Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Another music in a different kitchen

Thus begins my tardiest blog post ever. Those of you who use RSS readers are probably wondering whether you have been personally apprehended by Father Time. Did you know that I've been blogging on my other blog the whole time I've been letting this blog grow an inscrutably bushy and unkempt beard? I'm going to continue blogging about books and music and trees over there, but I'm ready to pluck the crumbs out of my HTML, do a thoughtful bit of trimming, and get Tiny Banquet Committee back to being a food blog about town.

It very nearly charms the pants off of me that even while this blog has been dormant, you people have gone on doing the sort of things that the nice readers of an active food blog do, i.e. visiting and subscribing and sending me the occasional email asking interesting questions about recipes, which I secretly enjoy answering. One of you even sent me a recipe you thought I'd like, a bread made with a cup and a half of whisky. Yes I'm into that! So please keep doing that.

Coming soon / coming later:

  • Ice cream mania. There is at long last an ice cream machine in my kitchen. I'm excited about trying other people's ice creams (particularly pistachio, sesame, celery, Vietnamese coffee, and rum raisin) and about devising my own ice creams. Right now I'm working on a May wine ice cream, which is something I've wanted to make for a long time, long before I made an impulse decision to try my hand at growing Alpine strawberries.  They're doing surprisingly well, and with a bit more luck should ripen in time for me to bring you May wine ice cream with home-grown strawberries right on time in the month of May. While sorting out the best way to get a lot of wine into ice cream and waiting for my berry crop to mature, I'm making a lemon ice cream with thrillingly tasty Sorrento lemons, a key lime sorbet with maddeningly small key limes, and an orange blossom honey ice cream with translucent orange chunks of baked quince. I've also got some salep a friend brought back from Turkey for me, so there will probably be an attempt at Turkish stretchy ice cream at some point. Before that happens I want to make a whole pile of tea-based ice creams, including a pine tree and forest fruits hikers' ice cream made with the Italian tree tea I wrote about on my other blog.
ice cream notebook for collecting psychedelic 
tutti frutti ice cream thoughts from Heavy Eyeliner

Alpine strawberries in Harlem
how much longer from here? 

Sorrento lemon
Sorrento lemons are less expensive than they sound at Manhattan Fruit Exchange
right now and I recommend buying as many as you can carry.

  • Eating Maine. I've always been really excited about this subject, any and all of it: the vivid yellow butter, the road-side chard, the clams, the early morning snacking walks. I've switched islands but otherwise nothing has changed in this regard. I'll be posting recipes from my last visit while scheming about ways to spend more time there this summer.
oysters that way

IMG_6248 IMG_6315

Turner Farm home-made crabapple chutney
from top: oysters that way, North Haven; 
new lobster friends; afternoon snack in situ;
seaweed cheese from Turner Farm; foggy morning;
Turner Farm, North Haven; crab apple chutney

  • Japanese Candy Quarterly Review. The Japanese Candy Quarterly Review will be published on a "whenever" schedule.
Hikikomori print by Naoshi on Etsy.

  • Lesbo Kitchen. I told a lesbian friend I'm planning a whole series of blog posts on lesbian cookery and she asked whether that's even a Thing. I am making my own Things here! First in the series will be a look at the gastronomic lives of the Ladies of Llangollen, a pair of Irish lesbos who ran off to live together and, when their families stopped supporting them, borrowed money from friends so they could hire a gardener, a footman, two maids, and build a dairy on their property.
Lesbo at left via Jhlahl Drut. At right, the ladies of Llangollen at table
via the NYPL.

  • Dinner and a movie. I'm going to continue doing posts on this theme (e.g. this one about The Trouble With Harry). Next in the series will be The Landlord, a 1970 Hal Ashby movie starring Beau Bridges as a young rich guy who buys a brownstone in Park Slope thinking he's going to evict all the tenants and fix himself a cool place to live. (I don't think I'll spoil the movie for you if I tell you he runs into a bit of trouble). If you have any suggestions in the meantime regarding Park Slope soul food I'd love to hear from you.

  • What I've been smoking. In my stove-top smoker. Pecan-smoked pecans are not redundant; applewood-smoked carrots are delicious. I'll smoke pretty much anything. If there is something you want to see smoked and it'll fit in my smoker, I will consider smoking it. Think about it.
carrots in my smoker

  • Foodmusic. Music about, for, and on special occasions emitted by food.

  • Pineapple mania. Pineapple is my favorite fruit and I've long been planning to grow a pineapple at home from discarded pineapple parts. I keep letting them dry out too long for that, but I remain hopeful that one day soon I'll get my act together. In the meantime I've been collecting interesting pineapple recipes (in anticipation of a bumper crop, obviously) and I can go through store-bought pineapples like no one's business. I'm feeling like now is a good time to start a batch of tepache, a lightly-fermented Mexican pineapple drink made with spices and beer, which Wikipedia helpfully tells us is "commonly made by inmates in Mexican prison" and is "sometimes" prepared by housewives.

Bromella ananas grows like this, whether in Hawaii or an apt. in Harlem
Illustration via the NYPL.

  • Unpiling my pile of books. I'll continue reviewing of out-of-print cookbooks like this one (The California Artists Cookbook) and that one (New York Entertains by the Junior League of the City of New York) but I'm excited about branching out a bit and writing about newer books too. Not just cookbooks but food-related books generally. 


In coming months I'll be blogging about my stack of vintage Time-Life books
from the series The Good Cook. There were some great contributors 
who worked on this series (e.g. Richard Olney and Jane Grigson) 
and they've got very chic endpapers too.

making notes in the hammock
Making notes on The L.L. Bean Book of New New England Cookery
which has to be one of Judith Jones's least-known books. 

Antidiets of the Avant-Garde: From Futurist Cooking to Eat Art

  • Other stuff. None of the categories above really reflect the way I've been cooking and eating and taking photos and making notes, mental and otherwise, the entire time this blog has been dormant. I've got a backlog that needs clearing! Don't worry, I won't try to make you eat Thanksgiving pies in August.
strawberry-black pepper cookie innards Barboncino leftovers

duck breast with gooseberry chutney herb-y popover

flaky biscuit delicious cranberry dessert
from top: strawberry-black pepper cookies; Barboncino leftovers for breakfast;
duck with gooseberry chutney; herb-y duck fat popover;
biscuit experiment; mystery cranberry dessert


* If the title of this post rang a bell that's possibly because you've forgotten you have the Buzzcocks first album on vinyl? First if you don't count that EP. Now is a good time to dust off either one and have a listen.


  1. sweet jesus, you really made up for lost time, didn't you? I missed these posts! And I forgot about your other blog, like a fool, so I didn't check it.

    PS, welcome to the world of ice cream makery! I have been perfecting my techniques on vanilla, peach, and strawberry to great effect. I'm at the point where I will start adding some new recipes (like coffee ice cream), as well as lemon + thyme, strawberry + basil, etc. May wine sounds like a genius idea!

    1. Hey Thaddeus, good to hear from you! I think I have an email from you buried on scary p. 2 of my in-box.

      Fruit ice creams seem like great ones to make at home because boughten (?) ones are often disappointing. Lemon + thyme sounds great, I should try that when my thyme plant grows back from its last trimming.

  2. Whoa, that's quite a lineup. Can't wait!