So here’s the kind of Mom my wife and collaborator, Donna, is. On Saturday, at 5:30 she had just showered and was getting ready for a 6:30 party when her 17-year-old daughter asks if she, Donna, can take her to get that smart phone upgrade as hers, daughter’s, is broken. The teenaged daughter is not the most appreciative member of homo sapiens, remember, and Donna would not be unreasonable to say “I’m not dressed and we’re going out soon; this can wait till tomorrow,” but instead, she says, “Sure, hon, but we have to hurry.” Here’s the kind of wife Donna is. For Mother’s Day a few years ago, I bought her a really good wheelbarrow. She was ecstatic, and made googly eyes at me. I felt so lucky. A wheelbarrow! Mom’s Day is important. Read On »

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I’ve been in LA on an entertainment project and to see the opening of my friend and collaborator Richard LaGravenese‘s new movie Beautiful Creatures. I’d never been to an opening before. But quiche has been on my mind, so I’ve been using travel time to work on some variations of this infinitely variable fat custard tart. If I had time I’d head to Bouchon in Beverly Hills, which makes perfect quiche. Bouchon, and working on that book, is where I learned that, while America was taught to make quiche in premade pie shells, this deprives the quiche of its true greatness: depth. In order to achieve that voluptuous texture, it has be about two inches thick. For this, you need to have a ring. When I told this to my partner in tools, Mac Dalton, Read On »

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The All-Strains are cotton, reusable straining cloths for all straining needs.  No reason to keep buying cheesecloth. 

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Get those last minute gifts from the Ruhlman shop.

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A year ago, my neighbor, Lois Baron, said she had to leave a party early to make schmaltz, as the High Holy days of the Jewish year approached and she was the cook in the family. Long having wanted to explore this oft-maligned fat, I asked for Lois’s help in understanding its history and use. (Almost everyone refers to it as “heart attack food,” but it’s not. It’s good for you! In moderation. Lois is in her 70s and cooks like a banshee, her husband Russell is in his 80s and still practices law, and Lois’s mom cooked schmaltz well into her 90s, though she wouldn’t admit it.) Schmaltz, rendered chicken fat flavored with onion, was such an odd topic, and so focused, it didn’t seem like a big-book idea, so Donna encouraged me to Read On »

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