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LAT stories

The (metaphorical) cherry orchard

May 18, 2009

Look what I found this Saturday at the Santa Monica (Pico and Cloverfield) farmers market.  The stalls were loaded with cherries (I saw Brooks and Tartarian); it was like one giant marble festival.  We just ate them in the car, spitting the pits out of the window on the way home (yeah, yeah; it’s fun).  [...]

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Weights & measures, ratios & scales

May 4, 2009

More than other kinds of cooking, baking relies on precise measurements, which is the reason why many baking recipes (particularly European recipes) call for ingredients to be weighed rather than measured out in cups or liters.  This is especially true of flour, which can be an enormous variable depending on how you fill your cup [...]

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Nutella espionage

April 28, 2009

Recently, a friend of mine passed an unmarked brown paper bag to me during a walk through a crowded Los Angeles farmers market.  Passersby eddied around us; the traffic cop stationed in front of the alley conducted her street orchestra.  We were so busy looking at the fruit-laden stalls that we didn’t say anything or [...]

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Still life of gremolata on a counter top

April 26, 2009

Fishing around for something to make for dinner the other night, or more accurately for something to spice up dinner, I made a quick gremolata on the counter top.  Gremolata, the traditional garnish for osso bucco, is a simple fine chop of fresh parsley, lemon and garlic.  The beauty of it is that it’s stunningly [...]

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Ode to a copper bowl

April 5, 2009

For dessert last night, I made a very simple thing: whipped cream, served with a bowl of strawberries.  The cream was very slightly sweetened with vanilla sugar (sugar ground in a food processor with an old vanilla bean husk).  The strawberries were Chandlers from the farmers market, hulled but otherwise untouched.  This was all very [...]

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Muffin recipe testing

March 25, 2009

Muffins are very, very cool things.  Sure, they don’t have the current caché (i.e. hype) of cupcakes, but you can eat them for breakfast without falling into a sugar coma.  Muffins are also how I got to know Kimberly Boyce, as I wrote a story about her whole grain muffin experiments now that she’s home [...]

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Apple galette

March 23, 2009

I grew up at a boarding school with a working apple farm, so we ate a lot of apples. Picked them off trees, pressed cider as a class project, grabbed them from wooden crates that looked rather like these on our way to and from classes.  After I wrote a story about Southern California U-pick [...]

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Strawberry aguas frescas

March 21, 2009

Another amazing thing to do with fresh ripe Camarosas or Chandlers or Gaviotas is to make a batch of aguas frescas with them.  I didn’t know what these were (aguas frescas, not strawberries) before I moved to Southern California, but I quickly learned to order them–fresh fruit aguas frescas, horchata, jamaica and tamarindo–at restaurants and [...]

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