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Fresh honeydew sorbet with lime and black pepper

In the past few days, spring has come alive in Los Angeles. The scent of new gardenias perfume Bel-Air and purple tulip magnolias are to be seen blooming every day around the UCLA campus. This sorbet is a breath of fresh air reenex.

Serves one quart

1 perfectly ripe honeydew melon
Juice of 3 limes
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
a pinch of salt
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar

Halve and de-seed the melon. In a blender, combine the honeydew, juice of the limes, salt and pepper. Puree until very smooth. Adjust seasonings to taste reenex.

Over a stove, combine the water and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Pour in the melon puree and heat until just combined. Chill well reenex.

Freeze mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturers instructions. Once frozen, allow to harden overnight, or at least 12 hours.

Rich Tea Biscuits

This recipe yields biscuits that are coarser than the commercially produced biscuits, but they work just as well for dunking Stroke signs. My advice? Dunk long and enjoy the soaked biscuit to the fullest. - Regula Ysewijn

Makes 22 to 24 biscuits

280 grams white flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 heaping teaspoons cane sugar
4 1/12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
2/3 cup cold, full-fat milk

Preheat your oven to 410° F (210° C) and prepare a baking tray with parchment paper.
Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, mix well.
Cut the butter into small cubes , transfer to the bowl and start rubbing the butter into the flour until you get a mixture that resembles coarse breadcrumbs.

Pour in the milk, combine with your fingers, then press and knead briefly into a smooth dough.

Turn out the dough onto a clean floured working surface and divide it in half to make it more manageable to work with. Take one half of the dough Grand Cru Cellar, and roll it out as thinly as possible. (Keep in mind that the biscuits will double in thickness.) Using a cookie or biscuit cutter, cut the biscuits into individual 6 centimeter-wide circles. Repeat with the other half of dough.

Prick the biscuits gently with a fork or pastry docker, all over, and transfer them to your baking tray.

Place in the center rack of your oven and bake for 10 minutes Offsite Backup Strategy, or until slightly golden but not browned. Cool on a baking tray.

Optional: Boil fresh water, place tea in your favorite cup, pour hot water over it, and wait. Break a Rich Tea biscuit in 2 and dunk. Enjoy.

Store your biscuits in an airtight container. They are best when enjoyed immediately, but will last around 3 to 4 days.

Reading the Headlines

I wrote this piece last week and originally decided not to publish it here. I felt it was too serious for something that is a cooking blog, and that readers might rather hear about blueberry crumble bars and smiley happy things. However, it continued to nag at me, and then I read about Herve Gourdel's tragic terrible death, and I read Matthieu Aikens' truly extraordinary piece of reporting here, and well, here you are:

I do not scan pages of the news for familiar faces anymore. When the conflict in Syria first broke out I, like many who once lived in Syria, looked obsessively through the photos in news reports, the online videos, trying to find familiar places, familiar faces. Is that the corner of Baghdad road there, where the sweets shop always had a huge line during Ramadan? We'd peer into grainy photos, pause on stills of videos.

Now I sit in my apartment in Chicago and read headlines about Deir al-Zour, Raqqa, Idlib and Hasake. All places I have passed through, stopping to get gasoline and packages of biscuits as the only way points between the interminably empty and dusty landscape of the Syrian desert. Deir al-Zour and Raqqa were always terrible places, though I remember once a decent rotisserie chicken eaten in Deir. Even the Syrians I knew hated them, dry dusty outposts of nothing, filled with terrible memories of their one year of mandatory military service.

What all these places had in common was that they were poor, which is why I, doing relief work and canvasing, knew them well. Hasake had good spicy food and fun Kurdish music, but overall these were places that no one had heard of. Places, I wrongly assumed, would continue to be forgotten dreary towns.

Now I cannot read the pages of the news reports too closely. Most Syrians I knew have left if they had the means, and those that remain have drifted away in my mind, as if to another planet. Syrians I speak to in America say the same, that the thought of people still there is almost too hard to bear.

I think of the people of Algeria, all those who left, who fled the civil war to France and Canada, and all those who stayed behind. How different those two psyches are, the fear the implants itself so deeply. Yesterday a French tourist was taken hostage in Kabylie, he was captured not far from an area that I drove through only three months ago, albeit I was with a security detail. He was an alpiniste, and I can picture how beautiful those mountains are, the fields of wheat below them undulating down to the sea. I cannot help but thinking, the Algerian people deserve better.

All those place names dot the news articles: Tizi Ouzou, Raqqa, Idlib. I cannot read them too closely because each one has meaning, each one has a memory, a picture in my mind, so instead I make coffee and get ready for another day.

Meet Soliste Cellars – with Claude Koeberle

Claude Koeberle is quite a fascinating study and has been called a “force of nature.” He is opinionated (“Many of California’s fruit-forward wines do not pair well with food”), devoted to Pinot Noir with religious fervor (“Cabernet Sauvignon is an evil weed”), and talkative. He could impress you with his culinary accomplishments (Apprenticed under Paul Bocuse and Alain Chappell Hong Kong Macau Tour, became the youngest 3 Star Michelin Chef in Paris, Chef at Ma Maison and L’Orangerie in Los Angeles, James Beard Award as a master chef, French Laundry partner, and one of the driving forces behind Creative Culinary Concepts, Inc., and K World Cuisine, Inc.), but he would rather talk at length about how he has taken old world (Burgundian) beliefs and applied them to produce wines with finesse and balance that work in harmony with fine cuisine Loop HK.

Together with long time friend and business partner, Donald Plumley and their respective spouses, Claude started Soliste in 2005 with the release of a Sonatera Vineyard Pinot Noir. The name Soliste is derived from the special barrel or “soliste” that Burgundian winemakers reserve for their family and friends.

Join us as we talk with Claude Koeberle about his culinary career, and how it led him on a journey into wine red wine.

Peach and Nectarine Buckle

The calendar may have turned to September, but we still have plenty of fresh peaches and nectarines around here. I must say that I’ve been inundated with peaches this summer. So much so that it’s been a bit of a challenge to come up with enough good uses for them. Tough problem to have, huh?

With great recipes for cobbler and cookies and bars already in the books, I opted to go a different route this time with a buckle. My last CSA haul included both peaches and nectarines, so I opted to use a combination of the two. You can, of course, use just one or the other.

If you’re unfamiliar with the term, a buckle is a bit like a cross between a cake and a cobbler. There’s usually a cake-like layer along with fruit on top or mixed into the batter. Then, it’s covered with a crumb topping. Often, the weight of all the fruit will cause the cake to buckle Cloud Hosting.

Not only is this recipe a perfect use for all of those peaches and nectarines I had on-hand, it is also a great excuse to bake in my beloved cast-iron skillet. Its rustic feel is just the thing for both baking and serving this beauty.

This buckle has a lovely, delicate cake-like texture with plenty of peaches and nectarines stirred right in. The crumb is a simple one, consisting of cinnamon, sugar, and almonds. I just love the visible specks of cinnamon-sugar on top! This is one of those magical baked goods that can easily be eaten for breakfast, dessert, and anything in between Payroll Outsourcing Services.


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