Miss Ginsu: About/Bio


Food Quote Friday: George Orwell


"Red chilis spread out to dry in the fields, like huge red carpets."

George Orwell from his 23.10.38 diary entry

New food links — and another postcard from Cupcake — every Monday morning on missginsu.com

Labels: , , ,


Food Quote Friday: Ronald Wallace

Morning Table
Buckets of thanks for the photo to Flickr user jackrusher.

"Sometimes I wish I had habits a man wouldn't kick,
faults a good man could be proud of.
I'd be an expatriate from myself,
all ink-pen and paper in a Paris café
where the waiters were elegant and surly,
the women relaxed and extravagant
with their bobbed hair and bonbons,
their perfumed Galoises,
their oysters and canapés,
and I'd be writing about war and old losses —"

Ronald Wallace from "Literature in the 21st Century"

More extravagant food quotes can be found within the food quote archive.

Labels: , , ,


Food Quote Friday: Paul Reyes

coffee cup

"The crowd swelled and ebbed with regulars dedicated to this brave motherland diet, in a tiny room packed with the odors of hot oil and coffee and sugar and warm bread. And sure, pork skins for breakfast might mean fewer days in the long run, but they added a weird rigor to the morning. If anything, the grease is sentimental."

— Paul Reyes in Harpers, October, 2008

Need seconds? More food quotes can be found within the food quote archive.

Labels: , , , ,


Food Quote Friday: Orson Welles

Peanut Butter Bacon Crunch
PB Bacon Crunch ice cream

"I hate television. I hate it as much as peanuts. But I can't stop eating peanuts."
Orson Welles

Labels: , , , ,


Food Quote Friday: Kevin Fanning

Add Bacon
Illustration by Kean Soo

"In order to increase renoun, add 'bacon' to most any noun."

Kevin Fanning in Baby's First Internet

(Ladies and gentlemen, the defendant is guilty as charged.)

More salty food quotes can be found within the food quote archive.

Labels: , , , , ,


Mad for Peaches

Millions of peaches, peaches for me...

With July now ripe and full, I believe the whole world's tipping at the brink of peach madness.

Over at the White On Rice Couple blog, one finds adorable dogs licking peaches.

I myself just received 15 juicy little darlings in last night's CSA box. They're about to become peach compote or peach pie or maybe just peaches with yogurt if only I can keep myself from devouring them all in a dripping, fleshy mess over the sink.

Then, of course, I stumbled over this entertaining peach reverie (from The Chronicles of Clovis by Saki [H. H. Munro]) at Project Gutenberg while eating a particularly fine specimen myself:

"How nice of you to remember my aunt when you can no longer recall the names of the things you ate.

Now my memory works quite differently. I can remember a menu long after I've forgotten the hostess that accompanied it. When I was seven years old I recollect being given a peach at a garden-party by some Duchess or other; I can't remember a thing about her, except that I imagine our acquaintance must have been of the slightest, as she called me a 'nice little boy,' but I have unfading memories of that peach.

It was one of those exuberant peaches that meet you halfway, so to speak, and are all over you in a moment. It was a beautiful unspoiled product of a hothouse, and yet it managed quite successfully to give itself the airs of a compote. You had to bite it and imbibe it at the same time.

To me there has always been something charming and mystic in the thought of that delicate velvet globe of fruit, slowly ripening and warming to perfection through the long summer days and perfumed nights, and then coming suddenly athwart my life in the supreme moment of its existence. I can never forget it, even if I wished to.

And when I had devoured all that was edible of it, there still remained the stone, which a heedless, thoughtless child would doubtless have thrown away; I put it down the neck of a young friend who was wearing a very décolleté sailor suit.

I told him it was a scorpion, and from the way he wriggled and screamed he evidently believed it, though where the silly kid imagined I could procure a live scorpion at a garden-party I don't know. Altogether, that peach is for me an unfading and happy memory--"

Now, I wasn't going to offer up a recipe at all, because, after all, a summer peach is a glorious thing. Why mess with success, right?

But then I realized that I've been needlessly cruel. In checking through my online recipe file, it's clear that I've never posted my glorious Ginger Peach Pie. For shame! It's a delight that never fails to please a crowd.

And, after all, one who is blessed with peaches should at least consider sharing them. Especially with ice cream. Or crème fraîche.
Spiced Ginger Peach Pie (with or without crumble topping, below)

2 Tbsp dry tapioca pearls
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2-3/4 tsp garam masala blend (or substitute 1/4 tsp ground allspice, 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg and 1/4 tsp ground dry ginger or cinnamon)
1/4 tsp salt
3 large peaches, sliced in 1/2" wedges
1 Tbsp freshly grated ginger (about 1" piece)
2 tsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp lime zest

1 pie crust
Crumble topping (use a double crust if you're not doing the crumble topping)

1. Heat oven to 375°F and blind bake* the pie shell for 10-15 minutes.
2. Pulverize the tapioca pearls with a clean coffee grinder, a mortar/pestle or a food processor. Blend the powdered tapioca with the brown sugar and garam masala (or ground spices) and salt.
3. In a mixing bowl, gently combine the peach slices with the freshly grated ginger, brown sugar/tapioca blend, lime juice and zest.
4. Pour the peach mixture into the baked pie shell, packing the slices into place.
5. Sprinkle evenly with the crumble topping (if using) or lay on the top pie crust. If using a pie crust top, be sure to open up several holes to allow steam to escape.
6. Bake the pie on a cookie sheet for about 45 minutes (or until the filling bubbles), checking the pie after 20 minutes to make sure the edges aren't overbrowning. (If the edges do start looking a bit brown, cover them with strips of aluminum foil.)
7. Cool the pie on a rack for approximately 1 hour before serving.

*Blind baking is a process that involves pre-cooking the pie shell a bit (usually with pie weights or dry beans in the shell to keep it from bubbling and rising). This keeps the crust more crisp, which is especially nice for juicy fruit pies.

Crumble Topping
3 Tbsp flour
4 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon, optional
1 dash salt
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup pecans, walnuts or pistachios, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup chilled butter, cut in 1/2" pieces

1. In a mixing bowl, blend together flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, oats and nuts.
2. Cut the butter into the mixture with a fork until the blend resembles a uniform gravel. Sprinkle atop the pie filling and bake as directed above.


Labels: , , , , , , , ,


Food Quote Friday: Calvin Trillin

The table at Il Posto Accanto

"Marriage is not merely sharing one's fettuccine, but sharing the burden of finding the fettuccine restaurant in the first place."

— Calvin Trillin in Alice, Let's Eat

More carb-heavy food quotes can be found within the food quote archive.

Labels: , , ,


Food Quote Friday: William Butler Yeats

Vino at Baron Rouge

A Drinking Song

Wine comes in at the mouth
And love comes in at the eye;
That's all we shall know for truth
Before we grow old and die.
I lift the glass to my mouth,
I look at you, and I sigh.

William Butler Yeats

Labels: , , , ,


Food Quote Friday: Nikolai Gogol

fresh bluefish

" 'And bake us a four-cornered fish pie,' he said, sucking the air through his teeth and inhaling deeply.

'In one corner I want you to put the sturgeon cheeks and the gristle cooked soft, in another throw in some buckwheat, and then some mushrooms and onions, and some sweet milt, and the brains, and whatever else, you know the sort of thing. And make sure that on the one side it's — you know — a nice golden brown, but not so much on the other side. And the pastry — make sure it’s baked through, 'til it just crumbles away, so that the juices soak right through, do you see, so that you don’t even feel it in your mouth — so it just melts like snow.'

As he said all this, Petukh kept smacking and sucking his lips."

Nikolai Gogol from Dead Souls

Labels: , , ,


Food Quote Friday: Herman Melville

Ginger Stars

"Copying law papers being proverbially a dry, husky sort of business, my two scriveners were fain to moisten their mouths very often with Spitzenbergs to be had at the numerous stalls nigh the Customs House and Post Office. Also, they sent Ginger Nut very frequently for that peculiar cake — small, flat, round, and very spicy — after which he had been named by them. Of a cold morning when business was but dull, Turkey would gobble up scores of these cakes, as if the were mere wafers — indeed they sell them at the rate of six or eight for a penny — the scrape of his pen blending with the crunching of the crisp particles in his mouth."

Herman Melville in Bartelby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall-street

Labels: , , , ,


Food Quote Friday: Alice May Brock

"Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian; wine and tarragon make it French. Sour cream makes it Russian; lemon and cinnamon make it Greek. Soy sauce makes it Chinese; garlic makes it good."

Alice May Brock

More food quotes can be found within the food quote archive

Labels: , , , , ,


Food Quote Friday: MFK Fisher

Spinach Soup

"I don't think we eat enough soup here in the States. It can, and often should, be a meal in itself, as an occasional good book devoted to the subject tries to prove. What is better, more resting on a Sunday night than a tureen of steaming, buttery oyster stew, plenty of little round crackers and some cold white wine or lager beer?"

MFK Fisher

More steaming, buttery food quotes can be found here

Labels: , , ,


Recession-Proof Recipes: Soup of the Evening

Last week's Recession-Proof Recipe focused on the tasty, nutritious and protein-rich bean. This week we'll explore the legendary kitchen economy (and big flavor win!) provided by a homemade soup stock.

Gingered Duck Soup

I've mentioned the ease and wonder of homemade stock on a couple of occasions previously, so I was simply tickled when I happened to read a piece this week by MFK Fisher (found in With Bold Knife & Fork) on the joys of simple soups made of simple stocks.

I'm thus inspired to share a snippet of her insight taken from Especially of the Evening.

"There is excitement and real satisfaction in making an artful good soup from things usually tossed away: the washed tops of celery stalks, stems of parsley, skeletons of fowl, bones of animals... at home I do not hesitate, if a fine T-bone lies fairly naked on the platter, to make a stock from it, remove any fat when it is chilled, and use it within a few days for a soup base or a sauce."

Fisher goes on to write fondly of many soups, including a hearty egg-fortified broth she was served in the alps, a restorative beef broth she was given while convalescing as a child, and the lovely hot leek-potato soup that's served cold under the guise of Vichyssoise.

But I was most pleased to read an utterly simple, comforting recipe she includes for using up some of that economical stock:
A Life Saver
1 part good stock
1 part tomato juice or V8
1 part clam juice

Mix, heat to simmer point and serve, seasoning and garnishing as wished. Good alone or with a sandwich for lunch.

This can be varied for grown-ups, and indeed made quite sophisticated, by substituting for the tomato juice one part dry white wine added at the last...

Simple. Frugal. Brilliant. Because truly, what is pho or ramen or chicken noodle soup, after all, but wonderful stock to which we add yet more tasty things?

Part of the magic of pho (pronounced fuh) is that the soup arrives au naturel. Just a clean, fragrant, steaming broth with a pile of noodles (and maybe a few vegetables or meats) in it. Each diner garnishes his or her own soup to his or her own heart's delight... or not at all.

That said, the beef broth must be made with love. All success in this dish depends on the beauty of the broth.
Pho Bo Fast (Serves 2)

For the Broth
4 cups beef broth
1-inch piece ginger, sliced
2 whole star anise
2 whole cloves
6 oz flat rice noodles
2 Tbsp Asian fish sauce
1/2 tsp Sriracha hot sauce, or to taste (optional)

For the Garnish Platter*
Lime wedges
Bean sprouts, rinsed
Fresh basil sprigs, (preferably Asian basil)
Fresh cilantro sprigs
Sliced scallions
Thin-sliced strips of leftover steak
Serrano chili, sliced thin
Hoisin sauce

1. In a heavy-bottomed pan, bring the beef broth to a boil with the ginger, cloves and star anise. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, cover the rice noodles in hot water and soak about 15 minutes, or until softened. Meanwhile, arrange the garnish platter.
3. Strain out the star anise, cloves and ginger, and add the fish sauce and hot sauce to taste.
4. Divide noodles into two bowls and ladle hot broth over the noodles. Serve soup alongside garnish platter. Dress your soup as you see fit with torn basil, cilantro leaves, a squeeze of citrus, a few chilis, a little steak...
*I consider the first three garnishes to be essentials and the others, nice options.

Bon appétit!

Related Posts:
  • Rotisserie Chicken Stock & Soup
  • Moroccan Stew
  • Chilled Yogurt-Spinach Soup
  • Cream of Celery Root Soup

    Labels: , , , , ,

  • 4.09.2008

    Food Quote Friday: Gary Johnson

    Mango-Glazed Mahi Mahi

    "How simple life is. We buy a fish. We are fed.
    We sit close to each other, we talk and then we go to bed."

    — Gary Johnson from You made crusty bread rolls...

    More simply delicious food quotes can be found in the archive here.

    Labels: , , , , ,


    Food Quote Friday: E B White

    black grapes

    "We should all do what in the long run, gives us joy, even if it is only picking grapes or sorting the laundry."

    E B White from The Letters of E B White

    Labels: , , , , ,


    Food Poem Friday: Edward Lear

    cheese at the ferry market

    "They sailed to the Western Sea, they did,
    To a land all covered with trees,
    And they bought an Owl, and a useful Cart,
    And a pound of Rice, and a Cranberry Tart,
    And a hive of silvery Bees.
    And they bought a Pig, and some green Jack-daws,
    And a lovely Monkey with lollipop paws,
    And forty bottles of Ring-Bo-Ree,
    And no end of Stilton Cheese
    Far and few, far and few,
    Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
    Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
    And they went to sea in a Sieve."

    Taken from The Jumblies by Edward Lear

    Going to sea? Take along a few choice food quotes.

    Labels: , , , ,


    Food Quote Friday: Horace

    The Crepe Complete
    The traditional crêpe complete: cheese, ham and a soft-centered egg. Mmm... So simple. So tasty.

    "A hungry stomach seldom scorns plain food."


    Hungry for more food quotes? Find 'em here.

    Labels: , , ,


    Food Quote Friday: Charles Reznikoff

    Man with an Apple
    "A Mounted Man with an Apple" from the peerless NYPL

    "Showing a torn sleeve, with stiff and shaking fingers the old man pulls off a bit of the baked apple, shiny with sugar, eating with reverence food, the great comforter."

    Charles Reznikoff

    A deep bowl of food-quote comfort can be found here.

    Labels: , , , ,


    Hungry for the Classics

    Long before I flirted with food love, I fell hard for books. But the sad truth was, it really didn't matter how hard LeVar Burton worked at making Reading Rainbow relevant. I was still one of those bookworms that caught flying iceballs in the face from November through March.

    These days I'm spared the iceballs (usually) and I'm really bowled over by what Penguin Books has been doing with their Graphic Classics series. Daaamn... The classics are suddenly edgy!

    These are books I want to be seen with on my subway commute. Witty illustrators like Chris Ware doing the covers. Current scribblers like Fast Food Nation's Eric Schlosser doing commentary. For the luvvagod, French flaps!

    I swoon. And when J sent along the cover to The Three Musketeers, I knew I had to share, as well.

    Labels: , , , , , ,


    Coming Soon: Bananapocalypse

    Last week on the radio program Fresh Air, Terry Gross announced that she'd interviewed Dan Koeppel, the author of Banana: The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World. Hearing that, I almost turned the radio off.

    "Really?" I wondered, "Does the world actually need another single-word-title history book?"

    Consider just a sampling of the single-subject history genre: Tobacco. Mayflower. Cod. Salt. Hotel. Gin. Rum. Citrus. Spice.

    You'll find that many of this ilk have big, blustery subtitles. For Cod, it's: "A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World," while Rum is "The Epic Story of the Drink That Conquered the World." One begins to wonder if there's a food, drink or object that didn't change the world.

    Despite my weariness of the big-big little history book, I listened in on Fresh Air for a few moments and — of course — got sucked in. That Terry Gross is some talker. And Koeppel's single-subject discussion was actually pretty interesting. Bananas did change the world for many people.

    For one thing, I didn't realize that the banana (now grown across most of the world's tropical zones) originated in Southeast Asia. I also didn't know that the banana our grandparents knew and loved (the Gros Michel, which was said to be terribly tasty and easy to ship) essentially died out due to a fungal disease.

    Banana Bunch

    The familiar long, slender, fragile banana that appears in every grocery store across the U.S. is the Cavindish banana, which was thought to be so bland and delicate that Koeppel said the Chiquita banana company nearly went out of business because they resisted switching over to Cavindishes as the Gros Michels whithered away.

    As it turned out, those bland, fussy Cavindish bananas were quickly adopted by the banana-eating public and faster than you can say "Yes, We Have No Bananas," the tasty Gros Michels were all but forgotten.

    Much as I enjoy a nice Cavindish, that seems like a sad turn of events for all of us. Because every Cavindish is essentially a clone of every other Cavendish and our appetite for them is seemingly insatiable (Koeppel says Americans purchase more bananas than they do apples and oranges combined), it seems like it was only a matter of time before another bananapocalypse. (I think we've already observed the dangers of crop monoculture.)

    Indeed, Koeppel says that banana fungus is on the move, and it's really only a matter of time before American banana crops are affected. Scary thought.

    Thankfully, there are other bananas in the world. The only problem is, they're not widely cultivated, so if the Cavindish goes offline, it'll be a long, banana-less age in which scarcity ensures that banana muffins are served in only the finest of restaurants, and things like banana splits, bananas foster and banana smoothies are forgotten entirely.

    Unfortunately, while Koeppel's discussion of ruthless banana barons, scummy produce marketing practices and impending fungal doom piqued my interest in his book, it also made me crave bland old Cavindish bananas in a big way.

    One of my favorite banana recipes (although one I don't often make — for obvious reasons) is based off of the banana pudding recipe from Bill Smith and Lee Smith's Seasoned in the South.

    I'm usually not much for meringue, so I leave that off and just go with a sprinkle of cinnamon as garnish. If you've never made pudding that wasn't made from a box, I think you'll taste a big difference in the pudding recipe below. Homemade pudding isn't difficult. If you make it with good ingredients, it's a seriously tasty tribute to the last days of the Cavindish banana.

    Cavendish Banana Pie (Serves 4-6)

    2 cups half & half
    1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
    3 Tbsp cornstarch
    2 large eggs
    1/2 cup sugar
    4 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 1" slices
    1/2 box (6 oz) vanilla wafers
    2 medium-sized ripe bananas

    Dash ground cinnamon (optional)
    Dollop fresh whipped cream (optional)

    1. Heat 1 1/2 cups of the half & half with the split vanilla bean in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat until it just steams and begins to form a skin, about 5 minutes. Do not boil.

    2. Meanwhile, whisk the cornstarch into the remaining 1/2 cup of half & half to dissolve it. Beat in the eggs.

    3. Pouring in a slow stream, whisk the hot half & half into the egg mixture. Pour the mixed liquids back into the heavy-bottomed pot, returning the vanilla bean.

    4. Cook the liquid over medium-high heat, whisking constantly. After 3 to 5 minutes, the custard will begin to thicken. Continue to stir for a few minutes more, being sure to move the whisk over the entire bottom of the pot.

    5. When the surface begins to steam a little, gradually stir in the sugar. Be careful, because this will make the custard more likely to burn on the bottom.

    6. Remove the pot from the heat and beat in the butter. Stir constantly to help the butter to absorb. This will temporarily thin the custard. Discard the vanilla bean.*

    7. Pour a cup of the hot custard into a deep-dish pie pan or an 8" square pan. Line the bottom and sides with vanilla wafers. Slice the bananas over the cookies, then layer any remaining wafers over the bananas. Gently pour the rest of the custard over the cookies and banana slices.

    8. Cover, lightly, with plastic wrap, and chill for two hours or overnight. Serve with a sprinkle of cinnamon and fresh whipped cream, if desired.

    * Alternatively, save the pod to make vanilla sugar. Just dry used vanilla pods and add to a roomy mason jar that's filled 3/4 full of white sugar. Keep the jar lidded and shake it every once in a while to scent the sugar with vanilla. Use in desserts.

    Labels: , , , , , ,


    Food Quote Friday: Nigella Lawson

    "I think we all live in a world that is so fast-paced, it's threatening and absolutely saturated with change and novelty and insecurity. Therefore, the ritual of cooking and feeding my family and friends, whoever drops in, is what makes me feel that I'm in a universe that is contained."

    Nigella Lawson in escape magazine

    Labels: , , , , , ,


    Food Quote Friday: Graham Greene

    Cream Tea at Podunk

    "Tea at college was served on long tables with an urn at the end of each. Long baguettes of bread, three to a table, were set out with meagre portions of butter and jam; the china was coarse to withstand the schoolboy-clutch and the tea strong. At the Hôtel de Paris I was astonished at the fragility of the cups, the silver teapot, the little triangular savoury sandwiches, the éclairs stuffed with cream."

    — Graham Greene from The Comedians

    Sample more savoury food quotes here.

    Labels: , , , , ,


    Food Quote Friday: Aldous Huxley

    Herbs from the Marche d'Aligre

    "The scent organ was playing a delightfully refreshing Herbal Capriccio — rippling arpeggios of thyme and lavender, of rosemary, basil, myrtle, tarragon; a series of daring modulations through the spice keys into ambergris; and a slow return through sandalwood, camphor, cedar and newmown hay (with occasional subtle touches of discord — a whiff of kidney pudding, the faintest suspicion of pig's dung) back to the simple aromatics with which the piece began. The final blast of thyme died away; there was a round of applause; the lights went up."

    Aldous Huxley from Brave New World

    Labels: , , , , ,


    Food Quote Friday: Marion Cabell Tyree

    Baguette at Les Enfants Terribles

    “I would say to housewives, be not daunted by one failure, nor by twenty. Resolve that you will have good bread, and never cease striving after this result till you have effected it. If persons without brains can accomplish this, why cannot you?”

    — Marion Cabell Tyree from Housekeeping In Old Virginia

    Be not daunted... more crusty, chewy food quotes can be found here.

    Labels: , , , ,


    Food Quote Friday: Ray Nargis

    charming coffee cup

    "When I am old I'll drink whiskey in the morning
    And coffee at night
    And laugh and spit and swear wherever I want.
    When I am old I'll help Girl Scouts across the street
    Even if they don't want to go
    And I won't have a car
    And I won't have a bike
    And I'll walk everywhere."

    — from Ray Nargis' poem "When I am Old"

    Love food quotes? Read more here.

    Labels: , , , , ,


    Food Quote Friday: French Peasant in Love

    A postcard sent by a peasant from the Vendée to his fiancée

    "You're so fresh and lovely the only thing I can compare you to is fields of young cabbages before the caterpillars have got to them."

    from Graham Robb's The Discovery of France

    Labels: , , , ,


    Fig Quote Friday: Platina


    "Some figs are called Chian from a place, taking the name from a city in Syria. I think the African fig is so-called from that province. The anxious Cato brought its fruit into the Senate when he was seeking a third Punic War and badgering the senators, especially those who did not think it at all the stuff of Roman virtue that Carthage be destroyed. As soon as he said, 'How long do you think this fruit has been picked from its own tree? Since all agree that it is fresh, know that it was picked not three days ago at Carthage, so close is our enemy,' at once the Third Punic War was launched, by which Carthage, once the rival of the Roman Empire, was destroyed."

    — Platina from On Right Pleasure and Good Health, 1465

    Labels: , , , , ,


    Food Quote Friday: Anais Nin

    lush cherries

    "For the first time I know what it is to eat. I have gained four pounds. I get frantically hungry, and the food I eat gives me a lingering pleasure. I never ate before in this deep carnal way ... I want to bite into life and to be torn by it."

    Anaïs Nin (1903-1977), from Henry & June

    Craving more luscious food quotes? Browse more here.

    Labels: , , , ,


    Food Quote Friday: Pablo Neruda

    Tomatoes in the Barcelona Boqueria

    "the tomato offers
    its gift
    of fiery color
    and cool completeness."

    Pablo Neruda (1904-1973) "Ode to Tomatoes"

    Labels: , , , , ,


    Food Quote Friday: Eleanor Lerman


    "So life lets you have a sandwich, and pie for your
    late night dessert. (Pie for the dog, as well.) And
    then life sends you back to bed, to dreamland,
    while outside, the starfish drift through the channel,
    with smiles on their starry faces as they head
    out to deep water, to the far and boundless sea."

    From Starfish by Eleanor Lerman

    Labels: , , , , ,


    Food Quote Friday: Michael Ondaatje

    Gelato in Tavernelle
    "Gelato in Tavernelle" from thisismolly @flickr

    "He walked out of the hospital into the sun, into open air for the first time in months, out of the green-lit rooms that lay like glass in his mind. He stood there breathing everything in, the hurry of everyone. First, he thought, I need shoes with rubber on the bottom. I need gelato."

    Michael Ondaatje in The English Patient

    Labels: , , ,


    Food Quote Friday: Ralph Waldo Emerson

    "The greatest delight the fields and woods minister is the suggestion of an occult relation between man and the vegetable. I am not alone and unacknowledged. They nod to me and I to them."

    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

    Labels: , , , ,


    Food Quote Friday: Woody Allen

    "Why does man kill? He kills for food. And not only food: frequently there must be a beverage."

    Woody Allen (1935- )

    Labels: , , ,


    Food Quote Friday: Bill Buford

    perhaps a wheat?

    "A white truffle, which elsewhere might sell for hundreds of dollars, seemed easier to come by than something fresh and green. What could be got from the woods was free and amounted to a diurnal dining diary that everyone kept in their heads. May was wild asparagus, arugula, and artichokes. June was wild lettuce and stinging nettles. July was cherries and wild strawberries. August was forest berries. September was porcini."

    -Bill Buford in Heat

    Pile your basket with wild food quotes here.

    Labels: , , , , , ,


    Food Quote Friday: Thomas Wolfe

    "There is no sight on earth more appealing than the sight of a woman making dinner for someone she loves."

    Thomas Wolfe (1900-1938)

    Labels: , ,


    Food Quote Friday: Chekhov

    16 Varieties of Gooseberries
    16 Varieties of Gooseberries from the NYPL

    "A man wants nothing so badly as a gooseberry farm."

    - Anton Chekhov

    Craving another mouthful of tangy food quotes? Check 'em out here.

    Labels: , , ,


    Food Quote Friday: Sydney Smith

    Shallot gone wild from missginsu at flickr

    "Let onion atoms lurk within the bowl and, half-suspected, animate the whole."

    - Sydney Smith, (1771-1845) from "Recipe for a Salad"

    Labels: , , ,


    Food Quote Friday: Robert Lewis Stevenson

    Ferry Market Cheese Counter
    Cheese bounty at the Ferry Market in San Francisco from missginsu @ Flickr

    "Many's the long night I've dreamed of cheese — toasted, mostly."

    Robert Lewis Stevenson

    Labels: , , ,


    Food Quote Friday: John Tyler Petee

    Roast potato vendor and his movable oven on an east side street from the NYPL Digital Gallery

    “Pray for peace and grace and spiritual food,
    For wisdom and guidance, for all these are good,
    but don't forget the potatoes.”

    — John Tyler Pettee in "Prayer and Potatoes"

    Labels: , , ,


    Food Quote Friday: Pyotr Kropoptkin

    "If you want to know the people of a nation, I am sure you can judge a great deal
    more about them from their cooking and eating traditions than you can from the words
    and actions of their public officials."

    -Pyotr Kropoptkin in Mutual Aid

    Labels: , , ,


    Food Quote Friday: H. D. Thoreau

    Brussels Sprouts and Pecans
    Brussels Sprouts with pecans — oiled, seasoned and ready to roast (from MissGinsu @ flickr)

    "Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of each. Grow green with the spring, yellow and ripe with autumn."

    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

    Labels: , , ,


    Food Quote Friday: Fran Lebowitz

    "If you're going to America, bring your own food."

    -Fran Lebowitz

    Ooo. Burn. Find more food quotes... here.

    Labels: , , ,


    Food Quote Friday: Paul Harel

    "Palpating, crackling, splitting on the grill,
    Boudins whistle louder than blackbirds in April."

    -Paul Harel

    Find more crackling food quotes here.

    Labels: , ,


    Food Quote Friday: Homer

    "Then all day long until sunset we sat dining on a bounty of meat and fine wine, and then we went to sleep on the beach."

    -Homer (circa 8th Century BC) in the Odyssey

    Labels: , , , , ,


    Food Quote Friday: R. W. Apple

    "American Danish can be doughy, heavy, sticky, tasting of prunes and is usually wrapped in cellophane. Danish Danish is light, crisp, buttery and often tastes of marzipan or raisins; it is seldom wrapped in anything but loving care."

    R. W. Apple, Jr. (1934-2006)

    Labels: , , ,


    Food Quote Friday: Alfred Lord Tennyson

    apache reaper
    Image courtesy of the NYPL Digital Library.

    "Only reapers, reaping early
    In among the bearded barley
    Hear a song that echoes cheerly
    From the river winding clearly
    Down to tower'd Camelot"

    - Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)

    Labels: , ,


    Food Quote Friday: Hot Chocolate Season Opener

    "If any man has drunk a little too deeply from the cup of physical pleasure; if he has spent too much time at his desk that should have been spent asleep; if his fine spirits have become temporarily dulled; if he finds the air too damp, the minutes too slow, and the atmosphere too heavy to withstand; if he is obsessed by a fixed idea which bars him from any freedom of thought: if he is any of these poor creatures, we say, let him be given a good pint of amber-flavored chocolate... and marvels will be performed."

    - Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755-1826)

    Drink in more rich, smooth food quotes here.

    Labels: , , , ,


    Food Quote Friday: Ann Patchett

    "From my table inside I watch the glamorous women outside who are lunching on Spa Cobb salads without blue cheese or dressing. The man with the bread basket wanders from table to table, lonesome as a cloud. When he comes to me his basket is full and perfectly arranged. He gives me a smile of sincere pleasure when I tell him I will take both the sourdough roll and the cheese stick."
    -Ann Patchett (1963-)

    More food quotes, high-carb and otherwise, here.

    Labels: , ,


    Food Quote Friday: John Gunther

    "All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast."

    - John Gunther (1901-1970)

    Find a steaming-hot batch of wholesome food quotes here.

    Labels: , , ,


    Food Quote Friday: Charles H. Baker, Jr

    "Words to the Wise No. VII. Offering up an earnest plea for recentness in all eggs to be used in cocktails or drinks of any kind, for that matter. A stale or storage egg in a decent mixed drink is like a stale or storage joke in critical and intelligent company. Eschew them rabidly. If really fresh eggs can't be had, mix other type drinks, for the result will reflect no merit round the hearth, no matter how hospitable it may be."

    Charles H. Baker, Jr. (from the 1939 volume: The Gentlemen's Companion: Around the World with Jigger, Beaker and Flask"

    More supremely fresh food quotes here.

    Labels: , , , ,


    Do You Know the Way to Flambe?

    There's a warm time comin' for you all
    History-rich image courtesy of the NYPL online collection

    Call it a tour of technique. Herein, three cookbooks... three authors... three ways to describe the mystical, mezmerizing mastery of controlled kitchen flames.

    Flambéing ("French Farmhouse Cookbook" by Susan Hermann Loomis)
    When flambéing—that is, sprinkling a dish with brandy or other alcohol, then igniting it with a match to burn the alcohol off—follow these safety precautions:

    • Tie back your hair
    • Work off the heat and away from obstructions
    • Stand back from the pan and avert your face
    • Use a long kitchen match
    How to Flambé ("Everybody Eats Well in Belgium Cookbook" by Ruth Van Waerebeek)
    1. Heat the alcohol in a small saucepan over high heat.
    2. When it is hot, remove the pan from the burner, and standing back, carefully ignite it with a long kitchen match.
    3. Pour the flaming alcohol slowly over the dish that is being flambéed.

    Safety Tips
    • Make sure the hood fan on your range is turned off.
    • Make sure there is nothing close by that can catch fire, including overhead shelves and paper products. Also make sure your clothing doesn't interfere or get in the way of the flames.
    • Keep a large lid at the ready to cover the flames if they should get out of hand.
    • Use good-quality alcohol and pour it from the bottle at the last minute so it does not evaporate.
    Flambeing ("The New Basics" by Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins)
    Flaming a dish with brandy or liqueur must be done very carefully. Use long kitchen matches (they work best), be sure not to lean over the dish while you're igniting it, and always remove it from the heat source first.

    In order to flame, the brandy must be warmed first. Warm it in a small, heavy saucepan, remove it from the heat, then ignite it and pour it over the prepared dish, which is also off the heat. Or skim the accumulated fat from the cooking liquid, add the brandy to the skillet, allow it to warm, then remove it from the heat, and ignite. The flame will die out quickly.

    Labels: , ,


    Food Quote Friday: George Bernard Shaw

    "What use are cartridges in battle? I always carry chocolate instead."

    - George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

    Labels: , , ,


    Food Quote Friday: Ed Levine

    "Labor-intensive handmade food is under siege in contemporary culture, but it’s still thriving in Brooklyn, and the infusion of hipsters has reinvigorated it. They recognize the value in old style, third-generation bakers and sausage makers because they’re searching for things that are real. In part thanks to them, Brooklyn’s still full of honest food."

    -Ed Levine, quoted in Edible Brooklyn

    Labels: , , ,


    Food Quote Friday: Washington Irving

    "Sometimes the table was graced with immense apple-pies, or saucers full of preserved peaches and pears; but it was always sure to boast an enormous dish of balls of sweetened dough, fried in hog's fat, and called doughnuts, or olykoeks — a delicious kind of cake, at present scarce known in this city, except in genuine Dutch families."

    Washington Irving (1783-1859)
    from Knickerbocker's History of New York

    Thanks to Mother Tongue Annoyances for today's quote.

    Labels: , , ,


    Food Quote Friday: Irma Rombauer

    Egg in Glove

    "Nothing stimulates the practiced cook's imagination like an egg."

    -Irma Rombauer (1877 - 1962)

    Labels: , , ,


    Food Quote Bloomsday: James Joyce

    "Mr. Leopold Bloom ate with relish the inner organs of beasts and
    fowls. He liked thick giblet soup, nutty gizzards, a stuffed roast
    heart, liver slices fried with crustcrumbs, fried hencod's roes. Most
    of all he liked grilled mutton kidneys which gave to his palate a
    fine tang of faintly scented urine."

    In honor of Bloomsday, this nibble comes from Ulysses, a novel by James Joyce

    Labels: , ,


    Food Quote Friday: A. A. Milne

    "What I say is that, if a man really likes potatoes, he must be a pretty decent sort of fellow."

    -A. A. Milne

    Find more bite-sized food quotes.

    Labels: , ,


    Food Quote Friday: James Beard

    "I believe that if ever I had to practice cannibalism, I might manage if there were enough tarragon around."

    -James Beard (1903-1985)

    May 5th is the birthday of James Beard, who began his career in theater, but switched paths and became known as the "Dean of American Cooking."

    Beard wrote twenty-three cookbooks (including the first major cookbook devoted exclusively to cocktail food, Hors d'Oeuvre & Canapés" in 1940) and appeared on NBC's "I Love to Eat," the first cooking show ever televised.

    Through an age of convenience food, Beard espoused the value of whole, fresh foods, American ingredients and hands-on cookery.

    A simple sample recipe: James Beard's Favorite Hamburger (with cream, of course).

    Labels: , , ,


    Bread. In a doorway. Cooling.

    It's been said that the phrase "cellar door" is perhaps the most beautiful in the English language. More lovely than, say, "beautiful," or "sky," or "check enclosed."

    Cellar door. Easy on the ears. Still... I can't help but wonder whether Tolkien really gave due consideration to "bakery door."

    Bakery Door

    Labels: , , , ,