Traditional recipes

The Food Almanac: Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Food Almanac: Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Annals Of Famous Restaurants

Either yesterday, today, or tomorrow can be considered the anniversary of Emeril’s. I was there today in 1990, the second evening of pre-opening dinners. Emeril had not even begun to achieve the stardom he now enjoys outside New Orleans. It wasn’t quite just another new restaurant. And openings with more ballyhoo go down the tubes.

Emeril’s, as we know now, joined that rarefied list of restaurants whose influence caused major changes in the dining scene. Antoine’s in the 1880s, Galatoire’s in the 1900s, Arnaud’s in the 1920s, Brennan’s in the 1950s, LeRuth’s in the 1970s, Commander’s Palace in the 1980s, and Emeril’s in the 1990s. No restaurant has joined the list yet in the new century, in my opinion.

Celebrity Chefs Today

Today is the birthday (1954) of Greg Picolo, long-time chef of the Bistro at the Maison de Ville, where he distinguished himself. In 2011, the restaurant fell apart (long story, and not his fault). In 2012, Chef Greg joined Redemption, the newly-reopened restaurant formerly known as Christian’s. He was the ideal person for that job; the restaurant had been struggling to find a direction in its first two years. Greg has a direction, all right, and the menu has not only his stamp but that of Christian’s, too.

Deft Dining Rule #200

If you need predictability from a restaurant, find one where the chef has been there a long time. If you want novelty, find one with a history of hiring young chefs who stay a year or two and then open their own places. You can’t have both.

Today’s Flavor

Today is International Waffle Day. Waffles seem special because they’re not often made at home. Waffles are associated with restaurants, with the added touches of which add nice touches like whipped cream, fresh fruit, and real maple syrup, all of which are a lot of trouble in your own kitchen. Restaurants also keep their waffle irons on all the time. That gets around the First-Waffle Problem. For reasons nobody can understand, the first waffle you make is much worse than all the ones that come after.

The best waffles are made with a thick batter containing a good bit of egg and butter. Because butter can be heated much hotter than water, it gives the waffle not only its fine flavor but also a crisp exterior. The other ingredients are milk, self-rising flour (I find that works better than using baking powder) a pinch of salt, a dash of vanilla, and a generous sprinkle of cinnamon (not enough to taste, but enough to add a certain something). A really fabulous waffle comes from separating the egg whites, beating them until they foam, and gently stirring them into the batter.

An overlooked possibility is making non-sweet waffles with ingredients like onions and herbs. They are excellent bottom layers of savory dishes. Small oniony waffles carry caviar and sour cream marvelously well. At the street level, restaurants are popping up all over the country serving fried chicken and waffles.

The Old Kitchen Sage Sez:

The best waffle irons are the kind with big squares and non-stick coatings. Be sure they heat up a long time before you put the first one in. And be ready to give that one to the dog. Or to Dad.

Gourmet Gazetteer

Maplesville is close to the geographic center of Alabama. General Andrew Jackson came through here in 1814 (on his way to or from the Battle of New Orleans?), and defeated a group of Native Americans who lived in the area. European settlers were soon established, and by the end of the decade the place was named for merchant and postmaster Stephen Maples. The town moved in 1850 to the railroad that had just come through. After the Civil War, Mapleseville held on and became prosperous in the 19-teens. Now 1500 people live there. The place to dine is Friends Diner, right in the middle of the old part of Maplesville. I wonder what flavors of syrups they have.

Music To Eat Chicken And Waffles By

Aretha Franklin, who gets our respect as the definitive female soul voice, was born today in 1943. She takes care of TCB.

Edible Dictionary

Hamlin orange, n.–The first variety of orange to ripen in Florida, Texas, and (to a lesser degree) California. The Hamlin is sometimes misidentified as a navel orange. It does have a small navel, but it’s different from a true navel orange. Its most distinctive quality is that it is not really orange. The skin is usually artificially colored for sale in stores. The meat of the orange and its juice are a pale orange-yellow. The flavor is good, however, with hints of pineapple. When the Hamlins arrive, it’s good news for orange lovers, because it means the new season has begun.

Annals Of Food Tourism

On this date in 1806, the first people to travel by rail took a train through Wales. Their destination: a place where they would consume a few dozen raw oysters on the half shell. Writer Elizabeth Isabella Spence said about the ride: “I have never spent an afternoon with more delight than the one exploring the romantic scenery at Oystermouth (Mumbles). This car contains twelve persons and is constructed chiefly of iron, its four wheels run on an iron railway by the aid of one horse, and the whole carriage is an easy and light vehicle.” She mentioned nothing about the guy who fell off while looking for the bar car.

Annals Of Popular Cuisine

Today in 1995, Pizza Hut rolled out its Stuffed Crust pizza, inspiring commercials showing people eating pizza crust first. Which, by the way, gets messy when you get to the point of the slice–unless it’s a very dry, cheese-poor pizza. The hard part was finding a cheese that would still look like cheese after baking inside dough.

Eating Around The World

Today in the town of Tichborne, in Hampshire, England, a gallon of flour is distributed to every adult in the town, and a half-gallon per child. The Tichborne Dole, as it came to be known, was instituted by Lady Mabella Tichborne. Her dying command to her husband was to make a donation of bread every year on the feast of the Annunciation (nine months before Christmas). She added a curse to it, which came true for one of her husband’s descendants. Afterwards, the Dole was kept up without fail, and still is.

Annals Of Nuts

Today in 1775 (although there’s dispute about the year), George Washington planted pecan trees at Mount Vernon, his home. Some of those trees are still alive. He may have done this at the suggestion of Thomas Jefferson. Both men were strong proponents of pecans, and advised their widespread planting throughout America. It was a good idea. The harvest of pecans–erratic though it may be–is always welcome. And when a pecan branch or a tree falls, its wood is among the finest to burn for grilling food.

Annals Of Food Research

Norman Borlaug was born today in 1914. An American agronomist, he won the 1970 Nobel Prize for the research that evolved into the Green Revolution. He spent much of his career figuring out how places with inadequate food production could grow more and better crops. His notable successes were in Mexico, India, and Pakistan.

Chefs In The News

Today in 2008, Chef Paul Prudhomme was hit by a falling bullet while attending the Zurich Classic golf tournament in New Orleans. He was not hurt.

Food Namesakes

Long-time major league third baseman Travis Fryman hit the Big Basepath today in 1969. The mother of film director David Lean yelled “action!” at him today in 1908. . Kaat Mussel, an outspoken woman in Rotterdam (and seller of mussels, hence her name) was born today in 1723.

Words To Eat By

“He gave her a look you could have poured on a waffle.”–Ring Lardner, American writer.

Words To Drink By

“He that eateth well drinketh well,
He that drinketh well sleepeth well,
He that sleepeth well sinneth not,
He that sinneth not goeth straight through Purgatory to Paradise.”
William Lithgow.

Massive fire engulfs residential complex in Houston

A large apartment complex under construction in Houston has been consumed by fire, sending thick, black smoke billowing into the sky and drawing hundreds of emergency personnel.

A firefighter carries an additional water hose as firefighters work to contain and extinguish the five-alarm fire. Photograph: Mayra Beltran/AP Photograph: Mayra Beltran/AP

Much of the high-rise structure was reduced to rubble Tuesday by the wind-driven flames.

Houston Fire Department spokesman Capt Ruy Lozano told the Houston Chronicle that the only people inside were construction workers and it is believed they all got out safely. He said one man was rescued as he prepared to jump to safety.

Houston firefighters spray water from atop a ladder. Photograph: Mayra Beltran/AP Photograph: Mayra Beltran/AP

The dramatic blaze first was reported about 12:30pm. The fire was upgraded to a five-alarm call about an hour later as firefighters eventually brought the flames under control and worked to protect nearby buildings.

Officials say more than 200 emergency personnel are at the scene.

Houston firefighters work to extinguish a five-alarm fire. Photograph: Eric Kayne/AP Photograph: Eric Kayne/AP

Wartime Recipes for the Sick and Wounded.

  • See that the tray, cloth and the napkin are spotlessly clean and that the food is nicely arranged on the plate.
  • Only the freshest and best material should be used and served.
  • In cases of serious illness the doctor's orders must be kept to the letter.
  • Use very little seasoning without instructions.
  • Liquid food must be varied as much as possible.
  • All food should be given in small quantities and served at once when cooked.
  • Where possible, no dish should be served a second time.
  • All food must be covered when carried from kitchen to sickroom.
  • Never consult a patient about a meal.
  • Put all medicines out of sight at meal-times and let the meals themselves be punctual.
  • The food must be absolutely hot or cold, as the case may be nothing lukewarm.
  • Vegetables and fruit should not be given without the doctor's consent.
  • Steaming is the best method of cooking - fried foods are rich, and should be avoided in serious cases.
  • All cooking utensils must be scrupulously clean.
  • Oysters are excellent, as they contain a self-digesting ferment. Tripe is a good and cheap substitute, as it is digested in an hour.

1 comment:

"Never consult a patient about a meal" -- Colonel: "What is this repulsive pap? Bring me a steak and a bottle of Burgundy!" Major: "I can't eat this. What else do you have?" Captain: "Nurse, I'm really hungry. Can't you bring me something that isn't Jello?" Lieutenant: "You know, this would be a lot better if -- here, I'll just write down some instructions for the cook." Sergeant-Major: crash! smash! [as he throws his tray against the wall.]

The First Domestic Goddess.

Today, March 14th …

Today was the birth day in 1836 of Isabella Beeton, who did not get to celebrate nearly enough birthdays, dying as she did just before her 29th birthday from complications of childbirth.

In her too-short (and obviously computer-less) life she produced her encyclopaedic ‘Household Manual’ with no more formal education than ladies generally received at the time, between assisting her husband in his publishing business, managing the household, and bearing four children.

In the chapter which gives suggested ‘Bills of Fare’ for each month of the year, for a ‘plain family dinner’ for a Tuesday in March she suggested:

Mock turtle soup.
Hashed mutton, rump-steaks and oyster sauce.
Boiled plum-pudding.

The soup was “made with the liquor that the calf’s head [from Sunday’s dinner] was boiled in, and the pieces of head”.

Perhaps she might have had a small dinner party on her birthday? Her suggested menu for a dinner for 8 persons in March was:
First Course.
Calf’s head Soup.
Brill and Shrimp Sauce. Broiled Mackerel à la Maitre d’Hôtel.

Lobster Cutlets. Calf’s Liver and Bacon, aux fines herbes.

Second Course.
Roast Loin of Veal. Two Boiled Fowls à la Béchamel. Boiled Knuckle of Ham.
Vegetables – Spinach or Brocoli (sic)

Third Course.
Wild Ducks.
Apple Custards. Blancmange. Lemon Jelly. Jam Sandwiches.
Ice Pudding. Potatoes à la Maitre d’Hôtel.

Dessert and Ices.
The menu has two dishes “à la Maitre d’Hôtel” - literally meaning “by the master of the house”, but in practice referring to a base of classic “Maitre d’Hotel” butter – butter creamed with chopped parsley, lemon juice, salt and pepper, either used alone or incorporated into another sauce.

From her magnificent manual:

Potatoes à la Maitre d’Hôtel.
Potatoes, salt, water to every 6 potatoes allow 1 tablespoonful of minced parsley, 2 oz. of butter, pepper and salt to taste, 4 tablespoons of gravy, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.
Wash the potatoes clean, and boil them in salt and water when done, drain them, let them cool then peel and cut the potatoes into thick slices if these are too thin they would break in the sauce. Put the butter into a stew pan with the pepper, salt, gravy and parsley mix these ingredients well together, put in the potatoes, shake them two or three times, that they may be well covered with the sauce, and, when quite hot through, squeeze in the lemon juice and serve.

Tomorrow: A bloodless feast.

The Food Almanac: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - Recipes

Happy 5th birthday, Raspberri Cupcakes, aka Steph. I love your blog, so thank you for all the time and trouble you put into it. I can imagine that sometimes you think, "Is it worth it?" so just to let you know how much I appreciate all your efforts and all your fantastic inspirations. Cheers, Anita (Melbourne)

Happy 5th Anniversary! Beautiful cupcakes, love the bi-colour icing.

Happy blog birthday! Love the running radpberry GIF haha.

Congratulations! And what a charming gif that is. Hope you have a wonderful cake-filled blogoversary!

Cutest GIF ever! The frosting is to die for!

Well I, for one, am certainly glad you started your blog otherwise we'd never have met and Monday night block parties would never be the same :P

Such an appropriate way to celebrate, love love love these cupcakes. Happy anniversary Raspberri Cupcakes! xxxx

5 years in blog years is 89 human years! :)

congrats on such a big milestone, these look fab as usual!

CONGRATS YOU SWEET THANG! Here's to five more years of sugar, success and good times. xx

Happy Birthday/Anniversary! Thank you for doing this blog, it's always adds a smile to my Monday (or whatever day you post!)

Congrats, what a great milestone! And these look delish!

Happy 5th birthday! Starting reaading your blog recently and love your lovely raspberri cupcake:) Wish you have another fruitful blogging year

Congratulations, Steph! Your blog´s adorable and your receipes are wonderful. Take care.

happy blogiversary. here's to many more delicious years to come!

HAPPY 5th BIRTHDAY! and yum! those cupcakes look delish

I love your blog - Happy Blogiversary! The raspberry cupcakes look amazing!

The animation is soo great :) & the cupcakes look very delicious!
Greetings from Germany xo

Congratulations! I've only recently discovered your blog, but I like what I'm seeing :) And you take gorgeous pictures!

YUM! i wish you could send everyone a cupcake too - they look so delicious! congratulations and happy 5th birthday :D . here's to many more years!

Happy 5th birthday! I'm glad you started blogging :) xx

Oh gosh you are needed on the web now. I hope you have many more years ahead of you. Your creations are simply stuff of genius!

Feliz cumpleaños y que sean muchos mas.

Happy Birthday raspberri cupcakes! Love all your work Steph. I'm so glad you started your blog, your recipes have made me quite popular ) I've made so many of your creations and I reckon I'll have a crack at these cupcakes too, they look so good x

Aren't they pretty? They are GORGEOUS! :)
I'll definitely make them! Except for the buttercream, which I don't like. I'll use a batch of white ganache :P
Kisses and happy birthday to your blog!!

Congratulations! and many more to come :)

They look delish!! Happy Birthday!! x

I'll just weigh in and say I love your blog.
I've been reading for about a year and a half I think, and I still look forward to updates.
So far I've tried three of your recipes and though they usually end up messy the flavour is always amazing.
I love your cake posts. though I am never game to try them.
Keep up the awesome work :)

happy 5th bloggiversary! I've yet to try doing two-toned piped icing but the pink swirl looks great! and that gif is awesome

Happy 5th bloggiversary! You've inspired so many budding bakers and I'm always amazed by your next original creation. Also that is the coolest gif ever :)

Aw wow, five years in blogging is such an achievement. I love the swirly icing that you have done here, looks absolutely perfect.

Congratulations on your blog anniversary. I love your blog and look forward to the new recipe each week. Everything I've tried has been great but I love it just as a source of inspiration too!

I made your Iced Vovo cake a couple of years ago for a farewell for a colleague who was moving back to the US. It was such a hit that when another colleague retired late last year she requested that cake 4 months out from her departure and then when I agreed spent the next 4 months telling everyone to look forward to it.

Beige Meals.

Continuing this week’s theme of WW II food:

Today, Tuesday March 21st …

On this day in 1941, Winston Churchill sent a memo to Lord Woolton, the Minister of Food, in relation to the “Community Kitchens” order.

“I hope the term ‘communal feeding centres’ is not going to be adopted. It is an odious expression, suggestive of Communism and the workhouse. I suggest you call them ‘British Restaurants’. Everybody associates ‘restaurant’ with a good meal, and they may as well have the name if they cannot get anything else”

The concept of “British Restaurants” had arisen out of the need to supply meals for workers who did not have access to a canteen, although anyone could use them. Local buildings were requisitioned, and wholesome hot meals at a maximum of one shilling were supplied with no ration coupons required. Within two months there were 800 of them around the country, and by the end of 1942 there were over 1800.

Anthony Burgess referred to British Restaurants as “that disastrous war-child of Winston Churchill”. Frances Partridge shows why:

"We joined a swelling stream of the citizens of Swindon, all following a series of notices marked 'British Restaurants’, to a huge elephant house, where thousands of human beings were eating as we did an enormous all-beige meal, starting with beige soup thickened to the consistency of paste, followed by beige mince full of lumps and garnished with beige beans and a few beige Potatoes, thin beige apple stew and a sort of skilly. Very satisfying and crushing, and calling up a vision of our future Planned World, all beige also …. "

“Skilly” is defined by the OED as “ A kind of thin, watery porridge, gruel, or soup, commonly made from oatmeal, and traditionally used especially in prisons and workhouses.” The use of that ultra-beige food, oatmeal, was encouraged during the war because it was home-grown. Many recipes were circulated, including this one, which can stand for soup or skilly:

1 oz margarine
2 medium onions, grated or finely diced
2 tablespoons oatmeal
1 pint cold water
salt and pepper
½ pint milk
3 medium carrots grated
Heat the margarine in a pan, add the onions and cook for 5 minutes. Blend the oatmeal with the cold water, tip into the pan and stir as the mixture comes to the boil season lightly. Simmer steadily for 30 minutes, stirring frequently, then add the milk and carrots and cook for a further 15 minutes.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Best Whole-Wheat Bread-Machine Sandwich Bread

Our son is just like I was at his age: the only thing he will eat for lunch is a PB&J sandwich.  We use natural crunchy peanut butter (Trader Joe's is the best), and good quality strawberry jam.  But the bread is the most important part.

While the No-Kneed Bread makes delicious bread, it's not good sandwich bread.  For that, I turned to the Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook.  Ages ago, my friend recommended this cookbook to me and it is awesome.  Trying a few of the recipes, the "Light Whole-Wheat Bread" was almost there. but it was a bit too light, and I found the volume measurements to be a bit inconsistent.  When baking, having a scale is essential.  So I boosted the amount of whole-wheat flour, tweaked a few of the ingredients, and converted the volumes to weights, and voila!


Harrods is London's most famous department store. It's been famous for years, not only for it's beautiful and luxurious products, but also because of it's most current owner, Mohamed Al-Fayed, whose late son, Dodi Al-Fayed dated Princess Diana.

Unfortunately, the beautiful facade of Harrods is under construction, so I couldn't take a nice photo, but lets be honest, I didn't go to Harrods to marvel at the beauty outside, I went to marvel at the gorgeous food hall inside!

Harrods boasts multiple restaurants, and a wonderful food hall, with all types of cuisine from around the world.

If you visit Harrods, take a while to walk around Knightsbridge, the area of London where Harrods is located. Knightsbridge is one of London's most expensive areas. Don't forget to stop by Harvey Nicols, which was one of Princess Diana's most favorite places to shop.

I took lots of photos, but unfortunately the light was not amazing, and everything was behind a glass case, but I did the best I could!
Lets start out with baked goods!

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Not Wedding Inspiration Shoot ft Kait Murphy Photography

Red Beans & Rice :: Mardi Gras Eats

Mardi Gras, aka Fat Tuesday ! The day before Ash Wednesday, Mardi Gras is a day to feast on everything fatty, sweet, just bad for you! A day to splurge before going into the lent season. Do you choose something every year to give up? I generally don’t and to be honest I forget that Fridays are no meat Fridays, I know i’m not the best Catholic. Catholic or not, Mardi Gras is a great one to celebrate and enjoy.

Sure theres the masks, beads , parades and booze but c’mon the most important part is the food! I am so excited to spend this week creating and sharing New Orleans Mardi Gras inspired eats starting right now with Red Beans & Rice. We start with the traditional base in a lot of New Orleans cooking, the Holy Trinity… onions, celery and bell pepper. The flavor that the andouille sausage adds to the is dish is amazing. Its meaty, slightly smokey and definitely a great kick of heat! We can’t forget the red kidney beans right?! Simple seasoning with fresh garlic, thyme, a little cayenne and some fresh parsley.

Traditionally dried beans are used and everything cooks slowly for a couple hours and an incredible sauce develops along the way and in the end some of the beans are mashed to thicken the mixture up a bit. My version is certainly not the traditional route but most of the flavors are there and these Red Beans & Rice are really good! I served mine over brown rice .

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About Mom

Kat Hodson is the founder of A Mom's Impression, a wife to a handsome man, a mom to a beautiful girl, a sweet boy, and a first grade teacher. She loves to shop, cook, read, take photos, and hang out with her family. Her life may be hectic, but it is an exciting ride!


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