Remains of the Pork Belly….and other miscellaneous things….
January 25, 2011

 

OK, Paul wanted to know what happened this past weekend…”What happened to the pork belly?? I read you were going to get some and I was wishing I had a source closer than Catonsville. Just hoping to satisfy my pork belly craving vicariously.”

Wow...how good does this look?

Well Paul, I won’t lie… it was a pretty good dish, and as one chef said about pork belly “You could probably roll it in dirt and it would still sell“, but my dish  could have been better.   I couldn’t find pork shoulder(for pork two ways) and ended up getting some pork butt instead to accompany the belly. And you know , I wished it had all been belly(pork one way)…the butt pieces were just a tad dry….not as luscious as the belly. I wish I had a good source for you other than H-Mart(what they now call it) in Catonsville…but that’s the only place that I know of that sells it. Why is that? The recipe to the picture above is here….

Love the bivalves...

My Eastern Shore friends brought over some fabulous oysters…which we(the royal we-meaning he worked and we ate) shucked and ate with some saltines and sauce…so salty and plump….I haven’t had any on the half shell since I was in New Orleans last year. Delish.

This cream is only $13.50...gotta love that...

Lisa had a question: “Hi Donna – love the blog, read it all the time! Actually my response (question!) has nothing to do with pork. I watch 11 news at 5 and have always noticed how great your skin looks. Just wondering what your skin care routine is and what products you use. I am 55 and although my skin is in pretty good shape it could certainly stand some improvement. Guess we are all in search of that ever elusive “magic bullet”.”

Oh Lisa, first of all, thanks. And isn’t that the truth..the old search for a magic bullet..a better question is, what DON’T I use on my skin. Seriously, I kind of have the kitchen sink approach(throw everything at it and something will stick). I intermittently use a couple of creams from Swanson Vitamins( the Niacin cream and the Derma E Alpha-Lipoic acid cream…not expensive and good).

This cream is $150...let's say I use it sparingly....

 I also use Cold Plasma by Nicholas Perricone….NOT inexpensive but I like it a lot(great for the neck)…and my mainstay…Retin A. Honestly there isn’t a woman over 40(or very few) who should not be using Retin A according to my dermatologist. It is the bomb.  I really think it makes a big diff in skin quality. Add to that wearing sunscreen(and have for a long time) and hats when I’m in the sun, eating right( eating lots of salmon makes a difference in your skin-I eat some almost every day), getting enough sleep, and I take a boatload of vitamins….if anyone is interested(which I doubt), I’ll be happy to share what I take. Enough.

Why won't you make ice for me????

Oh let’s see…a Samsung refrigerator repairman was out this morning, as my brand new shiny stainless steel French door frig…isn’t making ice! Soooooo, he checked this and that, and then a little more this and that…but guess what the final fix involved? That’s right…a trusty hairdryer that he keeps in his truck(photogs here at WBAL also keep one to defrost and defog cameras going from cold to warm). And, after a few minutes of heating up the innerds of my ice maker, out plopped a 6 inch icicle from the line which had stopped up the works. Now the big question is…..will it continue to get clogged with ice, and why did it do so in the first place? Hmmmmm? To be continued…

 

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So you say you could use a laugh….
January 20, 2011

Funny, ascerbic....ode to Baltimore

Then wow, do I have the show for you! Second City does Baltimore is now at Center Stage, and it is one of the cleverest, funniest, and most biting things I’ve seen in a while. You know Second City, right? It’s a comedy troupe from Chicago that has birthed some of the great comedians of our time…John Belushi, Stephen Colbert and Tina Fey to name a few.

What do they do? Here’s how they put it…”The Second City has always served as a bit of a tonic for times of difficulty and upheaval. It’s our job to laugh at what scares us, to make the unfunny funny, and to provide audiences with a chance to let go for a couple hours and just laugh.”

And that’s exactly what I did. Crime, Ruxton, West Baltimore, Bob Irsay, the demise of the Sunpaper, mayors and governors..nothing is off limits….and some fabulous improv….all first rate. If you live in or around Baltimore…it’s a must see. It’s here through February 20th….if you miss it, you’re the loser.

Toffee Brownie time....

OK, brownie questions. Margie asked, “ I have followed up on so many things you write about on your blog.  I am dying to try the brownies but am having a hard time finding the Hershey’s Symphony bar.  Any suggestions on where I can find it.”

Yes Margie, I do. I picked mine up at the Superfresh on 41st Street. But here’s the thing…you may be looking in the baking chocolate section. No findee. Go to the candy bar aisle….I would think you can Symphony in any major grocery chain. 

And Trish asked about breaking them up. While you can, my friend just puts them on the batter whole. Whatever you like, and to give credit where credit is due, I know think my friend stole the recipe(borrowed it maybe?) from the Food Channel’s Paula Deen. Maybe it was the other way around, I don’t know. But Paula also makes these Toffee Brownies.  And they’re worth every calorie.

ALL THOSE TOMATOES…what to do, what to do…
August 20, 2010

gorgeous, glorious heirlooms....

I can only imagine what it’s like for those of you who grow more than a couple of tomato plants….you must be knee deep in ‘maters(like my Daddy when I was growing up), and no matter how luscious they are….really, what do you do with them all(besides give me some).  OK, here’s my problem, when I go to the Farmer’s Market, I get greedy. It’s true… I see a sizeable basket full of heirloom tomato “seconds”…in other words, they have a small blemish or bruise of some sort and you can get a bunch for not much money….and I just get all… carried…away.

And seconds are usually tomatoes that need to be used pretty darn soon…if one is bruised, you now officially entering  the racing decay countdown sequence…..5…..4….3….2…..ok, it’s rotten. You catch my drift.

Anyone can roast tomatoes...

So one thing I like to do with tomatoes right off the bat(before the coundown has begun) is roast them. If you’ve never done this, get with the program.  Simple…easy…delicious. My daughter is in love with these…warm from the oven, and placed on a thin slice of  French Bread drizzled with oilive oil….it’s a little bit of heaven. 

Here’s what you do….wash and slice your tomatoes into slices, and put them on oiled piece of aluminum foil on a cookie sheet or baking pan.Drizzle with olive oil and whatever spices you like…basil, oregano, sea salt, pepper…all good. And then put them in the oven at 350 degrees for maybe 45 minutes or so(maybe longer), until they start to carmelize  and shrivel a little…this intensifies their flavor. You can keep them in a jar with more olive oil, or even freeze them until later if you like, and they can be used in countless dishes…soups, pastas, almost anything tastes better if you throw some in, and again on bread…they’re a great appetizer.

Tomato risotto...I'm gonna make it!

And I discovered another recipe that I’m gonna try this weekend that calls for roasted tomatoes….Tomato Risotto.  How good does that sounds? It’s just a basic risotto made with chicken broth and wine, garlic and onion and a little cheese thrown in, but add some roasted tomatoes during the process….and then chop some raw tomatoes, toss with basil and put on the top when you serve it….like the picture….pretty and I’ll bet it’s gonna be fabulous!! Have a great weekend everyone…play nice, don’t throw rocks and come home safe…’cause we miss you!

A Tale of Pimento Cheese and Biscuits….
April 28, 2010

Hands in motion, mixing a huge batch of pimento cheese...yummy...

There are as many ways to make a batch of pimento cheese as there are crackers to spread it on….but there are some rules that should be obeyed….using sharp cheddar cheese, using a good mayonnaise like Hellman’s, add a touch of Tabasco….but there are also some rules that can be broken….such as, never buying pimento cheese at the grocery store. As I’ve stated before, grocery store pimento cheese is just awful. So let me qualify that. If you’re a store that carries Callie’s Biscuits  pimento cheese, then by all means, grab hold and don’t let go.

Callie's employee mixing butter into the flour for biscuits...

Pimento cheese is a new product for Callie’s…a Southern Staple, as they call it. And I guess that’s true…growing up in Alabama there was often a pie plate of pimento cheese in the frig that would make its way into lunchtime sandwiches. A Pyrex pie dish because my Father, who often made it, found it easier to mash the pimentos that way…now you can buy pimentos already chopped. He always let my Mother add the mayo though…he was afraid she’d complain he put in too much.

Anyway, there probably lots of people now, who simply don’t want to take the time to grate the cheese, and add pimentos, Worcestershire, Tobasco, and Helman’s mayo…so maybe many of you have never tasted real pimento cheese….and Callie’s is like homemade…ok, better. When I was in Charleston last week, I called and asked if I could stop by where the magic happens, on famous Meeting Street….the dodgy end says Callie’s daughter Carrie, and they said sure..come on by.

Carrie filling biscuit bags with luscious biscuits.....

It’s a lovely little bakery, with hardwood floors and a big freezer to stock all the different flavors of biscuits. Carrie was up to her neck in alligators as they say, because Piggly Wiggly(love the Pig) had called and said,”It’s Friday and we need more biscuits pronto!” So Carrie was loading packs of Callie’s cinnamon biscuits, ham biscuits, cheese-chive biscuits and buttermilk of course, into bags as fast as she could while we talked. Carrie’s Mother Callie was the originator of the biscuit, and Callie is pretty much retired, though still doing a little catering here and there. And this is her biscuit recipe, that her business minded daughter made into a product…she told her Mom that people all over would want to buy them, and Callie never thought it would amount to much. “Oh, who would want to buy my biscuits?”  But lots of people do, because they are so luscious….as far away as Dean and DeLuca in St. Helena, California. These women know their biscuits.

Callie's...made from White Lily flour, of course....

And the rest is history…Carrie is still growing the business and getting them into more stores…the only place I can find them in Maryland right now, is Graul’s Market in St. Michaels and Annapolis. But I’m hoping that Graul’s here in Baltimore, or maybe Eddie’s in Roland Park would stock them. And the pimento cheese, of course. No shipping fees!  And while I carted down a couple of blocks of cheddar to Charleston with big plans to make pimento cheese….did I? Not once I spotted Callie’s in the Piggly-Wiggly. I’m gonna go spread some on a cracker right now.

The Week of Eating In……
February 23, 2010

Cannellini beans with red peppers and garlic....let's eat in!

That’s right, you heard me….this is the week where we eat in. No take-out. No restaurants….time to get to know your kitchen stove a little better. You buy the groceries and prepare the food….so old school, baby! But thing about the money you’ll be saving….not to mention the calories you’ll be saving, and you’ll feel so accomplished! In fact if you want to get serious about it, you can sign up to take the pledge to eat in this week, February 22-28th, on THe Huffington Post. For me this is no sacrifice, since we eat in usually 5 nights out of 7 anyway….but for those of you who do lots of carry-out…it could be a little more difficult.

I started Friday, cooking pork belly with roasted turnips and carrots. Yes Paul, pork on a Friday. Shoot me. And one reader asked where on earth one gets pork belly and how on earth does one cook it. Well, I get mine at HanAhReum, the Korean supermarket on Rolling Road in Catonsville. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it in a regular  grocery store, but you could ask the butcher if they can get it in. As to how to cook this most fabulous cut of pork, I will refer you to Jamie Oliver’s pork belly…he is also obsessed with it. His simple but fabulous recipe is a good one. Easy but luscious..you’ll never look back.

Beef short ribs....best ever....cook some this week!

I also did some beef short ribs this weekend….also bought at the Korean market. For these I tried a new-to-me recipe from Bon Appetit 2006, in which the ribs are seared, and then braised in red wine and vegetables. Those same veges are pureed at the end which makes a gorgeous thick sauce…I loved it, and hopefully so did my next door neighbors who have a new baby, and I thought they could use a dinner. Serve it with some smashed potatoes drizzled with olive oil and, everyone will love you.

Tonight, still eating in…I reheating black-eyed peas I had cooked last week…. with chicken broth, smoked sausage, onion and red peppers(I love red peppers)….and lots of garlic of course. Very healthy, and if you’ve never tried black-eyed peas….you really should. If you cook them from dried, ridiculously inexpensive. Like all beans.

Cubed eggplant ready for roasting....

And one blog reader, Gabrielle, asked about the recipe for roasted eggplant. Oh, Gabby…it’s sooooo easy, and once you start roasting vegetables(I learned from the Silver Palate cookbook), you’ll see there’s really no better way to prepare almost any vege. Eggplant, sweet potatoes, green beans, asparagus, turnips, onions, red peppers…you name it…they’re all enhanced by roasting as it reduces them to their best essence. How to? Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Put your cubed(large cubes) of eggplant on the baking dish…drizzle with olive oil and kosher salt and toss, so that they’re all covered. And don’t be too shy with the salt. Make sure it’s a single layer and roast for about 20 minutes. (It will take longer for potatoes and sometimes a touch shorter for green beans or asparagus…check at 15 minutes.) Once its brown and caramelizing on the bottom, give them a flip and put back in for another 5 -8 minutes, and you’re done. Trust me…these are good alone or on a salad, and can be served hot or at room temperature.

The Art of Eating In.....

And if you find you love eating in and all the $$$$ you’re saving….check out the book, The Art of Eating In, by Cathy Erway…it’s by a woman who swore off eating out for two years, get this, in New York City…the biggest restaurant town in the world! “Two years, three apartments, countless food events and some strange restaurant-free “dates” later, she was able to turn eating in into something of an art, rather than mere survival method.” Sounds like a good read…I’m definitely checking it out!

Weekend Wrapup…pie verdict, flicks and red beans and rice…
November 30, 2009

My dough..made with my Grandmother's rolling pin!

Let’s see, let’s see….let us begin with the pie. You know…the apple pie I made from scratch…homemade crust and all( made with a rolling pin hand-carved by my great-grandfather for my grandmother as a wedding gift…so sweet). That sucker was kind of an all day affair. Apple pie is just…..laborious…I don’t know any other word for it. Peeling the apples, coring the apples, slicing the apples, mixing the dough, chilling the dough, rolling out the dough, rechilling the dough, don’t forget to put foil on the edges, make sure the pie is toward the bottom of the oven. Bottom line…it was a very nice pie(should be with two sticks of butter in the crust….Martha recipe), but it wasn’t good enough that I want to go through all that again. Seriously, I could have easily bought an apple pie that good, and enjoyed my day more. The nice gentleman who sat by me at Thanksgiving dinner  judged it for me….he said, “It’s pretty good but I kind of had to scoop it out, so it doesn’t look so good.” Or something like that. I didn’t hit him or even consider it….I graciously agreed, and silently made a pact with myself to never do that again. That was my last from scratch apple pie.

Caught a couple of good films over the weekend….The Blind Side starring Sandra Bullock is a winner…hands down, one of the best films I’ve seen in a while. And knowing the story of Michael Oher of the Ravens, made me admire him even more. See it if you had a chance. Also enjoyed Coco Before Chanel playing at the Charles Theatre. Oh so very French, very subtitled, lots of cigarette smoking, alors!! Interesting story about the woman who brought us the LBD(little black dress) and Chanel No. 5,  and the idea that clothing should be comfortable….bye-bye corsets. The film conveniently leaves out Coco’s affair with a German officer during WWII and the German occupation of France(it doesn’t really go that far timewise). Some say she was a collaborator, but she was never charged as one. Did Winston Churchill work behind the scenes in her behalf? Who knows, but she left Paris for Switzerland, as people didn’t feel so kindly towards her. Oh, Coco.

Also made some kicking Red Beans and Rice….made with real Camellia Red Beans, which people from Louisiana say are basic to the real thing(though I’ve used plain old kidney beans to pretty good effect). It’s a classic, that once you’ve made it, you really don’t need a recipe for…I just saute a couple of red and green peppers, lots of onion and garlic…put in a couple of ham hocks, bay leaves, Tabasco and your soaked red beans. Cover with water and simmer away. When the beans are tender, add some sautéed smoked sausage, or andouille  if you’re feeling authentic. Let it cook a little longer, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve over rice. Yummo.

Weekend Wrapup….Jazz, Twilight and Pork Bellies
November 23, 2009

Darryl Harper playing smooth tunes onstage at Creative Alliance

Let’s see….did something I’ve never done before Friday night. Went to a jazz concert at the Creative Alliance, just east of Patterson Park on Eastern Avenue, to see jazz clarinetist Darryl Harper. What a talent he is….he had gathered some great local jazz guys in for a concert and the music was smooth, smokey…very blues. Darryl’s latest album is Stories in Real Time….you can hear  some selection by clicking here…and the Creative Alliance has many unique offerings… for music lovers, film lovers, classes for adults and children, including a 4 week Saturday session of running away to join the circus…”Admit it–your child is amazingly gifted and you’ve dreamt of creating a circus act together. Now’s your chance! Aerial superstar Lizzie Lyra introduces parents and kids to the circus arts: acrobatics, partner balancing, hooping, trapeze.” Come on people! You don’t see that everyday….

OK…saw Twilight…I’m in…all in.  And now I’m ready for New Moon….maybe over the holiday weekend. But I also want to see Precious….I’ve heard it is simply amazing….and Blind Side….also supposed to be just wonderful. It could be a good movie marathon weekend!  I love doing double features with a snack in between. Time to get my movie on. 

Oh, and I made some mean pork belly for dinner one night..(which is the new foie gras, or some people say). Not that I was  foie gras eater…I wasn’t, but I do love properly prepared pork belly. I used a variation of  Jamie Oliver recipe that I found on someone else’s blog….thank you very much….and it was luscious. Just absolutely fantastic. Still have some leftover in the frig. Wait for me…no matter where you are, I will find you!

Alabama Memories of Julia Child
October 27, 2009

Hughes Kennedy and Julia, 1973I’m freshly back from ‘bama, where I had a great visit with my Mom, one of my sisters, one nephew, one brother-in-law, two sisters-in law, and my Father-in-law and his new love. It was one of those somewhat hectic visits where there is sooooo much more that you’d like to do and see, but there are lots of people to get to and only so many hours in the day. You know what I mean…

And my Mother is still an avid reader of the Birmingham News…wouldn’t go a day without reading it cover to cover, though as with many newspapers these days (including the venerable Baltimore Sun) it doesn’t take as long as it used to. But she had saved a couple of things she thought I’d like…and she was dead on, both times.

The program from Julia's program in B'ham.....The first was an article about Julia Child, and a visit she made to Birmingham 36 years ago to give a series of cooking demonstrations at the Civic Center. She stayed with a Dr. Hughes Kennedy (seen with Julia in the top photo)at his home. My Mom asked, “Do you recognize him?”…and both my sister and I were clueless….”Nope…who is he?” She replied, almost scandalized that we didn’t know, “But he was your pediatrician!” Seriously, I don’t remember him at all, but she does.

And he must have done pretty darn well in the kid doctor business, because he had not one, but three kitchens in his home, and a dining room that would seat 100 guests. Good Lord. Dr. Kennedy hosted a dinner party for Julia while she was his guest, for about 125 people… he said he was too naive to be intimidated by cooking for the great Julia Child…they just dove in.

7 ingredients...how easy is that??He made his signature dish, a pretty simple chicken casserole with celery, onion, cheddar cheese and slivered almonds called Chicken Riggins. And even though it calls for only seven ingredients, Julia was impressed by it, so much so that she later requested the recipe for her garden club and named the dish, after Dr. Kennedy’s partner Wendell Riggins

My Mom said a group at church years ago saw the recipe long ago and made it for a Christmas party…it was such a hit  that they served the same thing year after year. And I plan to give it a try, though my mind reader Mother(who knows me well) said, “And don’t change any of the ingredients!” I was secretly  thinking…TWO CUPS of mayonnaise?? I can only imagine Dr. Kennedy didn’t eat this too often, as he’s now 85 and still kicking it. But I’ve provided the recipe below…and it does sound sinfully delicious. Let me know if you make it and how it was. Just loosen the belt buckle.

CHICKEN RIGGINS (Serves 10)

3 cups diced chicken

2 cups diced celery

1 cup diced onions

1 pound sharp cheddar cheese

1 can slivered almonds

2 cups mayonnaise

Bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook 4 chicken breasts and 4 thighs with salt, pepper and celery tops until tender, about 20 minutes. Cool and dice. Dice 2 cups celery. Saute onions and cube 1 pound sharp cheddar cheese. Mix above with 2 cups mayonnaise and almonds. Place in 3-quart casserole, sprinkle with bread crumbs and bake at 350 degrees until bubbly and golden on top (approximately 20 minutes).

A Seafood Pirlau….how to say it, how to cook it….
October 12, 2009

Frank Stitts fabulous cooking.....

Frank Stitt's fabulous cooking.....

Did some cooking over the weekend, and my first ever Low Country Pirlau(some people pronounce it per-loo), from Frank Stitt’s Southern Table Cookbook from Highland’s Bar and Grillin Birmingham(you know you’re somebody when author Pat Conroy writes your foreword). If you’ve never eaten there, let me tell you it’s a culinary kingdom and Stitt holds the keys to the castle. His cookbook came out in 2004 and won several big awards…my late Mother-in law Shirley, bought me a signed edition of the book, for which she probably stood in line. Great lady,  that woman….I miss her all the time, and especially when I use the book. So what is a pirlau? Here is one definition I’ve been able to find on a low country website….

Pirlau (there is no one accepted pronunciation, “pur-loo” being just one variant) is a rice porridge with African roots; the name reflects the dish’s international origins, as it is related to the Middle-Eastern pilaf and the East-Indian pilau. In its essence, it is a thick stew based on chicken (or wild game bird), vegetables and spices with a great deal of long grain rice mixed in. It may contain the mucilaginous vegetable okra as a thickener, in which case it might masquerade as a gumbo.”

red and yellow maters from farmers market

red and yellow 'mater's from farmer's market

Mine did not masquerade at all…I would say a pirlau is kind of like a bouillabaisse, or a paella….though thicker than the former and a bit soupier than the latter. But no saffron. And there aren’t many recipes on line for pirlau…..I found this simplified recipe on the Baltimore Sun’s website….it’s  kinda close one to the one I used, though Stitt’s called for 4 ripe tomatoes, not one, and used chicken broth which you turned into seafood broth by simmering the shrimp shells in the broth for 10 minutes. His also called for a red bell pepper and an onion chopped and sauted(which I think are crucial), and couple of cloves of garlic…and the seagood is key. I found some wild caught Gulf shrimp, which are just soooo  sweet and yummy…It was a fabulous dish. And there was no okra in mine, though I think it might have been nice addition.

The Wine Market....

The Wine Market....

Friday night we ate out at The Wine Market, celebrating a family birthday….remember how  pleasant it was Friday? We dined al fresco on their lovely  patio…may be the last time it’s used this year…though you never know in Maryland…there could still be more Indian Summer days ahead of us.

A Quick Update..Beef Bourguignon laced with Harry Potter and Julia Child
July 31, 2009

 Sorry about no bloggy-mac-blog-blog this week….I’ve been a bad girl. A loyal reader wrote in saying(ok, complaining)…” Please tell Donna to update her Hamilton’s Habitat. Nothing has been posted since 7/24.” Hey, I know that, and I’ve felt guilty every single day, ok? But here’s a quick update…it’s almost news time!

I’m back on another round of antibiotics…no, not for a communicable disease, but for some recurring symptoms of Lyme Disease. But I’m hopeful this will take care of things. I’ll keep you posted.

My daughter was called for her first ever jury duty yesterday. She asked me the night before what time she had to be there….”8:15 am“, I told her. Horrified, she said, “8:15? How on earth do people go to work by then???” Ahhhh, grasshopper…..I told her lots and lots and lots and lots of people, including her Dad, have to be at work  by then…and lots more get to go in even earlier. The fact did not console her… at all. But she made it to the courthouse on time….did get called, but not selected as a juror(SHOCKER)….much relief on her part.

Making seafood paella

Making seafood paella

Let’s see, what else? I made a paella last weekend….found some wild caught shrimp that were really nice at the Supermarket….that were $7.99 a pound! Not bad for shrimp….and I keep a little jar of saffron(the most expensive spice in the world) in the frig, for just such an occasion, because it’s really not easy to find on the fly. I now order it off the internet.

Mmmmm, let’s see…went to yoga class and got my butt kicked Tuesday night…sometimes that instructor seems a little mean, but in a good way. I really felt it the next day, which means it’s a good workout.

And my daughter called this morning…you know, the one who plops roasts into the over without a pan underneath because I didn’t say use a pan…and asked, where one gets “stew meat”. “In the grocery store at the meat counter“, I say levelly.

Does it say stew meat?”

It might but it’s just cut up chunks of beef….why do you need stew meat?

Will ours look like this?

Will ours look like this?

I’m cooking dinner for you! Julia Child’s Beef Bo-erg-ooee-gon!” She’s delighted by the idea. And it is very, very sweet. “Do you mean beef bourguignon?” She does indeed. She has been inspired by the new movie coming out about la Julia, and Mastering the Art of French Cooking was one of the first serious cookbooks I used. I have made the above recipe many, many times. It is excellent…but there are many steps…perhaps too many for my girl? We shall see…the bacon has already been deleted I hear. But it will probably still be delicious….I’ll let you know how it went, but it is an ambitious recipe, as are many of Julia’s recipes. 

And today is J.K. Rowling’s birthday! Maybe we will celebrate by seeing the latest Harry Potter movie on the IMAX, at the Maryland Science Center…that really should rock. And for those of you discouraged about life or your job, or lack of one, remember that J.K. was an unemployed single mom, at rock bottom, which she said she found freeing….because there she was, but still standing. Her Harry Potter series became one of the best selling book series( and movies) of all time. Goes to show you, you just never know, and should never give up. A single idea can turn into great things. Or maybe just a very good beef stew. And tonight, that’s just fine with me. Have a lovely weekend, play nice, and come home safe…we miss you.