Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Heat report

This week we discussed Bill Buford's Heat : an amateur's adventures as kitchen slave, line cook, pasta maker, and apprentice to a Dante-quoting butcher in Tuscany. Some folks thought it was just hilarious and delicious and gobbled it up, but others found the writing style to be disjointed and unorganized and couldn't finish it. Overall the group found it entertaining and appetizing.

There was some question as to what happened to Mario's restaurants in the book, and to judge by his website they are all doing just fine!

Karen cooked ricotta cheese ravioli with carmalized onions.

Katie made cappellacci filled with sweet potatoes and parsley served with butter and cream sauce from The Classic Italian Cookbook by Marcella Hazan.

Katie S. made homemade pasta with fennel pollen, orange zest and goat cheese.

Dawn brought bocconcini, coppa, cappielio, olives and fresh Italian bread from Borracchini's Bakery in Seattle.

Heather brought bread and delicious Irish butter and olive and balsamic vinegar.

Julie brought Pasta Peas & Pesto.

Sheri brought Pasta e Fagioli - Mario's recipe from the Food Network.

Tanya brought marinaded vegetables, including mushrooms, white asparagus and artichoke hearts.

For show and tell, Julie shared her new herb scissors.

There was also discussion about clafouti, a French cherry dessert that someone will have to make for next time!

Overall it was a very enjoyable discussion and meal!

Next month we are traveling to a different region of Italy for A Thousand Days in Venice. We are short on copies, so please return yours to the library as soon as you finish!

See you next month!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Interesting Volunteer Opportunity

Deborah sent me a link to this cool project the New York Public Library is doing:

With approximately 40,000 menus dating from the 1840s to the present, The New York Public Library’s restaurant menu collection is one of the largest in the world, used by historians, chefs, novelists and everyday food enthusiasts. Trouble is, the menus are very difficult to search for the greatest treasures they contain: specific information about dishes, prices, the organization of meals, and all the stories these things tell us about the history of food and culture.

To solve this, we’re working to improve the collection by transcribing the menus, dish by dish. Doing this will allow us to dramatically expand the ways in which the collection can be researched and accessed, opening the door to new kinds of discoveries. We’ve built a simple tool that makes the transcribing pretty easy to do, but it’s a big job, so we need your help. Feeling hungry?

You can volunteer to transcribe these delicious lists! Find out more here.