Tag Archives: Elissa Altman

Burn Baby Burn (favorite tool #6)

I’ve been listening to Erasure’s version of Cole Porter’s Too Darn Hot from the Red, Hot and Blue tribute/benefit CD.

“I’d like to sup with my baby tonight,

Refill the cup with my baby tonight

but I ain’t up to my baby tonight

’cause it’s too darn hot.

It’s too darn hot

It’s too darn hot.”

And that pretty much sums it up around here as of late. It is just too darn hot.

"cooling off in the kiddie pool"

At least our feet our cool….

To combat the heat Shawn has pulled out the kiddie pool so we can cool off our tootsies. I’m making pitchers and pitchers of ice tea, and most nights we’re firing up the grill to keep from overheating the kitchen. Pizza, grilled chicken and tofu marinated in Teriyaki glaze, and an amazing grill-roasted lamb with tapanade which I read about on Elissa Altman’s blog.

To help with all the grilling there is one essential tool needed for a charcoal grill – a chimney fire starter. All that is required to get it going are three sheets of newspaper, a bunch of briquettes, and a match. It could not be simpler. Wad up the newspaper and shove them in the bottom part, flip it right side up and pour in the briquettes, then light a match. No starter fluid, no watching and waiting to see if your fire will catch. It works every time. If you want a very thorough and thoughtful way of getting that baby smoking hot read here or watch this video. Otherwise take a gander at these instructional images:

"paper first"

Shove some paper in the bottom

"charcoal in the top"

Next flip starter over and fill top with briquettes

"lite it up"

Add match and you’re almost there…

"grilling time"

Time to grill – lamb anyone?

Thanks to our friends Lisa and Lee for grilling  and posing for these instructional pictures. They thought they’d been invited to Tuesday dinner not to come and work for their supper!.

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Craving Snail Mail & Recipe Card Give-a-Way

Recently three things happened that made me decide to offer another giveaway. The first was I received a wonderful hand-made card from my friend Carol. The only other people who send me snail mail are my Mom, and that is somewhat by default since she doesn’t use a computer (my Dad has to print out these blog posts for her to see which is beyond sweet of him-thanks Dad) and my friend Alexis who lives in France. I fully accept that a big part of the problem is me – you have to send mail to receive mail. The irony is that I used to be a wonderful letter writer. In the past I wrote reams of letters. When I look at the boxes of letters I received in return (yes, I keep all my personal correspondence) it is like piecing together a map of my friends and my lives. Truly something I miss and which can’t be replaced by any number of emails or postings on my facebook wall. The second thing that happened was I read this blog post. Over the last year and a bit as I have been writing posts for this blog and scampering all over the house to unearth the various recipes I want to share (full disclosure here my “filing system” is a bit like a squirrel who hides nuts–things are stored all over the place-the difference being that unlike most squirrels I can usually remember where I’ve put something) I have become acutely aware of how important these beloved recipes are and the myriad of forms they take. Some of the recipes I’ve shared are from books whose spines are cracked open to that particular page with notes scribbled into the margins, others are hand written onto cards, dashed onto the back of an envelope or a sheet of torn out notebook paper, several are xeroxed and dog-eared after being scrunched in the back of the silverware drawer. I know where each and every one of them resides but that doesn’t mean that another person could ever find them. After reading Elissa Altman’s post her words resonated with me for the next several days about the importance of history and the stories behind each of each recipes/cookbooks we use.

“Cookbooks [and recipes] tell us who we are, what we’ve done, and how we’ve lived. We’d do well to remember that, to hang on to them like family bibles, and to pass them on to others who’ll cherish them.”

The third thing which led down the path to another give-a-way was I realized was how utterly unsearchable this blog was. Unless you were looking for a recent post or you’d had the foresight to print out a copy there was no way you could find any of the recipes. I’ve electronically fixed the problem (if your computer is on) by adding a recipe index. There you’ll find links to all of the recipes in this blog, which will be update as I add more. It doesn’t however solve the problem of what to do if your computer isn’t on.

So to that end I decided to hold another give-a-way which will be a set of  hand written recipe cards of all the recipes found on this blog (to date) for two readers. Yup, I’m going to copy out each recipe twice and send it off via snail mail to two randomly selected people who make a comment below about where they keep their favorite recipes. All you have to do to qualify is leave a comment below so I know you want to be entered into the giveaway. You have until midnight on Wednesday, March 7th to enter. I will then randomly choose the two winners and contact them by email to get their snail mail addresses. Good luck!

"envelopes for give-a-way"

*For those of you with long memories you may remember that I intend to turn the recipes gathered in this blog into a book someday. I’m still planning on doing that, but it may not be soon so this give-a-way is for the meantime.

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