Archive for April, 2008

April 21, 2008

Salsa Season

It’s finally springtime here in Boston! I no longer fear that we will get another bout of snow, though I know that it’s possible even into May. After a week of sun I officially broke out the capri pants, and I’ve been outside numerous times without a coat. We even have spring flowers blooming, which made me (even though I was running late) stop and photograph them last week.

Along with spring comes my desire to cook lots of fresh, light foods. I love vegetables, and hate winter months here when my options are down to leafy greens and tubers. However, last fall in my culinary class, Leo Romero (chef owner of Casa Romero in Boston) taught us the basic techniques in making homemade salsa. I discovered that salsa is a year-round dish, that can be equally enjoyed fresh when there is three feet of snow outside your window or when it’s 90 degrees outside with 80% humidity. In addition, the ingredients can easily change with the seasons, so you won’t get sick of it.

April 18, 2008

The Writer’s Notepad

This week’s Writer’s Notepad developed out of an in-class writing assignment, in which we had to describe in detail a food we eat every day. I’ve adapted it to make it more interesting for the blog, and given a bit of background information I found searching the web.

Cream of Wheat or Grießbrei?

I go through stages of preferred breakfast foods. Last year, in Radeberg, I ate cream of wheat (Ger. Grießbrei) every day for breakfast. I’ve never had a recipe for it. It’s the first thing I learned to make on the stove. In kindergarten I spent half days at school, and for lunch my mom and I would cook a pot of cream of wheat, as even with sugar and cinnamon it’s considered a verifiable lunch food in Germany. I remember my mother teaching me to stir constantly and all over the bottom of the pot to prevent anything from burning. It was the first culinary technique I mastered, and I had it down pat before I was six.

April 14, 2008

Mango Madness

In her comment on my post on Farmers’ Markets, my sister mentioned her concern about fruit being sent very lengthy distances. She lives in Japan, where this winter apparently bumper crops of Florida grapefruit were imported and sold relatively cheaply (the Japanese fruit market is very expensive). She said they were delicious, but was worried about the carbon footprint of these gems. She asked me what other detrimental effects produce exports have in the world. I couldn’t really give her an answer right away, but somewhere in the back of my mind a little voice cried out: “Mangoes!”

April 9, 2008

Libraries and Chocolate

The other day I was exploring the Cambridge neighborhoods I work in, mainly trying to find Formaggio Kitchen and a fish shop next to it. David, who isn’t a big fan of fish, wasn’t going to be home and I wanted to prepare a tilapia for dinner. On my way back to the T stop, I stumbled upon some buildings that looked similar in architecture to some dorms at Smith College, my alma mater. I knew I was close to Harvard, and when I inspected one of the signs more closely I smiled (I may have even uttered an “Oh!” out loud, but only the birds can tell you if I did or not). On a white background in clear lettering stood “Radcliffe” and underneath it “Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America.”

I’d heard about the Schlesinger Library, the only of Harvard’s many libraries that is open to the public. It houses many documents on women, and is famous for its cookbook collections. They archive all of Julia Child’s personal papers, as well as her own library of cookbooks. They also have Marilyn Monroe’s cookbooks (I’ve heard it’s quite a small collection), among many other collections of both famous and pedestrian women.

April 4, 2008

The Writer’s Notepad

It’s high time for another post with the writing I’ve been doing in my food writing class. Since my last post on the topic, I’ve interviewed a bunch of people, and written several essays. Here is my midterm, a mock feature article. I was inspired one day last fall when I saw a dump truck that said something about composting. I couldn’t read the company’s name in time, but months later I stumbled upon it again. The following is the product of my “sleuthing”:

Don’t Forget to Take Out the Compost

While some consumers are thinking of ways to afford hybrid cars or support alternative energy sources, others are turning to simpler solutions. Some are discovering that composting can reduce the amount of waste they produce. Garbage has gone green, thanks to Save That Stuff, a local recycling service that has begun offering composting options to local restaurants, universities, and businesses. Participants are finding that they are not only saving the environment, but saving money too.