Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
Whoa --hail was streaming down this afternoon. I kept looking up to see if the news choppers were up in the sky where something was actually happening. No they weren't. I've been told they are busy catching up on maintenance needed after hovering over the federal building while covering the Fumo trial.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
This is John Hope Franklin. Among the most dignified and enlightened men I have ever heard speak. He died on Wednesday.
At ninety years old, John Hope Franklin remains one of the most admired, influential and relevant historians in the world. Mirror to America: The Autobiography of John Hope Franklin is not only a unique and invaluable historical document, but a testament to the courage and determination of one American who, throughout the twentieth century and in the twenty-first-from the first petition he was selected to deliver to President Franklin D. Roosevelt to his appointment as chair of President Clinton's taskforce (to say nothing of his writing and scholarship)-has helped redirect the social and political course of our nation.
Picture and text from University of North Carolina(2005).
There was a pristine slab of Bass in WholeFoods this morning. I grabbed a 24 oz. slice. The price was 15.99#. At Essene I grabbed a stick of burdock root and a packet of seaweed ramen noodles. At the Italian some cilantro and scallions and finally at Huong Vuong a pack of quail eggs, some thai basil, shitakes and togarashi. This was a delightful, spring like dish that would have been just as tasty with a less pricey fish.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
This cheese was on sale at WholeFoods yesterday $11.99 which is $7 off. per pound. I grabbed a small piece to sample and to incorporate into Mac n Cheese. I saw that Dibruno Bro$ sells it for $18.99/# and Wegmans for $11.99/#. It has a complex, layered flavor and a feisty bouquet. Pretty much like the cave aged Gruyere with a slightly waxier texture and a stiffer bite. To mac and cheese it added an over the top tangy richness that everyone enjoyed.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
No serious injuries as far as I heard. That's a blessing!
In the future I suggest using a driver who has super vision. A few of the older guys at the South St firehouse seem to spot every bit of booty that strolls South St. I suggest they become designated drivers using their skills to avoid fire truck on fire truck mishaps.
Monday, March 16, 2009
Tater Tots are finally back at WholeFoods Mkt.
These taters represent the zenith of tot craft.
Superfresh on South, while still under renovation, looks remarkably better inside.
Could they be in a rush to cover the costs? Today they had apricots at $7/#.
I'd pay the for the apricots if I knew it was going towards a new front door.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
Strip Steaks are $10.99 /# at WholeFoods. That is a very decent price. Those peppers are from a few months back when serranos were everywhere at the Italian for like $2.00/#. I grabbed some jars at Fante's and pickled em! Very tasty, rivaling the excellent cornichons of last summer.
This was a delicious stromboli made yesterday. I wanted a little piece of goat cheese to include in the filling. At WholeFoods Cana de Cabra was cut smallest so I grabbed it. Well it was not so great in the strombo in my opinion. It had a complex and distinctive flavor and it was potent when baked. Potent and delicious but not quite right for the strombo where a more straightforward and less nuanced flavor would have been more felicitious. The Cana de Cabra was outstanding on its own and was exactly perfect with some toasted filberts and marcona almonds.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
The March issue of Cooks Illustrated did a battle of the vanillas. Two findings in their article got my attention. 1- McCormick natural vanilla was judged best. 2- Imitation vanilla tasted as good or better than natural vanilla in dishes that cook hotter (cookies).
I've bought a few vanilla beans at WholeFoods Mkt they are about $8 each. Now I usually get beans from the spice shop on 9th st for $2.50 each. Beans vary widely in quality so I may not be comparing equals there but they are not so different to my taste. Beans on ebay go for less than .50 each. I just did a buy it now, 30 beans for ten bucks including shipping.
McCormick extract in the 4oz bottle is $16.99 at Super Fresh! On eBay's completed auctions I saw a sale for 6-4oz bottles for $10.50 plus $7 shipping! I followed up on that and won an auction of 6-4oz bottles for $14.50 plus $7 shipping.
From Cook's Illustrated.:
McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
$7.99 for 2 ounces ($4 per ounce)Testers’ Comments
This vanilla won top praise for being “strong,” “rich,” and “spicy,” with a “sweet undertone.” It had “clear vanilla flavor with nice balance” and notes of “dried fruit,” “caramel,” and “chocolate,” “like Kahlúa or Bailey’s.” In pudding, it was deemed “a step above,” with an extremely “pleasing finish.”
Sunday, March 8, 2009
How'd she get stuck with this job? I think the women at this produce spot on 9th rotate this thorny assignment.
I used these pads not too long ago and found the fresh, green vegetable flavor and slight crunchiness perfect in a stew with game and grits. Better tasting than any I've had in Philly including the nopalitos that La Lupe use in their house especial.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
We enjoyed dining at Bistrot La Minette last night. The Bistrot hospitality was superb and the cooking was very decent. The dining room had understated, tasteful touches way less French stage set than other 'bistros' around town.
The host was gracious and polished and the servers had an effective team service ethic at work. The cooking was a little spotty but enjoyable.
We started with a shared glass of muscat (graciously split) and an order of foie that was tasty if a bit under seared. Next the mussel dish with poached egg was buttery and delightful. The mussels were flavorful but without the a la minute plump juiciness that would have made this dish shimmer. The quail, stuffed with garlic sausage, could have used more assertiveness in the seasoning and roasting but was very enjoyable. I had monkfish as a main course. The fish was prime and tasty the amercaine sauce not so much.It was served with brussel sprouts that supplied an inventive, delicious vegetable crunch perfect with the meaty fish and mashed potatoes. The braised rabbit too was tasty but a bit on the cooked side. The 'tagliatelle' were nothing of the sort and more like a doughy fettuccine that detracted from the composition. We shared a lemon tart with cassis sorbet. My server was flawless until he served a delayed, warmish coffee at meal's end.
Craig LaBan criticised the bread on his visit to Bistrot La Minette. I too thought the crumb too fine but the crust was nice as was the salty butter. His review also touches on a soupy dauphinois. I sampled that gratin and now it's not soupy but more curdish, tasty enough.
I drank calvados throughout dinner (chablis by the glass would have been welcome) but the lil lady started with 'Pomme A La Poire' made with calvados and pear puree and enough cinnamon to spice several orders of french toast.
I caught Keith Crowley's opening last night over on Walnut St.
The large canvasses present highway procession/travel and evoke pause for reflection and a sense of mystery .
Friday, March 6, 2009
The lil lady threatened intervention because of my compulsive baking of caneles (ley ley's).
If you bake and eat enough of these, your home will be perfumed with an ethereal sweetness and your body will give off a faint aroma of rum and vanilla.
Why should she be concerned?
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Happy to see this 'innovative, trendy retailer' get a reality check.
Encouraging a herd mentality among our youth shouldn't be so profitable.
Another outlet of phony crap is Terrain at Styers. So ridiculous is the effect they stage that it borders on camp. Crap of every ilk over merchandised and overpriced. This place was once an authentic old school nursery with history, horticultural wisdom and class. Urban Outfitters' greedy touch has transformed it into a sad memory.