Thursday, September 22, 2011


"This," he said, "is the best sandwich you have ever made".

Always on the lookout for roast beef sandwiches ('cause my baby loves himself an RBS), I made this from Rachael Ray October 2011.  Roast Beef Sandwiches with Spicy Roasted Tomato Jam

I didn't read the recipe fully (violating one of my mom's central tenets and most likely the single most important factor in any academic success I've enjoyed: READ THE QUESTION CAREFULLY) and did not purchase any tapenade (which gets stirred into the roasted tomatoes) because mi eposo hates olives.  Here to report it was delicious sans tapenade.  Pumpernickel, smeared with cream cheese (one of my central tenets), high quality roast beef (none of that anemic wafer thin stuff), spicy tomato jam and watercress.

Also, wanted to mention this great book I read during my Tampa trip:

Christopher Kimball and the America's Test Kitchen crew tackle a cookbook from the late 1890s and throw a dinner party with foods and - more challengingly - food preparation techniques from that time, including cooking with a woodstove, boiling calf's feet for gelatin, making calf's head soup (with the successive discoveries upon testing these recipes that one must remove the brains, the eyeballs and oh yes the sinonasal contents of the specimen).  It's a fascinating read as it explores the daily life of people in that time- what did they eat?  What time of day?  What conveniences were available?  What was fashionable? Was the food good?  Who was doing the cooking?  How was yeast procured?  When was refrigeration invented and adopted?  Brimming with history about New England, the evolution of food science and industry, the social upheavals that drove immense change (employment of servants, middle and upper class women taking over cooking and therefore changing the status of the kitchen in the home [once a hot, dangerous place to work, it is now the showpiece in every new American home-- these social changes are explored in depth in Winifred Gallagher's wonderful House Thinking: A Room-by-Room Look at How We Live). These prosaic details are more interesting to me than knowing which treaties were brokered/land masses purchased during this time in history.  Highly recommend!  My favorite anecdote was this recipe for Indian pudding published in the early 1700s in the Plimouth Coliny Cookbook:

Let the molasses drip in as you sing 'Nearer My God to Thee,', 
but sing two verses in cold weather.

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