Month: January 2012

Curb Market Crawl – Gold Rush Apples

A curb market find in late January?… I know! Granted, it’s not some heirloom, organic, micro farmed obscure tuber from Madagascar… But it’s actual real fresh stuff from a local curb market thingy…. in January! Making my weekly prowl through the mountains this past week, I really only intended to stop in at R & A Orchards in Ellijay to pick up a fried dried apple pie. (Yeah Yeah – they’re fattening…  But, it’s a pie you can hold in your hands… and it’s fried..) But they were out.. However, lining the main sales floor were basket after basket of these. Gold Rush Apples – beautifully bronze, crisp and sweet…. I just had to pick up more than I could conceivably eat in a month. Gold Rush is a relatively new apple to the party. Originally bred in the early 70’s as a multi-cross based on the Golden Delicious. In the early 90’s the Purdue Apple Program perfected the strain and released it for limited production. It is just now beginning to come into it’s own. What’s so special about them? Well – for …

Look Charlene Brownavich, it’s the kinda great pumpkin thingy

Okay – I’m not a fan. I see all these great recipes during the fall for pumpkin this and pumpkin that,  and momentarily I may be intrigued… but when you get right down to it, it’s all around pretty disgusting. There’s very little you can do with it to eliminate that faint “pooty” odor that seems inherent with the innards…. and me and “pooty” just aren’t friends. It’s kind of like when I had a restaurant downtown. My lead cook was an elderly black woman who could seriously throw down on some soul food. We’d compare note on recipes for ox tail,  short ribs, succotash, and the like. During one of these exchanges she asked how I felt about chitlins (in case you dont know – chitlins, or chitterlings are braised pig intestines, slow cooked with onions and celery. ) I replied that I didn’t care for them… I think my exact words were, “I don’t care what you do to them, they still taste like crap (except I used that other word)…” She insisted I just …

One From Column A – Char Siu

Brian (my partner in crime for a great many years) and I lived for Saturdays. Saturday was the day the BBQ Place (I know, a strange name for a Chinese restaurant) at Asian Square on Buford Hwy pumped out non stop Char Siu – and we stuffed ourselves in plate upon plate of  mahogany lacquered, perfectly seasoned medallions. Char Siu – or Chinese BBQ Pork used to be a staple at every Chinese restaurant. You could order it fresh off the rotary thingy, sliced and served with a heap of rice; find it diced and scattered like little jewels throughout the pork fried rice; used in twice cooked pork, and minced – mixed with hoisin sauce and stuffed in bbq buns. Times were it was a staple at every Mr. Won’s, House of Eng, Mama Wu, Ho Ho, Cantonese Palace (insert your favorite Chinese Restaurant here). But those are sad days gone by. Like a great many things in equally diverse cultures, time – money – labor have taken their toll, and unless your particular Chinese haunt does their own slowly turning, crisperizing Peking Duck, …

Like a Raisin in the Sun

I’m in the mood for some ice cream. I hear you  –  “Toby!, its Freakin’ cold outside! How can you be talking about cold, creamy deliciousness at a time like this?” The fact of the matter is – anytime is a good time for ice cream. Stop and reflect for a moment, when you saw the words Ice Cream just then didn’t you pause for just a split second and think “don’t I have some double fudge  chocolate chip cookie dough  caramel ripple ice cream tucked  away in the freezer?” No?  Of course you did. Now, while no one would dig into a huge mug of hot chocolate with marshmallows in the middle of the summer (now, that’s just plain crazy), ice cream transcends all seasons and all reason. It’s a guilty pleasure for some, a treat for others and a down right obsession for the rest of us. It is the only true non judging lover, the original NSA FWB, and it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than an hour with your therapist. It is the fiber that holds us …

Later and Shorter…

“The night air is cool on the body, mesmerized as the light glistens off the dark and oddly black appearing liquid … and in the light of the full moon I’m spinning and twirling…..” nothing… at all.  eh.. back to the eats… The Veg. Copper Pennies While not a southern tradition, they are a fine addition to the whole personal wealth scheme of a theme. And being as objective as I can about it, probably just about as a fool proof way of enriching your bank account as say buying into Carlton Sheets “How to Steal a House from Desperate People” or that other guy’s “Learn to buy all the distressed property in a town no one wants to live” plan. This way, you at least get to eat something good and not feel all dirty afterwards. Serves 4 to 6 Ingredients 4 Large Carrots – Peeled 1/2 Cup Orange Juice 1/4 Cup Honey 1/2 Cup Chicken (or vegetable) Stock 1/2 Cup Butter or Non Dairy Margarine 1 Shallot – Minced 1/4 Teaspoon Salt 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Black …

A day late and a dolla’ short

2011? Well, it’s over…   done with…   gone… and save for a few bright moments and flickers of joy – It was an abysmally bad year here at Turtle Creek, and one I’d really care not to repeat anytime soon. So I’m closing the books on ol’ 11 and onward and upwards to number 12. I’m on to bigger posts for MR Fodder, better resumes and interviews for that whole under employment thingy, and finally putting a couple of things to right that have been eating at me for a while. Fair warning – I’m enlisting everyone and everything I can think of to make it so… short of dousing myself in chicken blood and dancing naked under a full moon…. it really doesn’t work, you’ll have to take my word on that one. Starting with day one – the New Years Day Dinner. Every culture has some food talisman intended to generate health, good luck, immense wealth. The Peruvians chow down on potatoes cooked with saffron to emulate pots of gold; Asians munch on super long bundles of noodles twined into …