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Monday, September 12, 2011

Remembering Fallen Friends

   A number of years ago when I was working in downtown Manhattan, a co-worker offered to give me a ride in his helicopter. I met him that Saturday morning at Linden Airport in northern New Jersey.
   "There are no doors on this thing?" I asked, as I struggled to secure the seatbelt.
   Richie gave me a wicked smile. "Let me know if it gets too much for you," he taunted. I'd have to fall out, I decided, before I would scream and at that point he probably wouldn't hear me anyway.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Boulangerie Bread Baked by Me!

Someone explain to me why, here in France, surrounded by myriad wonderful boulangeries, I've taken to baking my own bread?

It started when Anthony, one of my clients, asked me to write yet another set of cooking articles for him. One was on artisanal breadmaking. I mean, what better place to be to understand about the advantages of artisanal breadmaking than France, right?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

I Can Can, Can You?

Canning is always something I relish having done (no pun intended) but rarely look forward to at the time it needs doing.

For the uninitiated, potting up preserves, relishes, sauces, pie fillings and the like means a delicate dance between boiling/preparing the food itself, while simultaneously sterilizing the jars and lids — separately, of course, I mean, why make it easier, right? — and boiling the water in the canner so it's ready to pop the jars in, as well as orchestrating the transfer of the product to the jars with minimum mess and contamination, then placing the jars on a rack in the canner with sufficient boiling water to submerge the jars at least an inch so you can boil them 20 minutes or so before carefully extracting them, all the while praying that the seal is intact; otherwise you're relegated to dozens of jars taking up precious freezer space ...