Thursday, October 24, 2013

Krusteaz Crew Pancakes

If you have to make pancakes for 70 high school rowers I give a big thumbs up to Krusteaz Pancake Mix.. easy and fast to mix, just add water until its like runny milkshake and ladle, spoon, pour from bowl, however you want to do it.. these were done really quickly with the same mixing spoon and not very pretty or consistent but at 730 am with many mouths to feed and other stuff to cook up I was not too worried about what the mom's thought.  So if you don't mind the loose technique and the grill is at  the right temperature, you can do 70-80 in 20 min. and the right temp is had by using a camp chef stove and griddle, huge BTU output in both heat and surface area of flame, very important when working a griddle.  I will be manning my griddle next Sunday on the banks of the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia for yet another early morning cookout for our crew, rain or shine.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Homage to Oreo - you know you want one

2013 Oreo

Maybe I am just a contrarian but ever since I heard the press play up the mice/cocaine/oreo tests it just increased my desire to go buy a pack.  There will come a day when Bloomberg is just a faded memory and we may not be able to get our Oreo fix...but not today.  I bought a pack at Fairway in Stamford, CT just to protest the silliness of it all.  If you missed it then a big never mind, it is not worth your time.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Craft beers

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

American beer is in full renaissance, ale, lager, stout, wheat, etc..
The first wave was the microbrewery movement of the 90's and California was ground zero giving me first hand knowledge of many of the small start-up brews... some of which have grown to be not-so-micro.  Now we are into the Craft beer era and I say bring it on.  The movement has been toward the meatier brews..pale ales to heavy full stouts, with bitters and rye in the mix. Brooklyn, Hudson Valley, are all perking with new brews... I just learned today of a couple more breweries that have started in the last year or so north of Manhattan, both in the Bronx.  I intend to track them down and giv'em a go.  There is something very autumnal about a good full I say bring them on.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Farm to Table

Rhode Island Red hen @ Stone Barns Center

The Hens at Stone Barns Center are free range...they have a large area to roam that is bordered by movable fences so they lead a nomadic life feeding off whatever feed they get and the natural indigenous plants growing in their temporary fields as seen here.  I have just been through 2 dozen of the eggs and they were wonderful.  If you don't know Stone Barns then check out their website. They are leaders in the "farm to table" concept which I witnessed last week first hand.   

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Camp Pumpkin Pie

October is awesome here in the northeast, a perfect day to participate in a scout cook-off out in the woods.. woods that are in the throws of changing from green to orange and yet the weather here is still mild, shirtsleeves, did I say perfect?  So how could I resist the scout leader category of Dutch Oven Dessert?  It has been a long while since I made a pumpkin pie from scratch and I have never attempted a scratch dutch oven pie so it was game on. Okay, due to time constraints at the cook-off, I cooked and pureed the pumpkin last night at home (I love that Blendtec), but otherwise the crust was mixed, kneaded and baked in the cast iron dutch oven using only charcoal for top and bottom heat. Also I used 4 Rhode Island Red eggs from Stone Barns in the filling which is a whole separate story... the eggs of these free ranging chickens are awesome.
Finally I had my scouts as horsepower to whip my unsweetened cream up.. using a mason jar with a white wine cork placed inside, they took turns and in 7 minutes had a perfect consistency, this was topped with ground nutmeg.
 If you fancy the 6 buck costco pies that are out now, then you would not like this one..and I would not call it the end-all of pies, but it is from scratch out in the woods and came out to my liking, really nice. Subtle, sweet, fattening and organic..what is there not to like? Food Sylists need not answer this.