So Joe and I got to playing with the video camera early this spring, just to have some fun. (Please excuse awkward editing moment.) Also, it’s a bit on the longish side (6:30) so if you want to cut to the chase, the point of this thing happens between 2:30 and 3:10 minutes. I love deviled eggs, but after making this video I realized that there was no reason you even have to go through the rigmarole of mixing the yolks and mayo and mustard and piping all that into halved whites.  For a last minute deviled egg, just top it with the same ingredients. Last minute Deviled Eggs 6 ounces mayonnaise (see video above for technique) 1 tablespoon minced shallot macerated for 10 minutes in 1 tablespoon lemon juice, then strained 2 teaspoons Dijon Read On »

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OK, things are starting to roll a little faster here.  Delighted this week to see peas in our CSA haul!  Still a helluva lot of lettuce (which, truth be told, my belly needs a little a more of).  We were a little disappointed in week three, when some of the lettuces had rotty ends, suggesting they’d been picked many days before.  Be critical and tell your CSA farmers if you’re not happy with the product.  Remember that just because they’re local farmers, doesn’t mean they’re perfect.  As with any craft, there is a range of quality of finished product, depending on how it’s grown and, critically, how it’s handled after it’s picked.  (A friend asked me recently what CSA stands for, so it bears repeating: community supported agriculture.) Usually the farmers are happy to try Read On »

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On our trip to Italy, Brian Polcyn and I saw a lot of new cuts we weren’t familiar with, so as soon as we returned, we made plans to break down a couple of pigs Italian style, bringing in chef Jay Denham, who was recently back from five months staging in Italy.  We wanted to see how he broke a half animal into primals and we also wanted to learn the culatello cut.  Jay had spent many weeks staging at Massimo Spigaroli’s operation, learning this technique for producing what some consider to be the finest version of prosciutto di Parma there is. Jay and Brian arrived Tuesday evening and we started with a salumi tasting from American producers.  We tasted salamis from Knight Salumi in San Diego, I had some Mangalista belly and lardo from Read On »

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It’s our own fault. We alone are responsible for our own stupidity. We can’t expect big business to have our best interests in mind, nor expect the media to stop ringing the all-in-one Salt-Is-Bad! Fat-Is-Bad! alarm bells. Big companies want to sell us their goods any way they can. If they can take advantage of our confusion about how to eat, they will, rubbing their hands and chuckling with delight.  The New York Times editorial page can rail against such practices (as it did elegantly here), but that’s not going to change anything. What will change big business is the consumer.  But not until we start paying attention, not until we get smart. Here’s a start: Don’t believe any claims you read on packages, period, even seemingly objective ones like the above, just stating a Read On »

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As Christopher Buckley writes in his extraordinary memoir, Losing Mum and Pup, this indeed is the happiest story there is, that I know at least: The grandfather dies.  The father dies.  The son dies. I’m midway through this story and pray it continues as told.  I miss my dad more than words can say.  I am lucky on too many counts to name, but chief by far among my gifts was to to be born to Rip Ruhlman.  The photo above is from the summer of ’68 I’m guessing; I would have been five, he not yet thirty. Best wishes to all dads today, but best wishes especially to dads who wish they could thank their father but can’t, to all children young and old who miss their dads. Rip Ruhlman 9/24/38 – 8/09/08

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