March 16, 2018
The sun is shining. The cats are purring. Icicles hang outside the window. Mountains of snow are piled against the door.
Michael and I are both going slightly stir crazy and today we’re going to try and make it down the mountain.
But first, a little breakfast. I’ve made these because they’re such a classic city dish, what I always ordered at the diner on the corner of Tenth Street and University Placer when my father took me out for breakfast.
New York diners are, sadly, disappearing, a victim of gentrification. But these corn muffins remain, a little taste of the past.
New York Corn Muffins
Makes 1 dozen muffins
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup corn kernels
1 cup flour
6 tablespoons white sugar
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
6 tablespoons butter
Mix the flour with the cornmeal. (I prefer stoneground.) Whisk in sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda.
Melt the butter. Allow it to cool, then stir in buttermilk along with 1 egg and 1 additional egg yolk. Stir into the dry mixture. Toss in the corn kernels. (You can use frozen corn, and there’s no need to defrost it.) The dough will be lumpy; don’t worry about that.
Divide the batter into a well-greased muffin tin and bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before turning the muffins out.
I like these best served the way they are in old New York coffee shops: split horizontally, brushed with butter, and toasted on a griddle or in a pan.
December 23, 2017
And an ad from the issue, which tells you what a very different time it was. I can’t imagine an ad like this running today.
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.