16 June 2018

Weekend Cooking: A Little of This and That

Join the Abrams Dinner PartyGood morning, friends. Today is a kitchen miscellany of links, some good classic cookbooks, and a review program. I was going to throw in a new TV show, but I ran out of steam. Another day for that. Let's get going!

Abrams Dinner Party As you know, I've been a member of the Abrams Dinner Party for the last year. Thanks to the program, I've shared recipes and photos and reviewed cookbooks and memoirs. I honestly loved so many of the cookbooks, I don't think I could pick a favorite, though I really liked The Dinner Plan, The Austin Cookbook, What's Gaby Cooking . . . Oh heck, I'm just going to end up listing almost every title.

If you would like to be a member of Abrams Dinner Party for 2018-19, head on over to the application website and fill out the form by July 20. If you visit the site, you'll even see an endorsement by me! I loved being part of this program and encourage all of you to apply. I got so much more out of the Abrams Dinner Party than new cookbooks: I was inspired to post more food photos, I discovered new food sites, and made some new friends too. Go forth and apply! Yes, you!

Picador Cookstr Classic CookbooksPicador Cookstr Classics When I learned that Picador Cookstr was reissuing some of the great cookbooks of the late twentieth century, I knew I had to have copies. I'm beyond thrilled that the publisher sent me the first three in the series.

  • Indian Cookery by Sameen Rushdie was originally published in 1988. (Side note: One of her primary taste testers was her brother Salman, whose first book came out at around the same time.) Some of the recipes came from Rushdie's family, but others she discovered as an adult. A couple things I love: she provides several variations on traditional dishes, tells us how and when to serve them (including menus), and gives us a little history too. I really enjoyed reading her personal reflections on her lifelong relationship with food and cooking.
  • I've long been a fan of Arthur Schwartz and somehow missed his 1979 Cooking in a Small Kitchen when it first came out. The title isn't a joke; Schwartz tells us how to pull off all kinds of dishes--and even dinner parties--within the confines of the types of tiny kitchens found in many city apartments and student digs. He goes through equipment and logistics and provides recipes for everything from casual weekday meals to fancy dinner parties for four or more. His recipes are always easy to follow, and I love the international scope.
  • Irena Chalmers's The Confident Cook sounds familiar to me, and I wonder if my mother bought it when it was published in 1975. The premise of the cookbook is this: if you learn the basic techniques (like roasting) and foundation recipes (like sauces) then you'll have the confidence to tackle any dish. For example, if you know how to make a crepe batter, you can make blintzes, pancakes, and clafouti. This is a wonderful reference to have in the kitchen, and I bet I turn to it often, even with my many years of nightly cooking.
5 Links to Explore Today's links cover food and drink, and I hope at least one catches your attention.
  1. Beth Fish Reads: Strawberry shortcakeI'm biscuit challenged. For some reason, mine never, ever rise. And, yes, I have followed every tip and piece of advice out there. So imagine my surprise when these buttermilk shortcakes / biscuits from Epicurious actually worked. (And, yes, that's whipped cream from a can shown in the photo. So sue me.)
  2. I love to bake bread, and these taralli from Food 52 with olives and white wine sound awesome. The comments on the recipe are mixed, though, so I may do more research before making them, but I'm intrigued. And, no, I had never heard of taralli before and had to do some digging. One site described them thusly: "almost like a cracker, bread stick and pretzel all rolled into one, but better."
  3. Eric Asimov at the New York Times is a trusted wine source. (You may remember I reviewed his book How to Love Wine a few years ago.) I bookmarked his latest Twenty Wines under $20 column because it looked like there were some good picks for summer sipping. Of course, here in Byzantine Pennsylvania I'll have to pay more than $20 for most of them, but them's the breaks. Sigh.
  4. Talking about wine, I discovered Strawberry and Peach Rose Sangria the other day when I was snooping around the What's Gaby Cooking site. It looks so pretty and so refreshing. Because strawberries and peaches don't show up at the farmer's market at the same time, I think I'll wait a month and make it with peaches and raspberries, plums, or nectarines. Cheers!
  5. Finally, I love all things lemon and have a particular weakness for lemon curd. Although it's really not difficult to make, I rarely bother. But the other day I saw this recipe for Microwave Lemon Curd from Skillet. This looks insanely easy and won't heat up my kitchen in the summer. I absolutely plan to give this a try. Then I'll have to bake some more of those buttermilk biscuits. Oh darn.
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Weekend Cooking hosted by www.BethFishReads.comWeekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.

NOTE: Mr. Linky sometimes is mean and will give you an error message. He's usually wrong and your link went through just fine the first time. Grrrr.
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12 comments:

rhapsodyinbooks 6/16/18, 6:04 AM  

The buttermilk biscuit recipe is very close to my own, and I can testify they are so good! And as for the whipped cream in a can, really, can anything else create those delightful squiggles? The squiggles alone are worth an occasional trip to the can, so to speak.

Beth F 6/16/18, 6:54 AM  

@Rhapsodyinbooks: yes to the squiggles!

Jackie Mc Guinness 6/16/18, 7:10 AM  

Indian is one of my favourite foods!! I made my first lemon curd recently and it was the best I've ever had, and so easy I wonder why I never made it before!

Mae Travels 6/16/18, 7:30 AM  

The three reissued cookbooks all look like good ones. I had read some reviews of Rushdie's book, and wonder why she didn't write another one. I especially liked the review in the New Yorker:
https://www.newyorker.com/culture/annals-of-gastronomy/what-the-rushdies-ate

Good luck with the lemon curd in a microwave! I've been doing it that way for a while, but I worked out the technique by trial and error -- I didn't think of using a thermometer as they did, but that's a good idea. It's amazingly faster than the saucepan method and doesn't run the risk of scorching the bottom of a pot.

Best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

bermudaonion 6/16/18, 7:46 AM  

I toyed with applying to the Dinner Party but don't really cook enough for it. That Sangria sounds refreshing!

Judee Algazi 6/16/18, 8:08 AM  

Hi Beth,
Do you think I could consider the Abrams Dinner Party even if I am gluten free and vegetarian- would I be too limiting ?

Beth F 6/16/18, 8:58 AM  

@Judee and others curious about Abrams: if you read the application form introduction, you can see that there are a number of ways to fulfill your agreement besides cooking from cookbooks that don't meet your dietary needs.

Claudia 6/16/18, 11:31 AM  

I'll check out that Dinner Party Beth, and the Sameen Rushdie book looks like one I'd like as Indian food is a favorite. Also want to try the microwave lemon curd.

Deb in Hawaii 6/16/18, 12:06 PM  

Great post! Terrific tip on the lemon curd--the microwave sounds like a great way to go. Love the reissued cookbooks. I have Schwartz's "What To Cook When You Think There Is Nothing In the House To Eat" and "Soup Suppers" but not the reissued one. I'll check out the Abrams Dinner Party too. ;-)

Vicki 6/16/18, 2:03 PM  

I think I'll pass on the Dinner Party. I LOVE cookbooks but don't enjoy cooking like I used to since there's only two of us.

Nan 6/16/18, 4:37 PM  

I just made lemon curd the other day. My recipe is here https://lettersfromahillfarm.blogspot.com/2007/03/lemon-curd.html, if you'd like to try it. No microwave but easy peasy.

Tanya Patrice 6/16/18, 11:43 PM  

Thanks for the link to Abrams Dinner Party - looks like fun. I love wine, but for some reason I don't like Sangria.

Tanya Patrice
Girlxoxo.com

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