Wednesday, June 26, 2013

An All Over the Place Update

Busy, busy times these days – you gotta love summer. There is just so much going on, so much foodie-ness to bask in. Often times it seems like it is just flying by, but the good news is that I’ve been doing my best to take advantage of it, and I have a ton to update you on.

So, first things first – the cookbook project. I know many of you probably thought I’d abandoned said project, but I haven’t. It was on hold for a while (work has been out of control busy), but I’m back in the game. As I mentioned before, I’m kind of trying to take in chapter by chapter, starting, of course, with desserts. I’ve managed to complete three recipes lately – Coeur la crème, plum-raspberry crisp, and meringues Chantilly (pictured below).  A useful hint about Coeur la crème – when the recipe calls for heavy cream, it means heavy cream. Half and half will not be an adequate substitute and the Coeur will not set up. Not that I speak from experience…ahem. So anyway, making good progress there and I’ll be back with another update soon (I hope).

In other news – I saw Michael Pollan speak last week! It was awesome – he’s a fantastic speaker – funny yet obviously incredibly well-versed and knowledgeable. I found his talk to be both incredibly entertaining and inspiring. He was speaking as part of the Contra Costa County library summer reading festival, and to celebrate the library’s 100th birthday. As such, the tickets were incredibly cheap ($12!) and the venue was very cool – the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek – which, by the by, apparently has great shopping and was a surprisingly cute town.

The talk was partly a promotion of Pollan’s newest book, Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation. I haven’t read it yet, although I do have a signed copy waiting for me. Pollan explained the premise of the book – according to him, he’s done a ton of research in the past on the agricultural side of food (hence, The Omnivore’s Dilemma) and a lot of work regarding health and what we eat (In Defense of Food and Food Rules) but hadn’t really tackled the space in between – the actual preparation and cooking of the food. I thought that was a really cool way of looking at it.
Pollan also touched on the topics of GMOs, the history of cooking and its impact on mankind, the magic of fermentation, and the importance of “good” bacteria in our systems – it really ran the gamut, and was fascinating the whole time. After, I was able to get a couple books signed and get a photo – check it out!

Finally, last Sunday, I had brunch with the roommate and her main squeeze at Brown Sugar Kitchen ( I’ll just leave you with these pics:

Also, check back soon for a link to a secondary blog regarding a *top secret* project I’m working on. Hint: it involves tilapia. Lots and lots of tilapia.

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