Saturday, March 30, 2013

Cooking Floyd: Trencherman Thai

When I was cooking at the Valiant Trencherman one of my favorite dishes on the menu was Thai chicken.  Spicy hot with a little sweet, I never tired of it and twenty years later I still make it at home.
In fact, I'm so enamored of the flavor of the marinating paste that I'm tempted to try drying and powdering it just to see what happens!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Cooking Floyd: Anchovy Vinaigrette and Green Goddess Dressing

I've spent most of my life steering clear of fish on my pizza: NO ANCHOVIES!!  I used anchovies in stuff but always considered it the "spice that grows in the sea".  I'd use a couple tiny filets out of a can but then the rest would sit in the fridge for months until I threw it out.  As a child I loved Green Goddess salad dressing.  As an adult I was always bummed that I couldn't make it taste like I remembered.  It always somehow fell flat.  I just figured out the missing flavor is- Anchovies!
It's interesting how our taste for foods changes.  Black olives were right out for me until just a few years ago.  Then I tasted Cerignolas and now I can't get enough.  Anchovies were disgusting until I had better quality ones studding a Magarita pizza made with totally top quality fresh ingredients.  Now I crave the little buggers.  I've also noticed that my new favorites/formerly icky foods are both high on the umami scale.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Gardening Floyd: Everything Old Is New Again

I've been attending a Pocket Farming course sponsored by SustainFloyd and it never ceases to amuse me that the methods my grandparents used on their farm decades ago are being reassigned fancy new names, being repackaged, and "sold" as innovative new techniques to really squeaky new farmers.  Like "Biodynamic Farming".  Really?  The timing of my grandparents chores and farming events were often based on moon phases and celestial influences from starting seeds and breeding livestock to harvesting, butchering, and haircuts for my Mom and her six siblings.  It wasn't weird, most of the farm families around them did it too.  They had a connection with their farms that went beyond just a place to live and ground to make a living from.  Now it's got a fancy new name- Biodynamic.

Michael and I went out to Blue Valley Organic Farm, SustainFloyd's model farm, last Saturday mostly to see how to set up contours for plowing but also to watch another old technique made new again: plowing with horses.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Cooking Floyd: Decorating with Gum Paste

Shana and I took a short course in decorating cakes with gum paste flowers and sculptures this week.  I'm not much of a one for baking cakes and for this class we were actually supplied with a quite tasty cake by the instructor.  I'm always interested in new ways to decorate cookies and gum paste offers interesting options that royal icing doesn't.  Penny, the instructor, also demystified fondant and offered up her recipe for a fondant that tastes as nice as it looks!