Sunday, May 31, 2009

Canele Sunday

I baked off a batch today using my new "pro 54 cavity mold". I wanted to drop them off with Joe to use as samples. Joe was not at market today. He was busy moving his coffee shop out of it's Walnut St location. Very fortuitously I ran into David O'Neil the legendary market consultant who was the force behind the resuscitation of Reading Terminal Market back in the 80's. You can see Dave in the pic eating a Canele.

When I told Dave about the canele it's history etc. Dave suggested using a nun as a sales person. Look for a woman dressed as a nun outside WholeFoods Market June 18.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Ugly Tomatoes

At first I was pissed when I discovered I accidentally bought a $5/# tomato at SuperFresh.
Turns out it was very tasty and maybe worth the $.

2 related points: 1-SuperFresh is a minefield of things with tricky pricing and faux $ales be vigilant! 2- Vendors at Sunday's Headhouse have an amazing variety of heirloom tomato plants for sale, so many sound delicious and rare.

Philly Kitchen Share

This morning I was at Philly Kitchen Share to discuss using their space to produce Market Day Canele.

I met with Eli who explained the arrangements and told me about the kitchen. Eli was enthusiastic about helping me get started. I am looking forward to going to work in his kitchen.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Roast Pork at Johnny Bears 1512 Lounge

There is always lots of hype about the best roast pork sandwich. I often hear about the famous spots: Johns, Dinic, Nicks, Shank and Evelyn's, Tony Luke etc. A few weeks ago we were too late for a couple of spots that we thought would be open, and stymied, we remembered that Johnny Bears sometimes does late night pork sandwiches. We gave a call, got the OK and headed down. (1512 Shunk)

The sandwiches were excellent. The pork had just come out of the oven. It was sliced super thin and just cooked. The gravy was lean and tasty and the rolls were the small Cacia's, flaky and light. It was a dead serious pork sandwich made with the deftest touch. He served the sandwiches with these peppers that were fried until they were dry and semi-crispy. Johnny Bear told me that it was customary to roll and crush these peppers between your hands over a bowl of pasta and then scrape up any bits clinging to your hands with bread. I have a foggy memory of my dad, Gaetano Sr., doing this when I was a kid!

Johnny Bear generously gave me a bag of these peppers to take with me. They add a delightful spark to so many dishes. We've had them on burgers, on Sarcone's hoagie, on cheesesteaks and on several pasta dishes. My son saw them and said that these are sometimes referred to as cockroaches. That does sound familiar as well.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Current Canele Status

I can report some progress in getting the canele to market department. I expect to soon be in Headhouse on Sundays sharing Joe the coffee guy's space. Joe was kind enough to give up a little space so I could test the waters at Headhouse.I'm waiting on a final OK from the Mkt Mgr.

Another market is planned outside WholeFoods South St on Thursdays starting June 18th. I plan on offering canele there as well. I'm thinking 2/$5 and $25/dz. Below is a pic of the packaging I'm working on. Any suggestions welcome.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Shrimp, Soft Shells, Halibut

Fresh Florida shrimp 21-25 $6.99/# at the Lobster House. Shrimp club on Metro's German rye.

Plump and fresh enough softies from the Lobster House in Cape May.

Pristine halibut from Whole Foods Market $13.99/# in taco.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Hysteria at The Wilma

Just as Freud traumatized Dora by forced remembering, forced associations, and forced dreams so too was I traumatized by this production.

Theater of the traumatic.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Italian Market Festival

Wow it was festive on 9th St. today. Gigantic turn-out for the festival.

Spring Maple Viewing

My friend and fellow maple enthusiast has his garden in central coast NJ, it contains an astonishing collection. At his Annual Maple Viewing there is also a plant auction benefitting both the American Conifer Society and the Maple Society. On top of the amazing garden and opportunity to acquire rare plants at good prices there is the delicious cooking and gracious hospitality.

A.s. 'Aureum' is the green plant on the table. A.s. 'Autumn Moon' is the orange plant, The red tree is A.p. 'Skeeters Broom'.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Looking at Mexico?

Randall Sellers is doing a slide presentation of his work at The Museum of Modern Art on Monday, May 18, at 12:30pm. Six artists from the Judith Rothschild Collection will be showing slides.

2 Japanese Maples in May

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Food of a Younger Land.

The Constitution Center hosted tonights' discussion of The Food of a Younger Land.

Rick Nichols and Mark Kurlansky cook up some tales from Mr Kurlansky's new book.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Blooms at the Bar 210

Spectacular blossoms at the Bar 210

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Saturday, May 9, 2009

Saturday at Markets

I stopped by HeadHouse today to see what is up at Saturday Market there. Livengood's famous potatoes were available and I did need taters for Mom's day salad. I met John of John and Kira's chocolate. I also chatted up the market Mgr. Nicky about helping me find customers for my canele.

Organic$ Mechanic$ has been my potting soil of choice but OMFG WholeFood$ raised the price from $7.99 to $10.99. 35% increase, really WTF?

The Italian Mkt was bustling and, ahead of schedule, it's summer aroma is nearly fully ripened.

UPDATE 5/14: WholeFoods dropped the soil price back to $7.99/bag.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Organic at SuperFresh

This sauce is on the shelf at South St. SuperFresh. The jar was $2.50. While I'm not determined to buy only organic products, why not when the price is comparable and the quality is there. This sauce was fine and I bumped it up to quite good with herbs, fat and garlic.

Green Way

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

King of Canele ........The Best Lele's in the Land

I am considering taking my canele on the road. My idea is to test the waters at HeadHouse Farmers Market. I was thinking that canele and Poetry to Burn organic beeswax candles may make a synergistic combination. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Sugar is back!

In these tough times who are the folks that can afford to drink soda?

Rainy Rainy Days

Everything is growing swimmingly.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Sunday, May 3, 2009

WholeFoods- read the small print- Market

I was disgruntled when I learned that my 5# purchase of bison flank at $9.99/# did not qualify. It's in the small print.....thanks for keeping it real WFM.

HeadHouse Market Today

Not a bad crowd for a rainy Sunday in May. Many of the vendore were selling plants: lettuces, tomatoes, herbs.....

The musicians sounded fabulous. Their acoustic strumming and warbling country vocals resonated through the colonnade.

Kanigula??? Last Sunday passing Kanella

On Sunday morning I was returning from last minute party shopping at Reading Terminal Market. I paused at Kannella's window to read these scribblings taped in their window. Haven't they got a pompous, unhinged quality?

Later at the party I mentioned to an acquaintance that I came across this odd manifesto. He said that he had been to Kanella recently and that a bit of a tyrannical vibe animated the kitchen.

For the most part, I agree with these statements. But excellent hospitality needs no explanation.

Last Saturday

While I was prepping for the party there was a green day going on outside on South St. The folks at Supper were frying off sample banana beignets, mmmm thanks.

Not as many hairy armpits as you might imagine. There was music, other free stuff and plenty of BO on a steamy Saturday on South St.

Meanwhile back in the kitchen I grilled off a bison hanger steak and served it with some Talluto raviolis and that pepper spiked pecorino, mmm. Also made the ricotta cake using canned apricots from WholeFoods(read the small print)Market. The pattern on top is ganache made with Callebaut chocolate. It baked up nicely.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Philly Legalize It !

It's eerie to see so many smiling faces on South St.