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Prince of the apple towns

May 20, 2009

Apple season in Southern California always takes me by surprise.  In boarding school, we’d eat apples not in May but in the fall, from wooden crates that the faculty had set up outside (the school, in Ohio, was also a working farm with an apple orchard) for mid-class snacking, and later in the season we’d [...]

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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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Salmon curing in Japan

May 17, 2009

Cool fish, eh?  These are curing salmon, strung from a snowy porch in the coastal town of Murakami, in Niigata Prefecture, Japan.  Click here to find out more about the process: warning, it’s in Japanese.  Here’s how my sister, who has lived in Japan for close to 2o years and who took the pictures, translates:
Remove [...]

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Chile tacos with parsley salsa verde

May 14, 2009

If you don’t have a good taco truck in your neighborhood, then you have to make do and cook your own.  These are my favorite tacos to make, other than fish tacos (more on that later).  It’s a Deborah Madison recipe, with a few modifications: different chiles, corn instead of flour tortillas.  (Local Flavors, p. [...]

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A trail of breadcrumbs

May 12, 2009

You can buy breadcrumbs at stores, which I find completely absurd given how many bits of baguette I always have at home–and the inherent lunacy of paying money for someone else’s stale crumbs.  Instead of buying the stuff (it tastes and looks like ground up cardboard anyway), simply save the ends of loaves or the [...]

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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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Citrus on a drying rack

April 14, 2009

Making marmalade is extremely fun, albeit rather time-consuming.  With blood oranges and Meyer lemons coming to the ends of their respective seasons, Kim and I are making 3 citrus marmalade, with bloods, Meyers and Valencia oranges.  (Because there were Valencias at the farmers market, so that’s what I got.)  Since marmalade is made with the [...]

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Flavoring jams

March 31, 2009

This is a picture of Kim’s kitchen counter, with bowls of just-made strawberry jam set out next to her stove.  We were testing her jam recipe and trying to figure out the best flavoring.  She’d put hibiscus in the original recipe, but had switched out the dried flowers to use in a different recipe.  So [...]

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