Sunday, October 12, 2008

Joy Of Cooking Update: Cooked Eggnog

Posted by Trott

There was a bit of an egg confluence over at the Trott household. Cooked Eggnog was the next recipe for me to make out of The Joy of Cooking. And Humuhumu had entered an egg-based recipe in the Forbidden Island drink contest.

With these eggy beverages at our disposal, it was time for Salmonellapalooza. We invited a some friends over and served these drinks. A good time was had by all and only two people got sick!

I made three variants of the eggnog. One was spiked with dark rum, and the other two were alcohol-free flavored with vanilla for one and coffee for the other. All three were delicious. And Humu's Hair of the Mongoose was an even bigger hit. No duds at all that night!

I goofed and forgot to take a photo before all the eggnog was consumed. So, no pretty picture for this post.

We were hoping Mr. Underhill Lounge would make an appearance and whip up the egg-based Eye-Opener Cocktail. Alas, he and Mrs. Underhill Lounge had tickets to see David Byrne performing that night.


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Joy Of Cooking Update: Eggnog

Posted by Trott

My mother came to visit from Pennsylvania.

It's July.

We're Jews.

The next recipe for me to make from The Joy of Cooking was eggnog.

So, we had a special event:
Jewish Christmas In July featuring Trott's Mom


Tuesday, June 03, 2008

SF Joy Boy's 40th Birthday Party

Posted by Trott

Although I am in the midst of preparing for my own birthday party, I would be remiss if I failed to mention that 3/5 of PFSH played SF Joy Boy's 40th Birthday Party last week. All proceeds from CD sales went to the Marin County Humane Society where SF Joy Boy adopted his amazing dog, Elsie! I'm sure the $15 we raised through CD sales will last them at least 7 seconds!

We also brought Rhine Wine Cup from The Joy of Cooking to the party. It involved steeping cucumbers in the punch. Which? Rules.

Photos by Humuhumu

Labels: ,

Monday, May 19, 2008

Joy Of Cooking Update: May Wine

Posted by Trott

May Wine was tasty enough to be happily consumed by guests at a clothes swap hosted at my apartment. Presentation was key, I think. Fountain? Check! Floating orange slices? Check! Strawberries at the bottom of each punch glass? Check!

The green thing on the left is Humu's inedible Asparagus Salad. If you want to make that abomination yourself, the recipe is here. (Note that this is not a Joy of Cooking recipe.)

Humu also made Frozen Pineapple Salad which was much better. It is the best thing yet that she's made from the Marysville cookbook.

Lastly, the show we have on June 28 (very close to my birthday) has a name: FULL TROTTLE!


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Joy Of Cooking Update: Bowle

Posted by Trott

Photo by Humuhumu
Bowle is just fruit, Madeira, sugar, ice, and a whole lot of white wine. It's pretty good, though. We brought it to drummer Matt's birthday party.

Speaking of birthdays, we'll be playing for my birthday at Beale St. Bar & Grill on Saturday, June 28. More details to come. Note that it's Pride weekend. Prediction: Tons of parking downtown near Beale Street and no parking whatsoever in the Castro! So come for the plentiful parking, but stay for the PFSH rocking.


Monday, May 05, 2008

Joy Of Cooking Update: Planter's Punch

Posted by Trott

Photo by Humuhumu
The Planter's Punch was a hit at Kesha's awesome dinner party. I'm starting to get the hang of these Joy of Cooking punches so I know, for example, to go easy on the simple syrup. Humuhumu's party fountain and my brand new ice crusher helped too. The presentation made the whole thing a spectacle.

The animal-themed sippy cups that I served the punch in didn't hurt either.

The ice crusher is brilliant. It's a Waring Pro; every time I look at it, I misread it as a Warning Pro. Unfortunately, despite its many positive attributes, the ice crusher is very nearly deserving of its own "Things That Suck" post. The beautiful clean look of the brushed steel and flawlessly clear plastic was marred by an obnoxious far-too-adhesive sticker. The sticker bragged about the great features of the appliance. Removing it naturally took far too much time and scuffed up the plastic. I would like to say to the person whose idea it was to put that sticker on there: I already bought the thing, Einstein, so I don't need advertising in my own kitchen telling me how essential and amazing it is.

Photo by Humuhumu


Sunday, April 27, 2008


Posted by Trott

Apparently, my insanity inspires others.

My friend Erik was inspired by my Joy of Cooking Project to do his own Stomping Through The Savoy project. As a result, he was written up in The Wall Street Journal!

Now Humu has been bitten by the cook-everything-in-a-collection bug and is doing something very scary: Making all the "salads" in the 1979 Marysville United Methodist Women's Cookbok.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Joy Of Cooking Update: Fish House Punch

Posted by Trott

Photo by Humuhumu
Unlike last time, Humu and I arrived to my friend Leslie's housewarming party on the correct day this last attempt.

We brought Fish House Punch (sugar syrup, lemon juice, brandy, dark rum, peach Schnapps, club soda). It tasted pretty unpleasant but we were able to run it through Humu's party fountain, so it certainly looked appealing.

We also met a man who might have been the only person who honestly thought the punch tasted great. "Tastes like brown sugar!" he exclaimed. He committed to finishing the punch--a commitment that still astonishes me, more than a week later. He had several pint glasses of the stuff.

Predictably, he was vomiting at the end of the evening.

Still, I admire his commitment. He is clearly made of the stuff that made America great.

I just hope he and his girlfriend (who had to take him home) don't hate me. They were nice and I liked them both. If you two are reading this: Sorry about the puke-inducement. We're all still homies, right?


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Not The Joy Of Cooking: Name This Drink

Posted by Trott

Photo by Humuhumu
Sometimes, you just need a way to get rid of stuff you're never going to use.

I had a can of Diet Coke.

I had a small amount of Cruzan's universally reviled Black Strap Rum.

These are things I would never drink.

Put them together, and you get a surprising vanilla flavor coming from a rum-and-Coke that no one should ever really drink.

I drank it until the can of Diet Coke was empty.

This drink needs its own name. It is not just another rum-and-Coke. What to call it? Sludgy McGhee? Vanilla Aspartame? Where'd The Motherf(*%^#ing Mollases Go?


Monday, April 14, 2008

Joy Of Cooking Update: Sangría

Posted by Trott

Photo by Humuhumu
For this recipe, I purchased sustainably-farmed wine from Spain at Rainbow Grocery. Somehow, that seems worth mentioning, although I'm not sure if I can put my finger on why. Is it the sustainable farming part? The from-Spain part? The Rainbow Grocery part?

The Joy of Cooking sangría seemed a little bit on the sweet side. This makes it astoundingly dry by the standards I have come to expect from the punches in the book.

I didn't have a pitcher large enough to hold the volume of sangría that the recipe yields, so I put it in a soup tureen. I brought the sangría to a potluck dinner party at Kesha's place. Kesha, incidentally, is completely awesome and not at all the unadventurous person I made her out to be in the last post where I mentioned her.
She totally rules and I hope that she doesn't completely kick my ass for mentioning her in a post again. Oh, and everything she makes for dinner parties always completely rocks.

Amazingly, all the sangría was consumed. This was a first for the punch section of The Joy of Cooking. For that reason alone, the recipe was an astounding success.

Photo by Humuhumu


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Joy Of Cooking Update: Whiskey Cup

Posted by Trott

On Saturday, Humuhumu and I went to my friend Leslie's new apartment for an apartment-warming party. Figuring this was a good opportunity to get through another punch recipe, Humuhumu and I dutifully made the Whiskey Cup. The Whiskey Cup is made with 2 cups of crushed fresh pineapple, a quart of sliced strawberries, 3 cups of confectioner's sugar, 2 cups of dark rum, 2 cups of fresh lemon juice, half a cup of fresh orange juice, 1 cup of grenadine, two liters of club soda, and two full bottles of bourbon. That's an awful lot of punch—probably about enough for twenty people—but we were going to a party, so no problem!

Transporting all of that in a big punch bowl was not an option; it would have sloshed everywhere! So, I packed some of the last things to be added into an ice chest, put a smaller bowl of pre-punch inside the larger punch bowl (to catch any sloshing), and we made our way over. We also had a gift for Leslie and a few other things, so it was a bit of a hassle. But I didn't care! There were going to be lots of people to drink all this punch!

When we got to Leslie's new apartment, the first thing she said to me when she opened the door was, "The party's next week."


The picture is of me looking none-too-pleased with the amount of punch I had with no party to bring it to.

When we got back to my apartment, we put out the APB on Twitter and Facebook telling people to come drink some punch. But it was Saturday night and it was a tough sell as a lot of people already had plans. Brad and Lisa pulled through! They brought over pizza, a great time was had by all, and between the four of us, we managed to consume about half of the punch.

Pardon me; I need to go pour out the other half now.

Tomorrow: ¡Sangría!


Sunday, March 30, 2008

Joy Of Cooking Update: Eggnog In July

Posted by Trott

Until recently, I did not know about this other Joy of Cooking blog/project!

Looks like the blogger didn't finish every recipe. There appear to be recipes in the 1997 edition that are not on that site (e.g., Spiced Tea). They also stopped posting in November of last year. So, I'm thinking they've abandoned the project.

I don't actually ever expect to finish myself. But I also didn't expect to find someone else doing the same damned thing. Now I have to rethink everything!

I do have the additional self-imposed constraint that I'm cooking everything in
the order that it appears in the book. This other person skips around to appropriate recipes as needed. Me? I'll be having two different types of eggnog in July, the way things are going.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Joy Of Cooking Preview: Champagne Punch

Posted by Trott

You need to come to my apartment tonight at 7:30pm to help me consume all the Champagne Punch that the next Joy of Cooking recipe will yield.

If Champagne Punch is insufficiently exciting, I recommend you watch this video to witness another reason you will not want to miss this event.

And if that video fails to do justice to the cheap plastic tiered punch bowl fountain, then maybe reading this blog post is in order.

Send me an email for more details. (Hint: There's a "Contact Us" link over on the right side there if you're reading this on the PFSH site.)


Monday, March 17, 2008

Not The Joy Of Cooking: Antifreeze

Posted by Trott

The next several recipes in The Joy of Cooking will take some planning to execute. They are party drinks, and I need to make sure I have a roomful of drinkers before I make them.

In the meantime, I found inspiration in Chuck Klosterman's novella You Tell Me. In it, the unlikeable narrator drinks Southern Comfort and Mountain Dew. I had leftover Southern Comfort from the Scarlett O'Hara recipe that I wasn't sure what I was going to do with. So, I bought a can of Mountain Dew and made SoCo and Mountain Dew. Based on its appearance and taste, Humuhumu (who took the photo at right) dubbed this cocktail Antifreeze. The mint leaf garnish helped but not much.

It was certainly not up to the standards we experienced as guinea pigs for Underhill Lounge.


Monday, February 18, 2008

Joy Of Cooking Update: Plugged Fruit

Posted by Trott

All three plugged fruit recipes were interesting to me. However, there seemed to be something wrong with each one. None of the recipes in this section were bad, but they were all peculiar and perhaps inadequately explained.

The Coconut Extravaganza calls for a coconut which you are to drain and then fill with the milk from a second coconut. They don't explain why you wouldn't just leave the coconut with its own milk. They also don't explain how you are to add rum, apricot liqueur, cream of coconut, and 3/4 cup (!!!) finely crushed ice if you've just filled up the coconut with the milk of a second coconut. I siphoned off enough liquid to accommodate the other items at each step. The result was fairly enjoyable, but I was left wondering if the recipe was insufficiently detailed or if I was just stupid.

The Pineapple Tropic (pictured) worked a bit better. Still, there was no explanation as to how one creates "a cavity about the size of a highball glass" in the pineapple. I used a small knife initially and finished excavating with a melon baller. I've since been informed by Humuhumu that there is a tool that removes the core of the pineapple in a perfect circle. The resulting pineapple cocktail was tasty enough. It also, much like the Coconut Extravaganza, had an appealing presentation.

Plugged Watermelon was easier but frustrating to make. I followed the instructions, but the watermelon refused to absorb much vodka no matter how much time I gave it. In the end, I had watermelon balls covered with a little fresh lime juice. It turns out that watermelon balls covered with a little fresh lime juice taste completely awesome. I didn't miss the vodka.

In summary, all three recipes worked out well enough but I found the the instructions to be lacking. I suspect each one would have come out a bit better had I had a recipe written by a detail-oriented engineer or a tech writer. That would have also spared me exposure to annoying content-free phrases like "delightfully refreshing."


Friday, February 15, 2008

Joy Of Cooking Update: De-Virginizing Virgin Cocktails

Posted by Trott

This is a Special Valentine's Day Edition of the Joy of Cooking Update.

Since it was Valentine's Day, and I was supposed to make virgin cocktails, I had my friends Humuhumu (who has a blog here) and Kesha (who is so unconventional and independent that, unlike everyone else, she doesn't need a blog) join me. The plan was to taste the virgin cocktails, and then figure out what booze to add to them. We referred to this as de-virginizing although I believe the phrase popping of the maraschino cherry was used once or twice.

The virgin cocktails section of The Joy of Cooking contains prose even more vapid than usual. It is impossible to read some of the sentences without rolling your eyes or grinding your teeth, not to mention feeling like your intelligence is being insulted. It's difficult to imagine how to make the following sentence more asinine: "The sweet grenadine in this drink is a hit with adults as well as children."

Or try this one on if you're looking for pointless cliché: "Angostura bitters do contain alcohol, but determining the amount held in a single dash brings to mind the similarly confounding question of how many angels can dance on the head of a pin."

Much better to contemplate less confounding questions, such as which ghost writer should find a different career.

On to the de-virginizing!

The Rock Shandy (lemonade, club soda, Angostura bitters, lemon slice) was improved with the addition of Tanqueray gin and an additional dash of Angostura bitters.

The Cranberry Collins (sweetened cranberry juice, fresh lemon juice, club soda, lemon slice) was a bit more controversial. Humuhumu thought it was improved with the addition of Tanqueray gin, Regans' orange bitters, and vodka that I had infused with jasmine tea. I, on the other hand, preferred the addition of nothing more than vodka that I had infused with orange zest. Humuhumu noted that this gave it a surprising watermelon flavor.

Kesha was far too sensible for all this. She couldn't be bothered and took to drinking whiskey and ginger ale followed by red wine.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Joy Of Cooking Update: Cordial and Liqueur Cocktails

Posted by Trott

The winner here was the Scarlett O'Hara (Southern Comfort, cranberry juice, lime juice, lime twist), but that was by default. It was simply the least offensive of the four overly-sweet cocktails in this section.

The pictured cocktail is the Grasshopper (green crème de menthe, crème de cacao, half-and-half--yes, half-and-half). Looks a little scary, doesn't it?

Next up: virgin cocktails??!!


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Joy Of Cooking Update: Brandy Cocktails

Posted by Trott

Judging from reading the recipes before I actually tried to make them, I predicted that the most interesting brandy cocktail would be the Nikolashka (lemon slices dredged in coffee, then sprinkled with sugar and grated chocolate, and served with Cognac).

Alas, both I and my guest taster thought that cocktail, at least as I had less-than-expertly prepared it, more or less fizzled.

For the Armored Car (Armagnac, Triple Sec, and lemon juice) I borrowed Armagnac from Mr. Underhill Lounge. He and his wife acted all wacky when I took a picture of the Armagnac bottle. I wasn't sure that I would get their permission to post the unaltered photo, so I pixelated them out as if they were in the Witness Protection Program. (By the way, to pixelate everything but the bottle of Armagnac, I utilized the path selection technique described in You Suck At Photoshop #4.)

Turns out the most enjoyable of the brandy cocktails was the Brandy Alexander (brandy, dark creme de cacao, and heavy cream), which was tasty enough to serve at a potluck party with a few SF Indie people. It's too bad I didn't take a picture of that cocktail, as it reminded me of the liquid chocolate from the river in the original Willie Wonka movie (although a review of stills from the movie on the Internet reveal that my memory isn't so good—the two didn't look anything like each other).

Next up: liqueur and cordial cocktails.


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Joy Of Cooking Update: Tequila Cocktails

Posted by Trott

The best-looking tequila cocktail was the Grapefruit Herb Margarita.

But the best tasting was the Tequila Shot!

Yes, The Joy of Cooking has a recipe for Tequila Shots. And here it is:
Pour into a shot glass:
1/2 ounce tequila
Turn one hand sideways as if to shake hands and form it into a loose fist, then lick the portion between your thumb and the knuckle of the forefinger. Quickly sprinkle with:
Drink the tequila in one swallow, then immediately lick the salt off your hand and suck the juice from:
A lime wedge
Repeat the process as often as good sense allows.
Next up: Brandy cocktails.


Monday, January 21, 2008

Joy Of Cooking: Rum Cocktails

Posted by Trott

I thought I wouldn't like most of the rum cocktails. I figured they would be too tropical and sickly sweet.

As it turns out, my predilection in dry cocktails is for gin; my preference in sweet cocktails is for rum.

My favorite was the daiquiri (light rum, lime juice, simple syrup). Perhaps it was refreshing to have a rum cocktail that didn't have coconut or pineapple in it. Also, perhaps I'm used to having daiquiris frozen and/or flavored, so this seemed a nice change of pace.

Next up: Tequila cocktails.


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Joy Of Cooking Update: Whiskey Cocktails

Posted by Trott

No surprise here: The Manhattan was the clear winner. It didn't make much difference to me whether it was Dry, Perfect, or Sweet; any which way it's prepared, the Manhattan was the most enjoyable whiskey cocktail. The Hot Toddy was a nice change of pace, however. And it's hard to argue with the Mint Julep too!

The real revelation was that I don't like whiskey cocktails nearly as much as I like gin cocktails or even vodka cocktails. Rum cocktails are up next; we'll see how they fare.


Sunday, November 04, 2007

Joy Of Cooking Update: Infused Vodkas

Posted by Trott

Last time around, I said I'd stop including this picture of The Joy of Cooking and start including photos of the results of the recipes. However, the photos of small amounts of infused vodka in old-fashioned glasses didn't really look like much of anything. So, maybe next time.

Anyway, there were three infused vodkas. The Tea Vodka was made with jasmine tea. The fact that the leaves were wrapped into balls made it easier to stuff them in the vodka bottle. The Black Pepper Vodka was very easy (as were all the infused vodkas, yet people seem to get so impressed, which is awesome). It's allegedly good in a Bloody Mary, but I've been drinking it straight. But I think I'm most partial to the fruity Citrus Vodka. You can make it with lemon or orange; I went with orange. It works very well in a Cosmopolitan.

Next up: Manhattans


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Joy Of Cooking Update: Vodka Cocktails

Posted by Trott

According to The Joy of Cooking, "Many consider vodka the perfect cocktail mixer because it doesn't impose much of its own flavor." I actually find this to be a reason to generally dislike vodka cocktails. Since vodka tastes like little more than alcohol, drinking a Screwdriver seems to me like drinking orange juice with an unpleasant aftertaste.

This fact—that vodka has no discernible flavor (to me) other than alcohol—has always caused me to cast a skeptical eye on the habit of some of my friends to pay a little extra to drink Ketel One or Grey Goose. My skepticism was further fueled in 2005 when a New York Times tasting panel, in a blind taste-test, selected lowly Smirnoff as superior to all the premium brands that were included in the taste-test.

Thus, my favorite Vodka Cocktails from The Joy of Cooking are the ones that mask their vodka-ness. I enjoyed the Greyhound (vodka, grapefruit juice) because the vodka aftertaste was masked by the grapefruit aftertaste.

My favorite, though, was the Joy Tea (tea-infused vodka, water, simple syrup, lemon slice). I infused the vodka with jasmine tea leaves that were given to me by Bill and Jess when they returned from a trip to China.

From here on out, I will try to emulate Underhill Lounge and other food-and-drink blogs that show pictures of the things they are talking about. I myself am getting tired of looking at that picture of The Joy of Cooking.

Next up: Infused Vodkas! At least they'll taste like something!


Sunday, October 21, 2007

Joy Of Cooking Update: Bloody Mary & Variants

Posted by Trott

I have never cared much for Bloody Marys or vodka cocktails in general. So I guess it's not surprising that my favorite of the Bloody Mary and variants in The Joy of Cooking is the Bloody Maria, which substitutes tequila for the vodka.

Of particular note for being exceptionally disgusting is the Bull Shot. It uses beef consommé instead of tomato juice. Yuck. One sip and down the drain, folks!

While we're talking about cocktails, PFSH friend and cocktail genius Erik Ellestad (aka, Mr. Underhill Lounge) is quoted extensively in this San Francisco Chronicle article!


Sunday, October 07, 2007

Joy Of Cooking Update: Gin Cocktails

Posted by Trott

I finished the last of the Gin Cocktails in The Joy of Cooking yesterday. The Vodka Cocktails section starts with a Bloody Mary. Today is Sunday and it seems like it might have been nice to have that with brunch. But no! No drinks for me today! In an effort to prove that this project is not turning me into an alcoholic, I am taking (at least) a day off before starting the Vodka Cocktails.

Anyway, here are the winners from the Gin Cocktails section: The second of the two Martini recipes (gin, sweet vermouth, dry vermouth, orange bitters, and an olive garnish) and the Negroni (gin, Campari, sweet vermouth, and an orange slice garnish).

I purchased cocktail glasses so that I could experience these drinks in a chilled cocktail glass, the way that God intended. I must say, it really makes all the difference, even if that difference is largely or entirely psychological. Being a bachelor, I might be prone to drinking the cocktails from a pint glass. I say to you other bachelors: No! Get a cocktail glass! Put it in the freezer! You will thank me!

Also, since it's impossible to discuss Martinis without conjuring James Bond, I will say: Stirred! Not shaken! (If I had the instructional video that Mr. Underhill Lounge pointed me to, I would link it here. It makes the case convincingly.)


Sunday, September 16, 2007

Joy Of Cooking Update: Wine and Beer Cocktails

Posted by Trott

Skimming the Wine and Beer Cocktails in the 2006 Joy Of Cooking, you might conclude that the only really interesting cocktail listed is the Champagne Cocktail #1 (Champagne, brandy, simple syrup, yellow Chartreuse, orange bitters). You would be absolutely correct. That was an interesting, complex, and rewarding concoction, at least compared to the White Wine Spritzer (Riesling and club soda) and the Shandy (lager, lemon-lime soda, and a lime wedge).

Actually, the White Wine Spritzer was just fine—perfectly refreshing and all that, but obviously from the ingredients, nothing that you need a cookbook's help with.

Now we enter truly exciting territory: Gin Cocktails!


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Joy Of Cooking Update: Beverages and More

Posted by Trott

I finished the Beverages chapter of the 2006 Joy Of Cooking over the weekend. I have to say that the recipes in that chapter do not seem to be up to the usual high standards.

For one thing, they ruined my favorite beverage recipe from the 1997 edition, Spiced Tea. The 1997 version of the recipe is basically strong tea and simple syrup that's been infused with cardamom, cinnamon, clove, and orange zest. It is absolutely delicious, if a tad too sweet. But how hard is it to cut back a bit on the sugar? So it is a fine recipe.

The version of Spiced Tea in the 2006 edition, on the other hand, replaces the cardamom juice and lemon juice. What the f**k?! (They probably didn't want it to be so similar to the Chai Tea recipe that they added for the 2006 edition, so they removed the cardamom. At least, that's my theory.)

Furthermore, almost all the punches in the Party Beverages section are just too darned sweet. They generally seem to be improved with the addition of either vodka or sparkling wine.

Speaking of vodka and sparkling wine, I am now on to the chapters that involve cocktails. Cocktails were completely absent from the 1997 edition, so it's difficult to imagine that the 2006 edition won't get the nod in this category. And I am fortunate to have Mr. Underhill Lounge as a resource. I get to borrow his yellow Chartreuse this weekend so that I don't have a whole bottle sitting around just because I need two dashes of it for a Champagne Cocktail. Thanks, Mr. Underhill Lounge!


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Egg Cream Abomination

Posted by Trott

Here are my latest reflections from my effort to cook through every recipe in the 2006 edition of The Joy Of Cooking in the order that they appear.

As a child, I was horrified when my father asked me if I wanted an egg cream soda. An egg and cream flavoured soda?! Disgusting!

Of course, it turned out that the soda was not egg and cream flavoured. It was much worse than that. It was chocolate milk to which carbonated water was added. Appalling.

Had I known what the state Division of Youth and Family Services was, I would have placed a call.

Sadly, the Egg Cream was the next recipe from The Joy Of Cooking for me to make several nights ago. It tasted exactly like one might expect. I took two sips and poured the rest down the drain.

Iced Chocolate (page 37) made with Brazilian Chocolate (page 36) is good, but is made even better by the addition of booze.


Monday, May 07, 2007

Once More, With Feeling

Posted by Trott

As a going-away gift from my coworkers a couple weeks ago, I received the new edition of The Joy of Cooking. I had been working through the previous edition, page-by-page, recipe-by-recipe. I was around page 110, making lots of soups. Now I have to start over again. This is exciting, not least of all because they've reinstated the cocktails section early in the book! It was missing from the edition I had been using.

Come see the Palace Family Steak House band perform at Dolores Park movie night on Thursday and at the Peacock Lounge on Friday! Here are the details!


Sunday, January 29, 2006

A Chutney-Induced Crisis

Posted by Trott

I made pear chutney today and now I have gallons of chutney in my refrigerator. As I work through the long-simmered chutneys in The Joy of Cooking, I find myself having a small vegetarian-related crisis.

The fresh chutneys (mint, mint-cilantro, tamarind, pineapple) were all delicious with naan or papadum.

The long-simmered chutneys (green mango, apple, and now pear) don't work so well with the naan and the papadum. And the recipes yield a lot more chutney than with the fresh ones. They really would go well with...well...meat.

I suppose I could solve this problem by finally getting my act together enough to can the results of the recipes and then give the jars away. But that's too easy.

Surely, somewhere in San Francisco, there must be a carnivore willing to consume gallons of apple and pear chutneys. Where does one find someone who eats chutneys straight out of a bowl or something?


Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Another Red Onion Bust

Posted by Trott

After the failure of the Quick Red Onion Pickle earlier in the week, it was time to move on to the Red Onion Marmalade. It's still simmering, but I'm not optimistic. What is it with The Joy of Cooking and these red onion condiment recipes with tons of onion and very little liquid? Are they just there, like intentional errors in a map, to trap people who engage in copyright infringement?

I would love to hear from someone who has actually successfully made either of these recipes.

Ah, well. Chutneys are next!

Oh, and Pat Buchanan is a moron.

Thank you.

Update: As if on cue, when I returned from posting and looked at the pot on the stove, the Red Onion Marmalade looked like it was really coming together. I'm convinced now that it will be spectacular. Or at least come out resembling what its name suggests.

Oh, and "Don't Call Me Nigger, Whitey" is an annoying song.

Update #2: As if to warn me against being so optimistic, the universe saw fit to have my hand try to go through my glass of wine rather than merely picking it up. There is wine all over the kitchen and blood all over the bathroom.

Fortunately, the Red Onion Marmalade seems fine.

If it wasn't for Häagen-Dazs Vanilla Ice Cream and some of my coworker Julia's homemade hot fudge, I don't know what I would do. Probably, it would involve being a lot more upset about the gashes in my right hand.


Sunday, December 18, 2005

Observations For A Sunday Evening

Posted by Trott

  1. The Official Rich Trott Phrase Of The Weekend is sucks a lot of butt, as in "This rainy and cold weather sucks a lot of butt." Thank you, PP!
  2. I still have some Green Tomato Relish for anyone still interested, and to whom I won't have to ship it. I didn't can it, so if I ship it, it will probably kill you when you eat it upon its arrival.
  3. I now have a whole load of Tart Corn Relish too! I brought the Green Tomato Relish to no fewer than three parties in the last four days, and the Tart Corn Relish has been to two parties. I still have tons. Who wants some?
  4. I'm out of the relish section in The Joy of Cooking and made the Quick Red Onion Pickle this evening. However, I think the recipe is totally f'ed up. There's no way all those onions could really be expected to marinade in that small amount of liquid, is there? I guess I'll find out when it comes out of the refrigerator in two hours.


Sunday, December 11, 2005

Green Tomato Mission Accomplished

Posted by Trott

I can't remember who suggested it, but it worked. I called a bunch of places at the San Francisco Wholesale Prodce Market but couldn't find them. I posted to Craig's List and didn't get any suitable replies. Finally, I went to the Alemany Farmer's Market. There, I was able to purchase 10 pounds of green tomatoes.

I dutifully made about a gallon of green tomato relish.

Now, the relish litter needs adopters.

Who wants green tomato relish?


Sunday, November 20, 2005

Being Entirely Impractical With The Joy of Cooking

Posted by Trott

I used to have sensible plans of seeing the world with an underground band I would front or bicycling across continents.

Now I try to do things that are entirely impractical, like planning on cooking everything in The Joy of Cooking in sequential order skipping only those items that cannot be made meat-free. (Yes, the person who posts the most at PalaceFamilySteakHouse.Com and sings about the virtues of au jus is a vegetarian.)

I hope to assemble an arsenal of recipes that I particularly like from the cookbook. I haven't yet figured out how to deal with the fact that it will take the rest of my life to get through the thing.

The first chapter was easy enough: Coffee, Tea & Hot Chocolate. The winning recipe from that chapter was Spiced Tea. Now you know which recipe in that chapter to go to without having to try everything. I'm all about helping the rest of mankind.

The next chapter, Stocks & Sauces, took a lot longer to get through, and I really didn't come up with a winner of a recipe. A sauce by itself is not really a recipe that knocks you out, even if you know how much goddamned effort it was to make something that turned out to be "just" a sauce.

This problem is likely to persist through the rest of the current chapter: Condiments, Marinades & Dry Rubs. All the salsas were good, but without being a part of a larger recipe, it's hard to pick a winning salsa, much less a winning overall condiment.

Today, I finished Piccalilli Relish, which I had to start yesterday because the chopped vegetables had to soak in brine for twelve hours. Holy crap, some of these relishes are a lot of work. Piccalilli was easier than Chow Chow, but both involved chopping an ass-ton of vegetables. The book warns against trying to cook condiments in smaller batches than the recipes call for because doing so can affect flavor. Therefore, I have an absurd amount of Piccalilli Relish. Anyone need some?

So, next is Whole Cranberry Relish, just in time for Thanksgiving. It's a reasonable amount yield too. I only need a pound of cranberries. For Piccalilli, I needed five pounds of small cucumbers alone. Maybe I'm just a wuss who's never worked in a restaurant, doesn't own a good knife, and/or needs a knife skills course, but I had to chop that in several shifts.

I'm looking forward a couple recipes to Green Tomato Relish. It requires eight pounds of green tomatoes. Eight pounds! And you can't buy them, as far as I can tell, at supermarkets or anything like that. Chow Chow Relish called for one-and-a-half pounds of green tomatoes, and I had to go to several Mission produce shops to scrounge up that much. The produce shops didn't sell green tomatoes intentionally, but sometimes if you went to the bottom of the tomato bin, you could find one or two. I have no idea how I'm going to gather eight pounds.

Maybe some kind reader has a tomato plant that has an abnormally large amount of green tomatoes at the end of the season? Yeah, didn't think so.

Maybe someone wants to accompany me as I scour every produce shop in San Francisco looking for enough green tomatoes? Yeah, didn't think so either.

Maybe someone somewhere is still reading this? Yeah, again, didn't think so.