Saturday, August 26, 2006
one infinite loop & the apamate
yes, today i imagine somewhere in california, a baby geek with a great backpack is frolicking on the lawn at the campus of one infinite loop. his name is david.
david is one of my favorite people in the world today. hello david! dear readers, let's all say "hello, david!"
and the reason we're loving david is that he is the apple employee who sold me a screaming mac book pro 17" on the phone this morning. hello david! just sing it out. . .
news like this is cause to break open that new case of el rey apamate 73.5% i bought last week.
news like this gives one enough energy to make 7 quarts of ratatouille, which indeed i did this afternoon, in a desperate effort to use up all the locally grown organic veggies i got at the csa this week. (the first weeks of the csa are slow-going, but now in full season my US$20 gets me more stuff than i can carry home. . .6 pounds of fruit alone last week!)
long-time readers may recall i usually make elizabeth david's version of this classic dish, but to shake things up today, i used deborah madison's recipe. in the end, i think i prefer david's; but it may just be that that's because i've been making it for about 20 years now.
and to cap this source of joy, my husband went down to the famed red hook soccer fields, where the latin immigrants have food fairs every weekend as they watch their league teams play. the red hook soccer fields are widely known as the place for the best, most authentic latin food in all nyc.
he brought back the most ultra-awesome light-as-air tamales i've ever had, as well as a fantastic dessert made from sweet plantains filled with dulce de leche. another must-do for in-the-know nyc visitors.
is it stalking if i send david chocolate? or as a fellow mac-fanatic, would he understand? nah, too weird. (thanks for all your help, m.b.!)
Friday, August 25, 2006
still mailing it in: routin 1883
one of these days i'll stop running frantically about -- anyway, when i
can get to a real computer, then i'll stop mailing this stuff in so much
. . .
um, this is supposed to be some sort of apology for blogger's crazy
i think. where was i? that's my whole week in a nutshell.
oh yeah. the last of jessica's batdorf dancing goat. look, coffee's like
milk, as i always say.
no one would drink 2-week-old milk. it wouldn't be fresh.
and so you shouldn't drink coffee more than 14 days outta the roaster;
even by day 8, most coffee is showing some signs of age and is moving
thus i'm looking at the last 2 spoonfuls of jessica's previous bag of
goat. it's aged, but in coffee, a grey beard doesn't represent wisdom.
nonetheless, i hated to throw it away, so i made up some turkish from it
and thought this would be a good test of the sugar-free routin 1883
chocolate syrup i had about.
long-time readers know my husband is fond of the sugar-free white
chocolate syrup from da vinci on occasion. i myself think the da vinci
has just one drawback as syrups go -- when you pour it through the
espresso, it leaves a white spot on the crema.
the routin 1883 syrups were recommended to by don schoenholt of gillies.
they leave no white spots and have very pure, intense flavors.
so you have to use far less of them than da vinci, monin, or fontana.
(not that i'm a fan of syrups in coffees. . .but so many people love
their vanilla lattes! sigh).
anyway, instead of making the turkish coffee this morning with sugar or
splenda, i poured some of the routin 1883 chocolate sugar-free syrup
into the ibrik. maybe a teaspoon.
hmm. i would say this particular routin had a more dark caramel than
dark chocolate taste.
so in a certain way, it went better with the coffee than i might have
expected. but i didn't find it very chocolate-y, which surprised me.
and it surprised me because the routin 1883 sugar-free vanilla's a
knockout. that stuff's great (as far as vanilla coffee syrups go. . .
Thursday, August 24, 2006
the jingle-jangle of those silvery hooves
and what came dancing in this morning, but jessica's fantastic batdorf dancing goat in its nifty new package? thanks muchly, jessica!
also, the second marcella pasta pin (matterello) is on its way to d. miller in philly; i'm losing one rolling device only to acquire another, the raviolatrice.
i had rather thought the whole pumpkin ravioli thing was on a long-term track toward autumn, but my husband dropped me a big hint in the form of a nice pastry wheel (rotellina) for cutting said ravioli out.
do i really need that 30-in. square pasta board (spianatoia) right now? wherever will i store it?
thus, dear readers, i must intensify my previous request to you: best recipe for pumpkin ravioli filling? any urls or cookbooks?
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
surprisingly sensible yoga advice
"yet with all its benefits, yoga's gain in the popularity and availability has also come to mean a substantial increase in the number of yoga-related injuries. according to the u.s. consumer product safety commission, over the course of one year, doctors treated more than 3,700 such injuries at an estimated cost of US$94 million.
yoga practitioners are being treated for repetitive strains and overstretched muscles of just about every possible body part, but most frequently injuries involve the neck, legs, spine, knees and shoulders."
well, the advice is common sense, but what interested me most about this article was the injury statistic. i don't recall seeing this documented before, which makes it worth noting.
i wonder how it compares to say, step aerobics or spinning. anyway, in more interesting yoga news, the exciting ganesha festivities are happening at eddie stern's place, if you're interested in some fun food (think sweet dumplings!) and great kirtan.
check out the schedule at the website. i'll drop in at some point i'm sure, even if they're serving (*sigh*) tea.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
listen to my tears hit the hard cold floor
"folgers is introducing a line of premium coffee with flavors like espresso roast and caramel drizzle, dressed up in shiny bags with swirly typefaces. . .
it is going after customers who drink a cheaper coffee every morning at home, but consider finer coffee to be a special treat. (in one television ad, a woman stands in her kitchen, dreamily sipping coffee, until her banana-throwing toddler interrupts her reverie.)"
somebody hand me a bucket, i think it's gonna be flood. i'm sure i don't have to tell readers here that "premium" or "gourment" coffee doesn't come in artificial flavors no matter what the shiny bags with swirly typefaces say.
the pre-ground, low-quality, stale, and (just to add insult to injury) flavored junk folgers is now pushing is a rip-off, no matter how gauzy the "reverie" in the marketing campaign. this calgon-take-me-away nonsense ad shill should be actively resisted.
this ugly marketing gimmick by the evil corporate multi-national roasters particularly offends me because it's going after us bccy types: the up-scale coffee-loving married woman. shiny bags cannot replace quality beans.
swirly type cannot replace freshness. dear readers, all i can do is encourage you to buy freshly roasted, whole bean coffee from your local specialty roaster and grind it at home! you don't need to spend a ton of money on a coffee machine (tho' everyone knows i'll be interested to hear about it if you do).
what you need to spend the money on is the quality of the coffee itself. and since specialty coffee is still a bargain, it's not hard to do!
Monday, August 21, 2006
mailing it in: sorry for the ot
the mail-in posts pile up this week. all i can do is apologize for the formatting blogger leaves out, and hope i have time to clean it up later!
thanks for your patience. anyway, the ot here is hardly on the qt -- as long-time readers know i've written about the newish fairway market here in bklyn's red hook.
i'm loving the place. where else can you get a roast duck for US$4.99? not per pound. just US$4.99!
and it's really good duck too. you could drop by there, with its fabulous waterfront park location, pick up a duck, some veggies, a great piece of chocolate or good fruit tart (even, if you prefer, sweet noodle kugel with dried cranberries) and have a splendid picnic out back o' the store.
worse things would have happened to you, believe me, and for a lot more money. at that spot you're almost directly across from the statue of liberty, and your view extends from the green shores of staten island to the very tip of mall-hattan, the edge of wall st.
it's a fantastic harbor vista. honestly, when friends come to nyc, i think the red hook fairway picnic is a new must-do.
if looking at the water makes you want to get out on it, the water taxi stops very near. so it's easy to skim across to the financial district.
sure, this fairway ain't perfect. the slackers at the cheese counter are still learning about their products.
but fairway managment has made an effort to hire local residents. and let's face it, despite the rapid pace of gentrification, that red hook area generally is still what is usually known as an underprivileged nabe, maybe even a neglected one.
the long-time traditional residents aren't really of a background to natively distinguish 8 kinds of french ewe products.
so to my mind, this is actually a plus; over time fairway will get its training program fine-tuned and in a few years these employees will be as beloved for their expertise as the ones on the upper west side.
fairway -- all good! yay fairway! oh, and did i mention they sell don schoenholt's gillies coffee, too?
Sunday, August 20, 2006
do i have to make it all myself?
ok, so following up on yesterday, i went in online search of the best price for a nice raviolatrice (no, m.b., not a zamboni, a villaware!) and maybe an accompanying wooden pasta board. currently i'm making my pasta on a large maple cutting board, which really isn't wide enough.
and of course a simple pastry wheel to cut the ravioli out. but when i took a gander at the cost of wooden pasta boards -- i really want something about 30 inches square -- i find those commercially available are not only too small but also cost a freaking armored truck o' cash.
US$80 for a piece of wood only 28 x 24! i could go to nyc's wholesale flower district -- what's left of it -- and practically buy an entire tree for that!
i know my nice pals at dykes lumber can do me better; i have my own sandpaper and salad bowl oil. the "lips" aren't necessary, as you can place the board on a towel or silpat to keep it from sliding.
i'll order the raviolatrice tomorrow. the pasta board i have to think about: where to store it? there's the rub!
oh, and i'm still searching for that pumpkin filling recipe. (note: avoid this guy. while i've long complained that most instructions for fresh pasta are overly complicated and waaay useless, that this guy can't do it doesn't say much for his supposed lifetime of cooking and foodwriting, does it?
my objection here is his addition of oil -- which i see in a lot of the online recipes -- yes, it does help keep the dough from sticking and because it coats the gluten, it makes it easier to roll out. the drawback?
your pasta will never really be al dente, because it won't have the gluten formation that gives it the all-desirable toothiness. you don't need the oil if you simply let the dough relax. . .)