Archive for November, 2011

Cooking with Angstrom/ Savory French Toast

Monday, November 28th, 2011

So, Angstrom has a new favorite word: “Spice.”

He says it when he gets home from daycare and sees the spice rack on the wall by the back door, “Spice!” Sometimes he says it when he gets up in the morning and we’re trying to get him ready to leave the house, “spice, spice!”

We’ve brought it on ourselves, and far from discouraging him, we encourage him to explore flavors. Maybe not on weekday mornings as we’re trying to get ready for work, but in the evenings and on the weekends, we’ll pull out several (3-5, typically) while I’m cooking and give him a chance to smell them and taste them. Often, we’ll follow that up with a chance for Angstrom to help me stir.


Planning Next Thursday’s Dinner

Friday, November 18th, 2011

Turkey, gobble… the sound the bird makes seems to describe how we eat each Thanksgiving.  And yet, I have found myself disappointed of late with turkeys as a whole.

It’s not because of their source, necessarily–it’s been several years since I bought a supermarket bird.  And last year, I went all out and procured a heritage breed bird from Maggie Henry.  It was good, but it wasn’t the flavor experience I’d been hoping for (especially when viewed in terms of a cost:benefit analysis!)

So, this year, i’ve opted to return to the roots of the holiday, before Tom was a guest de rigeur at the table, when the foreign occupiers were beholden to the natives for saving their inexperienced selves from the harsh elements of a pre-industrial existence, and as the story goes, all came together to share a harvest feast.

The selection of meats at that table was varied, I hear tell, and while wild turkey was likely a course, other meats appeared too.  So, this year, I’m roasting a goose.

This will be just the second time I’ve done it, but the first time yielded a meal featuring all the flavor I wished turkey had, so I’m glad that I wrote myself such careful instructions for how I went about the process.  If you have the chance to choose this bird instead of the norm for your table, I recommend trying Jo-Mar meats in the Strip District if you’re a Pittsburgher—it’s been a couple of weeks since I purchased what had been their last goose, so they have likely restocked in the interim.  They sell the birds frozen, so buy this weekend to give it a chance to thaw slowly in your refrigerator!

As a result of getting this goose, I’m more excited about this meal than I have been for the past several 4th Thursdays in November!  I look forward to a rich, luscious gravy; goose fat for several cooking projects to follow; cherry pie from frozen sour cherries; brussels sprouts roasted with a maple syrup glaze; pan roasted turnips & sweet potatoes; and a corn bread stuffing my sister has been talking up for weeks.

Please share favorites from your menu—I’ve still got a few days before the meal that I could adopt some of your menu items for my house to enjoy!