Thursday, May 28, 2015

Just to be clear!

Although his views on cooking and animal husbandry drive me nuts, Mark is a super-nice guy and when I write about him and our disputes, it's never serious. He's got a sort of sardonic, caustic persona and can come off in the blog as a curmudgeonly character, which he really likes. In fact he's very kind, funny, and considerate. He would never tell me to "fuck off" except when he was joking around. I worried I got the tone wrong in the last post.

I'm so happy I pulled The Hakka Cookbook off the shelf yesterday because last night's dinner was a smash hit. It's been ages since I delved into a Chinese book and it feels like coming home.
"The Hakkas' humble dishes have stayed largely sequestered in home kitchens, rarely appearing on restaurant menus."
More detail on Hakka coming soon. For now, I'll just tell you what we ate:


You can find the recipe for the pork here and the spinach here and the fantastic Dorie Greenspan strawberry shortcakes I made for dessert right here. Everyone loved everything. Best meal I've cooked in ages.


  1. I was pretty sure that the conversation you transcribed was funny and not serious. I meant all the business about the bees. I love that blue plate. I'll try Dorie's recipe this July. I usually do either some version of strawberry shortcake or Swedish birthday cake for my boyfriend's birthday.

    I was never inspired to cook from Hakka when it was cookbook of the month on Chowhound.

    1. My mom made that plate. Very precious to me.
      It's not an inspiring looking cookbook -- no pictures. And maybe a little too much taro. But EASY.

    2. By Swedish birthday cake, do you mean a princess cake? I tried to make one a few weeks ago for my niece's birthday, and I utterly failed. I made the cake just fine, but I had a brain fart and bought almond paste instead of marzipan, and that was never going to roll out into a nice sheet and cover the cake. I ran to several local stores to try to find marzipan last minute (like, at the time my guests were supposed to arrive; my husband was furious with me!) but no dice. I had to whip cream and cover the cake with cream rosettes and strawberries.

    3. Not princess cake (a cake I love), but this other cake:

      I usually do the whipped cream and strawberry filling. I learned about this when I was an au pair in Sweden.

  2. I am also married to someone who delights in his curmudgeonly side and we have conversations very much resembling yours with Mark. But of course underneath it all he's a marshmallow -- far moreso than I am! So the conversation you wrote about made perfect sense to me. Not to mention the fact that if the "FU" had been serious, I'm guessing you wouldn't have shared about it.

    BTW, I made Ottolenghi's chicken with caramelized onions and herbs and it totally blew my mind. The rice by itself, even without the additional fresh herbs, is stellar. Next time I'll actually use the recommended yogurt.

    Next on my list: kouign amann!

  3. You do also write about the good-natured side of Mark here on your blog!

    On a side note, I love the first photo on this post: the styling, colors, and food in the photo are all fantastic and work well together!

  4. Hubby always teases me, but it warms my heart to see that I'm not the only one who includes brief recipe reviews and dates in cookbooks. No wonder I enjoy your blog so much!

  5. My favorite blog post of yours ever is the one with the roller coaster, the apple cake, and the Pillsbury cinnamon rolls. Whenever I sing your praises to someone who I think will enjoy the blog, I read them that one. The Particular Sadness of Apple Cake. Brilliant. And Mark comes across as sweet and lovely in that one, cinnamon rolls notwithstanding.

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