Christina's Table

Feeding Your Body, Mind and Spirit through Food (hopefully)
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Archive for October, 2008

Posted on Fri October 17, 2008

As a student I always wanted to be a writer.  I had delusions of grander penning something.. what I had no idea, and years later I decided I wanted to be the next Pauline Kael (or Liz Smith- depending on the day).  I never wanted to write the Great American Novel (I think Neil Gaiman did that with American Gods), but I realized through my love of literature and the wonderful toolage of AMAZING professors in Italy that I really loved writing about art, analyzing art, literature and music and recently, I discovered that my idea of art  had shifted,  not only is it something to see, hear or read, it is something to taste. 

As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  Do I like Sookie Stackhouse any less than I do Jane Eyre?  No, just as I love a great Chili dog as much as I do a seared fois gras with a blackberry gastric (Brandon made this for me for Christmas Eve- it was to die for- honestly, but then again it was made with frozen  Sunnyside Blackberries and my red wine vinegar so how bad could it be?).  You can’t tell someone that their tastes are wrong.  Some people don’t like Shakespeare, or seafood (I don’t like most Pinot Noirs- but then again I have had some unforgettable ones- go figure), but that doesn’t mean anything, not really, it is just a reflection of their self, neither good nor bad, just is.  But what you can do is share a passion with someone,  hoping they will catch it.    This is what I  hope to do, by sharing my passion with food I  hope others catch it because now I have delusions of being a modern day Brillant-Savarin or maybe even MFK Fisher (a girl has to dream- right?!)  So, thanks for reading and Happy Eating!!


Must Read

Author: ck
Posted on Fri October 17, 2008

The following link to an NYT article (actually it is an open letter to the President Elect) by Michael Pollen is a must read for anyone who is concerned about pretty much the state of anything.  He succeeds in illustrating how our food (and agriculture) are connected to almost everything and explains why massive reform is necessary.  I highly recommend reading it, however I will warn you that it is LONG.


Fried Dough!

Author: ck
Posted on Sun October 12, 2008

Last week at class it was mushroom night. We had a lot of stuff going on, a potato tornade in demi glaze (YUMMM), a mushroom-spinach filo station, a mushroom viotelle crepe, a mushroom consume (I have found an amazingly simple way of doing this- send it through the grinder) and  an unrelated group- quince and green tomatoes.  I was in the quince group (I fell in love with them after eating an entire jar of Bernedette’s jelly during my last visit).  YUMMMM.  I suggested that we serve a fried dough thing with the tornade quince and syrup.  One of my cooking partners made an AMAZING baeignet, (she said it was was just her pancake batter pumped up- she is a baking goddess), along with a whipped cream with Quince syrup.  

Fried dough- 2 cups flour, 2 cups milk, 4 TBS baking powder, about 1/8tsp salt, and sugar to taste.  Fry until golden brown.  





Posted on Sun October 12, 2008

OMG!  As an English Major and a foodie, I couldn’t ask for anything more.  Once again, Marthe read an  intreview in the NYTimes and bought me a book, this time for Christmas.  WOW.  A food anthology (with recipes!!!) by Molly O’Neill.  Thomas Jefferson’s recipe for Ice Cream, my first exposure to Jean Anthelme Brillant-Savarin (how did I miss HIM?), but basically a reader for american food and map of who we are, where we have been,  and a maybe of where we are going. 

I have had the privalage of working with with some amazing chefs in the US (while I worked for Green Circle Organics\Sunnyside Farms), those who spearhead where we go, and I can honestly say, that givein the chef’s I know and the growers I have worked with, I have hope.   Hope for our farms, hope for our bodies, and hope for our tables.



Posted on Sun October 12, 2008

Have you read it?  If not you need to.  It was very funny, but I had seen 3 reviews, and before I could run out and buy the book, my friend Marthe had given me the book for my birthday.  She said, “I had a whole theme planned out butthen I heard this interview on PNR and I called Barnes and Noble and asked if they had the book and they did and they said they could hold it for 72 hrs and I said I’ll be right over.  I knew it was perfect for you”.  I haven’t finished it, but the  book is riviting, of course maybe only if you like wine, but Marthe was right, it is the perfect book for me. 




Chow Chow 2

Author: ck
Posted on Sun October 12, 2008

It didn’t work.  I am getting ready to throw the first batch I made out.  There are 2 issues, I oversalted it so the suff is soft and the other is that I don’t like the taste of the pepper I used.  My family used banana peppers and I tried to use something else and I did NOT like the taste at all. 

I am going to start on batch 2 tomorrow.   I will keep you posted.

Oct 11, 2008

Author: ck
Posted on Sun October 12, 2008

Tonight was a quite night.  Just mum and I for dinner, fixing whatever was available.  So…. we had a grilled spatch-cocked chicken, grilled artichokes (with a grilled lemon aoili) , grilled (roasted) peppers, grilled corn on the cob (desilked, soaked in water, drained and dehusked, rubbed w/ a butter compound and rehusked, and then grilled- on the cool side of the grill), fried greenish heirloom tomatoes, sauteed beet greens and we had a white Rhone.

Meals are about congruent tastes and whatever is in season and figuring out how to meld them.  I think that is something that I do well (at least to my tastes and I think to those that I serve).  As I recently told a friend,  I am not a great cook, but I like to think that I make up for talent with enthusiasm and great ingredients! 

Chow Chow

Author: ck
Posted on Thu October 9, 2008

FINALLY!! After 30 years I have made my own Chow-Chow. It is one of my favorite things in the entire world, but something I always attributed to my grandma, dad or aunts, not something for me to make.  I guess I finally succumbed and realized that if I want Chow-Chow, I have to make it.   So, I called my Aunt Linny last week to refresh my childhood memories – shredded cabbage, green tomatoes,  and peppers, placed in a non reactive pot (Granny had a 20 gallon crock), salted (to taste), weighted down and covered (so the flies don’t get in it when it starts to work) until it is done. 

Aunt Dorothy (one of mum’s oldest friend’s- it was her daughters that did the Susan G Komen walk) was in this week and she helped me shred the stuff (THANK GOD for the Cuisinart!!- and my heirloom green tomatoes) and get my pot going.  How long it needs to ‘work’ depends on the weather.  Honestly, fermentation is dependant on temperature, and right now it is a bit too cold and my stuff is working slow.   

My biggest shock came after call number 2 to Aunt Linny.  I needed to know how to ‘can’ it after it was done.  Just stick it in the jar and leave room so it can work.  Do you cold pack it? Pressure it?  Just heat the lids?  No, just stick it in the jars and be sure to leave room in the top so it can work and store it in a cool place so it doesn’t ‘work’ too much in the jar and explode. 

Can we say botulism?  Maybe that is why I have never had food poisoning- I am immune!  I am in the process of getting my ServSafe cert, and I am kinda skived about this entire process, but the thought of a pot of pinto beans, potatoes fried in bacon grease, an heirloom tomato, and a big helping of Chow-Chow gets me over it.



Oct 5, 2008

Author: ck
Posted on Wed October 8, 2008

Sunday night’s dinner was a celebration for a few of my friends who had just finished the Susan G  Koman Walk for the Cure (a 3 day 60 mile event to raise money for breast cancer).  Last year when they asked me if I wanted to join them, I respectfully declined and promised to feed them, Reiki them, massage their feet and make them some of my ‘magic oil’ for any other sore muscles.   

I broiled a few fresh wild caught Coho fillets with some lemon slices on top and in case they wanted something heavier, I also grilled a tri-tip that I had seasoned with jerk like spices.   I can’t remember all we had because we had tons of side dishes- garlic spinach, sauteed asparagus, pasta salad, corn on the cob, fresh green beans with heirloom tomatoes,  bruschetta and I can’t remember what else except one of my last bottles of the 2007 Pax Rose. 

I won’t however forget how they looked when they arrived, after being feed, or after their foot rubs.  Those are the lasting memories of that meal (and the Pax of course).  

Oct 4, 2008

Author: ck
Posted on Sun October 5, 2008

The table tonight was empty, but I didn’t go hungry.  I had plans with my friend Marthe today and it was a great afternoon and evening.  We got to stop in and see part of the Jim Henson exhibt at the International Gallery, then we went to Etete for dinner, (my FAVORITE Ethopian restraunt in the City), followed by David Sedaris at Lisner.  In short a great day- incredible art and amazing food, followed by belly laughs.  Who could ask for more?