My father would never have let me get away with that . . .

I threw away TWO (2) containers of honey mustard dipping sauce from a take out meal today. He would have been appalled. My mother said “oh, fine.”* But here’s the real question — is frugality like that really why there’s so much money in TIAA CREF?

*However, she is resisting letting me give an unopened case of pre-packaged mandarin orange slices (I’ve never seen her open a container!) to the poor. I may have to sneak. I’m gradually emptying the shelves of the upstairs bathroom (stuff which they abandoned in 2006).

Carciofi all romana

My cooked contribution to Easter Dinner at my colleague’s apartment. I bought pre-cleaned artichokes at the market (still had to dig the chokes out myself). They’re stuffed with a mint/parsley/garlic mix and cooked (white wine and lemon in the water. Yum! I’ll be making these for the parents this summer, even if I have to clean the artichokes myself!

Here’s the recipe I used.


The best sfogliatella ever?

Me and Sfogliatelle


I’d go that far.

In service for the Food and Culture in Italy course (being taught by our GustoLab partner, Sonia Massari) we visited Eccelenze Campane, which is kind of hard to describe. The name means Campanian Specialities or Excellences. It’s a foodie paradise for organic, fresh, and local stuff in Campania – a combination of grocery store, restaurant, and production center. We watched people making mozzarella and ricotta di bufala – and then got to eat it. Wow. We watched people making pasta – and some of us ate that for lunch (I had alici fritti, myself – yum, yum). We watched and helped people making pastries – and you see me eating a sfogliatelle with a filling made with fresh ricotta di bufala. It was over the top good, and I finally understand how they get all the flaky layers!

T-minus 24 hours . . .

. . . until dinner tomorrow. I’m ready to cook! The turkey is salted and resting (not brined, thanks to J. Kenji López-Alt at The Food Lab, my current favorite food blog), and I’m ready to spatchcock the fowl and cook it tomorrow afternoon at Prof. Himmelhoch’s house. I’ve made the cranberry stuff* and dosed it with triple sec and left it to meld flavorifically in the fridge. Now I can enjoy a little of this brief calm before the storm that is always December in Higher Education.

*Bag of cranberries, half an unpeeled lemon, a whole unpeeled orange, a cup of pecans, a cup of sugar, blend, stir, add 1/4 cup of orange liqueur and refrigerate overnight. Yum! It’s good at dinner but even better as a relish on turkey sammiches later in the week.