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September 08, 2005



"This shot was taken 4 miles inland from the beach in Biloxi..it was amazing..all of sudden, our truck comes to a quick stop and before us..it's the ocean on land!"
As 9/11 approaches and memories of the pristine autumn weather on that fateful day, without a hint of the disaster to come, Katrina is on our minds. How could it be so beautiful here and so terrifying there? Brandon Jennings' slide show on flikr captures nature's fury on the ground.

Posted by BKG at 08:03 AM | Comments (0)

September 07, 2005

Polo, chelo, and Iranian rice cookers

Brigitte read the Iranian rice cooker entry and responded by email:

After reading your blog, it seems that you'll be my first guest in my renovated apt. for "polo" or "chelo" (various types of Iranian rice dishes). In the meantime, here's a little more info about Iranian recipes: http://www.asiafood.org/persiancooking/rice.cfm
Here are some rice cookers: http://sadaf.com/store/product120.html
http://www.persiangiftshop.com/ricecooker.html These are huge (10 cups), but there are smaller (and cheaper) ones. Excellent birthday present!

Posted by BKG at 11:01 PM | Comments (1)

Iranian rice cooker

Last year the big event and first entry on this blog was my high tech Japanese rice cooker. Rima turned me on to khichdi, so it was rice and lentils in the cooker (and sometimes in the cast iron pot) all through the winter, especially when there was no heat and the loft was freezing cold. This year I am working with Brigitte and she uses an Iranian rice cooker that she swears by. The presentation of the crusty rice, which she turns out in a perfect golden dome from the pan, is spectacular and delicious. I am totally ready to take the plunge.

I remember Persian rice from my year in Santa Monica and the Iranian restaurants there. I even made it from scratch--the long, fussy, hard way--with butter, fresh fenugreek, and other greens, washing the rice, parboiling and rinsing it, layering the ingredients, sealing it all with a wet towel and lid, and cooking it for hours over a very low flame. Then, one Thanksgiving Richard's Iranian colleage from Columbia University brought the rice in its pan and turned it out to dazzing effect. When I asked where he got the pan, he explained it was part of his Iranian rice cooker. What was that, I asked. He said that when Japan tried to address balance of trade issues--Iranians were not buying Japanese goods--they came up with the idea of adapting the Japanese rice cooker so it would cook Iranian rice, which means among other things, rice with a nice crispy bottom. At the time I checked out these cookers online but never pursued the matter. Now I will! As well as cooking all kinds of other Iranian dishes.

Posted by BKG at 08:25 PM | Comments (0)

September 04, 2005

Joelle on purslane

Joelle is a wonderful cook with a lovely repertoire of Algerian Jewish specialities. We both love fresh fava in the pod and cardoon--and purslane! Here is her recent email.

Dear Barbara, I read your entry on purslane on your Forklore site, and enjoyed it very much. I do not remember when I encountered this plant for the first time; it might have been in a recipe mentioned years ago by a Sephardic informant. In the last few years, it has grown wild in our vegetable garden in Bloomington, and I have picked it and used it in salads with other greenery, as in a "mesclun" of sorts. It is very tasty, crunchy and tart. I will use the recipes that you mention in different websites. One farmer merchant sells "pourpier" at the Bloomington farmers' market in the summer, and told us that all she does is pick it as a weed in her garden.

I could not find purslane at the market this week, but I do love it and, oh, that omega-3!

Posted by BKG at 11:34 PM | Comments (0)

Late summer dinner

husktomatoes_s.jpgLast night, Labor Day weekend, we had a lovely dinner here to celebrate the arrival of Joelle, Marshall, and Sarah to NYC for the year, and our dear friends from Australia (Paul and Peter) and New Zealand (Ian). We wanted everyone to meet Brigitte and Jeffrey and Stuart. We were the beneficiaries of flowers, wine, Jewish cookbooks, and Argentinian honey, straight from the source.

Since we just got back from Toronto--what with KlezKanada, working with Mayer, and a day after getting home flying right back to Toronto for a funeral--I've been away from my desk and email for almost two weeks, so rushed off to the laptop repair shop, Man and Machine, to pick up my computer and got to the Greenmarket late in the day with my great big shopping cart. The market was in full swing, with the last of the corn and peaches, and start of the roots. Inspired by Avinadav and defaulting to some of my own personal favorites, here is what we had:

Posted by BKG at 06:35 PM | Comments (0)