December 10, 2017
Toasters are ugly, clunky, and mostly don’t work very well. It’s amazing that so few people have set their minds to making the kitchen’s most ubiquitous appliance more attractive.
Which is all the more reason to be grateful for the late Gae Aulenti, who created this enchanting Toast Toaster. Your friend may already possess a toaster – but wouldn’t she rather have this one?
November 28, 2017
If you’ve got Charles Dickens visions, you can’t do better than Talbott and Arding’s traditional Christmas Pudding
. A family recipe, it’s made with three kinds of raisins, candied orange peel, organic eggs and suet from grass-fed local cows. Lots of spices and brandy too. It’s hard to think of a better finale to a festive holiday feast.
An extra bonus: the crock it comes in is a perfect little bowl; I’ve reached for mine a million times this year, and each time I remember how much I loved eating the robust cake (it really is more cake than pudding), it originally held.
And while you’re at it, you might want to think about the shop’s astonishingly delicious fruit and nut loaf.
I’ve never had anything quite like it. Gluten-free, it’s a whole world of fruits and nuts that seems to be held together with nothing more than a wish.
November 27, 2017
Okay. You’ve climbed on the salt bandwagon. You have an entire library of salts, in various shapes and sizes, from all over the world.
And if you’re like me, you’re confused.
Do you really need to spend a fortune on salt? Which should you use, and when?
I’ve got dozens of different kinds of salt, but for everyday cooking I’m down to one:
Bitterman’s Fleur de Sel.
Mark Bitterman is a salt fanatic, and he sells a whole range of salts from all over the world. You can read about him and his company here.
Or you can just cut to the chase and buy a BIG bag of his fleur de sel: 2.8 pounds for about fifteen bucks. Organic, sun-dried, hand harvested. Lovely to taste and fine to touch.
You won’t be sorry. And while you’re at it, buy some for your friends. They will thank you.
November 4, 2017
Going through old files, I came upon this speech I wrote in 1991 when I was the food editor of the Los Angeles Times. I’m not even sure where I gave the speech – it was obviously at some sort of conference – but from the vantage point of twenty-five years, it’s an interesting artifact.
Seems like such a long time ago. Looking at the paper it’s printed on – we didn’t use Xerox in those days, but a machine that printed on sprocketed sheets – reminds me that we were still going down to the composing room every day just before the paper went to press. If you had to cut a few lines you took a knife and cut it to fit, then repasted with rubber cement.
In those days the food section of the Los Angeles Times was huge – 2 full sections, often running to sixty or more pages. It was all about advertising, of course; supermarkets were still printing coupons. But looking at these numbers – the section brought in $34 million! – is a stark reminder of how much things have changed.
So, as you will see, has the audience.
October 29, 2017
Been traveling a lot lately….
Last week I was in Los Angeles, to give Nancy Silverton an award for all the work she does for children. The party, at the rather astonishing Greenacres, former home of Harold Lloyd, was a dazzling evening of great food and wonderful people, a fund raiser for No Kid Hungry that raised a serious lot of money. Here’s the menu:
This week it was off to DC, to honor Danny Meyer at the Julia Child Awards at The Smithsonian. Another fantastic evening of great people and delicious food. –
The Smithsonian followed the Gala with a weekend of programming, and I have to say that the roundtables were both illuminating and utterly fascinating. Here’s the schedule. I was so impressed by the people on the panels that I’m buying virtually ALL of their books.