Food Finds of 2010

Each year has its own character, its own collage of memories that make it stand apart from preceding years.  These subtleties, beyond major events like moving, new babies, new jobs or trips, are many times represented by a newly discovered food or dining experience.  Some foods, just by imagining them, flood me with memories of the time, people and places involved with the discovery.  These, my Food Finds, are discoveries that are uncommonly delicious, yes, but mean something more too.  Usually they are foods I've not typically enjoyed or even made, but am now inspired to make a part my repertoire of everyday cooking.  Here are my Food Finds of 2010 - a drink, a meal,  a recipe and an ingredient.

homemade ginger ale
       Everyday People Cafe
            Douglas, Michigan

I am delighted that this refreshing and spirited drink can be made with a piece of fresh ginger and hardly anything more.  I'm experimenting with a recipe to add to the SimplyCooking® collection; to be posted when perfected.

brisket sandwich
       Winslow's Home
            University City, Missouri

I had discarded the notion of making brisket and instead buy it from Winslow's Home which makes, hands down, the most delectable version I've ever tasted.  Nothing I ever made could come close to touching it...until I tried a recipe from Amanda Hesser's newly released book, The Essential New York Times Cookbook:  Classic Recipes for a New Century.  While brisket is not on the SimplyCooking® Pantry, happily the sauce ingredients are.  Post to follow soon.

tarts
      Mastering the Art of French Cooking
            Julia Child

Summer months of 2010 were marked  by discovering how simple and infallible it is to make a tart.  I used Julia Child's recipe and learned that you can divide the pastry dough in half to make two rectangular tarts, one exactly the right size for four people, the second keeping nicely for a few days.  Spread with goat cheese and steamed vegetables or cream cheese and fresh summer berries, tarts are an exquisitely simple and delicious way to enjoy seasonal produce.  Posts on tarts will be coming this Spring.

baetje goat cheese
     Baetje Farms
          Saint Genevieve, Missouri

This world-wide award winning goat cheese is so delicious it's in a league of its own.  It's around; finding it is mostly a matter of knowing about it. I've bought Baetje's heart-shaped goat cheeses even at the antique mall nearby and Winslow's Home carries it regularly, too.  In 2010,  Cindy and I spent a summer evening at the Maplewood Farmer's Market sampling the many varieties and conspiring as to how many dishes we could incorporate Baetje goat cheese into without goat cheese-hating family members knowing.  (Many, we found out.)  Goat cheese is not currently on the SimplyCooking® Pantry, but if 2011 turns out like 2010 we might just have to add it.