Monthly Archives: September 2014

Edible Columbus

 

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This past Tuesday night I attended the Fall issue release party for Edible Columbus. It was held at Whole Foods in Dublin, Ohio. There was live music and great food provided by Whole Foods. Edible Columbus is a local publication available in Columbus, Ohio. They celebrate local foods and aim to connect the community with local farmers, artisans, entrepreneurs as well as local restaurants and food happenings around the town. You can’t help love their mission statement and it’s one I truly share. “Our mission is to change the way we eat – one story at a time.” Check their website to find where you can pick up the latest issue.

Honeycrisp Apples… What’s all the Hype?

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If you live in the Midwest, you know that last week was the beginning of honeycrisp apple season. If you live anywhere else in the country, allow me to share a glimpse of what that means…

Local farms will advertise the day “u-pick” is available for whatever produce they have available. The farms post on their websites which variety of fruit or vegetables will be available, or you can sign up for email alerts. What is u-pick, my New York friends are asking? Well, it’s exactly that. You go to a farm and pick your own apples, blueberries, pumpkins – whatever is in season. It is so much fun my friends and family look forward to it all year. I was first introduced to apple picking soon after we moved to Ohio. My son’s kindergarten class went to a local orchard and for weeks following he ate apples with breakfast, lunch, and dinner! The next year we went as a family and have been doing so ever since. Lynd’s Farm has a corn maze, farm stand with fresh baked goods, and the best fruits and vegetables you can find. I think Autumn is the best time to go. That’s when they have hot apple cider and warm doughnuts.

Watch out!

Watch out Lauren, Judy’s on a mission – leave no apple behind!

Honeycrisp time is something completely different. We go to Lynd’s Fruit Farm every year. The picking is always on a Friday and the apples go fast. Some years they have been sold out by noon. My girlfriends and I have made honeycrisp picking a tradition for the past 3 or 4 years now. We get the kids off to school, designate a driver and off we go! The plan is to get to the farm before they open, wait on the car line that extends for miles, talk about which side of the orchard we should go to and how crazy we are for waiting to do this! Then for the next hour or so taste and pick the most deliciously juicy apples you can imagine and realize it was all worth it. With the first bite, you know why they are called honeycrisp. They are sweet with a hint of honey flavor, very crisp and juicy. What we always find amazing is that every tree yields a slightly different tasting apple. This year after each of us picking our 20+ pounds of apples, we dragged our bags to the car only to find the best tree when it was too late! Every year, we also learn something new from fellow apple pickers. One year we were impressed with the family who came with the wagon so you didn’t have to schlepp your apples around. The next year it was the woman with the step stool so she could reach the higher parts of the trees – genius! One of the best tips we got was from the women who had laundry baskets in their car. After picking, they put the plastic bags filled with apples in the basket so they won’t roll around in the car on the way home.

 

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My friend Judy is the apple in the middle!

I’d like to tell you that there will be great recipes on my blog featuring them, but I’m not sure there will be! For one thing, I think they are too delicious eaten as is to do anything else with them. But who knows, I may change my mind. We met a woman who came with a wagon and picked about 60 pounds of apples! She was planning on making a lot of pies. I should have gotten a little friendlier with her!

 

The Perfect Hard-Boiled Egg

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Cooking 101: Or, how to cook a perfect hard-boiled egg…

The photo I took above shows an egg in all it’s glory. The yolk is a beautiful creamy golden yellow and the whites are soft and silky. This is not the hard-boiled egg I grew up with; the one, with a greenish grey outlined yolk and rubbery egg white. You know what I mean! In actuality, hard-boiled eggs aren’t boiled at all; they are simply simmered gently.

If cooking an egg is so simple, then why do so many people struggle with it? Even my mother was challenged in this area. Yes, you read that right, the woman whose cooking and baking prowess I’m always praising did not cook a perfect egg! Like most people, when she boiled an egg to a hard-boiled stage, it often ended up with a greenish grey color that surrounded the yolk. Which is a real turnoff and has an off putting aroma. I wondered what causes this reaction and found out is a chemical reaction from the sulfur in the egg white reacting to the iron in the yolk when it’s overheated. Okay, simple solution, don’t over cook your eggs!

While it sounds simple, if you search for this information, you will find many variations on how to achieve the perfect hard-boiled egg. Should you use fresh or older eggs? If you purchase your eggs straight from a farm, I would wait a week before hard cooking them. If you use grocery bought eggs, you will be fine. Some cooks pierce the shell before cooking, others say don’t. Some cooks boil them for 8 minutes, some let them sit with the heat off for 12 to 15 minutes or longer. Some cooks cover the pot with a lid, some don’t. There are also those who say to add salt or vinegar to the water. So who is right? I haven’t a clue, it’s overwhelming and I just want a beautifully cooked egg! Enjoy!

Here is what I do for a perfect egg every time…

• I start with extra large eggs, and place them in a single layer in a large pot.

• Add enough water* to cover the eggs plus an extra inch or so and add a teaspoon of salt.

• Put the pot on high heat and bring it to a boil.

• Lower the heat to a low simmer and set a timer for 3 minutes.

• When the timer goes off, turn off the heat, remove the pot from the stove and cover the pot for 9 to 10 minutes**

• After that time, drain the water and run cold water over them. Place the eggs in an ice water bath (a bowl filled with ice and water 50/50). In 5 to 10 minutes when cold, peel the eggs. Drain the water, put the lid on and shake the pot to crack the shells.

• Enjoy chopped into egg salad, cut in half and sprinkled with salt and pepper, or on top of a salad. However you like to eat a hard cooked egg you’ll now always have a perfect one!

*Make sure to add cold or room temperature water to the eggs. Keeping the water temperature close to the egg temperature may help prevent cracking.

**Timing also depends on the size of the egg you are using. Large eggs – 8 minutes, extra large – 9 minutes, jumbo – 10 to 11 minutes. You can always make sure they are done by checking one egg at the minimum time before placing them all into an ice bath.

 

Can We Talk?

 

"Life goes by fast. Enjoy it. Calm down. It's all funny." —Joan Rivers #quotes

How many people can say they were yelled at by Joan Rivers? Probably a lot now that I think about it! Add my name to the list!

In the early 80’s my sister Francine and I were crazy about Joan Rivers. We loved her on Johnny Carson, on her own show, and especially when she was in concert. We didn’t miss an appearance when she came to the Sunrise Musical Theater in Florida. If we were lucky David Brenner would be the opening act and our night was made!

I had just gotten a brand new camera for my photography class and brought it with me to the show. We were sitting in the house seats, just a couple of rows from the stage. Out she came with a shimmering white gown and started in on her routine right away. Through my laughter, I was snapping photo after photo until Joan walked over, stood over me and screamed “take the damn shot already!” I was so embarrassed, yet  thrilled at the same time!

Everyone is posting tribute clips of Joan doing standup, and of her great one liners. I have posted a couple of her on the Martha Stewart Show. Two of my favorite things in one place… Comedy and Cooking. If you have never seen them before I’m sure you will love them.

Life goes by fast. Enjoy it. Calm down. It’s all funny!  Joan Rivers 1933- 2014… May your memory be for a blessing

http://www.marthastewart.com/1062836/matzo-latkes-joan-rivers

http://www.marthastewart.com/1012996/white-bean-hummus