There are two things that I find hilarious about Boom Burger in Charlottetown. (More …)
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Here’s a little something I wrote that appeared in today’s Coast. Ladies who lunch: inside Grandma’s Kitchen. Maha Amin, project coordinator with the YWCA, set up a program called Grandma’s Kitchen where immigrant women from all over the city get together to cook and practice English together. It’s a nice little story for the holidays about peace, love and foul moudamas.
Recently, I listened to my favourite food radio show Bien Dans Son Assiette (Plug: it’s worth learning French just for this program, Monday – Friday, 8pm AST) dedicate a whole hour of prime time to the oyster. What an idea!
David McMillan, one of the owners of Montreal’s popular Joe Beef restaurant, talked oyster quality, name dropped many brands, and shucked oysters.
The show got me thinking.
We have quality oysters in Halifax, just not a wide variety of them. Most are local. Really local. Maybe too local. In this case, the 100 mile stance isn’t worth it. We sit on the doorstep of greatness – we have to include more New Bruswick and PEI oysters on our menus.
Rowan Jacobsen wrote a must-read book (if you are into oysters) called Geography of Oysters. Aside from being nearly comprehensive, he lists a dozen oysters to acquaint yourself with. Three of them are close to Halifax: Beausoleil (NB), Colville Bay (PEI) and Glidden Point (Maine).
Question: why don’t I often see many of those oyster brands here? Before I continue my complaint, let me tell you what we do have and where you can get them.
Okay, so I don’t like to make anything uniform in style. Every cookie is like a beautiful snowflake, I tell my child. Not one looks the same. Murdochs like the wobbly ones and cracked ones in this world, I tell him. We bake not for sale, we bake to grab and munch and roughly hold in our fists as we run through the house chasing the dog.
I found a phenomenal ginger snap recipe which I will now share with you.
Baking shortbread to give to the daycare ladies as a Christmas gift. I tried a couple variations, a mix of an old Scottish cookbook recipe I have, and a Saveur recipe. I tried one batch with cake flour and cornstarch, and another batch with rice flour and all purpose unbleached flour. I like the cake and cornstarch. The sweetness of the sugar came through. The texture was crumbly, which I like in a shortbread. (More …)
This week’s edition of Read Up On It covers food from various points of view including scientific, historical, personal and ethical.
- Gizmodo, known for talking about all things geek-chic, recently published a great story about how we perceive taste, what makes a steak taste good and why some of us hate cilantro.
- Sean Brock, that sexy mofo of a southern chef sits down with Eater to talk about his collection (and love for) of cookbooks. He also makes mention of a tome that is available on Google Books, entitled The Physiology Of Taste, and no, it’s not the Brillat-Savarin book most people know. This one is american and all I know is that I want a copy.
- Slate seems to be putting out some recent food writing lately, including this lovely ode to that slowly-becoming archaic thing, the recipe card.
- The Globe & Mail lists 12 brewers that they’re digging. One of them is Halifax’s own Garrison Brewing.
- Looks like the Grey Lady is picking up on something that a lot of atlantic canadians have known for a long time: that herring, especially pickled, is good. Solomun Gundy anyone?
- We here at Passable have talked about putting berries in booze before. Looks like we were ahead of the curve, or so says Details.
- The Atlantic posts an interview with Jonathan Bloom, who points the finger at us for not only wasting food, but how we perpetuate it in our food choices.
- I’m a big fan of David Lebovitz, so I was happy to see his recent foray into making videos. Here’s a little trip he makes to a french open air market and the meal he prepares from his daily provisions.
It’s getting to be that time of year.
No, not the holidays, I’m talking about what so many journalists, bloggers and writers tend to do at this time of year: reflect on what has happened in the past year. Last year, we made a list, but this year, we wanted to do something a little different. We’ll be posting about this throughout the upcoming days and weeks before the New Year rings in.
I made a promise to myself a while back to eat food that is produced as close to home as possible, and to keep in time with the seasons. It’s something a lot of people are doing, as more and more people become conscious of the issues around food production. This is not to say that I don’t eat out, or that I don’t occasionally buy foods that are not produced here. When I do make exceptions it is because they are items that are not produced here at all, such as rice, soy sauce, olive oil or coconut milk.
But when things are in season, I make the best of them, as much as possible. The growing season here is (relatively) short, so if that means I can only eat asparagus for a month, then so be it. I will buy it, and enjoy it at its peak, steaming it or grilling it, topping it with poached eggs and cheese. When raspberries and other soft fruits are available, I will make sorbets to cool off from the heat and eat them for snacks throughout the day. I will stain my counters with their juices, fill mason jars with them and make brandied berries. In the fall, I gorge on apples, snacking on varieties which are at their peak for a few short weeks, dreading the day when they’ve been in the fridge for too long and have become mealy. But when they do, that’s when I dry them and put them in the dehydrator, adding to wintery baked goods.
Ah winter. And then comes the challenge.
This weeks edition of Read Up On It contains everything from the ethics of killing animals for food to the recent love among boozehounds for Fernet Branca. Check it out.
- Wired recently posted an article which posits an interesting idea: sugar makes you sleepy, while protein wakes you up.
- Speaking of bevvy, there has been a recent resurgence of interest for Fernet Branca, the italian hooch. (Via Serious Eats)
- Hank Shaw, avid forager, fisherman and hunter, talks about that part of eating animals we tend not to dicuss: killing them.
- In the same theme, Daniel Klein from The Perennial Plate recently posted this video about a halal butcher in Queens, New York. A warning: this film does contain the images of an animal being slaughtered for consumption.
We’ve got it all for you this week in Passable’s weekly Read Up On It: from candy making to how to open a bottle of wine with only a shoe.
- This week, the New York Times reviewed Fatty ‘Cue. We don’t generally post reviews here, but reading the opening paragraph describing how they make their very special butter made us want to board a plane to New York. Now.
- If you grew up in Atlantic Canada – or more specifically Nova Scotia – then you probably have memories, good or bad, about chicken bones and barley pops. CBC has this great little video all about the company that’s been making them for almost a century.
- Still on the local tip, The Coast recently posted notes on how to source your holiday feasting locally.
- If you’re feeling really local, check out The Halifax Media Co-Ops’s story about the recent ACORN conference and the rise of the CSA in Nova Scotia.
- Ever wanted to learn how to butcher a side of pork?
This video series from Farmrun is a good place to learn.
- Speaking of videos, Google Talks has been inviting all kinds of chefs to come and talk. Recently, they asked Momofuku Milk Bar’s Christina Tosi to dish about noshing, pastry and why she makes all those tasty crumbs. (I mean seriously, have you had those crumbs? There is a reason this woman uses the words “crack” when describing some of her baking – ed.)
- The Atlantic talks about that lovely thing,the white truffle.
- For all of you chocoholics who have a twinge of guilt when they open up a chocolate that has a suspect record when it comes to child labour (hey, it happens -ed.), NPR has a story for you. Apparently Nestle is trying to fix the problem.
- And finally, that bastion of men’s refinery, Esquire, shows you how to drunkenly uncork a bottle of wine with just your shoe.