Tuesday, June 13, 2006


unfortunately, due to a mis-routing of the mail in my office, ric rhinehart's promised costa rica from groundwork sat around for a couple of days before anyone told me it was here. (weeping, weeping)

but now it's in my hot little hands. . .the bags appear to have no roast date, so i can't tell you the age. however, the estates are nicely marked: the granadilla (named, i assume, for the golden passion fruit that shades the coffee on this estate); the organic montes de cristo (rumored to marry well with scotch); and a tarrazu dota shb, dota being a prized micro-region within tarrazu.

these will hit the chemex immediately before they age any longer. thank you ric! heart

in other news, today's the second delivery from the csa -- i'm looking at more delicious local organic strawberries, lettuce, herbs, etc. but what's puzzling me is the promised sunchokes.

what to do with these? the 1963 larousse notes they were once popular but are now mostly fed to pigs, remarks that the flavor "is pleasant, but soon palls," and suggests you make 'em into a salad like potatoes. long-time bccy pal and baking marvel m.b. sent me a similar recipe.

however, it does so with a tone that clearly implies you'd only be reduced to this during the next siege of paris after you've stewed all the sewer rats you can find in red wine first -- i kid you not, the larousse has such a recipe, dated from the rigors of the brutal franco-prussian war in which the french lost the capital and nearly became permanently german -- but the link lies, no one in france has eaten this outside of utter warfare, and furthermore, it misquotes the recipe, since it clearly instructs you to marinate the rats in wine before you cook 'em.

after that charming history lesson, i hit the 'net and found that celebrity chefs are decorating sunchokes nowadays with gold leaf. lawd love a green-eyed duck!

there's embracing the forgotten peasant foods of the past, and then there's outright pretension. more common is to find recipes where you boil 'em, puree 'em, and drown 'em in as much cream as you can stand.

one of the interesting things about these objects is that they don't actually contain much starch, which makes them suitable, i guess, for people on low-carb diets and diabetics as potato substitutes. except that lacking starch, they tend to fall apart easily during cooking, so you have to be careful.

unless one of you, gentle readers, comes up with a genius idea, i think the best thing to do with them is to serve them in the trusty gratinee recipe of that wacky louis diat. i know: an autumn recipe.

this is what is striking me as nuts about the csa so far -- with the exception of the strawberries, most of the produce appears to be autumnal! it's june -- i can't feed my husband these october dishes!

when i joined the csa i was looking forward to delicious seasonal vegetable recipes. . .what gives?

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posted by fortune | 6:37 AM | top | link to this | email this: | links to this post | | 3 comments

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