Wednesday, August 05, 2015

a new lemonade, a failed curry, a Gabrielle Hamilton dessert

 tangy, fresh, and way better than it looks

In the glass above: “nose-to-tail” lemonade (regrettable name) courtesy of New York magazine via Julia Turner on the Slate Culture Gabfest.  You blitz a whole lemon in a blender, skin and all, with sugar, water, and ice for about a minute to create an invigorating drink with the froth of an Orange Julius and the bracing zestiness of real citrus zest, which you don't usually get in lemonade. I made the recipe as directed and thought it needed more sugar. In fact, I doubled the sugar. The fabulous lemonade I ended up with contained almost exactly the same amount of sugar as Coke and I never drink Coke because it contains too much sugar, so I guess I won’t be drinking much of this lemonade. But it sure was refreshing and delicious on a hot, droughty August day. Try it. You don't need to add as much sugar as I did. You might not even want it.

rich, spicy, and way better than it looks

I was going to give you the recipe for the red curry with chicken that we made at the Thai Farm Cooking School after I triumphantly reproduced this dish in my own home, but something went wrong. It tasted good, but I think it’s obvious from the photo why this red curry wasn't a triumph. I'll spell it out: IT WASN'T RED.  I have no idea what I missed and I’ve read and reread the recipe, which I followed to the letter.


Last night I served peaches on buttered toast, another one of those mysteriously wonderful, stupidly simple Gabrielle Hamilton dishes from Prune.  You toast crusty, craggy bread (I used sourdough) then butter thickly and top with sliced, unpeeled, ripe peaches. Sprinkle with sugar. That's it.

Mark said: “Excellent together, better separate. Why not just have some buttered toast and a peach? I’m not saying this to be a jerk. Eating them together, you’re just making things difficult for yourself.”

I love the guy, but he’s wrong. The sum of this dessert was so much greater than the parts. The heat from the toast and the sprinkling of sugar relaxed the peaches so they softened and released just a little bright, fresh juice that mixed with the warm, melting butter and the bread soaked them up. The flavors were pure and vivid.  I think the word "revelation" is overused, but if I used it, I would use it here. It would be condescending to tell you that this dish depends on the quality of your peaches, butter (I used Kerrygold), and bread, so I won’t.

I think this might work with apricots and plums, but probably not strawberries. 


  1. You're on a roll this week! I assume you used a prepared red curry paste? Which one was it?

    1. No, no, I made the fresh curry paste I learned to make in Thailand. I'm sure if I'd used jarred the resulting curry would have been red.

  2. That dessert sounds amazeballs. What a concept! Maybe I'll make that for the kids this week.

  3. I grew up eating that dessert, only we used left over biscuits. And it is great with strawberries if you slice them up, sprinkle a little sugar over them an hour before you use them. Actually any fruit is good, but stone fruits are the best. Whipped cream on top makes it really special.

  4. I will definitely try the peaches toasts. I am deeply curious about the small sculptural props behind the glass of lemonade. Please comment. XOXOH

    1. Me too! Please tell us about the sculptures!

    2. Thank you for asking about the art. It's Owen's work. We have a big collection now of ceramic creatures that appear to be trying to emerge in agony from quicksand. A lot of hands, too.

    3. Nice! Interested to see what becomes of that interest in art.

  5. I am just checking to see if I can comment on this blog. I have been having a lot of problems with this on your blog.

  6. As someone who spends much of my work day observing, analyzing, and remediating the way my clients process sensory information, this was fascinating to read and ponder. You and Mark have radically different sensory responses to food. The depth and detail of your experience and your ability to put your responses into words are what make you into such a captivating food writer.

    I'm in Maine visiting friends. A couple of nights ago we went out for steamers and fried clams at a local joint. I was weeping and moaning with pleasure over the food ( we just don't have roadside shacks with sparkling fresh, impeccably and simply prepared wild caught seafood in NYC) and their friend, who had joined us, remarked that he was enjoying my reactions but didn't understand what I was so excited about.

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