Sunday, July 20, 2008

Champagne punch

This is for Alecia and Ramsey

I can't even find the damn recipe now. I think I got it from Bon Appetit. It is close to this:

1/2 simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water, heated until sugar dissolves, then cooled)
1 cup light rum
1 cup pomegranate juice
1 bottle champagne

Mix and put in punch bowl with an ice ring

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A night at Priscilla's

I love my friend Priscilla. She is ALMOST as good a cook as I am. She could probably be AS good a cook as I am if she would stop serving hors d'oevres on cookie sheets and get some serving plates. And if she would stop overcooking meat.

I understand that she is afraid of meat. Doesn't like it very much, in fact. That is okay, but she shouldn't ruin it for the rest of us. She so dislikes meat that she insists on turning out some very odd hamburgers, because she thinks that adding vegetables is somehow going to make the meat taste better. Instead, she ends up with some disgusting looking green blobs full of cilantro.

But I digress....

Priscilla opinion is that unless meat is cooked to a leathery, dried out piece of shoe leather, it will poison you. Which is not to say that all of her meat tastes bad. As a matter of fact, she once made the most delicious rack of lamb I have ever eaten. Of course this was because she used my recipe for homemade teriyaki sauce to marinate it. And I stopped her from overcooking it.

Well last night Priscilla had a dinner party. She needs me to help her with advice for dinner parties because while she is a GOOD cook, she is not an ORGANIZED cook. She tries, though. I arrived about a half an hour before the guests were due. I found the green blobs on the counter and resigned myself quietly to cilantro encrusted pate de boeuf. But lo and behold! She had decided to feed those to the unsuspecting children and cook some chickens on the bbq. Halleluia! She proudly opened the lid to the barbeque to show me her golden brown delights. They looked marvelous. Only one problem: SHE WAS ABOUT TO INCINERATE THEM! She forgot to call me to ask me WHEN she should start cooking the birds in order to have them done at the end of cocktail hour. Priscilla had intended on cooking them an entire hour longer, by which time the internal temperature would have reached 250 degrees and every bit of juice would have evaporated. Well, I did what any reasonable cook would have done; I started SCREAMING at her at the top of my lungs to GET THE GODDAMN CHICKENS OFF THE BARBECUE! We wrangled over how much she was going to overcook them and finally I won. I put the chickens into an insulated cooler bag to keep them hot until dinner time, and all was well.

Well, until the neighbors came over. Jan, the next door neighbor said, "My husband came in and said he heard June yelling about chickens." What can I say, I am passionate about food.

Tip for the day: Poultry is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees , measured in the thickest part of the thigh. Do not let the thermometer touch the bone. Remove it at 155 degrees and let it sit for ten minutes, during which time the temperature will rise 10 degrees and the juices will set.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Farm Coop Produce

This year I joined a farm coop to get fresh produce, cheap. Windy Meadows Farm provides twenty two weeks of produce for a really reasonable price. Plus, here is the best part: YOU DON'T HAVE TO WORK ON THEIR FARM. The trouble with most of these crunchy-granola co-opy things is that they expect you to go out to their farms and provide slave labor in return for nice fresh crunchy veggies. I don't think so.... If I wanted to work on a farm, I'd plant a garden, or better yet, buy my own John Deere tractor and start a farm on the 5 acre bunny sanctuary that I call a backyard. So I happily joined and traipsed off this week to collect my goodies.

This is my friend, Laura, who also joined the coop, picking up produce this week.

Here is what we got

The challenge this summer is going to be adapting my cooking to what they give me rather than what I feel like cooking. I'll let you know how it goes.

Anybody need some radishes?