Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Crime and Punishment

I'm sure you've heard of Eve Ensler.  Have you heard of her documentary set in Bedford Hills Correctional Facility?

If not, I recommend it for this coming year.  "What I Want My Words to Do to You."

Then we'll meet for a discussion afterwards.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Good to Eat?

Years  back I read a book on all of the odd things people have eaten throughout history.  My daughter called recently and told me of a friend who had traveled to South Korea and eaten a fried tarantula.  It took her thirty minutes to gather up the courage, but once she did she said it was delicious.  That tops most of the food in the book Good to Eat.

Many people I know look at turnips in the same way they look at a tarantula.  I'm not quite sure why; I remember peeling, salting and snacking on them in front of the TV as a kid.  These days, I prefer Julia Child's navets a la champenoise: perfect for a cold day, savory, filling and delicious.

Peel and slice two pounds of turnips into manageable quarters or eighths.  Parboil for eight minutes.  Saute 4 ounces of bacon in 1 tbl butter until lightly browned.  Add 2/3 cup diced onions, cover and cook slowly for 5 minutes. Blend in 1 tbl flour and cook slowly for 2 minutes. Add one and 1/4 cup stock, (or water with bouillon flavoring) salt, pepper, 1/4 tsp sugar, 1/4 sage and simmer for a minute.  Gently add the turnips, coating with the liquid.  Cover and simmer until tender, around 20-30 minutes.  Add water as necessary.  Serve alongside any roast meat.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Scalloped potatoes

When I was a kid, my mom made scalloped potatoes.  We didn't have them often, just enough for them to be memorable and me to recognize the box they came in. Now, you can find dozens of recipes which kick up the simple, satisfying flavor of a potato, but this one, from the Joy of Cooking, makes me hum.

Butter a baking dish. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bring a pot of water to boil.
Peel and thinly slice three cups worth of red or white potatoes.
Boil the sliced potatoes in salted water for eight minutes; drain, rinse.
Cover the  bottom of your roasting pan with a layer of potatoes.
Sprinkle a two teaspoons of flour over them,
grate a tablespoon of butter over that.  Repeat twice.
(Got some chives handy? Add those between the layers)
Scald a 1 1/4 cups of whole milk.  Season with 1 tsp salt, 1/4 paprika.
Pour over the potatoes.  Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

There will be no leftovers.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

5 Reasons Teachers Should be Armed

5.  To stimulate the economy.

4.  To show their students the Golden Rule--It's not for wimps, anymore.

3.  To better advocate for the arts and creative thinking.

2.  To prove might makes right.

1.  To take out bone-headed policy makers.