April 16, 2011 § 4 Comments
It’s a rainy and miserable April afternoon, the kind that even the promise of May flowers can’t redeem, the kind where you sit around and eat soup, and watch TV, and even the characters on the TV are eating soup. (Synergy!) I’m trying to find the silver lining of all of these clouds, and am using this evening to look through the many pictures of my mom’s visit.
What’s great about having visitors is that they give you an excuse to go do all the things you otherwise forget about – visiting museums, eating at the tasty restaurants you’ve been meaning to try, venturing to Herold Square and Rockefeller Center, and generally playing the role of tourist while still maintaining your jaded New Yorker cred. But what’s great about having your mom as a visitor is that you get to do that stuff, but also enjoy her home cooking expertise. So, without further adieu, a sampling of what my mom and I ate on her visit here.
On Sunday, we went to Brooklyn Flea in Williamsburg, on the first outdoor weekend of the season. The Sunday Flea is right on the water, with a lovely view of Manhattan and the bridges (which is incidentally the name of my next band). Unfortunately, the location also means that it can be freezing and windy, and on this Sunday, it sure was. We kicked off our visit with a stop at the Porchetta booth, which fortified us enough to brave the the wind and the dust devils. But delicious meat can only last you so long (get your mind out of the gutter), so we capped off our Flea-sperience with a Romaine Dinghy from Saltie. There’s nothing like a salty, fishy sandwich and a sample of olive oil cake to protect you from the wind. Except maybe a windbreaker.
After the flea, we went to Trader Joe’s to pick up ingredients for dinner and a Brooklyn Trader Joe’s bag for my mom. I, on the other hand, used my D.C. Trader Joe’s bag, which completely impressed our cashier. He’s apparently quite an collector, and has researched all available Trader Joe’s bags. According to him, the hierarchy of bag awesomeness is D.C.>Brooklyn>Atlanta. We’ll have to take his word on how hideous the Atlanta bag is, since there are no Googleable pics to back him up. A conspiracy? Anyway, you heard it hear first: Trader Joe’s bags are the next Beanie Babies. But more tasty than a bag? Chicken piccata with potatoes and asparagus and salad. Once more, my mom was dismayed to learn we didn’t have a staple – capers, in this case – but we improvised and it worked out. Here’s what’s great about moms: they don’t need recipes! How long until I’m at that point?
Also, pro (mom) tip: if you’re going to pound your chicken with a frying pan, make sure to put it in a plastic bag first. Otherwise, it’ll sploosh out everywhere. Live and learn!
You know the other great thing about moms, or at least my mom? If you’ve maybe left salad greens in your fridge for like a week plus, and maybe some of it has become that gross black lettuce decay, she’ll pick through the greens for you and salvage the good stuff. Motherly love! Or, like, instinct of protecting your young. Regardless. Moms! The best!
The reason we had that salad for dinner is because we had eaten 6 and 8 ounces of tri-tip for lunch. I’ll leave it up to you to guess who ate how much. The tri-tips were courtesy of a place called Tri Tip Grill, in Rockefeller Center. But I can’t think of it as anything but the Buckhorn. See, I grew up in Winters, a town with 5,000 people. It was known for a few things: having no stoplights, being the gateway to Lake Berryessa and the Glory Hole (again, mind out of gutter, y’all), and having the Buckhorn Steakhouse, one of the best steakhouses around. In my childhood, the best/worst part of the Buckhorn was the huge collection of taxidermied animals adorning the walls. But now, it’s the utterly addictive Roadhouse Onions. If you’re in New York, San Francisco, or, I don’t know, Winters, CA, go get ‘em!
In an excellent coincidence, the other restaurant in Winters owned by the Buckhorn folks was featured on Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives while my mom was here. If you watch it, you can see my pre-school teacher endorsing the pizzas made in an oven built by my next-door neighbor, while my parents’ friend sits at the next table. Like I said, small town.
After she’d bought my steak, taken me to Al Di La, cooked all week, and didn’t complain once about sharing my bed, I figured I owed my mom a little something something. So I made the delicious pull-apart cinnamon toast breadfor her. We showed remarkably more restraint this time, and took two whole days to finish eating it! But seriously, this bread is so good that I can honestly see myself making it for the rest of my life. TRY IT.
And finally, a pro (Anna) tip: why buy a rolling pin? Just guzzle a whole bottle of wine and use that instead!
Anna (and her mom)
March 26, 2011 § 1 Comment
The first time is the hardest. That’s what she said.
So far, so good. Right?
We are four girls who live in Brooklyn. We have a kitchen; it has only one drawer.
We like to eat. A lot. We cook and bake delicious things. We will post them here, both for posterity, and for the millions of people on the Internets just dying to hear about the edible adventures of four twenty-somethings exploring this whole real-world thing for the first time.
So, here we are. It is Saturday morning (actually, afternoon. But it’s all relative.) and we’ve just finished consuming nearly half of what will heretofore be referred to as The Most Delicious Bread Ever. Initially, Leonore was unenthused – “the picture makes it look like squished grilled cheese sandwiches!” – but has since been wholeheartedly converted.
This was our first bread-making experience and the inaugural voyage of our very first loaf pan. The waiting part was the hardest – unfortunately, unlike cookie dough, bread dough is not just as good when consumed raw.
Anna found the recipe on Joy the Baker – a new favorite here at Casa Wala, to stand alongside Smitten Kitchen, our other household obsession. She was worried that it wouldn’t turn out quite as beautifully as the pictures with the recipe – but those fears, clearly, were unfounded.
Anna, Leo, and Wesley