Photo by Donna I screwed up the brine for these and wound up with amazing short rib pastrami, below, but I remade the brine and got it right, nothing but tarragon and garlic.  I like dill and dill pickles, but I love tarragon flavored pickles, which is the dominant herb in cornichon. I also prefer the flavor of the "natural" or "traditional" pickle, one that uses no vinegar.  Allowing lactic acid bacteria to feed on sugars in the vegetable and release acid, you create a sharp, but not vinegar-sharp, flavor. You also get the pleasure in this style of pickling of working with something that’s alive, like yeast or creating your own vinegar.  This works with most vegetables, not just cucumbers.  How do you do this, get those bacteria working for you?  By leaving the Read On »

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Photos by Donna I used to eat the best granola when I was a feckless student at the University of Sussex outside Brighton.  For years I tried to find something similar but never could. A few years ago I started making it myself in big batches.  But I was sort of, well, feckless about it.  I’d throw some oats in a roasting pan, some chopped nuts (almonds and walnuts usually), some sugar or honey and bake it and however it came out, it came out. Then I thought I should do a recipe (I don’t hate recipes!), just to have a record of one. So I looked up a half dozen recipes to see variations and how others made granola, and they all hued to the basic formula above. Then I looked at several on Read On »

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