"Perhaps the most impressive of all the cookbook blogs are the three devoted to the 2004 edition of Gourmet magazine's "The Gourmet Cookbook" -- all 5¼ pounds and 1,300-odd recipes of it. Befitting this culinary Everest, all three writers are overachievers in their professional lives."

--Lee Gomes, The Wall Street Journal, May 28, 2008
"I should have told you before how much I've been enjoying reading your thoughts. You seem like such a great cook."

--Ruth Reichl, Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet Magazine, June 8 2008, comment on "Chocolate Velvet Ice Cream".

Friday, July 4, 2008


Happy Independence Day!

The history behind the 4th seems much more real to me after watching HBO's "John Adams" series. If somehow you've missed this wonderful show, get thee to a Blockbuster and rent it already.

Like most of you, my meal choices for yesterday and today have revolved around: what is festive and seasonal, and what can feed a larger group of people who are standing around a grill drinking beer.

But unlike 99.9% of you, I've also had to keep in mind how to use up the produce from these wonderful organic boxes I've been getting from the Fruitful Basket.

This is why I was sitting in front of Stop n Shop in my car yesterday with the book on my lap, flipping to corn recipes, tomato recipes, salad recipes, beef recipes. Would I reprise 40 Naked Women Corn? I only had 4 ears of corn. Should I do something with those organic cherries? (I decided to hoard them instead)

I finally settled on Tabbouleh (which would use up the organic tomatoes and cukes, and the bumper crop of parsley on our deck), and to revisit Matambre (to use up last week's Swiss chard and carrots) and Tomatoes, Corn, and Jack Cheese (which I remember so clearly I can feel it in my mouth).

My first disappointment with Tabbouleh was finding the damn fine bulgur. Usually there's a little exotic grains and flours section where stuff like this can be located, but all I could come up with was a pre-mixed box of tabbouleh. I bought it, thinking that I could throw away the spice pack, but was dismayed to see that there was no spice pack, it was pre-mixed:

Oh well. Onward.

The second thing I was fussed about is that my tomatoes were not perfectly ripe. Although I must say it made it easier to cut them into perfect 1/4" cubes!

Assembled, it looked like your standard homemade tabbouleh (but with much less bulgur than you generally see. That's the authentic way to make it--it's supposed to highlight the parsley, not the bulgur.)

A quick stop at my friend Ruth's for mint harvest (another tabbouleh ingredient Stop n Shop didn't have) and it was on to my parents house for a bbq.

This is where the tabbouleh experience deviated a little bit from the Gourmet experience.

This was my situation: I usually go to karate on Thursday nights at 7:30. Now, on any other week I might have blown off class for a family holiday party, BUT...the dojo is closing for 1 1/2 weeks for summer vacation. Last night was my last night to get a class in before the break.

I was really torn, but thought I'd eat a light meal and skip over for the class, then skip back and watch the fireworks over Gloucester Harbor. No drinking.

It took about one second for somebody to talk me into a drink (I chose beer, thinking, "carbo-loading!"), and my sister hurried dinner along (steak tips, corn, potatoes) so I could have a bite to eat.

But as we got distracted with my mom's new hospital bed and her pills and curtains for privacy, the moment came when I had to forage for myself (in order to not go to karate with just a beer in my stomach).

I dished up the tabbouleh, of course. And then I looked around for something more substantial to go with it. Something with carbs. No dinner food was out, but there was a big basket of chips. So I invented the world's most awesome combination of food flavors for hungry karate students drinking beer: tabbouleh +


So good I had a second little plate. And then I had the

to go to karate and

Happy 4th, everyone!

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