Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Birthday Weekend at Blackacre

by EP

This is going to be one of those old-school, family Sunday dinner posts that our long-time readers remember from back in the day, when the BCD parents lived closer to Baltimore, in sunny Columbia, MD.  Technically this meal was on a Saturday -- a requirement when your parents live a 2-hour drive in beach traffic away. We gathered at Blackacre to celebrate something super-important: my birthday!!  My actual birthday was at the end of July but this weekend was the first time the 5 of us could get together to celebrate at home.  Readers might remember that for birthdays in the BCD family, the birthday girl/boy gets to pick his or her favorite menu (we all know Dad's favorite meal: lobsters), and the whole family works together create a fabulous birthday meal.

Monday, August 15, 2011

"Master" Recipes

by Xani

The other day I embraced an empty house, some free time, and an abundance of summer produce.  I cooked, cooked, and cooked some more, and loved every minute of it.  Later, while reflecting on all I made that day, I realized that all my creations were essentially building blocks, which could be combined with each other and other staples to create hundreds, maybe thousands of dishes.  For me, this was something of a revelation, and I'm not sure why I didn't think of it before.  When you prepare one ingredient or element for a particular recipe, be it a sauce, filling, cooked starch, whatever, there is no rule that says that all of that element must be used for just that recipe!  Why not make double the "element" and use the rest for some entirely different preparation?  Makes a lot of sense, doesn't it?  Wait, maybe it doesn't.  Let me show by example:

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