Sometimes it’s nice to choose a theme for a dinner party. It makes it easier to pick an appetizer, a side dish, an entree and a dessert. At last week’s dinner party, the theme was The South (we had three Southerners in attendance) and I served up Rachel Wharton’s Pimento Cheese as an appetizer, the fried chicken from yesterday’s post, a homemade coleslaw on the side and then, for dessert, this here Hummingbird Cake.
If you haven’t heard of Penny De Los Santos, you clearly don’t follow many food folks on Twitter. The woman is a superstar to the nth degree. Beloved by food bloggers everywhere for her photography (she works regularly for Saveur and National Geographic) and for the stirring lectures she gives at food conferences, the woman is unstoppable. So how lucky am I that she came to my kitchen (when I still had a kitchen) to talk about her career and the nitty gritty of food photography? Learn how to take great pictures of food (essential tip: it’s all about the light) and scratch your head as I make a weird Harry Potter analogy. Thanks, Penny, for dropping by!
“By the time the intercom buzzes, I am assembling the greatest grilled cheese sandwiches of all time and the fridge is filled with seriously good Champagne, so packed that the bottles that can’t stand up on the top shelf lie on their sides like stockpiled ammo down below. This is not the day I want to be drinking any of that chardonnay-sweet or over-yeasted bread-dough shit. I want tight effervescence, chalk on my tongue and the roof of my mouth, sugar turned to cold glass.”
That passage comes from one of the best pieces of food writing I’ve encountered in recent memory, Gabrielle Hamilton’s essay “Christmas Eve” which appears in the new Canal House Cookbook, Volume No. 5.
Hanukkah may be over today, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to make latkes. If you’ve never made latkes before, may I suggest you do so tonight?
It’s pretty easy and pretty rewarding. Granted, it’s not guiltless food: eating a bunch of latkes is basically equivalent to eating a bunch of french fries, so you may want to serve them on a treadmill with a side of personal trainer. But holiday time is about treating yourself, isn’t it, and when was the last time you tre
[THIS POST HAS BEEN INTERRUPTED BY A FAN WHO JUST APPROACHED ME AT THE COFFEE SHOP WHERE I AM WRITING THIS. SHE SAYS SHE’S BEEN READING ME FOR A LONG TIME, THAT SHE’S A GEOGRAPHY TEACHER AND THAT SHE LIVES IN BUFFALO. I TOLD HER THAT I AM TERRIBLE AT GEOGRAPHY, THAT I REALLY DIDN’T KNOW WHETHER PHILADELPHIA WAS NORTH OR SOUTH OF NEW YORK, AND SHE GAVE ME A PITYING LOOK.]
Where was I? Oh yes, latkes. Let’s continue below, shall we?