Top | Newsletter 2013

Culinate Newsletter January 23

(mailing, James Berry)

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 h1. Dear readers,

 We received some great food-and-drink gifts over the holidays — sweet Comice pears; salt-kissed chocolate bars; silky goat's milk caramel sauce; top-shelf tequila; and two pounds of Hickory Kane Cornmeal, which I'm hoarding, as it makes incredible corn bread.

 But one gift I am especially enjoying surprises me: A heavy bag of unshelled hazelnuts. Unadorned but exquisite, they now sit in a deep orange bowl on our dining-room table, within easy reach of anyone needing a quick snack. But not too quick. This is a pleasure one needs to work at a little to enjoy. It may sound, well, nutty, but I have noticed that those few moments it takes to select and crack a nut, and to extract the nugget of nutmeat from a palmful of broken shells — those few seconds require something that feels a little like gratitude, a little like intention: Grace at the nut bowl.

 It's such a contrast to the experience of eating a handful of salty nuts from a cellophane pack — a perfectly good thing to do on occasion. It's just different. And I kind of like it.

 Our hazelnuts too remind me of the wide basket of unshelled mixed nuts my mother often set out when I was growing up — exotic Brazil nuts, giant walnuts, delicate almonds, and — at least in that place and time — unfamiliar filberts. So for me, each nutmeat has the taste of nostalgia, too — a not entirely unwelcome flavor.

 Kim Carlson
 Editorial Director

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story1id: 433437
story1text: "Caroline Cummins researched options for months before she hired anyone to work on her kitchen remodel."
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story2text: "Joe Hansen left, and then returned to, his family's beekeeping business. Here's his story."

recipe1id: 435221
recipe1text: 'Molly Stevens came up with this ingenious "recipe" (more of a technique, really) for cooking sausage.'
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recipe2text: "A gift of pears inspired Carrie Floyd to create this recipe, in the tradition of a simple coffee cake." 

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