Tuesday, November 29, 2005




Molded Quince Paste

Molded Quince Paste
Originally uploaded by laurelfactorial.
I made a whole bunch of quince paste this autumn. This was molded in a copper mold. The picture doesn't do it justice, but you get the idea.

My Samhain Roast

Samhain Roast
Originally uploaded by laurelfactorial.
This is the roast I made for Samhain this year, before being cooked.

It's a pork tenderloin marinated in olive oil, port, and rosemary, wrapped in bacon, accented with carrots and apples, and garnished by a single Turkish bay leaf.

Photo of the Cookies

Originally uploaded by laurelfactorial.
Here are the cookies I made using the recipe just posted. I think they turned out quite lovely.

And they taste great too!

Yule Log Cookies

I just invented these.

First, rehydrate 1/4 cup each dried blueberries and cranberries in some rum or brandy.

Cream together 1 stick of butter and 3/4 cup sugar. Add cinnamon, allspice, and vanilla extract to taste, plus a pinch of salt. Beat in 1 egg. Mix in the dried fruit (drink the liquor), 1/4 cup nuts (pecans or walnuts), 1/4 cup crystalized ginger (bakers cut or chopped very small). Sift in 1 and 3/4 cup flour and 1/2 t baking powder.

Form the dough into a log, wrapped in wax paper, and refrigerate for a few hours. When you're ready, heat your oven to 350°F and grease a cookie sheet (or line with parchment). Slice the log into 1/2" slices, and place 2 inches apart on the sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

I think these would be nice at a solstice feast.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Something to try this summer

I was reading The Witches' Goddess by Janet and Stewart Farrar (again), and came across a recipe for Aphrodite cakes. They are very simple, and I cannot wait for peach season. All you need is some short crust pastry (pie dough), and some peaches, cut in half, stones removed. Put a circle (a little bigger than the diameter of your peach) of the pastry down on your baking sheet. Put one half of a peach on top of this (flat side down), the cover this with a dome of pastry. Seal the edges, and poke a hole in the top with a matchstick. Bake them until golden brown. "Juice rising from the fruit will create a little dark patch around the hole. ... The symbolism of these delicious cakes ... is as clear and unapologetic as Aphrodite herself. And why not?"

I think I'm going to modify these as follows: I'd peel the peaches first, add sugar to the pastry crust, sprinkle the base piece of pastry and the peach (after putting it down) with sugar and powdered ginger, and make the hole with a chopstick instead of a matchstick. Also, I would add that you should probably bake them at 350°F, and I would guess that they would take about 20 minutes.

You can also do them with nectarines.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Also, what I bought today

We had a trip to Costco today, where I bought: 1 Rotisserie chicken, 2 loaves of "artisan" bread, a box of clementines, and some apple cider. Looks like I am back into my old eating habits, basically eating what Amber calls "peasant food" and what I call "food that I don't have to cook to enjoy."

The other night, I came home and was trying to come up with something for dinner. I had, in my mind, "no food at all." I ended up making a simple (inauthentic) vegetable biryani:

~1 T butter
Whole coriander, cumin, and cardamom seeds
1/2 white onion
Garam masala (optional)
Curry powder (to taste)
2 small carrots
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup (uncooked) rice
handful of roasted pecan bits
Pinch of saffron (optional)

Melt the butter in a small saucepan on medium heat. Add the whole spices and cook until they start to pop. Add the onion, and the powdered spices. Cook until the onion is translucent, and add the remaining ingredients. Cook until the rice changes color a little. Add 1 cup of water. Bring everything to a boil, turn the heat down to low, put the lid on, and cook for about 20 minutes.

Our First Restaurant Review

Gustav's (near Washington Square)

The wait was a little long, but not overly so for a Saturday night. We started off with fondue and pretzels with mustard. I didn't like the fondue too much, actually, because it wasn't like the fondue I am used to (of course, it is probably more like fondue is supposed to be). The pretzels were average, but the mustards were quite a treat. I had a bit too much in one bite, and thought for a minute that I was maybe possibly going to die.

For dinner I had the Sausage Trio, accompanied by the Beer Sampler. Verily, I felt as though I was being feasted by my ancestors in the very halls of Valhalla*. The Beer Sampler featured five German beers in tiny steins!!!!! each of which was quite nice on its own and which together created a magnificent harmony. The Sausage Trio was well-balanced, and I was, at the end, unable to decide which of the three offerings (bratwurst, chicken weisswurst, and... oh crap, a smoked one, the name of which has escaped me) was my favorite. The accompaniments were perfect, as well -- grilled onions, saurkraut, braised red cabbage, and German potato salad. Simple, yet well done.

Overall 4 stars out of five. I would return.

*Or something more German. Whatever.


This is my new blog, dedicated entirely to posts about food. Here you will find: Recipes, what I am eating right now, restaurant reviews, and anything else I can think of that's related to food.

Because it's about time I just accepted the fact that I'm a foodie.