7th Avenue South at Bleecker Street-
A late dinner after a long drive.
Thin NYC crust. Let the vacation begin.
I received a text this afternoon, asking if I’d partner with a friend at cooking class tonight.
Something about March Madness and a sick friend – they couldn’t attend. I was happy to fill in, third string.
Sure, I said. I’ll go. She picked me up around 5:45 and off we went.
My friend Barb took her own canvas bag of supplies including a bottle of dishwashing liquid- heavy duty oven gloves. She even brought a garbage bowl.
We were all set, slicing and dicing and preparing the recipes just as Executive Sous Chef Stephen V instructed us.
There were tables throughout the high school culinary class, each filled with two teams of two.
Here is our instructor for the class. Chef Stephen also is an adjunct instructor at the Art Institute- Pittsburgh.
Chef Stephen Varela
Executive Sous Chef
Fox Chapel Golf Club
(I asked if it would be okay to take a few photographs and Chef Stephen consented. Thank you)
Barbara cut the pears for the salad. She added some Hearts of Palm as well.
Charred red pepper for the Pita Bread Individual Pizzas with Pesto or Hummus and a drizzle of Balsamic Glaze
The side salad
Mixed Spring Greens with diced pear, artichokes, and oven toasted croutons with a poppy seed dressing. I was able to bring some home in a contaner (yes, my friend was prepared with empty containers) for school lunch tomrrow.
Thanks for a fun evening Barb -on the right. Me in the Zagreb,Croatia apron.
And on the way out we peeked in next door to see the Crochet Class. At first I thought it was knitting. Everyone was so nice.
One of the good things about fall.
It’s a simple dessert. The time of year when the apples are perfect, so fresh
A sign of fall. Apple Crisp.
If you want to be inspired with Apples Galore, stop by Rufus’ Food and Spirit Guide blog.
I peeled a lot of apples(10), sliced and chopped and put them into a buttered 9×13 glass dish.
Cut a stick of butter into 2 cups of oats (we skip the flour) some salt and about 1/2 cup of brown sugar. Just hint of cinnamon, not to overpower the apples.
Crumble the buttery oatmeal crumbs over the apples. Bake about 50 minutes.
Marlene adds a cup of cranberries to her apples and that makes it nice and tart with the contrast of sweet.
(and a little salty caramel or vanilla ice cream on the side- or even mint, eh Maura?)
Oh no, I didn’t photograph the fragrant apple crisp as it cooled or when it was dished up on plates with the ice cream.
We just ate it!
“Comfort foods may be consumed to positively pique emotions, to relieve negative psychological effects or to increase positive feelings. The term was first used, according to Webster’s Dictionary, in 1977.” Wikipedia
A topic I study and explore from time to time. Take a poll.
In fact, i asked this question just last December.
I was with a friend on Saturday and we were talking about eating in response to stress.
His choice? a pint of Ben and Jerry’s (i forget which flavor)
It’s a new school year.
Grilled cheese on stove and plate below.
“Comfort food is traditionally eaten food which often provides a nostalgic or sentimental feeling to the person eating it, frequently with a high carbohydrate level and a simple preparation. The nostalgic element most comfort food has, may be specific to either the individual or a specific culture.” Wikipedia
Yes, that is a slice of summer tomato on Laura’s Birthday grilled cheese dinner. I asked her what she would like me to make for her birthday (they were in town for Celeste and Shawn’s wedding weekend)
You can still get great tomatoes. Come January we’ll long for them.
I was at a friend’s house and she made corn for us.
Butter, salt and fresh black pepper.
I think it was the first ear of corn I ate all summer.
Had a half of an ear last Sunday at a Garden Party, but
will savor this photo come fall.
No, not eaten. Made!
I can tell you that it is delicious. Today I was buying walnuts and Amish butter and fresh eggs to make biscotti.
On Tuesday they make ravioli. Mushroom, Imported cheese, artichoke, and many other varieties
Here is Carol in the Groceria Italiana (established 1958) in Bloomfield neighborhood of Pittsburgh.
She is of Irish German descent but is married to an Italian, she told me. Very hospitable and didn’t mind my questions at all.
There is a lovely photograph of Gloria who has passed but who made fresh pasta for years and years using these same machines.
One machine is 27 years old.
Thanks for letting me photograph the process with my iPhone. I will return with my good camera one of these days.
Another machine rolling the dough into strips.
Preparing the strips for the machine.
Here the pasta strips are being cut.
Carol can make 80 pounds of fresh linguine in a day!
Weddings don’t just happen.
There’s a lot of planning, decisions made, deposits paid. And there’s a lot of work by a lot of people. Here are two of those people.
Isn’t it great that when it’s actually happening, there are professionals who have done it many times before and make it a success?
These two men made Jessica and Matthew’s wedding at the National Aviary a success, and guided a team of professionals to make it seem effortless.
Executive Chef Josef Karst ,originally from Germany, prepared a special dish for one of the guests who needed her meal to be gluten free.
(I found a link to a recipe of his for Kaese Spaetzle -not gluten free)
Thanks Chef Josef for letting me photograph you at the reception on Saturday. Everything was delicious.
His years of experience benefit everyone at the wedding but especially the bride and groom who needed to relax and enjoy their special day and not worry about any more details. Thanks to Mr. Pete Bevilacqua,everything was perfect. (he was not in charge of weather!)
Grateful for all they did to make the wedding wonderful and delicious, Bride Jessica thanks Chef Josef Karst and Mr. Pete Bevilacqua
As I write this post at almost midnight, I can hear the music still. Eddy Teach’s Raw Bar.
My friend Kristin and I walked by tonight. And of course I had my camera.
They were playing Rocky Top (Tennessee) originally recorded by the Osborne Brothers in 1967
Met Leah at Big Dog Coffee (former student teacher) this morning for coffee, oatmeal ( w almonds banana and cinnamon) and conversation.
Look at the latte art and appreciate the skill it took to create it. A cup full of beauty. Delicious.
A bolt of lightning knocked out the internet so blogging from my phone
Rhubarb says Spring to me.
When the three kids were younger, we’d pile in the car and drive 7 hours to New York City to visit my sister. I’d park in the lot by the pier on the Hudson and we’d make our way up the five floor walk-up to her apartment. Everyone would be asleep on the floor camping out and in the early morning, Aunt Mary would walk to Zito’s Bakery on Bleecker Street, come home with warm loaves. She’d have the butter out and a jar of her homemade strawberry rhubarb preserves. She’d slice the bread on a wooden board. That’s what the kids woke up to – warm bread and butter and strawberry rhubarb preserves-
Berenice Abbott took this photo of Zito’s in 1937.
Today I went to the Farmer’s market on the South Side and bought two bunches of rhubarb and fresh picked strawberries. I was trying to remember the method and chopped the stalks in one inch pieces, put them into a large enamel kettle and sprinkled with sugar to sit.
The loaf from the Farmers Market on the bread board, a gift from my sister.
Before Matthew was born and he’s 33!
Kids grown up and gone but tonight as I taste the strawberry rhubarb preserves, I remember.
P.S. And to answer your question Mary, on the card-
I did get that assistantship and that’s how I was able to get hired at Pittsburgh Public Schools in 1989!
P.P.S. Zito’s is gone now.