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Showing posts from December, 2012

Prawn and Ginger Dumplings

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We spent the few days after Christmas in Inglenook, California (just north of Fort Bragg), at a little cottage tucked away down Beal Lane.  At the end of the lane, you can take a small path behind some Cyprus trees to emerge upon the most wonderful of sand dunes.  Rising up hugely, like hills, sometimes higher than houses, the dunes have that particular windswept cleanliness, the sides curdled then smooth.  For a ten-minute walk across the dunes, you are rewarded with the croak of frogs from a nearby river and the roar of the ocean you know is somewhere on the other side of the dunes, but you cannot see it.  A feast of sound and sand.



I walked there one evening with my father-in-law; we talked of ways to make one's life filled with more love and beauty, and I thought a lot about a dear friend of mine who is struggling right now with some major health issues.  She has been on my mind a good deal, and she is good and she is strong and she is determined.  The walk was lon…

Grace

Today, I learned that poet Jake Adam York died, too young.  He loved poetry, barbecue, language, music.  Thus, a poem from this dear teacher, mentor, inspiration and man whose kindness I will remember. 


Grace
By Jake Adam York 


Because my grandmother made me
the breakfast her mother made her,
when I crack the eggs, pat the butter
on the toast, and remember the bacon
to cast iron, to fork, to plate, to tongue,
my great grandmother moves my hands
to whisk, to spatula, to biscuit ring,
and I move her hands too, making
her mess, so the syllable of batter
I’ll find tomorrow beneath the fridge
and the strew of salt and oil are all
memorials, like the pan-fried chicken
that whistles in the grease in the voice
of my best friend’s grandmother
like a midnight mockingbird,
and the smoke from the grill
is the smell of my father coming home
from the furnace and the tang
of vinegar and char is the smell
of Birmingham, the smell
of coming home, of history, redolent
as the salt of black-and-wh…

Broiled Salmon with Citrus Herb Crust

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Dear world:  Enough with the bad news.  In the mean time, a post I wrote yesterday about salmon.





Salmon.  Mmmmmmm.  Filled with Vitamin A, Vitamin D, B vitamins, protein and omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is the king of fish.  Do you see what I did there?  I made a king salmon pun.

Oh dear.

Anyhoo, for all its glory, one has to be careful with one's salmon.  Wild salmon is better than farmed salmon, as the wild has considerably fewer environmental pollutants in it.  That's important.  However, wild salmon also has less Omega-3.  However, I think that's a fine trade-off.  Less contaminants.  Less fatty acids.  Then to boot, almost 99% of Atlantic salmon is farmed and around 80% of Pacific salmon is wild.  All important to know when you're standing at your local fish monger eyeballing the salmon (and the rock cod is eyeballing you back).



The cookbook that I am cooking from is a new one for the family.  Have you heard of the Sonoma Diet?  On the surface, it smacks of fad d…

White Cheddar Gougères, Apple Pulp, Bacon and Sage

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Okay, this is a rambly post, unedited, and filled with a discussion of Christmas, gougères, and Michael Chabon.  Follow along:

I am one of those people. I put my tree up the day after Thanksgiving and I would leave it up until Epiphany if I could (given that the husband has endured the tree for little over a month, I cave to the pressure to take it down New Year's Eve Day).  I genuinely love Christmas music.  I love Holiday Parties, Holiday Cards, Holiday Decorations.  Given that I am not Christian, it does seem somewhat bizarre that I embrace this season so fully.  But I think I love the way lights shine through ornaments, the simple joy of keepingin touch with friends and family with a handwritten note, the presentation of tokens of how one feels to another person, the way the house feels warm and cozy once a seven-foot tree has taken up valuable real estate, and the feast of rich foods with family around a crowded table.



I know that this season gets hectic for people (me include…

So Many Helpers

I have been thinking about my next recipe post, and I just can't seem to post it.  It's all typed up and ready to go, but every time I get ready to press publish, I just can't.  Even this post seems hard.  I am torn between remaining silent out of respect and speaking something because I am so sad.

You see, my heart--like everyone else's--is breaking and has been all weekend.  Those children, those educators, that mother in Connecticut are all on my mind.

Someone I know on facebook posted this quotation from everybody's favorite neighbor, Fred Rogers:

"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." To this day, especially in times of "disaster," I remember my mother's words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world."
I am trying to think about th…