Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Ganached Guinness Goodness (Cake)

This is another recipe I found in one of my inboxes. Date of the original email 12/23/2007, so it's been sitting there, languishing in my inbox for 13 years, and the recipe comes courtesy of my friend Julia, aka Joolz, who I haven’t heard from in years (and I hope she's doing well). 

I debated sharing this for St. Patrick’s Day, three months from now. Instead, I’ll share it on December 23rd. 

Note: for my own particular reasons, if I were to make this, I’d use any other brand stout rather than Guinness, as I don’t think enough (or any) punishment was ever dispensed for the damage done to girls and women which were abused and put to work (slave labor) via the Magdalene Asylum.

INGREDIENTS: 

1 cup stout (such as Guinness)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1½ teaspoons baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs 2/3 cup sour cream*
6 ounces good semisweet chocolate chips
6 tablespoons heavy cream
¾ teaspoon instant coffee granules

CAKE PREP:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter or spray a bundt pan. Bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.

Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and ¾ teaspoon salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer cake to rack; cool 10 minutes. Turn cake out onto rack and cool completely.

GANACHE:

For the ganache, melt the chocolate, heavy cream, and coffee in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm, stirring occasionally. Drizzle over the top of cooled cake.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Musings on Pizza

 It's been a while since I've made a pizza. It seems I was obsessed about both, sourdough bread baking and making pizza for a while. And though you'd think I'd be going crazy bread baking during the pandemic, that hasn't been the case.

I'm considering making a pizza later on during the week, and it got me to thinking about my love of pizza, which for many of us was entrenched deeply during childhood.

Like many kids, I adored pizza day during the school week, which was nothing more special than a rectangular Ellio's type frozen pizza. But still quite good for what it was.

Getting pizza at home, however, for many years was not necessarily so fond of a memory.

To be blunt, I grew up poor. We were poorer than we should have been due to dodgey money management by my parents. I could go into the minutiae of the financial fuckery, but why bother. At age 52, I'm tired of sharing my traumas, and if it won't bring me any closure or resolution for all my resentments, I'll just keep it to myself. However, I will share this bit about pizza.

As an adult, I've been very critical of the crust and corniccione (the edge of the crust, or the "bone") of the pie. I guess I never gave it much thought, and then the realization set in not that long ago.

To be very blunt, even though I grew up poor, we all were fat, and by fat I mean OBESE--and for my parents, MORBIDLY OBESE. For several years, when my folks would order I pie, I vividly recall them ordering only a solitary pie for the five of us. 

Dad would easily put away three slices, and mom would polish off two, leaving one slice for each of us kids. One slice wasn't enough, as we all were very hearty eaters. 

One thing about my dad, when it came to fried chicken, he ate it with a knife and fork, and when dad ate pizza, he never ate the crust. So whether it was fried chicken night or it was pizza night, there was always bones of one manner or another to gnaw on.

I look back on this memory and it chaps my ass. My sister and brother and I would fight over who got dad's cast offs--yet at the time all three of us lacked the awareness that fighting over stuff that was headed to the trash bin might have been a weird thing. All we knew was that we were hungry.

The wonderful thing about being an adult is that if I want pizza, I can either order or make a pizza whenever I feel like having one. Maharajah doesn't eat tomato, or dairy, or garlic, etc, so the pizza is all mine, and I can usually polish it off in about 3-4 meals, depending on my appetite. 

Anyway, this blog post isn't going anywhere or making any point other than to illustrate how or why I'm critical about pizzas--especially the crust.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Recipes From Steve, Melissa's Challah 2013

 One of the great things about Twitter is I find absurd stuff like this:

It's times like this that makes me sad all over again that my dear online friend Steve Krodman (aka Eli's Son) succumbed to ALS on January 11, 2019.

He was a "pip" as they used to say back in ye olden times. I'd even go so far as to say he was a renaissance man. Devoted to his wife and daughters, he was also religiously observant with a quick wit, an intense sense of humor. Oh, and he was a great "foodie." Taking into consideration him holding a position of high esteem in his temple, as well as his foodie inclinations, when I happened to find the hilariously GOYISHE recipe in the image above, this would have been something I would have shared with him and we would have gotten plenty of laughs out of this.

Serendipitously the same week I made this discovery, I happened to go through a folder in my email where I toss recipes friends email me. Within that folder happened to be a recipe for Steve's daughter's challah--which I will share entirely as he provided it (at the bottom of this post).

Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and I am contemplating making a loaf, and think of Steve fondly, and hope his family (as well as the universe of friends online and IRL, his Princeton buddies, friends from the Saltmine, and especially his friends from the Men's Club & shul members) are all doing well. I miss his regular stories on any of his blogs--Steve really knew how to grab a reader's attention.

If any of Steve's friends or family are reading this--I hope you are well. And for those of you unfamiliar with Steve, I highly recommend reading his blogs, as he has left a great legacy of stories for us all.

http://cheeseaisle.blogspot.com
http://elisson1.blogspot.com
http://concentrated-mind.blogspot.com

The only thing I will do differently is the braiding, and will attempt this style and set it up to proof in a springform pan (and I might put that in a Dutch oven and start to bake it in a cold oven as I turn the oven on). If I do manage to bake this loaf, I will share a photo herein. Stay tuned!

Also--I see that the recipe calls for 3 eggs + 1 yolk. What to do with that spare egg white? I think as the bread bakes, I'll use that egg white in a Pisco sour. I am sure Steve would approve! L'chayam!

So without further a-do: Melissa's Challah!

Melissa’s Challah 

5 cups (25 oz) bread flour
2 tsp table salt
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp honey
2 tsp active dry yeast dissolved in ¼ cup warm water
3 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
1 cup milk or water, room temperature

Combine 3 cups (15 oz) flour with sugar and salt; set aside.  Dissolve 2 tsp active dry yeast in ¼ cup warm (110-115°F) water.  Beat the eggs.  Add the milk (or water, if desired), the honey, and finally the yeast-water mixture; mix well. 

Pour the egg-milk mixture into the dry ingredients and, stirring with a spatula, combine to form a loose, sticky dough.  Add the remaining 2 cups (10 oz) flour gradually until dough is the right texture.  Knead for 10 minutes.
Rest the dough in a greased bowl; cover with plastic wrap. 

When the dough has doubled in size (about two hours hours), punch down.  Separate the dough into three equal portions and shape into globes.  Allow to rest for ~15 minutes.

Roll each globe out into a long strip.  Braid the strips to form a loaf.  Place on pan lined with baking parchment; rest for one hour.  Brush with egg wash (1 egg yolk plus 1 tsp water) and sprinkle with poppy seeds if desired.  Bake in 350°F oven until internal temperature reaches 200°F, about 30 minutes.  Allow to cool on a wire rack.

NOTE: For braiding tips, visit http://theshiksa.com/2010/08/26/challah-bread-part-2-how-to-braid-challah/.  Above instructions are for a three-strand braid, but you may wish to try four- or six-strand braids instead. 

Notes:
I use rapid rise yeast, but any dry yeast will do.  For flour, I recommend King Arthur unbleached bread flour.
Honey – My favorites are tupelo and buckwheat, but if you want a real taste of Israel, try date honey (which is not technically honey at all, but a syrup made from dates).

You will get the best results if you measure out the flour by weight – it’s also a lot quicker.  I use an electronic kitchen scale.

Use water instead of milk if you want a parve loaf.  I switched from milk to water some time ago and I’m just as happy with the results if not more so.

This can be done entirely by hand, but these days I will use a Kitchen Aid stand mixer with the dough hook for combining the last two cups of flour, after which I’ll let the machine knead the dough for five minutes.  Then I’ll knead by hand for the remaining five minutes.  I do the kneading on a granite counter with a dusting of flour.  Kneading by hand helps you know if the gluten is developing; the dough will be springy and slightly sticky.  (A bench scraper is handy if the dough is especially sticky.)

I bake my loaves in a convection oven, but a conventional oven will work just fine – just be sure it’s calibrated properly. 

Monday, November 23, 2020

Thanksgiving 2020

 For obvious reasons, Maharajah and I will not be hosting our annual Thanksgiving feast, so that leaves me with just my thoughts this year--and it's debatable whether that's a good thing or not.

As I type this, I am still in the process of healing from a traumatic kitchen injury wherein I cut 50% of the finger nail & nail bed from my index finger (of my non-dominant hand). The injury took place around lunch time on Election Day--so it was a great distraction from all that fuckery, and it's made simple things like wiping my ass or typing this blog post far more challenging than it should be.

My grandmother died in 1990 after a seven year battle with oral cancer. Thanksgivings were either at her home or ours, and there's a lot of overlap in memories.

We always had a full house. An insane amount of family, immediate and extended. The food was always excessive, even when we were broke in the late 70s and early 80s.

The menu was a collection of favorites. Mom always started dinner with a first course of either ravioli or lasagne, and trays of olives and pickles and Italian cheeses were on the table always.

Mom's sister always made stuffed mushrooms, and my grandfather made a tray of his Italian stuffing which was loaded with a half dozen eggs, raisins, diced pepperoni and diced cheese. Mom usually made a bucket of her own stuffing which was a sad concoction and usually too watery and not heavily seasoned enough.

When my grandmother was alive, things I recall on her table were a 50/50 mix of mashed potatoes and mashed turnips, as well as a bowl of boiled cauliflower with melted velveeta on top. Others were fussy so she always had to have a spare bowl of mashed potatoes on the table because not everyone was fond of "neeps."

My sister only preferred string beans (from a can), and my brother-in-law preferred corn niblets (also from a can). I don't recall anyone eating them.

There were usually sweet potatoes or canned candied yams, too. Gravy that was grey and equally disappointing as mom's stuffing. And canned cranberry jelly, dislodged into mom's cut crystal bowl with the ridges still in tact.

My brother preferred ham, so on occasion he'd show up with a spiral cut ham.

Lastly, the turkey. The turkey was always a dessicated affair. So dry you'd really NEED the gravy to rehydrate it enough to choke it back. The turkey would go in the oven early in the morning, cook too long, be carved up and put back in the oven to keep warm until people showed up at 2 p.m.

Desserts were obscene. Given the food allergies and dietary restrictions of the crowd there were usually EASILY 1-2 dozen pies, plus a tray of Italian pastries--though the latter might be a memory fragment from Christmas.

There had to be pies made with sugar and sugar substitutes because 1/2 the group were diabetic, and at least two people were allergic to sugar substitutes. Nothing could contain mint or coconut as my uncle loathed those. And there had to be pies or desserts clearly indicated as having nuts or no nuts as my brother and a cousin were both allergic. 

When I married Maharajah in 2001, his dietary issues further diversified things with his lactose intolerance.  I believe for a time we alternated years with my family as well as his cousin's for Thanksgiving. It's all a blur now, and although I remember attending Christmas 2007, I don't recall if I attended Thanksgiving, too--as it was the last one before dad died in 2008. I didn't attend in 2008 or 2009 as mom made a big morose show of things. I think I attended 2010 and alternated the following year with M's cousin. The last Xmas party I attended was in 2014--and then there was the Great Silence between me and my sister (caused mostly by mom). 

I started having my own Thanksgiving feasts at my home, where I could control the menu and invited who I wanted. And in 2017 when my sister and I reconciled, I invited her to the feast, which she accepted with great skepticism. She attended in 2018, too, realizing for the first time that the holiday COULD be nice, and not require her to slave away in someone else's kitchen.

Last year, my sister didn't attend due to her husband's bout with thyroid cancer. And this year I am not hosting the feast at all due to mom's death, as well as the death of 3 relatives of M (all due to COVID), and sadly, yesterday my sister's sister-in-law died after having a catastrophic stroke. 

While we DO have a lot to be grateful for, we HAVE suffered a lot of loss this year. Life had its own set of challenges before COVID, but living through this pandemic has taken its toll.

Mom died of COVID, and despite that, our brother is an anti-masker who believes the virus was created by our government to see how pliable people are and how quickly they give up their liberties. 

I've been processing a lot in the last 4 years of Trump but especially this past year and came to this conclusion: If someone's religion or politics hinges directly on oppressing or subjugating (or even killing) me or my loved ones, it is not only naive for me to look the other way--IT IS ALSO DANGEROUS. 

When both parents are finally gone, your world becomes a lot smaller, and you want to put more value in those left behind, with whom you share a long history; however, I feel my brother is a lost cause. I had to block him on my cell as even texting is too stressful for me. 

I don't know what to make of this blog post, but as shitty as it is to experience "The Year of Firsts" after mom died--it seems fitting and almost appropriate that I wouldn't have a feast this year--and I'm glad I can't have a feast this year. My heart isn't in it.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Care Bears, Bread Bears

Note: I started typing this post at 5:30 p.m., on October 7, 2020. Granted, this is my food blog, and while this post does touch upon a lovely bread kit my cousin sent me, it serves as a distraction for me as well as a segue for me to memorialize a dear friend.

After my mom died in May, one of my mom’s first cousins reached out to me for my mailing address. Within a week, I received a very thoughtful gift—she put together a teddy bear kit (similar to what I saw on this site today: ). The bread recipe was a variation/pared down recipe of my mom’s.

Inside the homemade kit was a ziplock bag containing the dry ingredients, a piece of parchment paper, a little zip lock bag with raisins, and the recipe/assembling instructions, as well as reflections on my mom. 

I received the teddy bear kit in late June or early July when it was too hot to bake. Today, I finally baked my bear, as a distraction from more devastating news. 


I have told this story to a few of my close friends, to include my dear friend Susan. Susan and I met in a MSN chatroom 22 years ago. We have never met in person—and this has bothered me for years if not decades. All the traveling I have done, no amount of begging or cajoling could convince my husband for us to make a trip to Illinois to visit her. I am not comfortable traveling solo, so this has always been an unwinnable fight between me and the Maharajah.

Despite the geography that separated us, Susan and I were in near constant contact. Initially we communicated via emails, then phone calls, and care packages. We were always in regular contact, with her dropping off my radar from time to time, as she was working every possible moment she could. Once she was diagnosed with her cancer, we were texted nearly every day—most times multiple times a day. 

Our friendship was forged at a time when each of our first marriages went belly up, with each of us struggling to recover, both emotionally and financially. During that time frame, she and I were so destitute due to our ex-husbands, we took turns sending each other a $20 bill for bread and milk or a half a tank of gas for our cars. Things were THAT dire, and we supported one another as good friends do.

After months of struggling with a lesion on her foot, which we thought was a diabetic foot ulcer, she was diagnosed in August 2019 with an aggressive form of skin cancer known as Acral Lentiginous Melanoma, a type of skin cancer that isn't from the sun, and has a genetic component to it. From date of diagnosis, the life expectancy is about 5 years, +/-.  At the time of her diagnosis, she probably had been struggling with this lesion for about a year. 

Given how lacking her medical care was out there in what I'd call "corn country," that part of Illinois that is just across the river from Davenport, Iowa, she eventually started going to Mayo Clinic for her diagnostics, infusions, chemo, etc, often times driving herself the five hours there, and five hours home.

The last week of September, the Maharajah arranged for us to go to a cabin with a view of Lake George for a few days to get away, and do not much of anything in particular, and yet be socially distant from others, but with a considerably better view than our home, where Maharajah has been cooped up since the shut down in mid-March. 

The last text I received from Susan was on Tuesday, September 29th, wherein we both were mentioning how much we both feel we have aged during the pandemic. Her last words to me that day were, "I feel old." 

No matter how much loss I have gone through since August 2019 to current writing, it is indisputable, how hard things have been for Susan during that time frame too--so much worse than my own suffering, as she was literally fighting for her very existence.

Around 6:30 on October 6th, I received a call from one of Susan's sons (who lives on the west coast), informing me she was now in hospice. I sent her son a play list of songs I knew were dear to Susan's heart, and said to her son how at least if she isn't alert and able to speak, she can still hear music which was so important to her. 

After the call, I spent the greater portion of the remainder of the week just sobbing.

Around 5:30 October 7th, I decided to distract myself and make the teddy bear bread, which my cousin Diane sent to me. The photo is shared above. If Susan weren't in hospice and heavily sedated, she would be the only person, other than my cousin Diane, who would want to see that photo.

Mid-day October 8th, while on a work related phone call, I checked my phone, as I received a text from Susan's cousin (who has the same name as my mom's cousin--odd, isn't it--the coincidences in names), who informed me Susan passed away the night before at 11:30 p.m.

Even as I typed this, my eyes filled with tears.

For the ENTIRETY of the 22 years I knew her, she struggled very hard, first with work to provide for her kids and pay for household needs, struggled through the failure of her second marriage, struggled more and gave up on life in the US for a while and went to Egypt to live with her third husband and his family. She struggled when she returned to the US when her 6th child, her 1st and only with her third husband, died not long after birth. Then the death of her brother and eventually her father.

Besides the heartbreak of watching my friend grieve for her youngest, she endured many struggles with her five remaining kids. Her eldest is profoundly autistic and now is thriving in a group home; her second oldest has cut her off completely. Her middle child was always verbally and emotionally abusive. And her second youngest was verbally, emotionally, and most horrendously--PHYSICALLY abusive to her. 

After Susan had her leg amputated this summer, she was fearful of this child visiting her, as she was afraid of being attacked in her wheelchair. Pretty typical of abusive relationships, her mom and her kids have very distinctly different ideas about what Susan's reality was. Her final days were filled with agonizing physical pain and despair, and feeling like nothing more than a punching bag half the time, and a human ATM the remainder of the time. 

Her youngest is now 18. All her kids are grown and onto their own paths. NOW should have been HER time to follow HER dreams, whatever they would have been. Unfortunately, just trying to survive took all her focus and energy and what resources she had.

Her viewing and burial were yesterday, and from what her cousin tells me, it was a shit show, with her husband controlling everything, making it all about HIM, and turns out, he was cheating on her with "someone special," a detail that just made my heart sank, and makes me glad Susan isn't here to endure one more indignity, one more loss. 

Through the years, she held my hand (as best as one can do without being physically there), through all of my own travails, and especially all my difficulties with mom. 

I hoped one day, I'd be there one day to hug her, perhaps have one perfect afternoon going to her favorite sandwich shop, perhaps go to a Frank Lloyd Wright house, sit and laugh. Just enjoy being in her actual, physical company. This is my solitary regret.

I am thinking of her as I listen to this song, a song my grandfather used to sing to me too. However, between Susan and myself, I think she was the sweeter of the two of us. 

I missed you before you were even gone, Susan. I love you, sweet Sue. 

And while on the topic of baked goods and memorializing friends, I believe my next blog post will be something similar, with another friend I never met in person, but got to know well online.

Stay tuned.

"Beforetimes" Meals Etc.

This post will have photos of some absolutely beautiful and delicious food I have enjoyed on vacations in the "Beforetimes," the time "BC," before COVID19.

Dessert at Oxte, Paris, 2019 June

There were more photos from this trip, and perhaps when I get up the gumption to do so, I will slap more photos herein.

Even though we did manage one final trip in January before the chaos of COVID19 has held us all hostage, and that trip was to Las Vegas; the last time I got my passport stamped was in June 2019, when we traveled to Paris and then onto Zurich. 

As I sit and gaze upon that lovely dessert, I can remember all the tastes and textures, as well as the simplicity of the decor of the restaurant, and even can recall the weather on that particular day.

I was still struggling to walk after a pretty traumatic ankle injury (all soft tissue) in May, which happened in Mexico for what should have been a long weekend get away, tagging along on a business trip, and yet, it was a lovely trip, plenty of good food, and even a pleasantly unexpected conversation with a fellow traveler in the garden at the Rodin Museum, as we mused about positive psychology and happiness, concluded with a kiss on each cheek. 
 
I remember her name, Rosewe or Rosewa, and I was too in the moment to bother asking for her email address. It is just as well, as any follow up to our moments in the garden would be like trying to grasp a rainbow. 

Our trip to Paris and Zurich still feels like it just happened; and yet at the same time, it feels like a lifetime ago, and the uncertainty of when it will be safe to travel internationally again only makes it feel like an eternity has to pass for it to happen again.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Note to Self: Christmas Cookies 2020, Cannoli Cookies

 

It is less than three months until Christmas 2020, and already I am considering possible new inclusions in the array of holiday cookies I'll churn out. 

Given how shitty 2020 has been thus far, we need to find things to look forward to, and have a purpose to our lives, and for me, that means making things for friends and family. 2020 has diminished my circle of friends and family, so it's even more imperative that I try to find some purpose in my life. 

Anywhoo--I found this recipe for Holy Cannoli Cookies, and thought, on a regular basis I have all of the ingredients on hand, so right off the bat, it is a winning recipe. Plus? Who doesn't like cannolis?  (Just keep your filthy mouth shut if you don't like cannolis! J/K *but not really!*)

Recipe is printed up (in color) AND is in a plastic page protector because I have a feeling this will be in regular rotation!

Try and have a nice day out there!

Friday, September 04, 2020

Memories of Restaurants Past: RIP Fatty Crab

Last week I was thinking about one of my favorite places to eat in NYC. A lot of my doctors are in NYC and I would be in NYC easily every 4-6 weeks for one appointment or another. 

A by-product of all these appointments is that I would explore the neighborhoods and eventually have some places I would shop at or eat at regularly. Fatty Crab was one such place.   

For a while (1-2 years) I would see my therapist on the UWS every 2 weeks (until we transitioned to phone-in appointments), and either before or after the appointment, I would head to Fatty Crab to strap on the ol' feedbag. 

It was at Fatty Crab where I grew to love Indonesian and Malaysian food. The first time I ever had nasi goreng was there.

Fatty Crab closed around 2016, and ever since then I have wondered whatever happened to the restaurant and its chef, Zakary Pelaccio. (Turns out, it looks like he's somewhere's in upstate NY doing his thing.) 

Related neuron: Sadly, I never got around to visiting Fatty Cue, which also closed.

Digging around online I didn't find much in the way of current stuff, most recent are articles about Fatty Crab's closure; however, I did find a NYT article about "Eat With Your Hands," a cookbook Pelaccio put out in 2012. 

Finding this article then made me think of yet another favorite spot I'd regularly frequent, this time on the UES, Kitchen Arts & Letters, an independent book store which sells books devoted to food and drink. 

The last time I visited Kitchen Arts and Letters was in "The Beforetimes," the time before COVID19, and my last purchase was The Mission Chinese Food Cook Book, by Chris Ying and Danny Bowien. 

I decided I wanted to get Pelaccio's book, and I didn't see it on the site for Kitchen Arts & Letters, so I tweeted at them, and they replied quickly. They let me know they had the book in stock and they made it super easy for me to place my order. That was precisely three weeks ago.  

Two Fridays ago, as I was setting up a batch of pork bone broth in my pressure cooker (with the intent for both, hot and sour soup, as well as broth for ramen), when there was a thud at my doorstep. Pelaccio's book arrived. Not only did the book arrive, it was also a SIGNED copy. 

I spent most of the day reading the introduction of the book, daydreaming about the fun I will have exploring recipes as yet unfamiliar to me, as the aroma of the star anise in my bone broth wafts through the house, as my air conditioner hummed away. 

In that moment, I was as close to happy as I've come in the last six months, which involved both, the 3-4 month shut down due to the pandemic, all the psychological warfare spewing out of the White House, and most importantly to me, the passing of my mom.

I love how in one section of the introduction of the book Pelaccio says: "A good drink helps to alleviate stress and numbs you to the trivial concerns of a broken society--and to any possible burns or cuts that occur as a result of cooking drunk." 

How fitting--cooking is at times a full contact sport, but oftentimes, if I am not being too careful, it can become a BLOOD SPORT.

Wednesday, August 05, 2020

COVID CUISINE Part 3: Swordfish Moilee



I made this on July 20th. Another dish I threw together as I hadn't been going too crazy doing my "Big Cooks" during the pandemic.

I bought some swordfish from Trader Joe's and I was impressed with the quality. So I threw together a very simple dish, a moilee, which is a fish curry made with coconut milk.

Recipe will follow soon... stay tuned.

"Beforetimes" Cocktails & Such

"Beforetimes" is my code word for before the pandemic.

This post is a photodump of cocktail menus from vacations in 2019 and early 2020.

Raglan Road, Disney Springs, 2018 0429

Rose at Restaurant Schipfe 16, Zurich, 2019 0612

Hudson Anchor, Sleepy Hollow NY, 2019 0922

Green Fairy Cocktail, Sushi Roku, Las Vegas, 2020 0127


I try to remember to snap a photo of cocktail menus when I've experienced something so pleasant I want to duplicate it at home to remember places I've visited.

Hard to believe that by January, the corona virus was already in the US possibly for two months; and harder to imagine that it'd be roughly four months more my mom would be alive.

Life is short--enjoy what you can.