

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Filed under Eating, Recipe

PSSS

birthday-pilgrim-style

Sooooo…

I didn’t exactly spend my birthday all Pilgrim style.

Not a single spoon…..and I’m OK with that. Instead there was

Pretty Spinach Salad with Salmon

The distaff cohort of the family – meaning Sis, Mom and Me – went to Isaac’s on the waterfront  – because, seriously, when you live on the coast you should eat with a view when you can .

issacs

It was actually the day after my birthday – my UnBirthday, and I was fine with that, too. There are so many more UnBirthdays in a year to celebrate…..

We began with individual preambles about what we were choosing and why, and then commented on all the choices and the specials, and asked questions about the choices to Sue, our heroic waitress, and the commented all over again when the food came and then gave commentary as we were eating….typical Italian meal.

This makes food sound like sport, but really, it was  great, good fun. Sue  was a delight and seemed to be having almost as much fun as we were.

There something about a leisurely meal  out in the middle of the day, that wafts of having not a care in the world….and we had an ocean view to boot. No troubles.

On Tuesdays many places in Plymouth are closed, especially in February, the official ‘it’s probably gonna snow so let’s just stay in’ month.

We did not take a single photo of the food. Which is a pity because it sure was purdy, and the light was great and the view fantastic.

My salad was….

HUGE

and a study in green and pink, a lovely bowl of spinach tossed with a light dressing, teeny-tiny nubbins of bacon and cheese and olive oil and  lemon juice….and on top of this pastoral springtime loveliness was a beautiful, hot, cooked to perfection salmon fillet.

salmon-meledezStill Life with Salmon, Lemon and Three Vessels Meléndez, Luis Egidio Copyright ©Museo Nacional del Prado

 

Imagine this fillet cooked to perfection.and piping hot on top of a bowl of green, green, greens. Such a large piece of salmon I thought I’d save half, but ate maybe ¾ –  still enough left to be worth saving and made another (less piggy) meal.

spinach

And talk

And talk

And laugh and laugh…..and then coffee.

Sue not only was able to figure what we wanted, what we wanted  saved, and saved it, but had overheard enough of our chatter – OK, not that difficult – to figure there was a birthday girl and brought a birthday surprise.

Ice cream with whipped cream and chocolate sauce and a candle.

single-birthday-candle-clip-art-i19

Sue also started sing the Happy Birthday song, loudly and with spirit.Mom and Sis chimed in, in parts no less.

Having been raised with these people, I merely smiled, and nodded, and gave my Queen of England wave to the the rest of the lunch crowd. patiently waiting to eat whipped cream with chocolate sauce.

I do love the un-birthday!

 

 

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Filed under Birthday, Eating, Lunch

Shrimp Girl

I’ve been so busy eating and cooking and eating and eating…..I haven’t been writing about it. Much of my cooking has been taking what was left and making into something new, something fresh, something different…..

Like leftover shrimp from Christmas Day….

shrimp-ring

There was some of THIS left….stay late at the party, score the leftovers!

As much as I love just picking and dunking shrimp to cocktail sauce…..and then thinking

“Is it TRUE that shrimp cocktail came about because of Prohibition?”

Or was that FRUIT cocktail????

I wanted a hot meal, but since the shrimp was already cooked, it just needed to be a re-heat element.

.

eatfeed

Eat Feed Autumn Winter – Anne Bramley

Anne Bramley also does the podcast EATFEED – I’m interviewed in the  PIE episode.

But I had pulled this book off the shelf, and sure as shooting – shrimp!

Citrus in Season

Chapter 18

Chili Lime Shrimp with Rice

Coconut Black Beans

pp. 148-151.

Since this was a light supper, I made a few revisions:

Chili Lime Rice with Shrimp (and coconut)

I made some rice, adding the zest of the lime and some hot pepper. When the rice was done I added the naked shrimp, chopped, and bit of coconut and served it in a rice bowl with a squeeze of the the now naked lime – note to self – next time squeeze citrus first and then zest.

rice-bowl

These are the rice bowls currently for sale at Williams-Sonoma. I bought a set of 12 for less , much less then a set of four now goers for, back in the olden days of the Carter Administration. I still have two.  Nine moves and three decades.

Anne also quotes Harry Nilsson… you know

which make me think of

william_hogarth_002

The Shrimp Girl is a painting by the English artist William Hogarth. It was painted around 1740–45, and is held by the National Gallery, London.

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Filed under Christmas, Eating, Pie, Supper

Soup kitchen

detail from Johann Georg Sturm’s 1796 Deutschlands Flora in Abbildungen

Soooooo….

When you realize that you have six pounds of parsnips, and the odd roast turkey carcass and the freezer needs defrosting (because the freezer is old enough to be NOT frost-free) and the weather is also not frost-free….time to make some soup.

You work in a kitchen, sometimes you make soup.

Soup Kitchen.

I’ve had some great soup gurus – early on Anna Thomas…

anna-thomas-2016

Anna Thomas

love-soup

I started with the soup basics in Vegetarian Epicure…This is only soups.

There are also the ethnic soups that are shades of my childhood, what we ate and what we talked about…

soups-of-italy

I’ve mentioned this before..still a page turner

Barbara Kafka has a soup book called, “Soup : A Way of Life”.

soup-babara-kafta

Not to be confused with

kafkas-soup

But I digress….

 

But most of the time I make soup by assembling the likely ingredients – in some cases the Most Likely ingredients – and then think about how they go together, and what needs to be added to make them one soup and not a bunch of leftovers.The soupness helps to bring things together, but the right accent can make things great.

There’s also the internet …..

Most of the parsnip soup recipes called for milk or cream, and there are allergy issues with dairy AND it would mean a trip to the store….and  wants to go to the store for ONE THING? And who comes back from the store with one thing?????.

But the internet had quite a few vegan veggie soups, many of which included cashews, which bring up nut issues   ….but also, I had NO cashews and then I would have to go to the store for one thing….back to that.

Then there were a raft  of soup recipes where the roots were roasted and pureed.

Roasting, easy-peasy.

Pureeing….there’s no blender in the kitchen, but boiling the roasted roots in broth makes mashing a really possibility.

Parsnips are peeled and cut. The better part of a head of garlic, peeled. All the veggies tossed with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Put in a hot oven til fork tender, 350° oven about an hour, fork very tender.

Cool and save.

Soup Day morning, add 5 quarts broth made from the turkey carcass and a big sprig of rosemary. Bring to a boil.

Simmer for an hour, mash the parsnips to thicken it up. Taste and adjust seasonings.  Bring to a bowl.

Makes 15 servings.

parsnips-1

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Filed under Eating, Influencers, Soup, winter