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BACCHUS

In the language of food


Fall 2013 / Issue I Northern California


BACCHUS


From the Editor Greetings and a very warm welcome to our first issue of Bacchus Magazine. Bacchus Magazine is a quarterly food periodical that celebrates each seasonal harvest from farm to table. Structured like a classical French meal, our hope is that each issue will transport the reader to a dining experience celebrating a unique region and harvest in the world through succulent food images and prose. We have decided to kick-off our magazine by traveling to Northern California and celebrating one of our country’s most famous agricultural regions--from luscious vineyards in Sonoma County, plentiful produce in Stockton, and wild boar in Monterey. Celebrating in-season consumption, Bacchus Magazine acknowledges that not everyone is a cook, but we are all eaters. A singularity of vision, a sense of sefl-indulgence and a dollop of cream characterize our inaugural Fall 2013 issue.

With warmest regards,

Andrea Brown

Soberannes State Park, Big Sur

Editor in Chief On the cover: What better way to represent the majesty of Northern California’s terrain than by showcasing a drive along the coast?

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico Next Issue:As you review this issue of Bacchus Magazine, we are busy preparing for the exciting months ahead. We have planned for Issue II to take us to Central Meixco for Winter 2014. The issue hopes to be filled with Oaxaca cheese, Pepita con tasajo, meat tamales, and of course, sumptuous mole.

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La Carte L’Apéritif After Apple-Picking

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Le Vin Vive Le Terroir

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L’Entrée Bread and Women

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Le Fromage In the Dairy Case, Ripe Prose

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Le Dessert The Perfect Woman

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Le Départ Final Contribution

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L’Apértif Mott & Mulberry Concord Grape Crostini Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

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After Apple-Picking My long two-pointed ladder’s sticking through a tree Toward heaven still, And there’s a barrel that I didn’t fill Beside it, and there may be two or three Apples I didn’t pick upon some bough. But I am done with apple-picking now. Essence of winter sleep is on the night, The scent of apples: I am drowsing off. I cannot rub the strangeness from my sight I got from looking through a pane of glass I skimmed this morning from the drinking trough And held against the world of hoary grass. It melted, and I let it fall and break. But I was well Upon my way to sleep before it fell, And I could tell What form my dreaming was about to take. Magnified apples appear and disappear, Stem end and blossom end, And every fleck of russet showing clear. My instep arch not only keeps the ache, It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round. I feel the ladder sway as the boughs bend. And I keep hearing from the cellar bin The rumbling sound Of load on load of apples coming in. For I have had too much Of apple-picking: I am overtired Of the great harvest I myself desired. There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch, Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall. For all That struck the earth, No matter if not bruised or spiked with stubble, Went surely to the cider-apple heap As of no worth. One can see what will trouble This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is. Were he not gone, The woodchuck could say whether it’s like his Long sleep, as I describe its coming on, Or just some human sleep. By Robert Frost

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Le Vin 2001 Corison Kronos Vineyard 2002 Quintessaa 2002 Diamond Creek Gravelly Meadow

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ViveLe Terroir French Conservatism Amongst Locavore Logic By Steven Erllanger

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érome Galaup, a fourth-generation farmer here, and his wife, Nathalie, a teacher, share a dream: to combine their professions and create a teaching farm, where new generations can learn about the particularities of this hilly bit of French soil—this terroir. Jérôme, 32, and Nathalie, 35, met at a local vendange, the wine harvest. They feel a deep connection to this earth east of Montauban, and a desire to preserve it for their children. “My father and grandmother have a long experience of this place,” he said. “He knows every inch, every stone, and which parcels are for what.” When he and his father had difficulty getting fermentation in their sparkling wine using only the natural yeasts in the grape, it was his grandmother Lucette who told them not to bottle during a full moon or when the harsh local wind, the vent d’autan, is blowing. Local knowledge is crucial, of course. But as Nathalie put it: “It’s the person who gives the work and the identity to terroir. There’s an emotional identity to a particular piece of the earth.” The importance of terroir to the French psyche and self-image is difficult to overestimate, because it is a concept almost untranslatable, combining soil, weather, region and notions of authenticity, of genuineness and particularity — of roots, and home — in contrast to globalized products designed to taste the same everywhere. Though related to the farm-to-table and locavore movements of a new generation, terroir is not about proximity, but about honesty and community, an idea even more important to a France that fears losing its identity in a larger Europe and a competitive world. Terroir is most identified with wine, of course — the same pinot noir grape grown in different parcels of Burgundy will produce a different wine — but the idea extends far deeper into French culture and is even deployed as an advertising gimmick. Nearly everything, even in the supermarket, must be seen to be sourced from somewhere. Peaches come from Roussillon. Chickens from Bresse. Meat from Limousin cows. The “Noir de Bigorre” is a special pig, with its own Web site.

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Le Vin

The label of Le Fierbois yogurt, produced proudly in Touraine, shows happy cows lazing about on the grass under two columns of trees. Yogurt in glass jars comes from La Ferme du Manège, “the farm of the riding school,” in Normandy. Olivier Mallard, the former bacteriologist who owns it, said, “I perpetuate the traditions as best I can,” using only the freshest milk of the day. “Today, to have ‘farm’ in your brand is a connotation of terroir,” he said, in contrast to industrial products like Danone or Yoplait. After numerous scandals about horse meat in manufactured food, Mr. Mallard said, there is a value to “authenticity,” a market for “a return to the things of the terroir, which reassures people a little.” The sandwich shop Cojean sells a sablé cookie — made with butter from Poitou-Charentes and salt from the Île de Ré. The best crottin cheese comes from Chavignol, in Sancerre, so is ruled to go best with Sancerre wine, that often superb transformation of the sauvignon blanc grape. Ordinary mushrooms are known as “champignons de Paris.” Even McDonald’s here features “onions from Brittany.” Oysters, too, are thought to have a terroir — the same breed from the waters of Ireland will not taste the same as those from Normandy or Marennes-Oléron, the way the same breed of asparagus will taste differently, says the chef Yannick Alléno, if grown in Vallauris, near Cannes, or in California. “This is where terroir expresses itself,” he said. The notion of terroir is essentially political, at heart a conservative, even right-wing idea, even though it has been picked up by a new generation that would consider itself on the left, opposing globalization and pesticides. It’s not just about organic farming or locavores, since authentic products of terroir can come from far away.

Alain Ducasse, the renowned chef-entrepreneur, said in an interview that “the terroirs, it’s our gastronomy” — the diverse heart of all French cuisine, which “must be preserved jealously.” Viewed from abroad, he said, “it can seem complicated, but it is this diversity that provides all our riches, our strength.” The Galaups live in an ancient farmhouse, parts of which date from the 17th century, with their young children, Camille, Jérémie and Corentin; his father, Jacques; his grandmother Lucette and her sister, Tatie, who tend to wear matching plaid housecoats. They dine around a worn wooden table, with a bench for seating; they eat largely what they grow and drink their own wine, or that of neighbors here in the Gaillac, much of it made from the seven varieties of a local grape, Mauzac. This is one of the oldest wine-growing areas of France, planted in grapes by the Romans, and the Galaups and their friend Laurent Cazottes, a third-generation farmer and distiller of eaux de vie, are trying to ensure that local varieties of grapes and fruits are resurrected here to produce something both rooted and new. Mr. Cazottes, for example, makes a rich eau de vie from local varieties of cherry, as well as one from an ancient variety of greengage plum; a superb poire Williams using only the ripe flesh; and a distillation of 72 kinds of tomatoes. The Parisian chef Mr. Alléno, 48, left behind his threestar restaurant at Le Meurice, the Paris hotel, to start a new bistro in Paris called Terroir Parisien. Born in the Paris suburbs to parents who ran small bistros, he decided to emphasize the products of the Île de France, the region surrounding Paris, which once was the incubating heart of French gastronomy.

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The first restaurants began in Paris, Mr. Alléno noted, and he wanted — just like the Galaups and Mr. Cazottes — to revive the products of the past nearly made extinct by modernization and industrialization. So he uses the black poularde de Houdan, much favored by Louis XIV and a different breed from the one grown in Bresse, which “dethroned” it, he said. He’s made arrangements with farmers to grow the asparagus of Argenteuil, the purple cabbages of Pontoise, the peaches and white figs of Montreuil, and the watercress of Méréville. “Today one could say that there were 160 products of Parisian origin, from the Paris basin, that existed since the beginning of time,” he told me. “My dream is to rediscover these 160 products.” There are similar concerns about the extinction of the many varieties of French cheese. As confusing and wondrous as they are, there is general moaning over the growing preference of price-conscious French consumers for pasteurized, industrial cheeses picked up in the supermarket. In 1979, France had 20,000 cheese shops. Now the figure is about 3,000, and only about 7 percent of French cheese is made from raw milk. Jean-Claude Ribaut, a food critic for Le Monde, called terroir “a sort of lost paradise.” But it also stands for a reaction to modernity, he said: “One could say it’s a vision a bit backward-looking, but it’s also, I think, a battle of today, to try to safeguard what gives us pleasure and health.”

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The preservation of terroir is finally a kind of unwritten conspiracy between the farmers and the wealthy, as well as the bourgeois bohemians of the big cities, who will pay more for quality, for freshness, for artisanal craft and for that undefinable authenticity that is the essence of terroir. “If I come to the end of my career and see a significant diversity of Parisian agricultural lands, well, then at least I will have accomplished my thing,” says Mr. Alléno. “I don’t know if it is essential, but I will have done something, and I would be happy.”

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Le Vin

“If I come to the end of my career and see a significant diversity of Parisian agricultural lands, well, then at least I will have accomplished my thing,” says Mr. Alléno. “I don’t know if it is essential, but I will have done something, and I would be happy.”

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L’Entrée Roasted Butternut Squash Soup Brown Sugar Brussel Sprouts Lamb & Sage Cassoulet Polenta Crusted Potatoes Wild Boar Osso Bucco

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Bread and Women

The Secret of Bread is That it is Much More Forgiving Than Non-bakers Know

By Adam Gopnik

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L’Entrée

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ike many men who cook a lot, I’m good at doing several things that look hard but aren’t- bernaise sauce, tuna au poivre- and not very good at doing some things that are harder than they look. I can’t make a decent vinaigrette, anything involving a “salt crust” baffles me, and, until quite recently, I had never baked a load of bread. For years, I told myself that I didn’t bake bread for the same reason I don’t drive a car; it’s a useful skill, unnecessary in New York. In New York, you don’t drive because you can take the subway practically anywhere, and you don’t have to bake bread because there are so many good bakeries. Even at the supermarket, there are baguettes from Tom Cat and cinnamon-raison loves from Orwasher and Eli’s empire of sourdoughs. Just a few weeks ago, thought, going through heirlooms that had been left by my wife’s ailing ninety-three-year-old mother when she moved out of the family house in Montreal, we found a beautiful hand-lettered, framed recipe for something called Martha’s Bread. It was a long, very seventies-looking recipe, sample like in style, with instructions and ingredients-including lecithin granules and millet and oats and honey- surrounded by a watercolor border of leaves and falling petals and pumpkins. “Martha’s Bread!” I cried. (Martha is my wife.) “When did you bake bread?” To say that I was incredulous doesn’t capture it. One way to describe Martha is to say that she looks like a woman who has never had a loaf of bread named after her- perfumes, and dances, perhaps, but not oat-and-honey bread. “No Loaves” might be the titles of her personal manifesto, as “No Logo” is of Naomi Klein’s. “When I was a teen-ager,” she said. “I sewed all my own clothes and I baked all my own bread.” This puzzled me. I knew her in her teens, and she never baked bread, She didn’t sew her own clothes, either, not that I could see. She

ate matzos with bits of canned asparagus on top, and she dressed, beautifully, in Icelandic woolens and Kenzo dresses and lace-up boots. So I was genuinely curious to see what she looked like baking a loaf of bread. After many years of marriage, you tend to focus your curiosity not on the spectacular moments that might yet happen but on excavating the stranger, smaller ones that did: your partner punching down dough at sixteen. As Proust knew, all love depends not just on current infatuation but on retrospective jealousy; lacking a classy old lover, a Maquis de Norpois, to be jealous of, I was jealous of the men in Montreal health-food stores who had sold her millet and lecithin granules. “So why don’t you make your bread?” I asked.“My bread’s not that easy,” she said loftily. “I have to get a big earthenware bowl to make this bread, and a big wooden breadboard. I used to have them at home. I used to make this bread with my friend Rachel. She’s the one who illuminated the recipe. We would bake all day in aprons and then drink tea and eat our bread with honey.” The thought of her in an apron surrounded by all that homey seventies blond wood was so intoxicating that, to shake the spell, I resolved to start on a load that night. I light upon the now legendary “No-Knead Bread” recipe I clipped from the Times half a dozen years ago. Invented by Jim Lahey, of the Sullivan Street Bakery, this is the bread that sort of makes itself. I ran across the street, bought some Fleischmann’s yeast, and followed the directions from mixing it with water, salt, and flour. I left the dough to rise overnight and, in the morning, put it in the Le Creuset Dutch oven I normally use only for lamb and beef braises, and then into an hourhundred-and-fifty-degree oven. An hour later, out it came. It was-bread! It wasn’t good bread- it didn’t have many of those nice, irregular bread bubbles, and I must have put in too much yeast. It was oddly bitter. But it was bread, and I can’t explain how weird

and pleasing this was. It was as if you had put a slosh of stuff in a bowl and it had come out a car, with a gleaming front and a good smell inside. For the next couple of days, I became, for the first time in my life, acutely bread-conscious. So many breads! I marveled as I stared at the bread counter at Dean & DeLuca. I thought of the bread I loved to eat. There was the big, round pain Poilane at the bakery in Paris, sour and stiff and yet yielding to the bite; Montreal bagels, sweet and sesame-rich; ad real croissants, feathery and not too buttery. Could you really make these things? “If you’re so interested in bread-making, you should apprentice with someone big,” said Martha, who had declared herself hors de cobat, waiting for her wood. “Someone who yells at you a lot and teaches you what’s what. You know. Every writer does that now.” I wouldn’t want to learn just one thing, though, I mused. “It would have to be someone who had range, so I could learn how to bake pain Poilane and Montreal bagels and croissants, and—“ I stopped in mid-sentence. The larger implication of what I had been saying hit us both. We looked at each other balefully, as those on whom the implacable hand of fate has fallen. “I’ll call her,” I said. When I got my mother on the phone a few hours later—you often have to leave a message, because she and my father are always out in their fields, building things—she was delighted at the idea of a bread-baking-master-class weekend. “Yes, yes, dear,” she said. “It’s so funny you called. I’m just working on a new series of water-buffalo-milk ice creams. You’d love trying them. Do come for a visit as soon as you can. I’ll show you how to bake anything in the world you like.” A week later, I found myself once again in the back seat of my parents’ all-purpose child-mover and S.U.V. My parents live these days on a farm in what their six children think BACCHUS / Fall 2013

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of as a remote rural Ontario—a designation my parents emphatically reject, pointing out that it is only a three-hour drive from the Toronto airport, not seeing that a three-hour drive from the Toronto airport is exactly what their six children mean by “remote rural Ontario.” They retired a decade ago to these rather Berkshire-like hills, after a lifetime as college professors. The vibe of their property, one of their kids has pointed out, is somewhere between “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “The Island of Dr.Moreau.” Bosky though their woods are, within them are a host of strange new buildings that my mother has designed and she and my father built, laboriously, with local lumber, responding to their own unaltered eccentricities and the changing passions of their grandchildren. There is a Japanese tea house, complete with a little Hiroshige-style arched bridge; an Elizabethan theatre, with a

accusingly at my children when they fail to devour some dish that, backing into a corner, they had acceded to at seven in the morning. (“What do you want tonight, salmon or capon” “Uh, whatever. Salmon.”) I even inherited some minute portion of her creative energy, which once launched a thousand shapes—from dollhouses to linguistic theory. Onto one of her areas of particular mastery I didn’t even try to follow her: baking bread. As a kid, I never left for school without being equipped with croissants or pain au chocolat or cinnamon babka or sticky buns, often in combination; on the morning before a big holiday, the kitchen always looked like a Left Bank bakery. That night, we sat down to a dinner mostly of breads—sketched of the weekend to come. I recognized more of them from childhood, but there was a dinner roll that was the best dinner roll I had eve eaten: flaky and rich and

thrust stage and a “dressing house” above; a garden-size chess board, with life-size pieces, made when my own son was in the midst of a chess mania, now long past; a Tempietto, modeled on Bramante’s High Renaissance design; and a Pantheon, a domed building lined with niches, in which sit portraits. My parents, you might gather, are unusual people, although, to be honest, “unusual” s not really an unusual enough word to describe my mother. One of the first women in North America to earn a Ph.D in mathematical logic, she became a notable linguist and (as would be the first to tell you) also reared ix kids, for whom she cooked a big French-ish dinner every night. We have a complex relationship. I know that I am more like her than I am like anyone else on earth, for good and ill. Like her, I cook every night. Like her, I offer hyper-emotional editorials to the television at moments of public outrage. Like her, I look

yet somehow reassuringly simple and eggy. “Oh, that’s my broissant,” se explained gaily. “It’s my own invention. It’s brioche dough give a croissant treatment—egg dough with butter folded in in layers. Do you want to try it? We’ll do it tomorrow.” My stomach filled with gluten, I took the books on bread baking and bread history I had brought with me, and went back to my old bed At this point, there should be a breath and a space an a new paragraph and lots of stuff about ancient yeast, the earliest known instances of bread, bread-in-Sumer-and-Egypt lore, and then a joke or two about the Jewish invention, on the lam, of the unleavened kind. I will spare the reader this, for, turning the pages in my books, I decided that the worst of the modern food bores ir the bread bore. The very universality of bread, the simple alchemy that makes it miraculous, can also make it dull to discuss.

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But as I was reminded the next morning –with my mother wearing her flour resistant “Monaghan Lumber” T-shirt—bread, though perhaps unrewarding as an analytic subject, is fascinating as a practice. It is probably the case that these two things often vary inversely: activities that are interesting to read about (science experiments) are probably dull to do, while activities that are dull to read about (riding a bike) are interesting when you attempt them. What makes something interest8ing to read about is its narrative grip, and stories are, of necessity, exercises in compressing time. What makes something interesting to do is that—through repetition, coordinating, perseverance-it stretches time. Fortunately, my mother is also an expert-indepth explainer. Yeast, my mother explained now is really just a bunch of bugs rooming together, like Oberlin grads in Brooklyn—eukaryotic organisms of the fungus kingdom, kin of mushrooms. “When you mix the little bugs with a little carbohydrate—wet wheat is a good one—they begin to eat up all the oxygen in it, and then they pass gas made up of ethyl alcohol and carbon dioxide.” The alcohol they pass is what makes spirits. The carbon dioxide is what makes bread. The gas they pass causes the dough to rise. It’s what puts the bubbles in the bread. If you bake it, you trap or fix the bubbles inside. As we mixed and kneaded, the comforting sounds of my childhood reasserted themselves: the steady hum of the powerful electric mixer my mother uses, the dough hook humming and coughing ads it turned, and, in harmony with it, the sound of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in the background, offering its perpetual mixture of grave-sounding news and bright-sounding Baroque music. (A certain kind of Canadian keeps the CBC on from early morning to bedtime, indiscriminately.) Like most good cooks, my mother is sweet-tempered in the run-up to cooking, short-tempered in the actual event. (Her quick, sharp “Gop!,” instructing my father to do something instantly, is a s familiar to her children as a birdsong.) For all its universality, bread’s chemistry, or, really, biology, is a little creepy. “The longer it takes the little bugs to eat up the oxygen, the better the bread tastes,” she went on. “The high heat of the baker’s overly simply kills off the remaining little bugs, while leaving their work preserved n place. It’s all those carbon-dioxide bubbles which become fixed as the nice spongy holes in the crumb of the bread.” The tasty nits of your morning toast, I realized were all the tombs of tiny dead creatures—the Ozymandias phenomenon on a miniature scale. Look on my works, you mighty, and eat them with apricot jam.


L’Entrée

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We turned to pain Poilane, whose starter she had made earlier; it now luxuriated under a plastic bag in the sink. You can mix up water and wheat, she explained, put it out in the air, and wait for all the wild yeast that’s drifting around in the schmutz of the kitchen to land on it and start eating the carbohydrates. This yeast tend to have more character than the yeast that you buy in the store, because, as every dog knows, the schmutz on the kitchen floor has more flavor than anything else. Well-

sitting in a stifling, overheated basement room somewhere, stuffing ourselves with broissants. We spent two days mixing water and yeast and different flours, and then we waited fir the different lengths of time. We did the pain Poilane, dark and crusty and dependent on a long, long resting period; we did bagels—real bagels, as produced in Montreal bakeries, with a large hole, a bright sesame glow, and a sweet, firm bite. These had to be rolled, and my mom was impatient with my rolling, since

“There’s a certain aesthetic to baking my bread,” she went on. “Everything has to be clean and nice.” She had, I noted, put on a black leotard and tights for the occasion, so that she looked like a Jules Feiffer heroine. kept schmutz of this sort provides the sour taste in sourdough bread. (San Francisco has a distinctly sour schmutz, so distinctive that it has a scientific name: Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis.) The long-cherished deposit of ancient schmutz—a spongy mess that you can use day after day and even decade after decade, and whose exigencies you, as a baker, basically can’t escape—is called, no kidding, “the mother.” “Bread is very forgiving,” my mother said, as she turned over the pain Poilane dough. “In the books, they fuss endlessly, and, you know, I used to worry and weigh, but now I know the bread will forgive. The secret of bread is that bread is much more forgiving than non bakers know.” We took out the breads that we had prepared the night before. “The broissant is essentially a brioche egg dough with butter folded into it,” my mother said. “Now, the trick, dear, about laminating butter is to get the thickness of the butter exactly the same as the thickness of the dough,” We cautiously beat down the butter into layers. “Then you fold it over in exact thirds, like this.” She showed me. We began to fold. And fold. And fold again; as I tried to fold, she frowned ferociously. “You have to even it out so that you don’t have those bulges at the corners,” she said. The CBC rose in the background. As luck and life would have it, a mildly alarmed Canadian-style piece about gluten allergies and gluten-free diets was on. In a slightly prim tone- as my sister Hilary points out, Toronto is the last big town where “hygienic,” a holy word, is pronounced as though it had five syllables—it told of how many people had given themselves a diagnosis of celiac disease, and how our bread-addicted society might be ending. “That is so stupid,” my mother bristled. She went on to rattle off facts about the incidence of celiac disease and the follies of self-diagnosis. But beneath it, I knew, was the simple love of bread. I imagined my mother and myself as the last bread-heads, the final gluten addicts, 32

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unless you do them just right they bounce back yeastily to their original form. I was taken by the plasticity of every sort of dough, its way of ebbing pliable to your touch and then springy—first merging into your hands and then stretching and resisting, oddly alive, as though it had a mind or its own, the collective intelligence of all those little bugs. Bread dough isn’t like dinner food, which usually rests inert under the knife and waits for you to do something to it: bread dough sits there, respiring, rising, thinking things over. The, there are the smells. There’s the beery, yeast-release aroma that spreads around the kitchen, the slowly exuding I’m-on-my-way smell o the rising loaf, and the intensifying fresh-bread smell that comes from the oven as it bakes. The deepest sensual pleasure of bread occurs not when slicing, cutting into softness that has suddenly gained structure: the pile of yeasty dough, after its time in the hot oven, tuned into a little house, with a crisp solid roof and a yielding interior of inner space. Bread is best seen in cross-section, and each cross-section is different. Each bread has a beautifully different weight and crumb as the knife cuts into it. The pain Poilane style almost squeals as you cut into it, the sourdough, or leaven, that gives it that nice acid bite seeming to protest under the knife; the bagel’s firmer flash is made less resistant by that hole; the broissants crumb with a spray of soft crumbs, under the lightest touch, the many layers you fold into the puff pastry turning into a house of a hundred floors under your command. And greed can sometimes lead you to tear off the end of the softer breads, in a gesture satisfying in itself, even before you bite. As one project followed another, I realized why I had not been drawn to bread baking in the first place. Stovetop cooking is, at a first approximation, peeling and chopping onions and then crying; baking is mixing yeast and water with flour and then waiting. The difference between being a baker and being

a cook is whether you find waiting or crying more objectionable. Waiting is anathema to me, and activity is essential to my nature—a nature I share with my mother. But then it occurred to me that my mom is the anomalous creature: an impatient baker. She fills the gaps created by enforced waiting by being active, so that each bread, as we put it down to wait fo the rise, was succeeded by another bread in need of mixing or punching or rolling. The kitchen of my childhood had filled up with bread as she waited for the rest of the bread to be ready. On Monday morning, I packed the loaves and broissants and bagels in my overnight bag. I would take them home to study and share with my own children. I gave my mother a hug. “It’s such fun to bake with you, dear,” she said. “Of course, I spent years making you bread every morning. We always had croissants and muffins and-oh dear, I always had so many things out for you.” We there, after all these years, a just discernible note of exasperation, a regretful sense that her children’s appetites were equal to their bafflement at her avidity? I realized that I had never once thanked her for all that bread. On the long drive to the airport and the short flight to LaGuardia, with all her bread in my bag, I reflected that the thank-yous we do say to our parents, like the ones I hear from my own kids now—our over-cheery “Great to see you!”s and “Christmas would be great! Let’s see how the kids are set up”—are never remotely sufficient, yet we feel constrained against saying more. (We end phone conversations by saying “Love you!” to our parents; somehow adding the “I” seems too…schmutzy, too filled with wild yeasty from the hidden corners of life, likely to rise and grow unpredictably.) We imagine that our existence is thank-you enough. Children always reinterpret their parents’ sense of obligation as compulsion. It’s not They did it for me but They did it because they wanted to. She wanted to bake that bread; you told those bedtime stores every night, really, for yourself. There’d be no surviving within that move, the debt guilt would be too great to shoulder. In order to supply the unique amount of care that children deman, we have to enter into a contract in amnesia where neither side is entirely honest about the costs. If we ever totted up the debt, we would be unable to bear it. Parents, who insist on registering the asymmetry accurately become objects of frantic mockery or, at best, pity for their compulsiveness. “All I do is give and give and what reward do I get? You never call!” the Jewish mother moans in the novel, and we laugh and laugh, and she is right—she did give and give, and we don’t call. She is wrong only to say it out loud. When I got back to New York, Martha was at last ready to make her bread. She had found the right kind of earthenware bowl, and the right kind of wooden board, and even the right kind of counter scraper. After my weekend with my


L’Entrée

mother, I offered to show her how to use the dough hook on the Sunbeam, but she looked at me darkly. “My kind of bread isn’t made in an electric mixer,” she said. “There’s a certain aesthetic to baking my bread,” she went on. “Everything has to be clean and nice.” She had, I noted, put on a black leotard and tights for the occasion, so that she looked like a Jules Feiffer heroine. She mixed together all the natural ingredients—the brown flour and the millet and the organic honey—and then laid a length of white linen over the earthenware bowl. “It’s not a sweet bread, but it has sweetness in it,” she explained. At last, in the silent kitchen, the dough had risen, and we all gathered around to watch. Her kneading startled her family. She kneaded in a domestic fervor, a cross between Betty Crocker and a bacchante. There was no humming mixer, just a woman and her dough. Then she began to braid three long rolls of dough together, expertly. Mom, this is, like, such a big deal,” our fourteen-year-old said. “It’s like bread you would bring to Jesus.” It was, too. And suddenly, crystal through the years, I saw Martha at nineteen, on one of those bitter, beautiful Canadian mornings, eyes turned almond by the cold, fur hat on and high collar up, carrying… a braided loaf, in a basket, tied with a shiny purple ribbon. She had baked bread, this very bread, and brought it to me too. And it had been lost in the family kitchen, sur-

rounded by too many croissants and buns and too many chattering and devouring mouths. “You brought a loaf like this over to my house! I said. “I see it now. But I can’t remember how it tasted.” It was an anti-Proustian Proustian moment: memory flooded back in the presence of something that I had forgotten to eat. “Of course not,” she said. “No one noticed. It was just, ‘Oh, how nice! Put it there’ I don’t think you even ate any. Your mother’s whole French thing was so different. It overwhelmed my loaf. I think it was the last time I made my bread.” When it was baked, sixty minutes in a slow over, her loaf looked beautiful, braided like the blond hair of a Swedish child. The next day, I buttered a slice of it, delicious and long-deferred toast, and had it with my coffee. As toast always will, it seemed morning0bright, and clean of complications. Women, I thought, remember everything. Bread forgives us all.

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Le Fromage Humboldt Fog Chèvre Yellow Buck Camembert Winchester Gouda Honey & Figs

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Le Fromage

In the Dairy Case,

Ripe Prose

By Jeff Gordinier

T

hey can tell you about torment. They can describe long, frustrating hours sitting in dark, stinky basements and caves, pen in hand, trying to get the flow of the words just right. They can tell you, too, about how it feels to be engulfed in a blaze of inspiration. They’ll describe the delirium of bliss when the right lines come. Like all writers, they are keenly aware of the competition, and envy eats away at them when they detect, in one of their comrades, a candle-flicker of genius. We speak, naturally, of cheesemongers. Although not universally acknowledged as members of New York’s creative class, the people who sell cheese arguably deserve a place of recognition alongside the poets and the playwrights, the folk singers and the indie screenwriters. In case you haven’t noticed, some of the most amusing and captivating writing in the city is being produced in the service of cheese. Consider, for starters, Martin Johnson, 52, who manages the cheese, charcuterie and other treats at Gastronomie 491, a market and cafe on the Upper West Side. Look into the display case that Mr. Johnson oversees there, and your first response may be confusion. So many cheeses, so many names.” “Adelegger,” Mr. Johnson said the other day. “Does that really mean anything to you?” Well, no. “Exactly,” he said. Even if you learn that Adelegger is Bavarian and that it is made of raw cow’s milk — fine, but what does it taste like?

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Mr. Johnson conveys the flavor this way, on a small sign in that display case: “Just think of a scene in a movie where the lead actress, obviously one of the greats, turns around slowly and walks away from the camera taking your entire attention with her.” Now do you want some Adelegger? If so, then Mr. Johnson has done his job, which is to use lyrical wit and subtle cultural references to lure customers into taking home a wedge of the rare and unfamiliar cheeses that he adores.

“The sign tells them what to do. Their desires are defined by that sign.” Surprisingly, though, Mr. Jenkins began honing his distinctive style — simultaneously sensual and comically biting — more than 30 years ago when he was “going to blow my brains out,” he said, as a result of too much personal interaction with shoppers at the counter. Hiding in a back room and summoning the cheese-sign muse was a way “to avoid old ladies,” he said. “Because I was going to get fired. Because I would insult them. I would write signs for hours.”

“Another sign at Bedford likens the effect of Tomme de Berger on one’s senses to the enthusiasm of ‘a gay schoolboy going to see a Britney Spears concert.’” Mr. Johnson’s labels have a following, in part because they practically dare you to suss out the allusions he’s dropping. For Calcagno, he has opted for rock ’n’ roll: “Big and floral in the very best way possible, this firm Sardinian sheep has the cool unaffected strut of Mick in his prime, Lou in middle age or Polly Jean today.” That last part is a nod to the singer and songwriter P. J. Harvey, but so far Mr. Johnson hasn’t had to provide anyone with explanatory footnotes. Mr. Johnson is just one of many skilled cheese wits around the city. Just this month, in fact, a cheesemonger named Peter Daniels, known as The Doctor, briefly had to reel in his reference-studded musings at Westside Market after a nod to Nostradamus caused a customer to complain. The man often pointed to as both the Mark Twain and the Ricky Roma of fromage-inspired belles-lettres is Steve Jenkins, the volcanically passionate expert on cheese (and many other products) at Fairway Market. Thanks to him, a sign-browsing stroll through Fairway will reveal many delights, like this billing for Queijo de Serpa: “It is still made only at night, I am led to believe, as it was when I last visited the cheesemaker, and what I haven’t told you is Serpa’s texture and flavor are like sex. There’s just no other way to describe the effect this cheese has on me. Even though I barely remember sex.” As many shoppers know, Mr. Jenkins, 62, engages in what could be described as a complicated relationship with his clientele. The old saw that the customer is always right? He has never quite subscribed to that. “The customer has no idea what he or she wants,” he said. “The customer is dying to be told what they want.” Hence the cheese signs: they strive to tantalize someone who is momentarily adrift in an aromatic sea of choices. “Sales are provoked by an intelligent sign,” Mr. Jenkins added.

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Mr. Jenkins’s pioneering work helped to answer a marketplace conundrum, said Tia Keenan, a cheese expert who is an active part of the New York scene: “How do you sell something that’s perceived as fancy, foreign, intimidating to the customer? How do you sell this product to someone who doesn’t have any context?” Steve Jenkins describes cheeses at Fairway Market with a certain passion. Before long,copycats began cropping up all over town — and across America. “They’ve totally ripped me off,” he said. Maybe so, but each of the genuine cheese wits tends to have a prose style that is instantly identifiable, at least to colleagues. It’s hard to imagine that a competitor could — or even would — try to mimic one stridently Jenkinsian trait: Although most of his cheese signs are engineered to make you want to buy cheese, some aim to do the opposite. Take his less-than-rousing pitch for an aged mimolette: “It was Charles de Gaulle’s favorite cheese, which figures. He was an army man, and God knows army men are not too particular about what they put in their mouths. Even aged a year, mimolette is not exactly startling.” At the Harlem branch of Fairway, there is a large, prominent sign describing the various qualities of different cheeses. Between “Strong & Gooshy” and “Creamy & Dreamy,” Mr. Jenkins has squeezed in a category that most grocery stores endeavor to avoid: “Bland & Forgettable.” Among those deemed “Bland & Forgettable” are the popular havarti, Muenster, Jarlsberg and Saga Blue. “I have no patience for people who don’t want the best of everything,” he explained. “You’re in a world-class store and you’re buying Saga Blue? Grow up.” If Mr. Jenkins has had a friendly sparring partner along the way, that would be Rob Kaufelt, the owner of Murray’s Cheese Shop,

who likes to refer to the writing on cheese signs as “romance copy.”“Jenkins and I used to sit down in the cellar and try to top each other with pithy signs,” Mr. Kaufelt, 65, recalled. (This would have been in the early 1990s, he said, during a brief period when Mr. Jenkins worked for Dean & DeLuca.) “That was fun. And that’s a good education. As a literary exercise, it can’t be beat.” He warmed to the theme. “Of course I’m much better. He peaked way back. Way back. I’m still on the upswing here.” He offered, tongue-in-cheek, a literary analogue. “I would say it’s Fitzgerald and Hemingway. I’m Fitzgerald and he’s Hemingway. Or maybe it’s more like Mailer and Roth. Mailer and James Jones. Whoever’s pugnacious.” Pugnacious is one thing. Transgressive is another. If Mr. Jenkins and Mr. Kaufelt represent the old guard in cheese-signery, the punk-rock misfits can be found at the Bedford Cheese Shop, in Brooklyn and Manhattan, where one notorious eye-grabber, courtesy of an owner, Charlotte Kamin, is so scatologically envelope-pushing that it cannot be reprinted here. “Oh, that’s her famous nasty one,” said Stephanie Bealert, a cheesemonger at Bedford. “I hate that sign. It’s just gross. But it’s funny. People love that sign.” Another sign at Bedford likens the effect of Tomme de Berger on one’s senses to the enthusiasm of “a gay schoolboy going to see a Britney Spears concert.” “It relaxes people so that they want to have a conversation about them,” Ms. Bealert said of the humor in the signs. “People will say to me, ‘I want to taste the one that has that silly description.’ It opens up a conversation.” There are gentler ways to break the ice, of course. At Saxelby Cheesemongers, on the Lower East Side, the signs are jotted down, like postcards from a vacationing friend, in Anne Saxelby’s own handwriting, and the descriptions seem to capture her winsome, Midwestern sense of enthusiasm in real time. Of one goat cheese from Vermont, Ms. Saxelby, 31, has written, “My reaction when I first tried this cheese was: Dear God. Yes, it was nearly the perfect cheese.” “It all reflects her personality,” said Sophie Slesinger, a member of the Saxelby team. “It is not as hip or lewd as some of the stuff out there, but it still gets the point across. We keep it a little more family-friendly.” (In reality, the cheese signs have been composed by countless people over the years, but each shop has its own idiosyncratic voice, usually a reflection of the person in charge.) If it occasionally seems as if the city’s reigning cheesemongers haul around the souls of frustrated artists, that’s probably because many do. Behind the counter at your neighborhood shop you’re highly likely to encounter dancers, musicians, poets and journalists who happen to have a fixation on fermented dairy products. “We’re artsy, dorky people,” Ms. Bealert said.

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Le Fromage

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Le Dessert Mixed Berries & Cream White Chocolate Cherry Cake Espresso

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I prefer to regard a dessert as I would imagine the perfect woman: subtle, a little bittersweet, not blowsy and extrovert. Delicately made up, not highly rouged. Holding back, not exposing everything and, of course, with a flavor that lasts.

Graham Kerr

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Final Contribution When my body turns to dust, I want the earth to know it. My knees will filter sunlight, sparkling shards of broken glass to feed the turned, fallen leaves. From my hands will rise a steam, lost from ghosts of wilted dahlias and pulling beads from snail shells. Softening footsteps in numbing silence, my scalp will take root in boulders: a lichen stretched anew. The crunch of my nails will lilt, a filling sound which bleeds the heart. My heart, itself, a rotten composition (spoiled as tender and cloying fruits) will slip through Her fingers, drench Her purpose in richness, and swallow my searing in depth. My skin, taken first as appetizer, breeds microcosms of tiny dancers and will never forget that feeling. Collapsed and empty, one lung and the other will cease to feed themselves, twisting from entrepreneur to altruist. Other sundry organs, bones, hair and ligaments: a donation of retribution, payment for what was stolen, recompense for an unforgivable abuse. It is all I have, and it will be everything.

By Dana Coriander

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L’Entrée - Fall 2013 - Nothern California

Return the soup to the pan and reheat gently. Add the half-and-half, if using. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Keep warm until service.

Add the chicken stock and the coriander, if using, and bring to a boil. Simmer for several minutes. Stir in the squash until smooth, then simmer gently to let the flavors meld, about 10 minutes. Discard the cinnamon stick.Puree the soup in a blender until smooth. (The soup can be made ahead to this point, cooled, covered, and refrigerated for several days or frozen for about 1 month. It will thicken as it cools and may need thinning with stock or water when reheating.)

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until hot. Add the onion, celery, carrot, and cinnamon stick and saute until soft but not brown, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Instuctions:

brussels sprouts salt-cured pork balsamic vinegar brown sugar

L’Entrée - Fall 2013 - Nothern California

In the same skillet, add the brussels and allow them to caramelize on one side. Deglaze the pan with the balsamic vinegar, using a spatula to scrape up any brown bits and incorporate them with the brussels. Continue to saute the brussels on high heat for a few minutes, shaking the pan, until they have softened up a bit. Add the bacon back to the pan along with the brown sugar. Stir until the sugar has completely dissolved and is evenly coating the brussels sprouts.

In a large skillet, render the fat from the bacon over low to medium-low heat. Once the fat has mostly melted down, turn up the heat and brown the bacon cubes until brown and crunchy. Set aside to drain on a paper towel. Remove all but two tablespoons of the bacon fat from the pan.

Cut off the root ends of the brussels sprouts and pull off any old outer leaves. Slice them in half.

Instuctions:

Brown Sugar Brussel Sprouts

L’Apéritif - Fall 2013 - Nothern California

Place a generous amount of hen of the woods mushrooms on a lined baking sheet or in a big cast iron frying pan. Drizzle with olive oil, seas salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Cut a handful of concord grapes in half and gently remove the seeds. toss the Concord grapes with the hen of the woods and olive oil mixture. Throw the pan in the oven and roast at 350 degrees until the mushrooms are soft and some of the edges are a touch crispy.

Instuctions:

L’Apéritif - Fall 2013 - Nothern California

hen of the woods concord grapes extra-virgin olive oil shaved pecorino romano

Toast some really good bread and brush with olive oil after toasting. Top the bread with the roasted mushrooms and grape mixture. Shave some Pecorino Romano on top.

2c 3/4 c 2T 1/4 c

3c 2c 1 oz 5 oz

Concord Grape Crostini

In a cocktail shaker, combine 3/4 ounce of the apple juice with the rye whiskey, Amaro, lemon juice and 1/2 ounce of the Demerara syrup. (Remaining syrup can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.) Add ice and shake. Strain into a rocks glass with a few fresh ice cubes.

Make apple juice: Core and peel 1 of the apples; liquefy in a juicer or blender.

Make Demerara syrup: In a small saucepan, mix the sugar with 1 cup water. Simmer over low heat until sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool, about 5 minutes.

Instuctions:

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

demerara sugar honeycrisp apples rye whiskey luxardo amaro abano fresh lemon juice

2 T extra-virgin olive oil 1/2 c diced onion 1/4 c diced celery 1/4 c diced carrot 1 cinnamon stick 4 c chicken stock 1/2 t toasted coriander 2 c roasted Squash sea salt, preferably gray salt f reshly ground black pepper

1c 2 1 oz 1 oz 1 oz

Mott & Mulberry


L’Entrée - Fall 2013 - Nothern California

Cover the pot and bake until the beans are tender, 2 to 2 1/4 hours. Remove from the oven; let stand for 15 minutes. Just before serving, make crispy breadcrumb topping. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and crispy, about 5 minutes. Stir in parsley. Top each serving with about 1/4 cup of the crispy breadcrumbs.

Add 1 tablespoon oil, onion, celery and carrots to the pot; cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in garlic, thyme, rosemary and bay leaf; cook for 30 seconds. Add wine and increase heat to high. Cook, stirring, until the wine is mostly evaporated, 4 to 6 minutes. Pour in water. Drain the beans and add to the pot; bring to a boil. Return the chicken, pork and kielbasa to the pot.

Place beans in a large saucepan with enough cold water to cover them by 2 inches. Bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and let stand for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 325°F.Sprinkle chicken and pork with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add the pork and lamb. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to the plate.

Instuctions:

L’Entrée - Fall 2013 - Nothern California

Pour in the white wine and use a brown spoon to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. When this comes to a boil, add the stock, crushed tomatoes, thyme, oregano, lemon zest and bay leaves and bring to a simmer. Return the shanks to the pot and turn to coat with the sauce. Cover the pot and move it to the oven. Cook until tender, between 2 and 4 hours.

Add the onion, carrot, celery and porcini mushrooms, and saute until slightly browned around the edges, about 6 to 8 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 300°F. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Salt the shanks well and dust them in the flour to coat. Brown them well in the pot. Remove and set aside.

Instuctions:

Wild Boar Osso Bucco

dry small white beans boneless, chicken thighs pork butt salt, divided freshly ground pepper extra-virgin olive oil lamb sausage large onion, finely diced stalks celery, finely diced medium carrots, finely diced tablespoon tomato paste cloves garlic, chopped chopped fresh sage chopped fresh rosemary bay leaf dry white wine water fresh coarse breadcrumbs

4 cross-cut shanks, 2-3 inches 1/4 c extra-virgin olive oil 1 onion, chopped 2 carrots, chopped 2 celery stalks, chopped 1 oz dried porcini mushrooms 1 c white wine 1 c chicken 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes 1 t dried thyme 1 t dried oregano zest of a lemon 2 bay leaves 1/4 fresh parsley flour for dusting

1 lb 1 lb 8oz 1t 1/2 t 3T 8oz 1 2 2 1 4 1T 1T 1 1c 3c 2c

Lamb & Sage Cassoulet

L’Entrée - Fall 2013 - Nothern California

Add seasoned potatoes all at once and arrange them with your tongs so that they are evenly distributed around the pan. Place the skillet on the bottom shelf of the hot oven and roast for 10 minutes. Turn potatoes over and roast for an additional 10 minutes.

In a small bowl, mix together polenta, salt and pepper. Drain potatoes well in a colander. Sprinkle with polenta seasoning and toss gently to coat. In a large (12-inch) cast iron pan or heavy-bottomed skillet, heat olive oil over high heat. Stir in rosemary and garlic.

Place potato chunks in a medium pot with 1 teaspoon salt, cover with cold water and place over high heat. Bring potatoes to a boil, then lower the heat slightly and boil for ten minutes. Preheat oven to 425°F.

Instuctions:

flour baking powder salt stick butter sugar almond extract egg whites milk 1 c butter 3/4 c cherry preserves 2 c powdered sugar 1 c butter 6 oz white chocolate 2 c marshmallow cream 3/4 t vanilla 6 T powdered sugar whole black cherries

2c 2t 1/4 t 1 1c 2t 6 3/4 c

Le Dessert - Fall 2013 - Nothern California

Slice both cake layers in half so you have 4 layers. Fill with cherry buttercream. Frost outside with white chocolate creaam. Decorate with whotle pitted cherries.

Beat preserves & butter until combied. Add in sugar & beat until smooth.Beat butter & chocolate until smooth. Mix in cream then vanilla & sugar. Chill for 30 minutes before using.

Oven 350. Butter and flour two 8 inch cake pans. Sift together flour, baking powder & salt in a bowl, set aside. Whisk egg whites & milk together, set aside. Cream together butter & sugar until fluffy. In alternating batches, gradually add in flour mix & milk mix. Pour into pans & bake for 30 minutes. Cool completely.

Instuctions:

Cherry & White Chocolate Cake

2 lbs red potatoes, peeled 2 T polenta or cornmeal 2 t salt, divided 1/2 t pepper 3/4 c extra-virgin olive oil 2 T fresh minced rosemary leaves 10 garlic cloves, peeled

Polenta Crusted Potatoes


$20.00 US / CAN

BACCHUS / fall 2013


BACCHUS