Top | Newsletter 2012

Culinate Newsletter October 17

(mailing, James Berry)

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 h1. Dear readers,
 There's nothing like determination when it comes to feeding folks, but like a lot of other things it can be both difficult and rewarding. 

 On the subject of giving guests dinner, it seems to me there are two schools of thought. The first encourages you to prepare something in advance, so that when your guests arrive you can sit with them and enjoy a leisurely cocktail — instead of worrying about what's on the stove. The second takes a much more hands-on approach: Serve said cocktails, but instead of plopping down on the nearest cushion, put everyone to work — chopping onions, tearing lettuce, husking corn. What you give up in control, you gain in camaraderie.

 I don't adhere to either of these schools religiously; sometimes it just depends on the day up until the point when I enter the kitchen. Having something good braising in the oven when people walk in the door can take stress down a few notches — but cooking on the fly with a few amenable friends is a really satisfying way to spend an hour.

 Yesterday, a Mark Bittman blog post — A Gratifying Adventure in Group Cooking — caught my eye. For the exciting (and illuminating) blow-by-blow of how he pulled together dinner with a group of hungry and willing strangers, check it out. He's a cook to look to for a can-do spirit.

 Meanwhile, and in contrast, a recently published profile of Christopher Kimball, of Cook's Illustrated fame, confirmed his role as a cook who doesn't like to wing it (but of course, anyone who's read his magazine already knows that). Kimball had this to say about cooking: "It’s serious, and it’s hard to do well, just as everything worth doing is damn hard." Scary!

 Go big, go small, but just go for it: Feed someone.
 Kim Carlson
 Editorial Director

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story1id: 325732
story1text: "Pear lovers: You've got company. In this book excerpt, Paul Bertolli extols the virtues of this 'subtle' fruit." 
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story2text: "Growing up, Sylvia Johnson always loved her mother's soup, even if she thought Ma was a little rough around the edges."

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recipe1text: "Our recipe editor's friend, a home cook in France, shared this recipe for 'tuna corks' — a great light dinner option."
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recipe2text: "From Jack Bishop's 'A Year In a Vegetarian Kitchen,' comes this surprisingly tasty sandwich."

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