Monday, January 26, 2009

Many Years ago and I mean many years ago I had this in France "Strasbourg" to be exact. This was during the time when just about everyone once out of High School travelled to Europe or else where before settling down. I ended up staying in Europe for 3 years I am forever glad I did. This Is Tarte Flambee - similar To Quiche Lorraine.
But I love this even more.

I have taken this book out from the Library numberous times And I love reading the stories behind the spices and it also has some interesting recipes. This is a must read.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Mama Carrie's Vegetable Garden

Vegetables from the garden

Mocha and I were having an online discussion about vegetables and it jogged my memory. It made me think back to a simpler time in my life, the time when I learned to love vegetables. I often tell people that I eat all kinds of vegetables, and it is true. Here's why.

Mama Carrie was one of my great aunts, like all the venerable elderly ladies of her time, she had many skills. Among them were cooking, sewing, and my favorite skill that she had was her green thumb. She grew the freshest vegetables in her garden. She canned and preserved much of what she grew, and shared it with our family.

This was back in the nineteen sixties, when I was in elementary school down in Louisiana. To a small boy like me, she was a magician. She made tasty things come out of the soil. Everyday after school I made a bee line to her shotgun house, she provided child care for me, my brother and sister. And feed us many times from her harvest.

Her garden took up most of her large plot of land. It was in the back of her small house in an area that was several times larger then the space taken up by the house. It was surrounded by chicken wire to keep animals out, and to act as a support for her plants. It was a neat and orderly place, a place of calm and peace, with straight rows and wooden poles driven into the ground supporting and labeling the plants.

In her garden she grew, peas, beans, potatoes, tomatoes, okra, corn, squash, onions, turnips, collard greens, and a few other veggies I am sure that I am forgetting. She also had a large fig tree. She would pick me up and put me in the tree, and say, "boy get that big fat fig there." The fig preserves that she made went well with the biscuits that she baked. And she sometimes also grew watermelons.

When ever I eat corn today I am reminded of her corn. It was so good, fresh and sweet, she would cut the kernels off the cob and make her version of whole kernel corn. It has been a long time since I have had corn as sweet as hers. Some times she would let me eat it right off the stalk.

Another one of my favorites was her okra, she cooked it so many different ways. I think I love okra so much because I grew up eating it in all the wonderful ways that she cooked it. I love it stewed and also fried (I'm getting hungry just writing this). I seem to remember that she added it to many dishes, and of course she put it in her Gumbo. Okra is one of those vegetables that adds body and firmness to soups and other dishes.

My mind also wonders back to the vibrant colors of the different vegetables that she grew and cooked. The greens, the reds, and yellows. I remember her standing over her sink washing turnip greens. She would first bring them to boil with a ham hock, and then slow cook them so that they were very tender, and at the same time make a large pan of golden corn bread. Usually her plates had a couple of vegetables on it, a green one and a yellow one.

I was too young to fully understand what a wonderful gift Mama Carrie gave me, by exposing me to her garden and teaching me to appreciate and love vegetables. I never got to tell her how much I loved her and the work she did. She passed away when I was in junior high school or so, I pray that God will bless her soul and let her tend his vegetable garden in heaven.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Joy of Cooking

While considered a little old fashioned by some, I find myself going back to the Joy of Cooking again and again. It is one of those cookbooks that seems to me indispensable. While I love the recipes, what I really enjoy about the book is the knowledge of cooking and preparing food that I have learned from this great old book.

Joy of Cooking: 75th Anniversary Edition - 2006
Joy of Cooking: 75th Anniversary Edition
click on image

A Breif History of Joy of Cooking

• 1930: The United States stock market crashes creating the great depression.
• 1931: Irma Rombauer takes $3,000, the modest legacy her husband leaves at his death, and she self-publishes the first Joy of Cooking. She is 54 years old.
• 1932: Irma tries to sell her book to a commercial publisher, Bobbs-Merrill of Indianapolis, IN, and is rejected.
• 1933: Prohibition is repealed and Adolf Hilter becomes to Chancellor of Germany.
• 1935: Bobbs-Merrill receives another submission of the Joy of Cooking from Irma. This version is not the self-published book but a revision, typed and bound in 15 notebook binders.
• 1936: March 26 is the publication date for the first commercial Joy of Cooking. The first print run is 10,000 copies and the book costs $2.50.
• 1937: The Golden Gate Bridge is completed in San Francisco and Gone with the Wind, a Scribner book, wins the Pulitzer Prize.
• 1939: Bobbs-Merrill publishes Irma Rombauer's book Streamlined Cooking, a cookbook dedicated to convenience foods. The book is not a commercial success.
• 1940: Freeze-drying is invented.
• 1941: Pearl Harbor is attacked and America enters World War II.
• 1943: The bestselling "wartime" edition of Joy of Cooking is published which includes how to creatively deal with the food rationing during World War II.
• 1946: A "post-war" edition is printed with very few changes.
• 1947: The microwave oven is invented.
• 1951: Marion Rombauer Becker joins her mother Irma as co-author of this edition.
• 1955: Gunsmoke debuts on CBS.
• 1961: John F. Kennedy is inaugurated as the President of the United States.
• 1962: Irma Rombauer dies in her native St. Louis. The sixth edition of Joy of Cooking is published.
• 1963: The French Chef with Julia Child debuts on public television.
• 1969: Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin become the first to walk on the moon.
• 1970: The Beatles break up.
• 1974: President Nixon resigns and Stephen King’s Carrie is published.
• 1975: The first--and last--edition of Joy of Cooking that is completely Marion Rombauer Becker's work is published.
• 1979: Margaret Thatcher becomes the Prime Minister of Great Britain.
• 1980: The median household income in the United States is $19,074 and it seems the entire country is playing PacMan.
• 1981: The first genetically engineer plant--the Flavr Savr tomato--is approved for sale.
• 1984: Coca-Cola changes its 99-year-old formula and launches New Coke.
• 1990: East and West Germany unite.
• 1997: After a more than a two decade hiatus, the eighth edition of Joy of Cooking is published by Scribner with Ethan, Marion's son, at the helm.
• 2006: A new edition of Joy of Cooking, based on the writing and structure of the 1975 edition, is published to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Irma Rombauer's self-published cookbook.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Chicken broth with bone marrow dumplings

Chicken broth with bone marrow dumplings

Chicken broth

1 kg chicken bones
500 gm chicken wings
2 onions, coarsely chopped
4 carrots, coarsely chopped
5 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
2 stalks flat-leaf parsley
2 sprigs thyme
1 tbsp whole black peppercorns

Bone marrow dumplings

200 gm beef bone marrow, finely chopped
50 gm fresh breadcrumbs
2 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary leaves
¼ cup finely chopped chives
40 gm plain flour
3 eggs, lightly whisked


1. Preheat oven to 220C. Place chicken bones and wings in a large roasting pan and roast for 30 minutes or until dark brown in colour. Combine bones and wings in a large saucepan with remaining ingredients and 4 litres of cold water. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer, skimming occasionally, for 3 hours. Season to taste with sea salt. Strain through a fine sieve, reserve stock and discard solids. Makes about 3 litres.

2. For bone marrow dumplings, combine ingredients in a bowl and season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Using two teaspoons, shape mixture into dumplings, dipping spoons in hot water between each dumpling to clean, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Makes about 18 dumplings. Bring a saucepan of salted water to a simmer over medium heat, add dumplings a few at a time and simmer gently for 4-5 minutes or until they float, then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Repeat with remaining dumplings.

3. To serve, bring 2 litres of chicken broth to a simmer over medium heat, add dumplings and cook until warmed through. Ladle soup and dumplings into bowls and serve.

See Gourmet for this and other wonderful recipes. Recipe by Rodney Dunn and photo by William Meppem.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Just a little color ... Angel Food Cake.

I am so excited about our new blog. Just the little work I have done so far has made me hungry. I am thinking I will have so much fun with this one.

I was looking through for a photo of some food to add a little color to this place.

I came across this photo by Regan Parks for her post to her blog FORMation of Me.

angel food cake from heaven

About Mochacoffee

Some of the things that make her Happy. A Good Book, Dancing til I Sweat, Laughing until it Hurts, Mango ice cream or even better yet fresh Mangos. A good Jamaican meal,Pad Thai, Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison, Mint Tea, Reggae Music and Making New Friends. "Smile it makes you look so much Better. :)

She maintains an extensive list of food related links at her StumbleUpOn blog;


Breads Buns







About Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald is a prolific blogger. He maintains or contributes to over twenty blogs. He grew up in Louisiana, cooking and eating the food of the Southern States of America and Cajun Food.

He now lives in California with his wife and daughter, eating and cooking Japanese, South Western, and Mexican food, just to name a few.

During his time in the US Navy he traveled around the world eating the foods of the world. Where he learned to respect and appriciate different cultures and their food.