Sunday, July 30, 2006

Can This Be Oregano?

I saw bunches of this herb with large, thick fuzzy leaves at Stokes Farm in Union Square on Friday. I thought it might be a variety of sage, but it turns out to be Cuban oregano, or Caribbean oregano, a very pungent variety of the herb. Wow. I would never have guessed oregano could look like this, and I really thought I had reached an age where you couldn’t get a bunch of oregano past me. You see how much there always is to learn. The young lady at the farmstand warned me that this herb is very strong and not suitable for salads.

Chocolate Lady: What about a lentil salad?

Farmstand lady: (skeptical shrug) If you can take it. . .

Well, last year I might have left the Cuban oregano to a braver soul, but because of Kalyn’s continually inspiring Weekend Herb Blogging, I was determined to construct a salad worthy of this herb, and I am so grateful that I did. I am hugging my monitor now, Kalyn!

Black Lentil Salad with Cuban Oregano

1 ½ cups black beluga lentils, or other lentils

1 small branch, plus two leaves Cuban oregano, or a few branches Mediterranean oregano, previously known as regular oregano, or some dried oregano.

2 chile pods

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

3 shallots

1 or 2 bell peppers (I had one; two would have been nice)

3 medium to largish carrots (I had one each: yellow, orange, and purple)

Several sprigs fresh parsley, minced (I didn’t have any parsley, but it would have been perfect)

Salt, pepper and additional oil and vinegar to taste

Wash the lentils and cook them in a generous amount of salted water with the oregano branch and chile pods until tender but firm. For the batch I had, this took about 35 minutes.

Drain the lentils and discard the aromatics. While they are still warm, dress them with the oil and vinegar.

Here’s where I need to beg your indulgence. These are tiny little lentils, and in order that the finished salad have some coherent soundness, you are going to cut the vegetables into a tiny, tiny brunoise dice. That means 1/8 inch by 1/8 inch by 1/8 inch for the carrots, 1/8 inch by 1/8 inch by the thickness of the pepper’s flesh for the pepper, and 1/8 inch by 1/8 inch by the thickness of the leaves or walls or whatever you call the layers of the shallots. This sounds like lots of work, and it is, but it will be soothing, and the results will be delicious, and you love the people who are going to eat these lentils.

Add the diced vegetables and the minced parsley and the one or two remaining minced oregano leaves. Toss and taste for seasonings. You can serve the lentils cool or at room temperature, and they will be even more glorious if they have few hours to sit around and get acquainted.

This recipe made an enormous salad, something like eight cups. You may want to prepare 2/3 or 1/3 of this amount.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Friday, July 28, 2006

Apricot Clafoutis Two Ways

A candid shot: Apricot-Chocolate Clafouti and Apricot-Bluberry Clafoutis

I have not made a clafouti, or clafoutis, for many years—I just eat up the cherries too fast—but I’ve been missing great fun. This breakfast or dessert is disproportionately pleasurable for the minimal effort it asks. I understand both spellings are valid, and since I made two, one can be a clafouti and one can be a clafoutis.

Apricot Clafoutis Two Ways

18 ½ apricots (1 pound 3 ounces after stoning)

½ cup blueberries (if you have some lying around)

2 teaspoons sugar

1 or 2 tablespoons butter for the baking dishes

1 ¼ cup milk

3 eggs

2/3 cups flour

1/3 cup sugar

1/8 teaspoon (one fat pinch) salt

(Up to this point you will notice that this is identical to the recipe in Mastering the Art of French Cooking Volume I with the exception that I have left out the vanilla extract. The alert reader may have noted that I almost never use extracts.)

2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled

Preheat oven to 350. Split the apricots and remove the stones. Sprinkle them with 2 teaspoons sugar. Butter two medium-sized baking dishes and arrange the apricot halves in the dishes. If you are using blueberries, add them to one of the dishes.

Combine the milk, eggs, flour, and salt and mix or blend well. This will yield about 2 ¼ cups batter. Pour half of this (1 1/8 cups) over the apricot-blueberry dish. Mix the chocolate into the remaining batter and pour the chocolate batter over the other dish of apricots. Place both dishes in the oven and bake until set. I think it was just a bit over 25 minutes.

Dust with powdered sugar before serving (I didn’t get to that part yet).

(Amended 2006/07/30): These were just the thing. The chocolate experiment (2 ounces of chocolate for half a recipe of clafouti batter) seemed just about right. I am thinking of other summer fruits that might work and possibly a vegetable for a savory version. I humbly submit this recipe for Nandita's breakfast blogging event at the wonderful Saffron Trail. Have a look at some of the gorgeous vegetables she saw in the market in Mumbai. They have methi, matey!

, , , , , ,
, WBB, breakfast blogging, food blog event

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Bill Buford, Digested

The miraculous John Crace at The Guardian delivers the essential bits of Bill Buford’s Heat:

"Where are your knives?" barked Frankie. It was my first day on the prep line. Why hadn't it occurred to me I needed a knife? Frankie plunged a blade deep into my shoulder. I pulled it out, letting the blood spray heroically, accepting his act of generosity. Sweat pouring in rivers down my virile body, I diced vegetables for 12 hours a day.
Read the whole thing here.

פּאָמידאָרן מיט פּאַסן

„ירושה־פּאָמידאָרן” פֿון יונאָס פֿאַרם. איך װעל מאַכן פֿון זײ אַ סאַלאַט מיט בױמל, עסיק, און אַ ביסל פֿעלד־גליאַנדער. איך בין נישט אין גאַנצן צופֿרידן מיטן אױסדרוק „ירושה-פּאָמידאָרן“, און אױך נישט מיט „heirloom tomatoes” אָבער דערװײַל קען איך נישט אױסטראַכטן קײן אַלטערנאַטיװן אױסדרוק.

Cilantro, coriander



heirloom tomatoes

I am not entirely happy with the name “heirloom tomatoes” but can offer no alternative at this time.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Like the Symmetry of a Sliced Pizza (Radial)

Acrostic puzzle by Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon from the New York Times Magazine, November 28, 2004, page 124. Click for larger image.

The puzzle above is from 2004, but I just found it last night. Oh goody! An unsolved crossword and/or acrostic puzzle! About food! It’s like finding fifty bucks in your coat pocket. Now I know what you are going to say. You are going to say that I can in fact go out at any time and buy a book of crossword puzzles for way less than fifty bucks, and you are so right, but somehow, it’s not the same. The puzzle has to be raw. It can be two years old, but it can’t be cooked.

I enjoy crossword puzzles, and I have to admit I enjoyed that crossword puzzle movie. I just loved the bit where we get to see puzzle composer Merl Reagle write a crossword puzzle freehand. That is so cool! I could watch a full length movie of nothing but people writing puzzles. I wish we could have seen more about puzzle composing and especially more about the extraordinary Margaret Farrar, who invented the puzzle. How did she know to make them symmetrical?

I was surprised by the low-technology of the tournament process. When you finish a puzzle, you raise your hand, and someone walks over and picks it up. Then you wait while the puzzles are scored by hand. It was also a bit of a surprise that the crossword puzzle solvers, with the exception of one who is a professional baseball player, were somehow less articulate and verbal than I might have guessed. They were nothing like the kids in the movie Spellbound.

I also liked Spellbound, but it is a very different movie, just as spelling and puzzle-solving are very different pursuits. Crossword puzzles are things that people actually do all the time in real life, while spelling viva voce must be completely alien to almost anyone’s experience. Maybe sometimes someone will ask you "How do you spell 'blah blah blah'?"and you'll say "B, L, A, H, space, B, L, A, H, space, B, L, A, H," but not too often, and you can scribble it on the back of an envelope or something.

I will just mention another movie that ought to have been as engaging as these two but was not. Shortly after Spellbound, there was a movie about children in New York who compete in a ballroom dancing competition. I am so annoyed with this stupid movie that I am not even going to google it to get the correct title, which seems to elude me. The filmmaker must have thought that she could lift the template from Spellbound, replace spelling with ballroom dancing, and have a movie just as irresistible, or maybe more so, because wouldn’t you think that dancing is more cinematogenic than spelling? I sure would have thought so, but it’s those spellers who just bake your potatoes.

Read about Merl Reagle’s life in puzzles.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Little Striated Eggplants

You just gotta have a look at these. I might make something like this. Will let you know.

See Language Hat for eggplant words and eggplant poetry. See Sweetnicks for other dappled and speckled miracles of the garden.

װען איך װאָלט געהאַט כּח

אַלע האָבן ליב דאָס זמרל. מע דאַרף גאָרנישט בײַטן. זינגטץ עסװ י עס שטײט און גײט.

שמור לקדשו מבֿואו ועד צאתו,
, שבת קודש, יום חמדתו (ב“פּ)

װען איך װאָלט געהאַט כּח, װאָלט איך געלאָפֿן אין גאַס,
און איך װאָלט
געשריגן הױך „שבת, הײליקער שבת“ (ב“פּ)

מקולות מים רבים אדירים, אַדירים משברי ים, אדיר מרום ד' (ב“פּ)

װ י עס שטײט און גײט as is

Monday, July 24, 2006


Chocolate Buttermilk Layer Cake from Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Chocolate Desserts. A soft, ethereal cake with an almost caramel-like finish.

A happy Mr Chocolate Lady’s birthday to all In Mol Araan. Speaking of birthdays, Friday (25 Tamez) was the one year anniversary of this site in the Hebrew calendar. August 1st will be the anniversary in the Gregorian calendar. The Hebrew calendar has twelve months of 29 or 30 days. Approximately once every three years (seven times every nineteen years), there is a thirteenth “leap month” to keep up with the solar calendar. The two calendars coincide every nineteen years, so your Hebrew and Gregorian birthdays will be on the same day when you are nineteen, thirty-eight, and so on in good health until 120.

We need to calculate different year-lengths even for an exclusively solar system; the length of the tropical year--the time it takes the earth to return to the same spot in its orbit of the sun-- is 365.242 days, and the sidereal year-- the time it takes the constellations to return to the same position viewed from the earth-- is 365.256 days--about twenty minutes longer. One of the cool things I learned in high school that still amazes me every day. Thank you, Ms Thomson!

Cherry and Buttermilk Soup

I have been making this almost every other day. When it is so hot you can’t even think of eating anything else, there is somehow room for cherry soup. Deconstructed shtshav is in the rotation as well.

Cherry and Buttermilk Soup

1 cup pitted cherries of any kind

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

a pinch of salt

wildflower honey, or other honey, to taste

2 cups buttermilk

If you have some leftover red wine, you can stir in about half a cup, if not, you may add a little water to thin out the buttermilk.

Place the cherries in a bowl. Toss with honey, vinegar and salt. Stir in the buttermilk and water or wine (or neither). Taste to adjust the honey-vinegar balance.

See Weekend Herb Blogging for other possibilities.

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Dysfunctional Cake Thoughts

Is there any reason I should be holding onto my set of Wilton checkerboard cake pans? I have used it once in about seventeen years. I guess the central separator device would work if you used it in your regular nine-inch cake pans, but the pans that come with the set do not have vertical sides! To reproduce the cake in the photo, you will have to shave quit a bit of excess cake off the sides. Ooh, I just hate that. The suggested recipe on the box was undistinguished, and I see the current Wilton website has a slightly more chocolaty, but still undistinguished version.

I am going to make Maida Heatter’s Buttermilk Chocolate Layer Cake to banish the memory of this stupid cake from my brain. Why is it haunting me now?

Friday, July 21, 2006

אַ גאַנץ יאָר אין מױל אַרײַן

מיט מזל געיערט זיך, אין מױל אַרײַן! טוטץ נאָר אַ קוק אױפֿן יאָר װאָס איז געװען׃

דעם 25טן תּמוז תּשס“ה האָב איך ציטירט אַבֿרהם לעװיט, אַ ייִד פֿון לאָדזש מיט װעמען איך האָב זיך באַקענט אין „סױרקל לאַדזש“ פֿונעם אַרבעטער רינג, אינעם ערשטן בלאָג־אײנס אין מױל אַרײַן. ש'כּוח, ר' אַבֿרהם.

פֿון מנחם־אַבֿ, אַ בלאָג־אײנס װעגן קאַלטע באָרשטש און קאַלטע לאָקשן בײַ ייִדן (און אױך שפּריכװערטער װעגן באָרשטש).

פֿון אלול, אַ ליד װעגן בוריקעס אױף פּסח.

פֿון תּישרי, װעגן עסן און ייִדיש אין אַלאַסקע.

פֿון חשװן, אַן אתרוג שכּלו פּיטום, און אַן אָנהײב פֿין אַ „זמירות פּרױעקט“ מיט װאָס איז װיכטיק.

פֿון כּיסלװ, בײגל און דער בעש“ט .

פֿון טבֿת, װעגן רעטעכער.

פֿון שבֿט, דעם קיסרס טײ.

פֿון אָדר, צװישן רעצעפּטן פֿאַר טײג און געפֿילעכץ פֿאַר המנטאַשן, האָט מען געפֿרעגט װאָס טוט אַ קולינאַרלישער עטנאָגראַף?

פֿון ניסן, פֿאַר װאָס ייִדישער גליק איז װי שנײ אין ניסן.

פֿון סיװן, באַזוכן דעם טײַלאַנדער טעמפּל אין קאַליפֿאָרניע.

פֿון תּמוז, אַ לידעלע.

אַ ה
אַרציקן דאַנק ענק װאָס קוקן אין מױל אַרײַן אַלע טאָג! זאָל קײנער פֿון אונדז נישט פֿעלן איבער אַ יאָר.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I Can't Help It

I'm trying to work, but I keep going back to Tuesday's post to stare helplessly into the vortices of those carrots.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Kimchi Bokum Bap, or What I Did With the Favas

I stepped outside today to find my neighbors were walking slowly, gazing with wonder at their surroundings, and speaking quietly or not at all. Temperatures near the century have not just transformed the city; they may have transported us into an alternate universe—a contemplative and gentle place where I’d almost be willing to stay if it weren’t so dang hot.

Should you find yourself in a universe where slow and deliberate behavior is possible, you might want to get hold of a bunch of fava beans. Fresh favas are delicious, but it is only with great patience that you will persuade them to yield up their pleasures. First, you need to split open the pods and get the beans out of their cozy, fluffy little beds. Then, depending on the recipe and the size of the beans, you might want to peel the soft, thick seed-coat off each little fava. For the recipe that follows, you will want to peel the beans for the sake of color and flavor.

This week I had seven ounces of fava pods, or 36 beans, from my CSA. I used them to provide the finishing touch to my first-ever kimchi bokum bap (kimchi fried rice), made with my first-ever homemade kimchi. Thanks to my kimchi-preparation efforts, not to mention my considerable waiting-for-the-kimchi efforts, I had about six cups of some deeply powerful kimchi. So far the kimchi had performed admirably in supporting roles (it turns out to go very well with pizza), but bokum bap has kimchi at its very center.

Kimchi Bokum Bap

peanut oil or other oil

1 largish onion, sliced into half-moons

A few leaves qing tah tsai, ta tsoi, or other green vegetable, optional

4 cups cooked short-grain rice (I used brown rice)

2 cups kimchi

36 fresh fava beans, peeled (or beans from 14 pods, about 7 ounces before shelling), or the same amount of English peas (“popping peas”)

Heat the oil in a wok or sauté pan. Add the sliced onions and cook until translucent. Add the greens, if you are using them and stir for a minute or two more. Next add the cooked rice, kimchi, and peeled fava beans, and cook, stirring until heated through and a little bit crunchy. Hardly any cooking time at all.

If you have not seen it yet, or even if you have, check out this utterly swell kimchi-instruction site from Pyonyang Metro.

More “arfs” for the dog days at Sweetnicks.

Food and Drink, Recipes, Cooking, Food, Vegetarian, vegetables, vegan, antioxidant-rich foods, , , , , , , ,


אין תּמוז, פֿרוכפּערן זיך די מערן.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Deconstructed Shtshav

Shtshav, also known by the names schav, or szczaw, or sorrel soup, is a cooling and restorative soup named for its main ingredient, shtshav, or sorrel. Nothing really tastes quite like shtshav. It is a leafy green vegetable, but its tartness is almost fruity. There are only a few short weeks of the year when these very tender and delicate leaves are available, so I urge you to seize the moment.

Until this year, I always pureed the shtshav and thickened the hot pot-liquor with raw eggs. This time, I made a deconstructed version in which the vegetables are not pureed, and the eggs are hard-cooked and served on the side. I think I may be getting ever closer and closer to the Platonic shtshav.

Deconstructed Shtshav

About one pound sorrel

2 large or 4 small cucumbers

1 or 2 summer onions, or some scallions, or a small regular onion

1 or 2 cups yogurt, sour cream or buttermilk

4 hard-cooked eggs

salt and pepper to taste

Wash the leaves well and remove the stems. If you will not be pureeing the soup, cut the leaves into a very fine chiffonade. If you will be pureeing the soup, cut them any which way. Place the leaves in a pot and add about two quarts of water and some salt. Bring to the boil and simmer for half an hour. Allow to cool.

Meanwhile, peel and dice the cucumbers and onions and place them in a bowl or soup tureen. Mix the yogurt, sour cream or buttermilk into the shtshav and pour it over the diced vegetables. Chill for a few hours (It will be even better if chilled overnight). Serve the shtshav in bowls with slices of eggs floating on top or offered on the side.

Other refreshing herbal potations at Weekend Herb Blogging.

An introduction to shtshav, more synonyms, my original recipe, and other shtshav-related thoughts are here.

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Friday, July 14, 2006


Top, fava pods.
Bottom right, whole fava beans.
Bottom left, peeled fava beans.

If the favas are less than half an inch long, I usually leave them whole, but during the precious time you are peeling them, it is possible to think of nothing else.

, ,

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Green Large Vegetable

For Harmonia's midweek marketing--

This week the chocolate lady is contributing:

Qing Tah-tsai
Komatsuna (pictured above)--a hybrid of tatsoi
This is the first time I've seen this vegetable. The leaves and stems are very tender and supple.
Three kinds of cherries
Green garlic
Summer onions
I am hoping the last three items will go into a shtshav.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


A lady of my acquaintance whom I’ll call Little Red returned from a visit to her native France with a pail of the wonderful local cherries her mother had especially requested. I think this may have been in the sixties, before metal detectors, way before American awareness of international terrorism, when just about anyone could bring just about anything onto a plane. Not cherries, however. Customs officials took one look at that pail and cut every single sweet helpless innocent little cherry in half. They found only cherry stones, of course, and allowed her to go, but only after stamping SUSPECTED DIAMOND SMUGGLER on her PASSPORT! Little Red was eventually able to get a new passport without suspected diamond smuggler on it, but the cherries were lost forever.

Perhaps times have changed. David Lebovitz reports to be able to transport dried cherries unmolested, but I recall Little Red’s sad story every year at this time, because I have endangered myself for the sake of cherries on countless occasions. Cherries in season might be my favorite thing to eat in the whole world. I like all of them; I even like to eat the really puckery sour cherries out of hand. Try these. Just remember to put a pit pot on the table.

Cherries and Green Almonds from Viana La Place

Place a bowl of cherries (any kind) and a bowl of green almonds (or plain raw mature almonds) on the table. Eat the cherries and almonds together.

Pitted Black Cherries for that Aching Midsummer Sadness

Remove stones from about a dozen sweet black cherries with your fingers or the nifty gadget of your choice. Put them all into your mouth at the same time. Grasp the possibility that the pain can end.

Further strategies at Sweetnicks.

, , ,

Monday, July 10, 2006

טײ און תּהלים שאַדן נישט

Teatime by Marie Bracquemond. Reproduced in Impressionist Picnics by Gillian Riley

אױף ייִדיש זאָגט מען „טײ און תּהלים שאַדן נישט“. דאָס הײסט װי אָנגעזאָליעט זאָל אײַך נישט זײַן אױפֿן האַרצן, קענט איר טרינקען אַ גלעזל טײ און זאָגן אַ קאַפּיטל תּהלים. אַז עס העלפֿט נישט, שאַדט עס זיכער נישט. הײס־געליבטע לײענער׃ איר זאָלט קײן מאָל נישט דאַרפֿן אָט די אױסדרוקן!

עס ליגט װי אַ שטײן אױפֿן האַרצן
It weighs like a stone on my heart

עס עדערט
It rips out my veins

עס ברענט
It burns

מיר איז ביטער אױפֿן האַרצן (אין נאָז, אין מױל
My heart (mouth, nose) is bitter

עס פֿאַרקלעמט דאָס האַרץ
My heart is in a vise

עס פֿױלט די לעבער
It rots my liver

עס איז נישט צו דערטראָגן
It is not to be borne

עס פֿאַרגײט אין דער זיביטער ריפּ
It penetrates the seventh rib

עס װײנט אַ שטײן פֿון װאַנט
A stone in the wall could cry

װי הינט װאָלטן מיך געגעסן
It’s as if dogs were tearing me apart

אַ הונט זאָל מײַן האַרץ אױסכאַפּן, װאָלט ער משוגע געװאָרן
If a dog ate my heart, he’d go mad

עס װערט צען לעכער אין האַרצן
There are ten holes in my heart

װי אַ טעמפּער מעסער אין האַרצן אַרײַן
It’s like a dull knife in my heart

קלאָגן און װײנען און עסן װײַטער קרעפּלעך
Wailing and weeping and continuing to eat dumplings

טײ און תּהלים שאַדן נישט
Tea and sympathy couldn’t hurt (literally: Tea and psalms can’t hurt)

Sunday, July 09, 2006

גרינע מאַנדלען

שױן יאָרן לאַנג האָבן די גרינע מאַנדלען מיך געצױגן װי אַ קאַץ פּוטער, אָבער, אַז מען װױנט נישט אין צפֿון־קאַליפֿאָרניע אָדער דרום־איטאַליע, װי קומט די קאַץ איבערן װאַסער? נו, ברוך שהחײנו. איצטער קען מען געפֿינען גרינע מאַנדלען אין דעליקאַטעסן „ציון”, אױף 13טר עװעניו מיט 40סטער גאַס אין באָראָ־פּאַרק, אָבער נאָר אױף אַ פּאָר װאָכן.


Thursday, July 06, 2006

Carrots of Many Colors

In our little corner, the carrots are here. From the left, orange carrots, white carrots, red carrots, yellow carrots, "rainbow" carrots (yellow-orange-pink), and purple carrots.

זעקס טעג פֿון דער קימטשי־װאַך

חזק, חזק, ונתחזק! דאָס הײסט אַ הײמישע קימטשי׃ שטאַרק װי בראָנפֿן, האַרב װי כרײן, געזאָלצן װי הערינג, זױער װי דער פֿאַרײַאָריקער ראָסל.

Some spicy phrases from Stutchkoff:

שטאַרק װי בראָנפֿן
Strong as brandy

האַרב װי כרײן
Sharp as horseradish

געזאָלצן װי הערינג
Salty as a herring

געזאָלצן װי בײַ מיר אױפֿן האַרצן
Salty as the pain in my heart

זױער װי דער פֿאַראַיאָריקער ראָסל
Sour as last year’s brine

מען קאָן דערזען קראָקע מיט לעמבעריק
You can see
Krakow and Lemberg

Stutchkoff, Nahum, and Max Weinrich. Der Oytser Fun Der Yidisher Shprakh. New York: Yidisher Visnshaftlekher Institut, 1950.


Wednesday, July 05, 2006

What a Swell Palyaa

To celebrate the national holidays of the US (July 4), Canada (July 1), and Belarus (July 3), I prepared some recipes from India. This beet dish was new to me. I came across this intriguing recipe for beet palyaa at Sugar and Spice.

I followed the recipe except that I used dried red chiles instead of fresh green ones, and I did not add any curry leaves (kadipatta), because it seemed that on Independence Day one can be exempt from extra shopping trips. You know already that I am a fierce patriot of beta vulgaris in all its forms, but I had never made anything quite like this.

I heated the oil and sizzled spices and a few tablespoons of urad dal. For this dish the lentils function as a seasoning rather than a staple ingredient. Then I added the thinly sliced onions and finally the sliced beets. Cooking time is brief, especially for a beet recipe, and the sweet spicy palyaa is delicious hot off the stove or at room temperature.

Sweetnicks rounds up recipes that declare independence from oxidants.

Food and Drink, Recipes, Cooking, Food, Vegetarian, vegetables, vegan, antioxidant-rich foods,
, ,

Monday, July 03, 2006

פֿיר טעג פֿון דער קימטשי־װאַך

איצטער טוט זיך עפּעס! די קימטשי װערט שױן אַ ביסל זױער. עס בלעזלט און קאָכט זיך אין טאָפּ.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Cucumber Salad with Dill

This recipe is so simple it almost isn’t there, but it is enormously important to me. I think this may be the first thing I ever prepared.
Cucumber Salad with Dill
4 large “Persian” cucumbers, or about six or seven kirbies
Kosher salt
1 small onion
Apple cider vinegar
Dill (about 12 sprigs or 4 tablespoons snipped for this amount of cucumbers. Even if you have just a tiny bit of dill, it will be fine)
Sugar, possibly a little more salt.

Peel the cucumbers, or don’t, and slice them thin. Sprinkle kosher salt over them, toss to mix well and set aside for a few hours, even just fifteen minutes will work if you can’t wait.
Slice the onion very thin. Sprinkle with a tiny bit of salt and add about one teaspoon of sugar and two teaspoons of vinegar and set aside. I know you are thinking you will leave out the sugar, but please try just a tiny bit; it is very important.
When you are ready to assemble the salad, squeeze the juice out of the cucumbers—squeeze, squeeze, squeeze. Snip the dill and add it to the cucumbers along with the onions in sugar and vinegar. Now add the reserved cucumber juice. Stir well and taste. You might need to add more sugar, salt, vinegar or water. The salad should taste not salty, sweet, or vinegary, but right exactly in the middle.
Traditionally, you would serve this with a great big pile of sour cream, but to me, it is even more interesting on its own.
More herbal memories at Weekend Herb Blogging.

Kimchi Watch: Day 3

Looks like kimchi.
Smells like kimchi.
Tastes very hot and not at all sour yet.

For anyone planning to make kimchi I would just suggest that in addition to wearing gloves when you mash the pepper into the cabbage, you might want to keep those gloves on while you wash the bowl and wipe down your work surface. Yeeeowch.