Thursday, November 29, 2007

Crawfish Cakes

with brown rice and beet-cabbage-fennel salad. I know that salad doesn't sound good, but oh, mama; is it ever.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Single Sock Syndrome Pt. II

My knitting ADD is worsening. Did I sit down and knit the mate to the green sock still languishing in my sewing room? I did not; instead I went Koigu crazy and knit the rosy confection at left. I am most pleased with it; very pretty, relatively quick, and quite frugal with yarn at only sixty stitches around and a lace pattern that is mostly air. The pattern is "Hedera" by Cookie A. on, and I knit it on size 1 Addi Turbos (not so easy with my swollen pregnancy fingers). Used my new favorite eye-of-partridge heel flap, and accidentally invented a strange new toe.

Roast Chicken

This was a dinner to remember. I started with leftover cornbread (made by my spouse from Frank Stitt's recipe, and very excellent it was) which suggested stuffing: an apple, two leeks, and some sage later, it was. In it went into a nice chicken, which roasted beautifully and juicily, and which we enjoyed with fried brussels sprouts and cranberry sauce. For dessert, gingerbread. I wish dinner were like this every night.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Pear Pie

A success, as all my pies are these days, except that I don't think pear is really my pie fruit: I miss the tanginess of apples.

Palette Cleansing Sweater

Voila, the cure for too many socks. This sweater (the "Placed Cable Aran" from Interweave Knits Fall 2007) took no time at all to knit, despite my making major errors (that had to be ripped and re-knit) at nearly every point: this is the wonder of large-gauge knitting. I knit this on Addi Turbo #10's (!) at 4.25 stitches to the inch, with Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted in Cranberry. Had I to do it again I'd knit at a tighter gauge than called for, since the yarn grew a bit in blocking. Nevertheless, I like the finished product. I'd show it to you on me, except you'd laugh too hard to be able to see it through your tears.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Deep-Dish Blueberry-Cranberry Internet Pie

No really—that's the name of the recipe in The Pie and Pastry Bible. Supposedly it is the first pie recipe to appear on the internet, though how you'd verify that, I don't know. In any case, who cares? This is a great pie, with all the tartness and juiciness that mean "pie" to me. I used my new wonder-crust which, by the way, you can find at under "Foolproof Pie Crust." It's worth the trip.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Apple Pie

Hole E. Cow. This is the pie of my dreams, the confirmation that I have what it takes to make a truly great pie. It turns out that what it takes are the right recipes; "Cook's Illustrated"'s for pie crust, Rose Levy Berenbaum's for the filling. The pie crust that was so successful for the Shaker Lemon Pie continued to amaze when made with half whole-wheat flour for the apple pie. Seriously--you just can't mess this crust up, and it has all those elusive (to me) qualities of crispness, lightness, and flakiness, that I'd more or less given up on. As for the filling, it is wonderful: clear apple flavor and perfect gelling. I ate a quarter of the pie all by myself before the rest of the family had even properly served themselves.


dinners. I really must keep up, because we've been having some good ones: breaded pork chops with lemon juice and braised Giant Mystery greens; broiled skirt steak with garden turnips; yet more sauteed shitakes, peppers, and varieties of greens.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Shaker Lemon Pie

Friends, I bear tidings of great joy: I am no longer pie crust's bitch. My latest recipe, promising as they all do perfect results via some secret ingredient, actually worked! Of course it's in "Cook's Illustrated." The secret ingredient? Vodka, of all things. But the crust is everything they promised: easy to make, easy to work with, hard to mess up and absolutely perfect out of the oven. As you see (or maybe not, as my photography seems to be steadily deteriorating) it sure looks pretty, and as you can't see, it tastes just as good as it looks. The other news is Shaker Lemon Pie. We just harvested a crop of Meyer lemons from our rooftop tree, and I wanted to feature them in something. Shaker Lemon Pie involves using two whole lemons, including all the peel and pith: perfect. And, it turns out, utterly delicious. For the recipe I consulted both Ken Haedrich's Pie, and Rose Levy Berenbaum's Pie and Pastry Bible. I ended up going with the latter, as it seemed simpler and purer, though they were substantially the same: macerate two lemons, sliced paper-thin, in two cups of sugar overnight. Add four beaten eggs, and voila—there's your filling. Improbably tasty.

Single Sock Syndrome

Behold, the downfall of the sock knitter. You finish a sock, and, in this case, you love it! The prettiest you've ever made; fits like a dream, glossy, high-twist yarn (of a much lovelier color than the photos show), wonderful details like a round toe and "eye of partridge" heel flap. Perfect! But—then you have to start all over and knit its twin. Bummer. It will happen sooner or later, but for the moment I'm working on a palette-cleansing sweater. Stay tuned.

Parmesan Omelette

with Fall Medley of roasted sweet potatoes, shitake mushrooms, and some gigantic, leafy green vegetable in the cabbage family. Very good.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Fraternal Twins

Not all things born at the same time are identical. The genetic code is pretty similar, granted: both knit with Lang Jawoll on Addi Turbo #1's, using Charlene Schruch's "oriel" for the leg and instep, and both knit from the toe up. However, the one on the top has a "simple toe" while the one on the bottom has a "round toe," and the the heel of the top sock is knit with reinforcing thread held in, while the one on the bottom is plain wool (and fits better). Not obvious differences to the outside eye, perhaps, but clear a mile away to their mother.

Lamb Chops

with brown rice, and sauteed shitake mushrooms and purple peppers. Gingerbread for dessert. Just about everything went wrong with the gingerbread: cane syrup instead of Lyle's Golden, overbaked, baking soda instead of baking powder, and the whole thing sank in the middle. I'm here to tell you it's pretty great anyway.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Ginger-Kale Soup

You know how it is: you're staring at the giant bunch of kale in your fridge thinking, yes, I am pro kale, but what to do with it? Soup is the answer. Sautee an onion with sausage of whatever kind you like, add some garlic and fresh ginger (minced), then add a 28 oz. can of tomatoes, a quart of stock, a can of red beans, and all the cut up kale you can fit. Simmer this for half an hour and it will be terrific; let it age over a few days and it will be sublime.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Chicken-Apple Sausage

with brown rice and a salad of chiogga beets, cabbage, and fennel. Does the salad not sound magnificent? You'll have to take my word that it was.