Tag Archives: New York Times

Reading Goals

Grant Snider offered his “Reading Goals in the Book Review section of the New York Times.

75px-Hot_chocolate_p1150797  I need to remember:

“I will journey far outside myself,,,without leaving my chair.”

See the full cartoon – here.

Emily Dickinson and Riding a Bike

Now another way to relate to one of my favorite poems by Emily Dickinson:

Then there’s a pair of us — don’t tell!
They’d banish us — you know!

In Mary Choi’s essay for the New York Times – The Terror and Humiliation of Learning to Ride a Bike at 33  – she confesses to being an adult who never learned how to ride a bike – a skill lacking in my upbringing too.   I thought I was alone, but Choi’s humorous essay gives me hope.  All I have to do is move to New York City and buy a bike helmet. riding_a_bike_clip_art_19458

First Fig

The poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay – not the luscious fruit from my grandfather’s fig tree – but both I remember fondly.   An interview with Caroline Kennedy in the New York Times “By the Book” reminded me; she recited it for her father – I for my Italian grandfather…

First Fig

My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—
It gives a lovely light.

Fresh Fig Compote

When my grandmother could get to them before all the children ate them off the tree, she made compote for the grownups:

Ingredients:

1/2 pound fresh figs

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 tablespoons dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons Sambuca

Heat butter and brown sugar over high heat, stirring frequently, until syrup begins to bubble. Add figs (quartered with stems removed) and stir to coat with the syrup.  Continue cooking over medium heat to caramelize, stirring constantly to prevent burning.  Just before serving, add the Sambuca.

Proceed with Caution

If you’ve ever tried to cross a street in Italy, you will relate:

“Soccer in Italy is not unlike driving. Laws are treated merely as suggestions.”
…Jere Longman, New York Times

Biscuits and Gravy

Southerners may hold the title on the best biscuits and gravy.  Cracker Barrel roadside restaurants were famous for buttermilk biscuits ‘n gravy with sausage – before they added multigrain pancakes to their menu.

The New York Times has a recipe for biscuits and sausage gravy that’s worth a try.

All-Purpose Biscuits

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 scant tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  • 1 cup whole milk
Preheat oven to 425. Sift together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Cut butter into pats and add to flour, then pulse 5 or 6 times in a food processor until mixture resembles rough crumbs. (Or cut butter into flour with fork or pastry cutter(. Add milk and stir with fork until it forms a rough ball.
Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface, and pat down into a rough rectangle, about an inch thick. Fold it over and gently pat it down again. Repeat. Cover the dough loosely with a kitchen towel and allow it to rest for 30 minutes.
Gently pat out the dough some more, so that the rectangle is roughly 1 inches by 6 inches.  Cut dough into biscuits using a floured glass or biscuit cutter.  Do not twist cutter when cutting; this crimps the edges of the biscuit and impedes its rise.
Place biscuits on a cookie sheet and bake until golden brown, about 10-15 minutes.
Sausage Gravy
  • 1 pound bulk pork breakfast sausage
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • salt, ground sage, ground fennel and ground red pepper to taste
Heat and cook sausage until loose and no longer pink, breaking it up with a wooden spoon – about 10 minutes.  Adjust seasonings – add sage and fennel.
Sprinkle the flour and pepper over the sausage, stirring constantly, until flour is absorbed by the fat – 5 minutes.  Slowly stir in the milk and cook at a bare simmer until the gravy gets thick and the roux covers the back of a spoon.  If it’s to thick, add more milk and stir.  Check seasonings, and serve over split hot biscuits.