Pink Quail Egg Martinis with Okra & Tomatoes

Start by slowly frying about five strips of bacon. Now make yourself a vodka Martini. Begin by throwing out all that stuff in your freezer that you can no longer identify without defrosting.  In your new freezer space, place a family sized bottle of very good vodka and three or four Martini glasses.  Martini glasses…

Food Fight

Apparently, there was a famous cookbook author named Marcella Hazan who wrote a book called “Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking” (Knopf).  Until I checked my recipe against what I found online under “Sauce Bolognese”, I never heard of the woman.  My loss I am sure. Marcella, who is now deceased, made a Bolognese that did…

Another Time

In the late 1940’s my paternal grandparents moved to the country. They upped sticks and left suburban Seminole Heights, which at the time was considered North Tampa, to go east to a very sparsely populated little community called Limona. Limona had a post office inside a tiny wood-framed building that sat next to the railroad…

Thank You Note

Dear Mrs. Watson, I have no recollection of my grandmother, Louise Vaughn, making or baking pound cake. I can’t tell you what the house smelled like when they were in the oven or what her pound cake pan looked like. I can tell you I remember the taste. Particularly, I remember the top crust and…

Cheat

My daughter, Grace, just had her first child. Although Grace has a master’s degree from Brandeis in something cerebral called Public Policy, after delivery she promptly joined a gang. A gang of mothers. They are no less dangerous than your traditional biker gang. They just smell better. The entire gang is made up of mothers….

Happy Easter Bunny… With Prunes and Mustard!

Once upon a time, the Easter Bunny was hopping along the proverbial Bunny Trail when a hungry French woman called Madame le Farmer’s Wife sprang from the bushes wielding a club slightly smaller than a baseball bat called L’Club de Lapin.  Madame le Farmer’s Wife delivered the Easter Bunny one fatal blow to the head…

Booze

My friend Alicia drinks. She is not a drunk but, like me, she is not averse to taking a drink of something decent …for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  Alicia has perfect posture and a very large collection of sunglasses, so no one would know of her affinity for drink unless one of her best friends…

Étouffée Part II

One day my dorm room phone rang. My roommate answered the call and took a message for me from Olga. She said she would be by to “collect” me for Mass on Sunday morning. I had her number and called her back. To her message she added that I should wear a jacket and a…

Étouffée

When I was a kid, I collected menus. In those days it was considered a complement to the restaurant to ask for a menu. I had menus from Joe’s Stone Crabs in Miami Beach, Luchow’s in NYC, and Antoine’s in New Orleans. My father was complicit in helping me collect. Other boys collected baseball cards….

Southern Ambrosia

A quick look online for an Ambrosia recipe will confirm that folks are confused or engaged in some foodie apostasy. When I saw one recipe that involved stirring in a package of dried pudding, I decided to blog. Southern Ambrosia is a simple fruit salad, eaten as a side dish or as a dessert.  It…

Eggplant: The Sexy Vegetable

Go into your grocery store or attend your farmer’s market some weekend.  Take a look around. Eggplant is the beauty queen of the vegetable section. Competitors might include a fresh bunch of carrots with their tops still attached (good luck finding those) a curly head of Savoy cabbage or a proud, slender leek. Eggplant even…

Oyster Dressing

Most people eat holiday dressing made with bread cubes or even cornbread.  Not my crowd. We eat a Louisiana dressing with a rice base. It is somewhere between white and dirt colored so it is not much to look at but it beats traditional dressings hand down. Oyster Dressing 1 cup diced bell pepper 1…