Party Food and Entertaining

snappy popcorn

We’re moving. Did I mention that? Our house sold in July, we closed in late August. Four days later, we closed on the condo. (Building photo above, common room below.) We rented the house back for 60 days to give us time to redecorate the condo. It’s one month and one week later. Somehow, with the help of our amazing contractors, we selected everything for the condo in record time. We picked out materials from floors to tile to cabinets to appliances. We picked paint colors and faucets and drains. It’s deconstructed now. (photo above) We’ve got furniture on order. We recovered some of our current furniture. I found lighting and closet hooks and rugs, medicine chests and a bicycle hanger. I went to seven stone yards before […]

vin de noix

I first tasted Vin de Noix, green walnut wine, in a small restaurant in the Paris neighborhood Le Marais. I’ve never found the restaurant again, no matter how many narrow streets I turn down, but the taste of Vin de Noix never left me. When, several years later, I found the recipe in a small preserving book written in French on yellowed pages I did not expect several more years to pass before I could finally make it. The recipe calls for green walnuts, not a variety of walnut, but the immature nut. To make vin de noix, according to this recipe, the green nuts are picked on Fête de la Saint-Jean-Baptiste, June 24. Nocino is the very delicious Italian version of vin de noix, and those […]

tiny scotch eggs

It all started with the quail eggs.  Will at Whitmore Farm is raising quail and every darn week those pretty speckled tiny eggs are there at the booth. Irresistable. I devilled a dozen a couple of weeks ago. The eggs are so tiny I snipped the top and removed the yolk with a demitasse spoon. By slicing across base, removing a small bit to make a flat surface, the egg sat upright. I filled them with a piping bag. Very pretty. Oops. No photo. I am not sure where the idea of scotch eggs came from, but I couldn’t stop thinking about making small scotch eggs. I love a good scotch egg, but have never been able to finish one. They’re just a little too big for me. But with a […]

corn shiitake fritters and the traveling circus

We were lakeside for awhile. We took a two week vacation in Western Massachusetts. Back in January I reserved a great big rental house, invited some of our best best friends, and made plans to read, nap, and dangle our feet in the water. Time to do nothing at all but have good friend talks, slightly rowdy dinner parties, and gulp in the last minutes of summer. At the end of a crazy private road with precipitous drops on a twisty dirt one way up hill climb, was the house. It was quite a climb down to the dock from the house. We needed provisions. I packed them. Granola and tamari almonds, booze and wines, 2 dozen jars from the pantry, a cooler full of beautiful meats and ready-to-heat homemade casseroles (!!), jigsaw puzzles, water […]

five days to corned beef. just do it.

Yes, Saint Patrick’s day is coming up. And yes, this is the time of year when it’s all corned beef all the time. Let me tell you a secret. I was a bartender in college; it ruined March 17th forever. I do remain a corned beef fan, however. I had never even thought to make my own corned beef before Charcutepalooza but once I realized how EASY it is, I never turned back. Perhaps you’ve purchased the pre-brined corned beef in the store? Just stop that right now. I’m telling you that homemade is going to be from better meat, it’s going to take the same amount of work, and it will cost less and taste a million times better. Find a brisket from a nice farmer. It’s a […]

bo ssam: a party in a flash

Why Bo Ssam? It’s been cold, gray, snowy and miserable. That’s it. I call a halt on weather talk. Instead, let’s talk party food. Because we’ve all been holed away at home for too long and socializing is an important part of getting through the worst of these dark months. Start with a pork shoulder. (When is that not a good idea?) At least, that’s how I felt mid-week last week when I started thinking about Bo Ssam, a recipe I’ve wanted to make since I first read Momofuku. the excellent and adventurous cookbook from David Chang and Peter Meehan. The recipe is available online from the New York Times, and Sam Sifton does a great job explaining why you want to make it. Once the recipe appeared there, bloggers and […]