Julia Child’s Salade Nicoise, for Aug 24-30, 2018

♦  CatChat – Misty previews what you’ll find in each section this week  

Tidbits  NYT online cooking classes / cook bacon in water? {M sounds OK to me} / smoking eggs?   CS Marketplace Spotlight  good foodie book / tee for readers   Featured Recipe  Julia Child’s Salade Nicoise   Tip  turning old fruit into easy new jam   Barbara’s Week  about that jam / shaping chocolate {M can’t have that} / plum duff {M – what the . . . }

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

♦  Tidbits  ♦

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  I have not taken these lessons, but since it’s a familiar source I’m fairly comfortable passing it along. The “New York Times” is offering online cooking lessons for, as it says, $1.25 a week. That leaves a lot of details to discover which you should be able to do here.

  A new way to cook bacon? In water?? And it’s crisp??? Yes and tender too which apparently is the water’s doing. So far I’ve just watched the video. If I try it you will sure know about it – good, so so, or never mind.

  When you see a reference to smoking eggs you sort of have to take a closer look at the article. This is interesting, and employs a grill technique that surprised me. Thanks to a google search, it turns out there is more than one way to do this, so clearly other folks have already discovered it. If I ever do, again you’ll be among the first to know.

♦  CS Marketplace Spotlight  ♦ 

Another interesting food-centric novel

Kate Carlisle’s “Cookbook Conspiracy” is a nice, lighthearted mystery – well except for those pesky murders. Which is to say, a quick read, a likable narrator, and flashes of humor.A Cookbook Conspiracy (Bibliophile Mystery 7)

What adds interest is the fact that two other “characters” join the human cast. One is the title book that threads its way through the tale on a twisty path that leaves havoc in its wake, finally revealing its role in all that swirled through the events. And the other is the food, usually bounteous dinners, since almost all of the humans are chefs.

And thank you to those cooks who, fictional though they may be, generously share their recipes in the back of the book. Among them: the “triumphant” syllabub {might want to skip the version that calls for placing the bowl of ingredients under a cow}, and the “Crazy Delicious” apple dessert.

The book earns 4 1/2 stars on Amazon, one of a series, available in multiple formats.

“Cookbook Conspiracy”  ♦  Other Carlisle books

Also at CS Marketplace “Especially For Readers” & “Especially for Dog Lovers”

Readers Extra – proudly tell the world of your priorities with this “READING/READING/READING/everything else” t-shirt or hoodie

♦  Featured Recipe  

Julia Child – still teaching us the art of French cooking

I came across this site, and glad I did, but the “who” behind it is unclear. There is a first person message on the “About” page but no real ID.

Thanks! whoever you are! It’s because of you and Child’s cookbooksThe Way to Cook that we can make that above statement.

And it’s so timely that we feature one of the culinary legend’s dishes now because August is her birthday month. And this one, as the site notes, is particularly appropriate because it’s “probably one of the most famous salad recipes by Julia Child. It was one of Julia’s favorite dishes.” And, as well, a nice cool addition to any Labor Day get-togethers.

Btw, if you want to preserve the authenticity of this prep, follow this link for her recipe for French potato salad.

Julia Child’s Salade Nicoise

Recipe    Julia Child’s Recipes site    Julia Child cookbooks    Julia Child videos

♦  Tip  

Stop! Step away from the trash can with that pruny fruit

And “pruny” could refer to not just a plum, but a peach, cherries, berries, et al. Here’s a way to save from the trash what a story in the Extra Crispy newsletter calls even “the saddest leftover fruit” and instead turn it into small batch jam.

And let us hasten to add that “small batch” is key here, because there is no boiling, no pectin, no testing, no sealing, no looking for storage space for a bunch of jars.

Nope. This is like one jar’s worth that the story says will last for a month in the fridge, adding that probably won’t though, not because it goes bad but rather because it’s so good.

And I can give a Yep! to that. In “My Week” below you’ll find more about my experience with the prep.

♦  A Peek at My Week  

Join  me in my kitchen &  parlor

  So, I took some liberties with this jam in the Tip. First, I did peel the fruit, and cut it quite small, about 1/4″ dice. Second, I used a bit less sugar. Third, once the fruit was super soft and the juice considerably reduced, I removed it from the heat and hit it with the immersion blender {be careful if you’re not using a deep pan, it will attack}. Last, I put the cover on tilted rather than tight while it cooled. Shown above is the one I made with two peaches.

  Some time back I ordered souvenir pens from a company that still sends me samples to this day. The one that just arrived was cushioned with the plastic piece you see here. And it was familiar because a pastry chef I once interviewed liked to use all kinds of items to create chocolate shapes and textures, including one like this to form nuggets, and many others sourced from well beyond the kitchen.

So if you’re a cook that likes to decorate your edibles, see what’s around your home that you can thoroughly clean, probably treat with non stick spray, and fill with chocolate, or press upon chocolate like a metallic doily to create a pretty design . . . or?

  Browsing through Diner’s Dictionary again. I just love this book! And not only because I can find foodie answers here faster than online, but even more because page after page has such interesting discoveries.

Just one of the entries on this journey: “Plum duff . . . one of the fortifying puddings of England is essentially the same in its beginnings as plum pudding, before it went upmarket The Diner's Dictionary: Word Origins of Food and Drinkto become Christmas pudding – in other words, a plain boiled suet pudding enlivened with a more or less generous addition of raisins or currants {duff represents a former northern pronunciation of dough}.

“The earliest record of the term, though, is not that ancient. It comes from the mid-nineteenth century, in R.H. Dana’s Two Years Before the Mast {1840}: “This day was Christmas . . . the only change was that we had ‘plum duff’ for dinner.”The sociologist Henry Mayhew records it as being one of the foods for sale on the street in London in the 1850s, its itinerant vendor being known as a plum duffer.”

In one short blurb, a sense of time, place, taste, prep, commerce, history and as a bonus, a literary reference too.

So far next week: easy batch-making for hamburgers, good news for dog owners, cleaning sheet pans, Alton Brown news

Cook with passion and a party spirit, whether for a crew, or for two, or just for you