Pie Day

Pie Day

Last week, during an after school conversation about Thanksgiving, I experienced that moment when I knew I would leave a  lasting impact on society after I’m gone.  (This is something you think about when you pass your mid 60’s…) Morgan,  grandgirl #2, who is almost 13, informed me that, to her amazement, not everyone celebrates Pie Day.  Her younger sister chimed in saying that a lot of her friends actually BUY their pies, adding “And, mostly, they taste awful!”. Every…

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Updating you on your birthday, Frank Fischel

Updating you on your birthday, Frank Fischel

The business of life is the acquisition of memories.  … that’s all there is.Mr. Carson, Downton Abbey And I have so many. This week is a double whammy.  Today would have been my husband Frank’s 70th birthday, and this coming Sunday, the 2nd anniversary of his death.   Doing the math to calculate what his age would have been just freaked me out, and, I realize, he has really stopped in time at age 67 in my mind.  Though he turned 68…

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     I’ve always been a bit of a do-it-myself-er, sewing drapes when it was probably less expensive and certainly easier to buy readymade; hand making birth announcements for all three children when most were using Hallmark to announce their new arrivals; passing the days in Tacoma, circa 1968, picking berries for jam and making bread to spread it on.   So it shouldn’t be much of a surprise to find that I like to make my gifts for…

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Marcella

Marcella

It started, as so many good ideas do, with a call-to-blog from Mrs. Wheelbarrow.   Her suggestion, to host a dinner to honor one of my favorite cookbook authors and a personality I had always wanted to meet, Marcella Hazan, on October 26th, and to blog about it, was just the thing to welcome Fall to the dinner table.  I live in California- we get a late and very mild rendition of Fall compared to the rest of the country,  but we still…

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It’s Been Such a Fine Year of Meat…

It’s Been Such a Fine Year of Meat…

Keeping in mind that the first picture of each post becomes a thumbnail on a facebook post, and a few people have let me know that the three dead ducks in my kitchen sink were a bit much, I thought I would start with these lovely beans, tarbais from southwestern France, ordered from D’Artagnan, which are the heart of the cassoulet.  For this uber challenge there was little question of what I would make.  I had only eaten a cassoulet once,…

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Duck, Duck, Duck…

Duck, Duck, Duck…

It occurred to me, as I looked over the last month of Charcutepalooza challenges, that  I had the opportunity for some extra credit, to sort of prove the point of the whole experience you might say.  I knew I had to prepare for the grand finale, the December challenge, which for me was going to be to prepare that mixed bag of meats and beans, a cassoulet.  But I also had, hanging out there, the challenge from the very beginning of the year,…

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Fat, Beautiful Pork Fat!

Fat, Beautiful Pork Fat!

My husband, Frank, and I are big fans of the pizza at Pizzaria Mozza, Mario Batali’s joint venture pizza place (seems a little too subtle to describe it as such- it’s actually a bustling and buzzing West Hollywood happening place) with Nancy Silverton and Joe Batstianich.  So, when in New York a couple of years ago, we decided to try Otto, his New York pizza place (also a little to common a describer…).  I tell you all this because it was here that…

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Galantine……….

Galantine……….

Well, most of you know how I feel about chicken.   So when I read about this months challenge, I thought seriously of rillettes-  something I knew I would love to eat.   However, I realized I had only boned a chicken once, and I don’t think that was a very nice experience.  Obviously, this was something I had to master, to overcome- like my fear of heights…. And I considered this to be a good excuse to by a new boning knife- the glorious boning…

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Did you come here for a pie, sir?

Did you come here for a pie, sir?

While in college, our oldest son, Josh, was a musical theater major, and the favorite character he ever played was Sweeney Todd. And, as you might expect, since we started grinding meats for Charcutepalooza there have been many references in our house to the play, and the music, and even Johnny Depp has come up a couple of times… but I digress.   Now, to have the opportunity to make a meat pie!    I could almost feel the whoosh of the bodies sliding…

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Foie

Foie

We have already discussed my 11th hour habits, that cram for exam attitude which has reared it’s ugly head often through this Charcutepalooza challenge and made life difficult, though occasionally thrilling, for me.    Though, this time, I almost wonder if it wasn’t a purposeful stall that allowed me to miss out on slow cooking a pig head on my stove top, only to be replaced by the still life seen below- starring a luscious foie gras terrine with a supporting cast…

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