Tis the season for Rainier Cherries

Rainier cherries have the highest sugar content in the cherry family. I buy them every season for breakfast cereal, smoothies and to make ice cream. However, pitting cherries one at a time is a slow process, with hits, misses and pits flying everywhere. I hate doing it. So here’s the solution: Can’t say this is …

The Best Spice-featured Cookbook in 56 Years

The Spice Cookbook, by Avanelle Day and Lillie Stuckley has been my library reference since it was published in 1964. Not for the recipes or the authors’ innovations, which were not impressive then or now, but for the 75 page opening treatise on the spice trade and spices. Ah, time marches on and in this …

How to Purée Garlic – Advanced Knife Work

According to Herbst, garlic is a member of the lily family, which includes leeks, shallots, onions, chives, and garlic chives (try them).  It is an edible bulb that grows under ground.  The bulb is made of sections called cloves.  Each clove is tightly wrapped in its own parchment-membrane, which resists removal.  Garlic is available year-round.  …

Technique

Fundamentals 101

One of the mysteries of human behavior is that under stress, the self-evident is not self-evident.  Take, for example, the so-called First Rule of Holes.  Namely:  If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.  Politicians are especially prone to violating this rule.  Albeit self-destructive, their compulsive shoveling provides the rest of us an endless …

Technique

Table of Measures

Tables of measures abound.  This one includes more than a few metric cross-references.  While U.S. homemakers are not going metric, more and more imported kitchen equipment and food packages have metric markings, so it is of some utility to know, for example, that a container marked 500ml holds 1 pint or 2 cups. TABLE OF …

Technique

Abbreviations

I know.  Abbreviations and acronyms are a bane of the erudite, but expedience rules. At L’Academie de Cuisine, students in the professional course are told at the outset that, “chefs do not read recipes, they write them.”  So for six months, five days a week, I had to type up the day’s work — notes …

Technique

Good Cooking Refinements

Here are some techniques that are followed as a matter of course by chefs in fine dining restaurants. Skimming–a Good Cooking Refinement There are procedures routinely used by savory chefs in fine dining restaurants that are not practiced often by home cooks or, for that matter, by chefs in family restaurants:  Stocks and sauces made …