Monday

Is Bacon Boy Losing It?

This is a teensy post. But you gotta hear this . Bacon Boy, today, invested in a new deep fryer. Just for those few occasions where a recipe calls for that machine.....No, do NOT say it....NOT for his daily fix of Steak Frites.... For the record...Bacy is very fit and not overweight.

Anyway... B.Boy adores this machine. This top of the line TFal that has an automatic fat cleaning mechanism and storage depot. He likes it sooooo much that I walk past him, watching the ball game. And there is the deep fryer, like a pet ( remember those chia pets) sitting beside him on the sofa. And I say, "Honey, whacyadoin?" he says," We're ( note the "we") we're watching the game"...

Like the deep fryer is a buddy he asked over for a beer. Like the long lost friend. A pet. Cousin Harold.

OMG. Terry will be so jealous.

I'm totally not signing THIS post.....

DADDY LIKESSSSSSS *

* As in what Bacon Boy said after he tasted every one of these recipes below.....

But first...a little more fessin' up to do. You saw that beautiful platter of pretzels stuffed with ham and cheese ? Yes, they looked lovely on that glass coffee table. That glass coffee table at TERRY's ( the dog) height . One minute we were all helping ourselves. Sipping our vino, laughing away. The next minute that platter was spickin' span clean. And a cute little doggie was licking her chops. How could we be angry, it was her party too!!!

So Babette and I cooked the PORK CHOPS with BLACK BARBECUE and Thumbelina CARROTS:



What a production. But well worth it. It must have been the chocolate AND the bourbon AND the coffee AND all those spices sitting on the meat for so long that provided that TO-DIE-FOR flavor.

The Braised Bacon Carolina Rice should have been liquified and injected into our veins. But no, then we would have missed out on those huge chunks of slab bacon.....


Yeah we needed a salad .So we made the Parsley,Celery Leaf and Jicama on page 125 of October's issue. It was salady-satisfying. The leftovers went home to Babette's pet rabbit, Hopscotch. ( We couldn't invite Hopscotch to the party; Terry would have liked it but maybe not so much, Hopscotch....)


We completed the night on October 1st with the CHESS PIE with BLACKENED PINEAPPLE SALSA and CARAMEL SAUCE ( pg 109):


That was .....good.... but for some reason the crust was too tough. And trust me, we followed the recipe to a "tee". And...the caramel sauce flopped. But a little persistence and a ton of cream and we were back in business. ( How many times has "cream" come to the rescue over the years....)

So. Whadayathink? Looks yummy, huh? Next post will show you what Deputy Doll did for us on October 2. Without asking, mind you. It was her birthday present to the SAUC !

Hugs and hugs from
SAUCY

Wednesday

FESSING UP

Um. This is just a little addendum to the post below called "Show me the Cookin' ". Can't resist telling you. Although I'm certain "Julia" would say ,"Oh no dear, What they don't know, won't hurt them...."

But this anonymous blog gig gives me extra courage .

So. Did you note the lovely serving dish used for the Lamb Ragu and Grits? I have had it for years. Use it very occasionally. Love the look of the piece.

There I am at our table, taking a mouthful of the tasty "lamB-ah" concoction.......CRUNCH.... OMG. I know that's not a bone! Take a look and yikes, its a piece of the lovely blue pottery swirl from the serving plate ( see pretty swirl in last pic in prior post).  GASP.

Tell everybody, ( and not all that calmly, either) ! Yeah, we all stop eating. But there's been mucho wine consumed by now. So Babette says" Aww. Sauce.Don't worry, no one else found any."

Well, nope. I had to explore further. " Hold your chompers for a sec, gang ", says me. And I run the stuff back to the kitchen, dump the contents into another bowl, then I inspect the pottery culprit. I match up the piece I rescued from my mouth ( BEFORE I might have chipped a tooth ). Luckily BABETTE was right. My shard perfectly matched the part broken from the platter. No other piece was missing. Whew!

We were SAVED.

Dining and drinking and chatting and laughing resumed. The next post will describe and show FOUR more dishes.

Mmmmmmm
SAUCY

Tuesday

SHOW ME THE COOKIN'

All right, already. I know. I know. Its the 20th of the month and you AIN'T SEEN NOTHIN !

That's because the month has literally flown by.  And yes, we have been cooking.....lots. But we've also been super busy at our day jobs. Then family, holidays, travel, events etc. all competed for our time. Our beloved magazine shuts down on us....How's all that for excuses ?

So let me tell you about Oct 1 and show you the evidence. Babette and I couldn't even find the time to make a grocery list for our big cook off. Finally she sat beside me while I got a haircut on Sept 30, pen and notebook in hand, as we eeked out our plan for the next day.

We started on October 1st with determination while we chopped, stirred, basted, baked and cooked our way through many,many hours. After that;  Gary, Sexy Mary, Ace, Coach Martin, Bacon Boy, Deputy Miester and her guy, Chunky Monkey arrived. Well. The wine corks popped, there was champers for Saucy's birthday(and lovely presents), and there was eating, laughter, silliness and way too much good stuff going on.

So what,from the October Gourmet magazine, did Saucy and Babette make as a treat for the rest of the Lobstersandwich gang?

#1 PRETZEL BITES, COUNTRY HAM and CHEDDAR, with JALAPENO MUSTARD



Time consuming,you had to let the dough rise a bunch of times. Then you had to boil the little babies before baking them. Plus the diagram provided for forming the things was tough to follow. But we did it. Had a blast. And they tasted GREAT.

#2 LAMB SHANK RAGU with ANSON MILLS GRITS:







The grits were heavenly with the Manchego cheese. The ragu took awhile but when we carved the meat from the bone.... man,  we had to hold ourselves back from gobbling it all up. Bacon Boy showed up for a few minutes to take a video, but we can't show it. Editing would be required....

The flavor of the dish resulting from the slow cooked mixture of all good things including: fennel, bourbon, garlic, tomato, radicchio, oyster mushroom etc.etc was....simply, incredible.

Whoops!! Gotta go. Can't believe how late it is ! What did ya say, Bacon Boy?

TO BE CONTINUED ( there's lots more)

Hugs and hugs,
SAUCY


Friday

BY GEORGE, I THINK WE'VE GOT IT ! (a plan, that is)...Bounce*

*as In Terry's red ball, see post below "Shock and Sadness"

BUT NOW REVISED AS OF NOVEMBER 16/09 ( we need more time!!!)

No one and not one of us ever thought we'd have to stop and regroup 5 days into our cooking project! We picked GOURMET magazine as our recipe source because we LOVE it! Not that we don't like other magazines... we absolutely do, but we had to choose one. After all, this is a hobby. An after hours project. We all have "more than" full time enjoyable and committed day jobs. Cooking from one magazine meant "a lot" of recipes. No way could we cook two or three.

So we picked the one that was around the longest. SEVENTY YEARS. The grand mummy of the cooking magazines. The standard. Yet one that truly reflected cooking practices today, just as well as it did ten years ago. We picked Gourmet because it was familiar. We picked it because we liked it.

Not one of us ever thought to say, "Wow, if you are going to cook for 12 consecutive months, pick a magazine that won't shut down..." Mind you if we WOULD have said that... again, we 'd have selected GOURMET. Who the heck would have predicted this??

Once more; Ruth, everyone, we are so sorry to hear this news. We will miss our GOURMET monthly fix. Conde Nast... what were you thinking?

Very soon (I know, I know, I keep promising) I will post news about our cooking launch on Oct. 1. And Oct 2. And Oct 3. And how so far we have knocked off in the first 5 days... 15 (count 'em...15) of the 51 recipes in the October edition. And I will tell you about the "Deputy Squad". And the aprons and the photos. Also something about a CONTEST.   (giggle... ru getting curious?)

But right now, doncha want to know what we are going to do? Because after November there will be NO. MORE. GOURMET. MAGAZINE.

You need to know, Gourmet mag or not, we are really into this adventure. That became very obvious at the October 1st launch dinner. We all said (amongst other things, as the wine fueled the evening)... We all  said... "This is great. This is a blast. In the VERY LEAST CASE SCENARIO we will all become better cooks from this experience. "

And we observed something else. Already we are a well oiled, highly effective, competent team in our work world. But we always raise the bar.  We constantly strive to improve and grow. Many corporations  spend zillions of dollars hiring experts to "come in and do the team building exercise thing." We, through this project, just gained that service for free. The group effort that goes with executing this tasty but labor intensive cook-a-thon translates directly to improving our already excellent collaborative skills in our daytime work place. I can already see it. We all can. Whodathunk...?

So onward we go. That red rubber ball (sit Terry..) rolling down the hill.

First here's a funny little Saucy sidetrack : I'm out shopping for stuff on Saturday. Can't resist a magazine store (or  a book store for that matter). Bacon Boy sez, "Sauc, you can't buy more cooking magazines, there isn't enough time in the month... " But I eye those short ribs on the cover of Bon Appetit and there's no controlling my impulse to buy. "You, my Saucy, are a magazine S L _  _ !" says my B.B.  "Don't you mean a RECIPE S L _ _?!" I retort.

Anyways I bought the thing. Salivated over the cover photo during the weekend. Remarked numerous times on how yummy the recipes in the magazine looked. Felt terribly GUILTY as I started to wonder how we could cook from both magazines. Bacon Boy just laughed and continually mouthed the "RECIPE S L _ _" words.

I finally said, on Sunday, "O.K. I "yam what I yam" ... Let's make those suckers anyway (the short ribs in Bon Appetit, that is) and heck, we just won't blog about it.." Well we made 'em and thank you kindly Barbara Fairchild because they were "tres excellent-ay"

So isn't it a just a little ironic, me thinking such things about "branching out" beyond GOURMET only to find out on October 5 that we would, indeed, have to do just that....

Now. The part you all are waiting for. What we're gonna do. Well.... we are going to create a mixture of things... a MELANGE.

No. NO. Not a menage... a melange  ! We are going to initiate and execute a COOKING MARATHON MELANGE.

Let me tell you our objectives first before I explain the deets on our menage.... oops, I mean melange.

1.   We want to hone our already "not too bad"  cooking skills. We want to learn more and become better cooks.
2.  That team building stuff that we inadvertently started to experience, we want  mo' o' that.
3.  We want to experience recipes and food from a wide variety of sources.
4.   Embracing the power of the internet just for the fun of it leads to our followers on the blog. First we want more followers. Then we engage a few of them as our "Deputies" (cooking in their own homes) some of the stuff that we are cooking. And we want to talk about it on Twitter and on the blog. Just wait till you hear about the two "head" Deputies... Deputy Doll and Deputy Meister.
5.  You, our readers, will be introduced to contests, events, activities,  shows and all other sorts of unique ways to interact with lobstersandwich's cooking project.
6.  We want at least one hard copy recipe source to be inexpensive and accessible to many.
7.  We want to access and cook some of the excellent recipes featured on the numerous internet food blogs.
8.  Cookbooks old and new. We want to cook bits from them.
9.  We want to honor GOURMET and all those fabulous people responsible for that great magazine.

OK. That's nine objectives. Nine's enough, don't need ten. What a mouthful! But those are our goals for our lovely, little?, luscious, lustful, lengthy, labor-large, laudable, lucid, cooking marathon melange.

Look. There's going to be a WHOLE LOT A COOKIN goin on. With tons of laughter . Lots of learning. And mucho new friendships formed. Mostly because of the www.

This will be our EXECUTION PLAN to reach our objectives:
( By the way : thanks to generous followers on Twitter for some of these ideas)

1.  For October we continue to cook ALMOST ( !) every October Gourmet magazine recipe. Then we will cook from random sources between November 1, 2009 and January 30, 2010. The lobstersandwich crowd will cook both solo and together. And we will ask our deputies to cook along on certain items. When we do that we will either interview or feature that deputy on our blog . Actually , we will engage our "deputies" at various times for all 12 months.

2  At the end of a year ( starting February 1, 2010 and ending January 30, 2011) we will have the Lobstersandwich Deputy Awards. A chosen panel of blog followers and lobstersandwich core members will vote on Best Deputy and 2 runners up in 6 different categories. Categories to be announced L8r . In addition to instant fame on the  lobstersandwich blog, there will be actual prizes awarded. AND... we will host the "Award Show" that night live on TWITTER!! Details later.

3.  Starting in February 2010 and continuing for 12 months , we will feature a different recipe source for each week of that month. The featured source will be broken down this way:
( a ) WEEK 1 :  Food and Wine Magazine is our new source. For a week a month anyways. And hey... we want to learn more about wine , so that works. Plus GARY is our resident wine snob. Plus SAUCY is a big fan of and a regular attendee at the South Beach Food and Wine Festival.  One more thing, to get our "monthly food magazine in the mail subscription fix " we need to replace GOURMET. So right now all 4 of us have become Food and Wine mag subscribers! ( Are you  liking this, Dana Cowin?)
( b ) WEEK  2 : We cook from EARLIER issues of GOURMET Magazine
( c ) WEEk  3  : We choose an internet food blog and cook from it
( d ) WEEK 4  : We cook from one  ( per month ) cookbook of our choice including  Gourmet Today ; Mastering the Art of French Cooking ; Chez Panisse ; a Keller , a Hazan or a Batali ; one of Mark Bittman's ; or even the newest from Besh, Chang or Psilakis ( since we just ordered copies of the last three....)
( e )  WEEK 5 ... when there is a fifth week in the month ... we will indulge SAUCY in her habits of getting sidetracked . Whenever a lobstersandwich member finds something that catches their eye in magazines such as Bon Appetit, Saveur, La Cucina Italiana, etc. they will squirrel away the issue and recipe and pull it out for the week 5 "free-for-all".

4.   Additionally from time to time, we will announce surprise events or contests. For example, in the next month or so, we will announce a "making homemade fudge afternoon extravaganza". What's that you ask ? Well , just you wait and see, you impatient lil' thing. But suffice it to say that YOU, no matter where you live, if you wish, will be making homemade fudge that day ! Plus at another time we will feature a cooking lesson from this really cute professional chef we know ( he has awesome buns... ) And we have more stuff planned!!

This contest thing is really turning us on. Since we need followers and we need some followers to become "Deputies" (as in deputy lobstersandwich members) . As of today our blog logs in at 21 followers ( lets just round that 22 up to 25..., nice math, Saucy-girl!)  Every time we add another 25 followers we will have a draw for a " lobstersandwich experience " prize.  Delivered to your door wherever you live. No contest rules except you cannot join, quit and then rejoin as a follower of lobstersandwich blog.  Join and stay.  That's what we prefer. Can you win more than once if your name comes up ? Why sure you can.  Each additional  25 members means that EVERYONE is in the draw.

So dearest readers, what do you think?  Maybe we should have called the blog "busybeavers" ? (oooooooh )

 Quite the mixture , huh? ( yeah, we like the hoitie toitie sound of melange rather than mixture....!)

Wanna come out and play? Saucy, Babette, Ace and Gary can't wait to meet ya. And Bacon Boy... he's champing at the bit.

Write us a comment. Send us a Tweet, Tell us your thoughts. WE are PSYCHED

One-two-three. Presto.  This is what we are gonna do.

Hugs and Hugs

From Saucy

Monday

SHOCK and SADNESS

Dear Readers :

Earlier today Conde Nast , publisher of GOURMET MAGAZINE , made a shocking announcement . After almost 70 years they are closing down the magazine.

Anyone at all connected to or involved with food enjoyment, admiration, preparation etc. is saddened by the news. It even impacts those who never read the magazine. Today on Twitter, one tweet noted that they had NOT, in fact, ever read (any of those fantastic stories and recipes....my words) but that they did take "comfort" in knowing  that the magazine existed. That is was "there".

A note to Ruth Reichl and her wonderful staff of editors, chefs, authors and contributors . THANK YOU.

Thank you for countless terrific hours reading your articles. Cooking your recipes. Checking out your recommended destinations. Following your chefs. What you have written has impacted the lives of most of us..... your fans and readers. You will be missed. Perhaps more than you know.

We wish for you all, nothing but the best in everything you do in the future. And we look forward to seeing you and hearing from you in all sorts of ways .

The lobstersandwich gang , once we recover from our shock , will regroup, refocus and drive on. We will announce our revised strategy in the coming days.

Its sorta like this. I watch my sweet little doggie , Terry , as she plays with her red rubber ball. The toy is made of a type of rubber that almost allows it to bounce and travel on its own. She stares at it , then chases it. That rolling ball that once it starts..... it just won't stop . It has...INERTIA

Well that's you....Ruth, Kempie and all the others. You have unleashed all that positive, creative energy that will now NOT stop , for anything.... Because of that, today's announcement is a temporary set back, but nothing more.

And we at lobstersandwich won't stop either. Just watch us roll as we watch you do the same......

Much respect and a bunch of hugs thrown in for good measure ( just because we mean it..)
   From: SAUCY ( and Babette, Gary, Ace, spouses, partners, deputies, followers etc. etc.)

P.S.  And Ruth, Bacon Boy still says  you're HOT .











Thursday

Ha ! Not What You're Expecting....

This post truly, truly should be about the awesome, bonding, challenging, entertaining, grueling ,giggling, tasty, fabulous , first day and night of our TWELVE MONTH Gourmet Magazine cooking marathon. But it can't be. Not yet anyways. Because "The Sauc" is exhausted. Dead tired. Snookered.....But its all good.

So that post comes next. And stay tuned because its a doozy!

But see. Part of the reason I'm bagged is that I just returned from a business trip. Then another full day of meetings. And then a day off...birthday day off...to cook with the wonderful Babette for 9 hours.

So just for now,before I sign off for the night. I have a little thing from the business trip to share with you.

My work took me to Toronto,Canada. One night I was treated to chicken and ribs from the renown STOCKYARDS SMOKEHOUSE and LARDER( on St Clair and Christie). Well I gotta tell you two things.

First the chicken. It was THE most succulent and delicious  bbq chicken that I ever tasted....ever. There was a piece left over for the next day. I craved it. I devoured it. And when I finished , anyone would be hard pressed to identify the animal that once owned that diminished pile of bones crouching on my empty plate. And you just KNOW how good it is when you stare down at the remains and fight off a tear a wishing there was just one more piece in the refrigerator. Or at least a couple of crumbs still stuck to the tin foil...

The ribs . Well, they were fine. Not the fall off the bone kind that are my true favorite. But I put them,wrapped in foil, back in the oven at 275F for an hour,covered with a bit more sauce. And fixed their wagon right some good.

I will tell you my all time favorite rib recipe. And sorry...but its true. It was in a GOURMET Magazine.
( Now. Stop. Don't yawn. Why do you think we picked that magazine for our cooking project ? It has great stuff in it. Plain truth....)

Go to May 2006 issue. Page 227. Sticky Spicy Ribs . Try 'em. If you don't have the mag: google it, or check out Gourmet's website , or leave me a comment and I'll get the recipe to you. ..You'll thank me.

Night,night and big hugs
From very tired camper, Saucy
(and for the record, I HATE camping)