Wednesday, October 22, 2008
FOR MY MOTHER
Mommy sits at my breakfast bar
I see her reflection in the shiny black granite
That covers my new kitchen cabinets
She is small but her back is straight
She eats her food one bite at a time
The granite mommy does the same
I watch her as she gracefully eats
The good food we have prepared
There are fresh vegetables and
Little bowties like my father once wore
My heart is full of love and yearning
I want to take care of her forever
Stay here, I plead to the mommies
Who shake their heads in unison
Affirming their independence
Much the same as I once did
Monday, October 13, 2008
Every October, Boulder artists open their studios to the public. This self-guided tour lasts two weekends, but it was 3 pm on the final day when I joined the parade of people looking for yellow "open studio" signs. And oh, the studios and secret gardens I saw!
Behind one small house, I found painter Elizabeth Black in a trailer. The stone path to her studio opened to a huge garden & grape arbor as well as a Christmas tree orchard. I could buy her art or a jar of her honey (take a jar & leave your money in the box). What a delight to find this magical garden in the middle of town.
The light rain didn't deter me or anyone else for that matter. It was hard to park and the small studios were crowded. But, people were enjoying the day and buying handcrafted items fresh off the shelf. It was a wonderful distraction from the bad economic news.
Artist Linda Faul, one half of the spagetti sisters, lives on a mountain top just outside of town. Linda paints landscapes and buffaloes (Univ. of Colorado mascot) and she's been commissioned to paint the holiday star that shines over Boulder each winter. I buy a small painting to go with the eggplant parmesan that she is serving at her open house. Linda and her sister Claudia come from a big Italian family and their recipes have been handed down from parents and grandparents. Linda's kitchen is filled with comfort food, family and friends. When she calls "mangia," I obediently eat two plates of eggplant parmesan.
This is like the food I ate growing up in N.Y., not far from the town where Linda & Claudia lived. Our neighborhoods were filled with 2nd generation Italians and Jews, and the Nanas and Bubbes still cooked for their families. My grandma would arrive with jars of stuffed cabbage & borscht and squares of rice pudding that my dad pretended to like. For me and my sister, there were treats like rugelach, Barton's chocolates and apple pie-cake.
My sister, Iris, is amazed that I remember the name of my grandparents' apartment building (the Mira Mar) in Brighton Beach. She finds a picture in the Brooklyn Library archives. The building, adjacent to the wide boardwalk that leads to Coney Island, had two small shops where my dad bought us Italian ices and steaming hot knishes: potato, kasha and his favorite, cherry cheese, wrapped in white paper. They were almost too hot to hold and when you did take a bite, the flaky strudel-like outside broke apart releasing a sweet or savory filling that I haven't tasted in 40 years. No wonder I remember the building so well.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Two Boulder chefs will compete on this season's Top Chef. But, they are not only from the same town, they handle kitchen duties at restaurants owned by the same chef & restauranteur, Dave Query. So if you are in Boulder, Colorado, check out Hosea Rosenberg' fare at Jax, a too-noisy seafood place on west Pearl. Nevermind that your table abuts that of other diners - take a look at what they're eating for an idea about what to order. On the same block, Melissa Harrison is sous chef at Centro Latin Kitchen. Get a table on the bustling outdoor patio.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Sure she did, but part of the fun of baking with Dorie is experimenting with her recipes. Like the blogger who made a white chocolate brownie cake or the baker who topped her cake with pecans.
FILL THE CAKES WITH RASPBERRY CREAM & A FEW WHOLE BERRIES. FROST THE FILLED MINI CAKES WITH THE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE. SPRINKLE ALL OVER WITH CHOCOLATE CRUMBS & TOP WITH A SUGARED RASPBERRY. (I made crumbs from the cake left over when I cut out four mini cakes with a donut cutter.)
Tip: keep the filled cakes and the whipped cream in the frig as you make this recipe, so they hold their shape.
AN INCREDIBLY GOOD DESSERT AND LOOKS FABULOUS.