March 7, 2014

Bialys are not bagels! Not at all!!! Yes, they’re both round. Chewy. Found in Jewish delis. And not the same!

So what are bialys? Show and tell, in that order.

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A bialy is a roll, and its formal name may be bialystoker kuchen. They come from Bialystock, Poland. Bialystock is, of course, most famous in the United States for exporting its name, attached to Max, the lead character in the play/movie/play The Producers, written by Mel Brooks.

The traditional bialy comes topped with chopped onion and poppy seeds. No blueberry, honey whole wheat or other flavors. No whole, either, but there is a depression in the middle to house the bulk of the onions and poppy seeds.


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Pizza Primer

February 28, 2014

Ms. J doesn’t eat pizza much anymore. I think she’s a victim of anti-gluten disease, a condition caused by a generalized phobia for anything which a bunch of people are shunning. (Alas, Ms. J feels better than she ever has, and is as fit and trim as can be! So, who am I to talk?)

Me? I’m still a fan, but only when the pizza’s worthy. No late nights with Dominos, Papa John, or Little Caesars for me. And I find myself, increasingly, favoring what I make at home.

I like my pizzas lean and dry, mostly. Barely there with the cheese and less/no sauce, and I’m happy. And, as it is with the soaked salad you asked the restaurant

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Momofuku Bo Ssam

February 20, 2014

Ms. J does not love meat. She eats chicken and turkey, likes well-done salmon, and passes on most everything else. Or so I used to think!

A few years ago I fell into the momofuku ambit. Momofuku means lucky peach, and it’s also a restaurant group, started and led by David Chang. (Learn more at momofuku.) I have not dined at any of its 12 locations in New York City, Toronto, and Sydney. I have, however, made two of the highly touted momofuku dishes at home.

We’ll skip Crack Pie for now. It’s a variation on Chess pie, a southern favorite; alas, it’s more complicated, sweeter, and one very fine pie.

Right now, we’re focusing on momofuku bo ssam

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Food Writers Have Foils: barleymash

February 8, 2014

Food Writers Have Foils: barleymash

Food writers often have foils, individuals in their lives off whom they can work. Calvin Trillin is a master of writing about food (and so many other subjects). Mr. Trillan had Alice, his wife of many years who died too soon in New York City on September 11, 2001 (not because of the WTC events, but as a result of a heart problem.) Alice, per Mr. Trillin, “had a weird predilection for limiting our family to three meals a day.” Another charming foil is Miss F, the real star of Domesticity by Bob Shacochis. In Domesticity Mr. Shacochis shares lots of stories about Miss F, most of which end with a recipe.

I do not

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June 23, 2012

Later this summer my daughter and I will be driving to school–her school, my and Jane’s alma mater–for her sophomore year. It’s daddy/daughter time, and my chance for the road trip I’ve always wanted but never taken the time for!

Our route takes us from Tucson to the Grand Canyon and, then, to Winslow AZ. In Winslow we’ll be eating at the Turquoise Room at La Posada Hotel. We’ll also take a moment to “take it easy, standin’ on a corner in Winslow Arizona,” although I’m sure there will be no girl “in a flatbed Ford, slowin’ down to take a look at me.” (BTW, bricks can be purchased for placement at Second and Kinsley in Winslow. We’ll be looking

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August 7, 2010

I’ve been eating pizza for 50 years. I’ve had lots and lots of good pizza, some bad pizza and a fair amount that falls “in between.” And that only includes the pizzas made by others, for I’ve been making my own pies for 35 years or so. In that realm there have been a few good ones, and many that have been unremarkable.

For the past several years I’ve been curious about “the best” pizzas. Are they really good? Exceptional? Memorable?

There’s no standard for “the best,” of course. (My daughter used to be sweet on Chuck-e-Cheese pizza. I thought she wanted to play games and collect little red tickets, so she could exchange them for plastic junk I’d throw

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