Monday, May 17, 2010

A spring kitchen list: I've got plans

I'm a sucker for a list. I could list the things I love about lists, but I won't.

Instead I'll list what's on my spring kitchen list.

Fried anchovy-stuff olives

The Berkeley restaurant Downtown (not surprisingly located in downtown Berkeley) closed up several months ago. I was surprised: They seemed to be doing brisk lunch business from the university, and their proximity to the Berkeley Rep Theater seemed to bode well for dinner traffic. And it was a great (well, really at the time the only) place to get decent martini in that neighborhood. Their bar plate of fried anchovy-stuffed olives was the perfect accompaniment. I'm going to give it my best shot at recreating these.

Homemade ravioli

I am embarrassed to admit I registered for and received a lovely hand-crank pasta machine for our wedding twelve years ago, and I have not used it once. God, that was embarrassing to even type! But seriously, I see and occasionally buy expensive fancy raviolis with all sorts of wonderful fillings and always ponder how difficult these can be to make. And I often think that among the fillings there is one thing that I'd perhaps change. If I make my own, I'll be able to.

Pâtes de fruits

Blogger pal Laura, owner of one amazing Vermont bakery, was chatting about these on Facebook a while ago, and the idea has been wedged in my head ever since. Mine will probably turn out like little blobs instead of these tidy equal-sized cubes, but given the summer fruit on the horizon how could they not taste good?

Better macarons

I was behind a favorite food blogger but well ahead of popular media in realizing the importance of these confections. One of my favorite local bakeries does an amazing job at them—with flavors like mango, pistachio, and sea salt caramel—but when they are too busy with special orders, they often don't have time to make them, leaving me wanting to throw myself in a little heap on their floor if I've come in with my mouth watering for one. It was the only thing that could damper my enthusiasm for all the pre-proposition 8 weddings and cakes that needed baking. I bought a little kitchen scale just for making these (I don't know why, but all the recipes seems to be in grams) and have learned to produce a macaron that everyone agrees tastes great. However, I would also like them to look great, not just okay. Call me superficial.

And call me busy in my kitchen if I succeed in working down my list. But first, a confession: I've already nailed the olives (coming up next). It's one of my keys to list satisfaction: Include something you've already done.


tommie said...

I have macaroons on my short list of things to attempt to make.

First I have to close on this house and move a bit west...but THEN I will try them!

I can't wait to see how your version of these turn out.

Anonymous said...


I Love Your Whole Face said...

I want to make macaroons too. They are so pretty and colorful!