Saturday, December 31, 2005

Christmas Culinary Presents

J and I lucked out in the present department this holiday. A mix of things we asked for, and things they thought we'd like, our families treated us very well. My favorites: homemade jam from Grandma Sally; La Bonne Cuisine de Madame E. Saint- Ange from my sister--this is the first English translation of what's basically the French Joy of Cooking, first printed in 1927. It is full of detailed technique descriptions, and reads as culinary history as much as a cookbook. Also, Sunday Suppers at Lucques by Suzanne Goin. Goin amazes me--shes' relatively young, and has been working in restaurants since her senior year of high school, and helms two of the most successful restaurants in Los Angeles (not including her role in her hubby's place, The Hungry Cat.) It's a complex cookbook and the menus are time-intensive, but the recipes inspire. I tried her beet and tangerine salad last night, and her simple garnish of fresh mint made the salad sing.

Finally, the pasta machine from my parents! So, so excited about this. We've tried our hand at making homemade pasta a few times but have not achieved thin-enough dough (though maybe with my new non-stick rolling mat, a gift from J who has experienced my frustration with rolling dough enough times to know it was necessary for his sanity as much as mine, it could happen). Anyway, I see piles of papperadelle in our future.

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