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Easter’s coming and it’s time for me and my mother-in-law to make pickled eggs for the holiday. This is a tried and true recipe that my mother-in-law got from her mother. Her family comes from a long line of Pennsylvania Quaker stock. I think you see these eggs at the Amish markets in the Pennsylvania Dutch country. You need to start these beautiful orbs 10 days in advance of the day you plan to serve them. So get your mise en place and start hard boiling your eggs!Pickled Eggs

Easter Pickled Eggs
12 hard boiled eggs, peeled
2 (14.5 oz.) cans red beets
2 cups cider vinegar
1 cup sugar

In saucepan, add beets and juice from cans, vinegar, sugar. Simmer until sugar is thoroughly dissolved.
Place eggs in large heat-proof glass jar. Pour hot mixture on eggs and fill jar completely. Tap to dislodge any air bubbles.
Cover and place in refrigerator for 10 days.
Cook’s Note: if you want to halve or double the recipe, the rule of thumb is to use 1/2 cup sugar for each 14.5-oz can of beets. You can also replenish the pickling juice with fresh eggs.


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I know I’m ten days early, but I wanted to share this foodie valentine with you. If you are not familiar with Anthony Bourdain, you should pick up a copy of his latest book, Medium Raw. Billed as, “a bloody valentine to the world of food and the people who cook,” Bourdain does not disappoint his readers, who know him as a bold writer that does not know the meaning of soft-serve.

After penning his best-selling Kitchen Confidential, which, among other things, instructed us as to why we should never order fish on Monday, Bourdain has spent the past decade as a television personality and food writer. I had recently finished Medium Raw when I happened to be watching a Top Chef marathon with my daughter. In one particular episode, Bourdain appeared with Justo Thomas, a Dominican seafood butcher of whom he writes about almost reverently in chapter 18.

Thomas is a virtuoso with a fish knife. I read with fascination as Bourdain described the machine-like precision in which Thomas cut between 750-1,000 pounds of seafood a day at New York’s acclaimed Le Bernardin restaurant. According to Bourdain, when Thomas takes a vacation, it takes three men to accomplish the same task while he is away. I had recently taken a cooking class where we saw a 20-minute demo of a 28-pound halibut sliced, filleted and portioned. Thomas can zip through a fish the same size in roughly eight minutes.

After the Top Chef segment was over, I encouraged my daughter to read (at a minimum) Bourdain’s homage to Thomas. She was immediately hooked. Like me, she couldn’t put the book down. When I could hear her laugh out loud, I knew it wasn’t just me; this book was a winner.

Bourdain isn’t for everybody. He has what my mother calls a “potty mouth.” For those with “clutch-my-pearls” sensibilities, I have to warn you; this book is laced with F-bombs. That’s just the way he rolls. For those who can get past that, Bourdain does not disappoint. His stream of consciousness style is deliciously descriptive–bordering on food porn. His opinion never fails to entertain. Bourdain is one of those writers who is blessed with the ability to write without filter. He freely gives his opinion on a variety of subjects ranging from the bastardization of the hamburger, why Alice Waters is out of touch, the villainous James Beard House, and a cootie-infested Ronald McDonald. Oh, and don’t disrespect your server…

It’s a can’t-put-down read for foodies. Bourdain, now the father of a two-year-old daughter, has mellowed. Like most of us who woke up wondering how the hell we got on AARP’s mailing list, Bourdain’s life experiences have given him a unique perspective on his passion and on those who are industry “leaders.” He’s shaken the demons of youth and is here to tell us exactly what he thinks about it. Bourdain’s latest is not merely Medium Raw, it’s well done.

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Happy New Year!

Final grades are in. I’ve finished my first semester as an adjunct professor. It was much more work than I anticipated, but the ride was fun. I enjoyed working with the students and they’ve asked me to do it again next semester.

After my professorial hiatus, Plucky’s back. But I have to admit that it might be more apropos to call me the Plumpy Gastronome, as the months have taken their toll on my waistline. There’s a whole lot more of me to love and I’m gonna’ have to do something about it. The trick is to not let my weight loss aspirations throw a damper on my work here on the blog.

So suffice it to say, I’m back and plan on blogging without interruption now that I have the hang of grading papers and such. Thanks to those of you who pestered my mother for updates on my return to the blogosphere. She faithfully relayed all your words of encouragement.

It’s 2011 and time for a new culinary joyride!

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Well it’s been too long since I posted last. My teaching has proved to take up more of my time than I thought it would. This first semester is going to be a heavy load but after that, I’ll be able to do more cooking and photography.

In the meantime, I’ve opened up a Twitter account so I can still keep in touch, albeit more briefly. You can view my Twitter feed on the right side of this web page. I’ll post when I can, but in the meantime, I’ll be tweeting.

In other news: Mom’s coming for Thanksgiving! I’m gearing up to make the Faworki. Will we get it right this time? Stay tuned.

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Cookbook News!

September is here and I have news!  The cookbook is headed to the printer. Advance copies of Tea Time at Peachfield may now be ordered by visiting the Colonial Dames website. Delivery will be in early November. Your purchase helps support the Dames’ museum properties and educational programs.

In other news, I am embarking on a new adventure. I have accepted an offer to teach public relations at a local university as an adjunct faculty. I am looking forward to working with my students. I won’t be a stranger. Keep visiting!

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Runnin’ Down a Dream

Last weekend, my husband and I were invited to a very special party.  A colleague (in the words of Tom Petty),  is “runnin down a dream.” Saturday’s bash was a shakedown cruise for Damon’s new toy; an 18.5-foot custom-built trailer outfitted as a top-of-the-line kitchen.

If you are into kitchens, this thing is sweet. It’s got diamond plate throughout, refrigerator, freezer, triple sink, 750 bazillion BTUs of space shuttle range power, grill, fire suppression system and… (drum roll), a panini press. The thing is completely self-contained with power, potable and waste water, A/C and heater.  But wait… there’s more!  It’s even got a water closet for those times when a man’s gotta do, what a man’s gotta do.

Damon is a chef at the place I last worked. He’s been talking about getting this “nomadic kitchen” for months. No, he’s not giving up his day job; but Damon and his wife Terri are among those taking a pass at opening typical brick and mortar restaurants and opting for their own gourmet food truck businesses.  It’s the hot new trend in cities all across the country. Even the Food Network’s jumping on the bandwagon with their new reality food show, The Great Food Truck Race. The food coming out of these mobile kitchens is top rate. Before you know it, Zagat will be conducting reviews. Damon and Terri are now weekend food warriors.

Damon made all kinds of stuff for his guests.  One of my favorites is his red pepper panini with arugula, fresh mozzarella and balsamic glaze.  He also made a braised chicken with fennel.  I was two-fisting my way though the menu. I think I embarrassed myself.

It’s so nice to see my friends make their dream actually happen.  I wish them every success.

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I just HAD to share…

Just caught this video on Devour, the Cooking Channel’s new blog.  They posted it to commemorate Julia Child’s birthday this week. Watch closely and you can see Julia’s apron be-bopping along to the show’s intro. music behind the row of chickens…

Click and be prepared to SMILE!!!

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