Flat out of matzoh

Hey kids! If you find the afikomen this year, you might not want to give it back. Turns out there's a city-wide matzoh shortage going on. Is this the first evidence of the looming food crisis? An anti-semetic conspiracy? An indicator that the small shops are too reliant on big purchasing power?

I looked up a recipe for homemade matzoh and, as the story goes, it's insanely simple. Flour water and salt. Mix it up, roll it out, poke holes and bake it. Then get the hell out of Egypt. I'd be all over DIY flatbread, but I woke up with a mean little cold.

Maybe tomorrow.


Hot Knife Action

Impromptu photo shoot this morning for an upcoming project. Fuck, I love my knives.


Sunday Dinners

The Sunday dinners have continued, both big and small. Two weeks ago was Louise for simple broccoli pasta with green garlic. Then there was Heather for rainbow chard fettucine and roasted beets with burratta. It’s been easy and casual and the food has finally been as good as I’ve wanted it to be. I’m no longer frantically trying to cook and eat the last of my CSA goods before the new delivery comes. In fact, my fridge ends up despondently empty by Monday night, leaving me happily justified in ordering Chinese.
Last Sunday I upped the guest list to five, meeting what might be the maximum capacity for my studio dining nook. I had to reach behind the linens to pull out one of the extra leaves for the table for the first time. It was a proud moment.

And it wouldn’t be the first one.

I didn’t have too many initial ideas in menu planning, thought I’d let the produce and the season give me some clues. But with a fridge full of winter-facing veggies and an outside temperature climbing to a freakishly lovely 77 degrees, I was clueless.
All I had were heavy foods and a desire for bright, happy flavors. The answer? Lemon.
But I’ll get to that.
As I’m in the process of working on my first catering job, dinner guests and co-workers have become unknowing test subjects for the menu. Some have been good, some haven’t. Starting with the thyme-onion jam on crackers with goat cheese? Kicked ass.

Continuing with these kale chips I’ve been reading about? Not so much.

The main course was a sweet, bright happy medium of winter ingredients and summer cravings. I did a chicken breast braised with fennel and lemon, served with some herb roasted yukons and some rainbow chard with leeks.

To finish, a shard of homemade matzoh toffee and some strauss vanilla ice cream. Any pic I would have taken would have been blurry, because that damn matzoh toffee is so good, it doesn’t stay in one place too long.

Good show, me. This is exactly the kind of food I love to do. Seasonal, simple, influenced by the weather outside and the feeling inside. Timing was dead-on, company was great. This will be happening again soon.


simple pleasure

A few years ago I was having a quick cocktail party in Portland. I had put together a nice little array of little bites. I had visited my cheese guy and picked up some good pieces, fleshed it out with some charcuterie plus salad bites in endive leaves. I think about ten minutes before people were supposed to arrive, I realized I wasn't going to have enough. I needed one more thing on the table. I turned to the fridge and had some celery, which I cut up as pretty as I could and, realizing I had nothing to make a dip out of, sprinkled some black hawaiian sea salt I'd recently picked up in LA. I thought, it might not taste good, but it'll at least be pretty.

I was wrong. It tasted great. Simple, bright celery tempered with a minerally salt. And it looked more than pretty. Contrasted on a black serving dish picked up by the salt, it was striking. It didn't look like just celery and salt.

It's become a regular snack for me, or a side to my latest lunch plan of charcuterie and cheeses. Seemingly a little fancy for the office lunch table, maybe. But I like it.