Sharing recipes

As we draw smaller and smaller circles around our food community, we often forget the power of recipes to connect us to each other.

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Nancy’s “Benz Cake” recipes in her baker’s shorthand.

Recipes in the personal sense. I’m not talking about the results of a keyword search or a formula in that latest best-selling cookbook, not the pasta-of-the-month at the back of a magazine or the marketing copy on the back of a box. Along with vegetables grown by farmers with real names and faces, a local food system includes dishes with memories of people we actually know.

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Morning Rituals

 Weblog Food Toast
There’s a table in my kitchen that I try not to hate. Whenever my husband boasts that it cost him all of $8 at a sidewalk sale, new friends laugh while old friends avoid my eyes. To his credit, he spent an entire day spray painting it egg-yolk yellow, so I hardly notice the scratches on its legs or the missing fourth foot replaced with an unvarnished block of wood. He swears the table refers to some important design period, I’m guessing around the time instant cake mixes became the rage of the day, and he keeps trying to convince me that its linoleum surface is practical.

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Banh Cuon & Banh Beo: Vietnamese Steamed Rice Treats

Okay, enough with all the pho.

I think it’s time for folks to try some other Vietnamese dishes. There are hundreds of snacks and soups, both in Vietnam proper and in Little Saigons around the world, but for reasons I’m still trying to understand, both restaurateurs and diners settle into predictable menus.

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Savory bits of shrimp, mung beans and scallion oil top little steamed rice cakes.

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Rhone at Home: Garage Wines

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The invitation from Tim “Blind Muscat” Patterson was a two-part, April Fool’s proposition. First, we’d get to help him bottle a batch of rosé, a mongrel mix of this year’s Malbec, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, and Zinfandel. Then, there’d be the festive unbottling of the selfsame wine. What better way to celebrate Subterranean Cellars’ acquisition of water and electricity? The expansion of the patio and the recent arrival of a BBQ rig were additional excuses for an all-day drink-and-eat-fest.

Though far from a wine expert, I knew I’d be there when I read the menu’s magic words: pulled pork.

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Fresh Turmeric

 Weblog Food Turmeric Rice 1
Learning the true shape of our food sometimes comes as a surprise. The challenge of carrying ingredients across time and distance plus the reality of everyday cooking has transformed the look, feel and – most importantly – taste of many foods.

That dry, yellow powder known here as turmeric is certainly one of them.

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