Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye, 2008!


american taste fig. a: James Villas, American Taste

James Villas, American Taste

Maurice Brockway, Come Cook With Me

Jeffrey Hamelman, Bread: A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes

George Lang, The Cuisine of Hungary

Edna Lewis, The Taste of Country Cooking

Helen & Scott Nearing, The Maple Sugar Book

Marcella Hazan, Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking

nordic landscape fig. b: photo spread, Noma: Nordic Cuisine

René Redzepi and Claus Meyer, Noma: Nordic Cuisine

Secret Ingredients: The New Yorker Book of Food & Drink, ed. David Remnick

Joseph Mitchell, My Ears Are Bent & Up in the Old Hotel

Michael Pollan, The Omnivore’s Dilemma

a platter of figs fig. c: David Tanis, A Platter of Figs

David Tanis, A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes

Fuchsia Dunlop, Land of Plenty: Authentic Sichuan Recipes Personally Gathered in the Chinese Province of Sichuan

Christopher Hirsheimer and Peggy Knickerbocker, The San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market Cookbook

Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid, Mangoes and Curry Leaves: Culinary Travels Through the Great Subcontinent

John Thorne with Matt Lewis Thorne, Mouth Wide Open: A Cook and His Appetite

Kenny Shopsin and Carolynn Carreño, Eat Me: The Food and Philosophy of Kenny Shopsin

Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers, River Cafe Cook Book Easy

postcards by Sandy Plotnikoff

(pretty much all of) The Food Issue, The New Yorker, November 24, 2008

George Eliot, Middlemarch

Adam Gollner, The Fruit Hunters


Benji Aronoff, The Two Sides of Benji Aronoff + “Lovesick”

endless boogie 2 fig. d: gimme the awesome!

Endless Boogie, Focus Level

Big Star, “September Girls”

V/A, Fight On, Your Time Ain’t Long

Bruce Springsteen, "Atlantic City"

Selda, S/T

shadow music fig. e: shadow music

V/A, Shadow Music of Thailand

Destroyer, Trouble in Dreams + Destroyer @ Club Lambi

Cat Power, “Metal Heart," Jukebox and Moon Pix

The Clean, Compilation

Creedence Clearwater Revival, S/T

de Kayes fig. f: ORdK

Orchestre Régionale de Kayes, The Best of the First Biennale of Arts and Culture for the Young

Kim Jung Mi, Now

V/A, Nigeria Special: Modern Highlife, Afro-Sounds & Nigerian Blues, 1970-1976

Wolf Parade, At Mount Zoomer + live @ the Ancienne Belgique, Brussels

Black Mountain, In The Future

Feist, “Sealion”

Tindersticks, The Hungry Saw

Alice Cooper, “I’m Eighteen”

Dead Science + The Witchies @ Zoobizarre

Nick Cave & Warren Ellis, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

Moving Images

My Winnipeg, dir. Maddin

Man on Wire, dir. Marsh

dunn's famous smoked meat fig. g: Memories of Angels

Memories of Angels, dir. Bourdon

Freaks & Geeks

Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired, dir. Zenovich

The Red Shoes, dir. Powell

king of kong fig. h: King of Kong

The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, dir. Gordon

The Office (seasons 2, 3, 4)

Holiday, dir. Cukor

peekaboo fig. i: peekaboo!

Love in the Afternoon, dir. Wilder

finishing The Sopranos

finishing The Wire

Death in the Garden, dir. Buñuel

Up the Yangtze, dir. Chang

Joy Division, dir. Gee

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, dir. Dominik

Food & drink

Col. Newsom’s country ham, Kentucky

mustard shop 3 fig. j: Vve Tierenteyn-Verlent, Ghent

Vve Tierenteyn-Verlent mustard, Ghent

Het Hinkel Spel cheese co-op, Ghent

A & A Bake & Doubles Shop, Brooklyn

Pizza Moto, Brooklyn

café sabarsky 2 fig. k: Café Sabarsky

Café Sabarsky, NYC

La Bonne Humeur, Brussels

Les Brassins, Brussels

Cantillon, Brussels

Moroccan crêpes at Marché du Midi, Brussels

Frit Flagey, Brussels

Mamma Roma, Brussels

Comus & Gasterea, Brussels

AEB cavolo nero fig. l: AEB greens

gombo zhèbes

Graziella, Montreal

McKiernan & Joe Beef, Montreal

Salle à Manger, Montreal

Bistro Bienville, Montreal

Chez Roger Bistro, Montreal

Michelle's Chunk-E-Nut Caramel Corn

Peanut-Butter Destroyers

James Villas’ “All Debate Is Over” Fried Chicken

Crab rolls

corn chowder fig. m: corn chowder

Corn Chowder

Pettinicchi olive oil

Manic Coffee, Toronto

Gandhi, Toronto

zeppoles at La Cornetteria, Montreal

La Caprese fig. n: torta alla caprese

Torta alla Caprese

in memoriam: John Kinik, 1938-2008


Sunday, December 28, 2008

get in while the getting's good

menu for hope 5 fig. a: logo

For those of who you didn't receive the memo (and we here at " endless banquet" apologize for not forwarding it earlier), Menu For Hope 5 has been extended until December 31st, so if you haven't had a chance to make a $10 (or more) donation to enter the draw (and help support the UN World Food Programme), there's still time.

maple sugaring 2 fig. b: "Yeah, that's right, it says, 'one sprig of thyme.'"

Yes, that's right, you still have three days to try and win our DIY Sugar Shack Special (prize code: CA03), or any one of a number of other amazing prizes.

Do the right thing.


Friday, December 19, 2008

Bringing it all back home

It's that time of year again.

good cheer 2 fig. a: good cheer!

So you send out your invites,

old no. 301 fig. b: ole No. 301

and you settle on a centrepiece (real sugar-cured country ham*) and a theme (Southern).

Then you put together your menu:

Glazed and baked country ham (Turner Ham House, Fulks Run, VA)
Shaved country ham (Col. Newsom's ole No. 301)
Buttermilk biscuits
Shrimp & Oyster Gumbo
Vegetarian gumbo
Oysters Rockefeller
Pimento cheese
Artichoke dip
Deviled eggs
Poor man's caviar
Cheese straws
Pickled corn
Spiced nuts

Rum punch

Dark fruitcake
Light fruitcake
Ginger snaps

michelle's huîtres fig. c: Michelle's huîtres

Oysters figure prominently on the menu, so you find yourself two small cases of oysters (one 24-count, one 48-count), and you roll up your sleeves and begin shucking and cooking up a storm.

Baked Artichoke Dip

I cup mayonnaise
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1 13 3/4-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 to 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
3 tbsp unseasoned breadcrumbs
1 tsp olive oil

Preheat the oven to 400º F. Stir the mayonnaise, the Parmesan, and the onions together in a medium bowl. Pulse the artichokes in a food processor until finely chopped. Stir the artichokes into the cheese mixture and add the lemon juice and the black pepper and mix well.

Scrape the artichoke mixture into a small baking dish. Combine the breadcrumbs and the olive oil and sprinkled them overtop. Bake until the top is browned, about 20 minutes.

Serve with crackers or toast.

[recipe from The All New All Purpose Joy of Cooking, by Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer, and Ethan Becker]

Baked Country Ham

1 whole 15-pound country ham
10 bay leaves
2 tbsp mustard seeds
3 cups cider vinegar
24 whole cloves
1 cup dark brown sugar

special equipment: a large stock pot capable of holding the entire ham

Clean your country ham with a stiff brush under warm running water. Place the ham in your stockpot and fill it with just enough water to cover the ham (it's okay if the ham hock protrudes above the water). Let the ham soak for 24 hours, changing the water as often as possible, ideally a minimum of four times.

Change the water a final time and transfer the pot to your stovetop. Add the bay leaves, the mustard seeds, and the vinegar and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to medium and simmer for 3 hours (or until the internal temperature of the ham reaches 160º F), topping up, as necessary, with fresh water.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375º F.

Remove the ham from the stockpot and turn off the heat. When the ham is cool enough to handle, shave off the skin (but not that beautiful layer of fat characteristic of a country ham) with a sharp knife. Score the fat and exposed flesh in a diagonal pattern, stud it with a single clove in the center of each scored diamond, and pat in thoroughly on all sides with the brown sugar.

Place the ham in a roasting pan and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the fat has crisped and the sugar has melted into a lovely glaze. Let the ham rest on a cooling rack for 15 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and carve.

Serve with buttermilk biscuits and plenty of fixings (mustard, pickled corn, etc.).

[adapted ever so slightly from The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook]

Southern Odyssey Mix

Preheat stereo to 450º F.

In a computer or MP-3 playing device of your choosing, mix together about 200 of your favorite Southern hits, especially all those having to do with Southern food and Southern drink (like Elvis Presley's "Crawfish," Dusty Springfield's "Willie & Laura Mae Jones," Bob Wills' "Roly Poly," Betty Davis' "They Say I'm Different," Memphis Minnie's "Good Biscuits," Hank Williams, Sr.'s "Jambalaya," Ann Peebles' "99 Pounds," Koko Taylor's "Wang Dang Doodle," Ted Hawkins' "There Stands the Glass," and so on). Mix well.

Place in stereo and bake for 6-7 hours, or until guests are fully loaded.

& c.

Invite 40-50 of your closest friends, and ask them to bring their own bottle to augment the festivities, as well as a canned food donation for a worthy charity (in this case, Dans la rue).

Hello, Abner! fig. d: Hello, Abner!

If you're lucky, your guests might arrive bearing gifts, like Abner Bauman's summer sausage from rural Ontario,

camilla's surprises 2 fig. e: C's candies

or C's gorgeous assortment of homemade/handmade candies (including my two favorites: Aunt Bill's Brown Candy and Neapolitan Strips).

If you're really lucky, you might just have enough baked ham left over to make some AEB ham & cheese sandwiches, the sandwich Michelle promptly declared "the best sandwich I've ever eaten!"

AEB ham & cheese fig. f: AEB ham & cheese

AEB Ham & Cheese Sandwich

fresh Portuguese rolls
leftover baked ham
red onion, sliced into rounds
thinly sliced cheddar cheese
strong mustard (preferably Vve Tierenteyn-Verlen brand)
pickled corn

Compose and devour. Repeat as needed.

She ain't kidding. That Turner country ham's robust, gamy flavor plus that powerful, horseradish-y mustard, the pickled corn, and the bit of raw onion, makes for a ham & cheese sandwich that'll get up and talk to you.

how 'bout them apples? fig. g: how 'bout them apples?

And if you're especially lucky your generous guests will bring you enough canned goods to fill two large boxes, because as great as it is to participate in an event like Menu for Hope 5, it's important to try attending to the situation at home too.

Happy holidays! Eat well! Be well!


ps--TY to all our generous guests!

* Which, in spite of what non-believers will try to tell you, if they're prepared according to time-honored Southern tradition (like both of our hams were), are 100% sodium nitrate- and nitrite-FREE.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Menu for Hope 5, rev. ed.

menu for hope 5

In honor of Menu for Hope's fifth anniversary, as well as the 2008 release of Au Pied de Cochon: The Album in paperback (the original hardback edition was published in 2006 to celebrate Au Pied de Cochon's fifth anniversary), " endless banquet" would like to present its DIY Sugar Shack Special for this year's Menu for Hope.

PDC sugar shack fig. a: PDC Sugar Shack

Of course, sugaring off season is still a few months off, but this do-it-yourself sugar shack kit will allow you to brave the winter of 2009 with plenty of genuine Québécois joie de vivre wherever you live, from Kitchener to Kathmandu.

Au Pied de Cochon:  The Album (Paperback Edition) fig. b: The Album

You'll get one copy of Martin Picard & Co.'s indie cookbook sensation, Au Pied de Cochon: The Album (now published in paperback by the venerable firm of Douglas & McIntyre), plus all the basics to throw your own DIY Sugar Shack Party. It's fun, it's heart-warming, it's seasonal, and it'll stick to your bones!

the greatest fig. c: find out why they call him The Greatest

What exactly is in AEB's DIY Sugar Shack Special? Well, here's an itemized list of the contents:

1 x copy Au Pied de Cochon: The Album, paperback edition ($40 CAN)

1 x can real Quebec maple syrup ($7)

1 x jar AEB ketchup aux fruits ($6)

1 x maple candy lollipop ($1)

1 x Sugar Shack/Shock Party mix CD, by DJ Oreilles de Crisse (priceless)

estimated retail value: you do the math.

AND we will ship anywhere in the world.

Interested? The prize code for our DIY Sugar Shack Special is: CA03

Remember, it only costs $10 to enter the draw, and all proceeds go to the UN World Food Programme.

Want to see all the other Canadian prizes? Visit Meena at Hooked on Heat.

Want to see the complete list of Menu for Hope prize packs from around the world? Not familiar with Menu for Hope and how it works? See Chez Pim for all the details.

Once you've selected the prize or prizes you want to bid on, just go to the First Giving's webpage and it's easy as 1-2-3.

Still don't get it? Here are the official donation Instructions:

1. Choose a prize or prizes of your choice from our Menu for Hope at Chez Pim.

2. Go to the donation site at and make a donation.

3. Each $10 you donate will give you one raffle ticket toward a prize of your choice. Please specify which prize you'd like in the 'Personal Message' section in the donation form when confirming your donation. You must write-in how many tickets per prize, and please use the prize code.

For example, a donation of $50 can be 2 tickets for EU01 and 3 tickets for EU02. Please write 2xEU01, 3xEU02

4. If your company matches your charity donation, please check the box and fill in the information so we could claim the corporate match.

5. Please allow us to see your email address so that we could contact you in case you win. Your email address will not be shared with anyone.

Happy holidays and give giving a chance.


ps--Additional bonus: Sure, you get a back cover blurb by my namesake, Anthony Bourdain, but you also get one by Yours Truly, from my 2006 Gourmet Magazine (online edition) review. Check it out!

PDC back cover blurbs fig. d: PDC: The Album back cover blurbs

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Top Ten #27

selda! fig. a: Selda!

1. Selda

2. Horses & Men, Sherwood Anderson

3. weekends in the Catskills

4. country ham & biscuits

man on wire fig. b: Philippe!

5. Man on Wire, dir. James Marsh

6. Café Sabarsky, New York

dunn's famous smoked meat fig. c: Dunn's!

7. Memories of Angels, dir. Luc Bourdon

8. Brooklyn Flea Market

9. La Bonne Humeur, Brussels

patman! fig. d: Patman!

10. V/A, The Art of Field Recording, vol. 1