About Chocolate Whisky Cake and Food

December 13, 2015

Thank you Facebook, for bringing to light Holiday Hodgepodge, posted at Mark Rubin Writes exactly one year ago. Chocolate Whisky Cake appeared in the New York Times, courtesy of food columnist Melissa Clark. About the cake I wrote “One heck of a cake, and I’ll report on results just as soon as I bake it.” And no one saw another word about the cake … until today, when I finally baked it. (More on the cake soon. I promise!)

Over the past 365 days MRW has 15 posts about food. About 5% of all posts, and far fewer than I would have expected. Why?

I’m pretty sure the anticipated food writing went to the same undisclosed location where 15-20

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Happy Chanukah

December 6, 2015

Happy Chanuka Chanukah, Chanukkah, Channukah, Hanukah, Hannukah, Hanukkah, Hanuka, Hanukka, Hanaka, Haneka, Hanika, and Khanukkah., thanks to Hanukka? Chanukah? Hanaka? Don’t ask how a Hebrew or Yiddish word is spelled. Lots of variations, in almost every instance.

Chanukah—my preferred spelling—is a no big deal holiday. It’s been co-opted in the United States, as a kinda sorta substitute for Christmas, for Jewish kids who should not feel left out of a national, commercial something or other. Alas, I’m experiencing my first Chanukah without a child for whom I am responsible. Cate Rubin is in Rochester, NY, where she works as a Manufacturing Chemist for Kodak. She lit candles and made latkes. I lit candles, baked Yukon Gold potatoes (with a

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San Diego

November 15, 2015

“Oh my gosh, you’re home already,” was the comment from my San Diego landlord, whose name is Mom. I was gone a total of 49 hours, of which 12 were spent driving and 14 sleeping. (Although I was alone, some part of the sleeping hours may have occurred during the driving hours, so total hours are approximate.)

My 23 hours were mixed. My trip had for its primary purpose visiting someone who’s ill. Our visit was delightful, but there’s no pleasure in seeing someone suffer. Alas, I’m glad I went!

The balance of my 23 hours was spent walking, reading, eating, drinking, shopping, and getting a haircut, mostly in that order. Here are some highlights:

Saturday dinner was at Ironside

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Comfort Food

November 8, 2015

Comfort food has a Wikipedia page (So, actually, does one of my clients, but he pitched for the Milwaukee Braves and Houston Astros for nine years.) Wikipedia describes comfort food as “traditional food which often provides a nostalgic or sentimental feeling to the consumer, and is often characterized by a high carbohydrate level and simple preparation.”

Baloney. Comfort food is tasty food you like, made simply and easily. For me, recipes are a distraction. If instructions are required, I’ll eff them up and ”easily” won’t be part of the mix. (I had my tech guy come by to make two DVD players work. One new DVD purchase later, I’m watching DVDs on my laptop. No matter how

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Food and Pleasure

August 1, 2015

About the Blog at Mark Rubin Writes asserts that we share information about Food and Pleasure, in the midst of Law and Affairs of the Day aka Trotskyite views. Anyone wondered when there might be a post—other than a Curator burger pic—which features food. We checked. June 7 was the last post—Nuts and Cookies—and that’s just shy of eight weeks. Too long!

Today’s post features Chocolate Chip-Cocoa Nib Cookies, Meat Loaf Bolognese, Mushroom Pizza, and Shrimp Fried Rice. I’m working in reverse alpha order, though, as I think the feature picture on Facebook is the one which appears first in the blog post, and the rice is my best picture.

The rice began with good intentions. I’ve been

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Nuts and Cookies

June 7, 2015

I don’t like nuts. Actually, I really do like people who are a bit different, and it’s almonds, cashews, and pecans I can do without. I like nut butters plenty, so long as they’re creamy style, which makes me think my real problem with nuts relates to my teeth and, more precisely, the space between aka diastema and, really, those particles which fill the “space between.” Alas, I digress, mightily. (I do like cookies. More later on that subject.)

I’ve been looking for a way to turn my passion for food into a hobby with some structure. I mentioned fruitcake in the February 25 Curator. It’s not a “no go” yet, but several people have mentioned

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Thursday Evening

May 28, 2015

I thought I was entertaining on Thursday evening. Alas, my guests could not join me. Still, a man does have to eat, and I did have my provisions at the ready.

My intended menu included a cold apps board, a pizza, roasted potatoes, and a salad. The cold apps went by the wayside, although I certainly nibbled on turkey jerky, cheese, and some left over stir-fried veggies and pork while I consumed my martini.

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The potatoes are one of my favorites. I take any variety—tonight it was Russets and blue sweet potatoes, a new hybrid—and chop them into chunks, unpeeled. They get about six minutes in boiling, highly salted water. Then, the pot gets drained and they get a splash

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Graduation Weekend at Beloit College

May 21, 2015

I arrived at Beloit College 489 months ago. Ms. J got there 453 months ago. Cate Rubin showed up only 45 months ago. Alas, we all said goodbye to Beloit and Beloit College last weekend, as Cate graduated.

The town has stepped up its game, big time. Downtown Beloit offers good—no, not good for Beloit; really good—restaurants and bars. The riverfront is beautiful, and the city looks alive, not like it did when I lived there in the 1970s.

Beloit College has improved greatly, too. In my day it was a good, small liberal arts college. It still is, but good in 2015 is better than good in 1978. The grunge of the 70s doesn’t work anymore, and Beloit

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Pizza Redux!

May 3, 2015

“Stay tuned; pics when the pies are baked!” were my last words earlier today. So, here’s Pizza Redux, with pics of the baked pie, and more!

Before I share the pie pictures, I need to mention the Barbecue Trail Mix I prepared, courtesy of Chef Edward Lee (from Louisville’s 610 Magnolia) and Saveur magazine. I wandered a bit, but it’s a mighty fine snack for sharing with cocktails. Easy to make, with no particular requirements, and I urge it on everyone. (I think key ingredients are the bacon and sesame sticks; otherwise, let your imagination and your cupboard rule, but you need to be sure you include some dried fruit and some nuts, no matter what!)

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On to the

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Pizza!

May 3, 2015

I ruminate about pizza from time to time. “Time to time” is, of course, a relative term. I’m not saying I think about pizza as often as, say, every seven seconds, but it’s certainly on my mind several times a day.

That said, I’m not obsessed, liked my friend Philip Rosenberg. Philip, his son (Christopher), and his godson Gus Hoffman’s brother Sam are featured in The Fiery Furnace, written by Renée Downing for the March April issue of Edible Baja. (Edible Baja is a beautiful magazine.) Philip is a consummate professional. He’s a two-oven man. He’s got a notebook/spreadsheet which tracks flour sources, hydration percentages, rising times, etc. He buys flour in bulk from specialty millers.

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