Wednesday, January 11, 2006

One Week Left of Break...

Not a long post today because it's 1:52 am.

I finished Ruth Reichl's book today. It is amazing. You should all read "Comfort Me With Apples." I have looked up to Reichl since I was a young teenager and she wrote restaurant reviews for the New York Times. And then edited Gourmet (the best magazine out there). This book made her seem more... human. No spoilers but it will make your mouth water. And she managed to travel to China, Thailand, Barcelona and Paris in one book. Lucky. It's mostly memoir - recounting her time from the mid-1970s when she first became a restaurant critic through about the 1980s - documents divorce, affairs, the death of her father, moving to LA, and all that good stuff with a sprinkling of (seemingly delicious) recipes. I can't wait to read her other two books even though I've read this one out of order.

Here is one recipe from her collection which I've tweaked for all of us kosher folks...if you're a vegetarian I'd assume that either a vegetable broth or a "beef flavored broth" that's vegetarian would be fine. When I cook it I'll probably omit the nutmeg & bay leaf to stay economical but it will lessen the complexity of the dish.:
Mushroom Soup
1/2 pound mushrooms
1/2 stick (1/4) cup unsalted butter (I'll be using some good ol' margarine here)
1 small onion, diced
4 Tbsp. flour
1 c. beef broth
2 c. half-and-half (if you're making it non-dairy or kosher you can do it with soy milk or non-dairy creamer)
salt, pepper
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 bay leaf

Thinly slice the mushrooms. Melt the butter (or margarine) in a heavy saute pan. When the foam subsides add the onion and saute until golden. add the mushrooms and saute until brown. Stir in the flour, then slowly add the broth, stirring constantly. Heat the half-and-half in a saucepan or in the microwave. Add it to the mushrooms, along with salt, pepper, nutmeg and bay leaf. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes - do not boil. Remove bay leaf and serve.

In other news - thank you so much Kayla for the package! I received some wonderful *allergen-free* recipes that were xeroxed from Cybele Pascal's new cookbook "The Whole Foods Allery Cookbook." I don't have any food allergies (though the comments about eczema make me wonder if maybe I have SOMETHING that's keeping my legs all red and scarred) but it's good for some of the kosher stuff because everything is dairy free. There is a little TMI in the cookbook but I'll try out a recipe. In addition, I got a FABULOUS poster (ahem ahem). K - your package is on the way.

I received my first assignment for next semester today: read chapters 1-19 of Robert Caro's "The Power Broker" by Wednesday. Yikes. I read a lot of it sophomore year for History of the City of New York, and anticipated that I'd be assigned this book given that the title of the course is "Robert Moses and the Modern City" but spending my last day off before school starts (work on Thursday and Friday, RA/CPA recharge from Friday night - Sunday night, work on Monday) I would rather sleep in, be lazy, and engage in mindless entertainment. Too bad.

On a completely random note - did anyone else have a craving for Baked Beans during the middle of Brokeback Mountain?

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