Plantain Bread & The Wonder of Quick Loaves

For some reason, I especially love recipes that turn old or ugly fruit and vegetables from trash to treasure. It’s almost like getting something for free. Rubbery zucchini? Zucchini Bread! Black, squishy bananas? Banana Bread! Dented Eggplant? Make Baba Ganoush! Bruised apples or strawberries? Perfect for a quick fruit sauce. When we had two soft, black plantains that were surplus to requirements for our Cuban dinner, I assumed they’d be a good addition to a quick bread, and I was more than thrilled with the result....

Drinking Like a Viking: How to Make a Mead
Recipes How to Drinking Like a Viking: How to Make a Mead

Apparently, it’s the American Homebrewer’s Association Mead Day. And as it’s sweltering summertime out there, I can’t think of a better day to highlight the pleasures of DIY beverages, not to mention the plight of agricultural honeybees. Though oft dismissed as the stuff of Ren Fairs and the creative anachronism crowd, mead is actually not that difficult to do at home. And (bonus!) being a generous homebrewer is guaranteed to make you immediately popular in your neighborhood and totally valuable after the apocalypse.

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Spiced Ginger Peach Pie: When You’re Mad for Peaches
Recipes Spiced Ginger Peach Pie: When You’re Mad for Peaches

With July now ripe and full, it seems like the whole world is tipping at the brink of peach madness. Over at the White On Rice Couple blog, one finds adorable dogs licking peaches. I personally just received 15 juicy little darlings in last night’s CSA box. They’re about to become peach compote or maybe just peaches sliced into yogurt if only I can keep myself from devouring them all in a dripping, fleshy mess over the sink.

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Recession-Proof Recipes: La Crepe Complete
Recipes Recession-Proof Recipes: La Crepe Complete

Last week’s Recession-Proof Recipe examined stock and gave a fast variation for Pho. Pho is some of my favorite simple peasant food, and this week, I’d like to take an economical eating cue from yet another group of peasants. Like yesterday’s cassoulet, a humble country casserole that’s often elevated beyond its original station, the sometimes pretentiously presented French crêpe is essentially just a thin pancake with tasty tidbits rolled up inside it.

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Apricots, Apriums, Plumcots, Pluots & Plums
Recipes Apricots, Apriums, Plumcots, Pluots & Plums

Am I the only one that’s confused by exactly what the difference is between a pluot and a plumcot? Heck… It was only very recently that I discovered the existence of the aprium . As it turns out, pluots and apriums aren’t just recently popularized fruits. They’re the result of hard work by the Zaiger family of Modesto, California, who for the last 30 years or so, have been quietly marrying apricots and plums — among other stone fruits — in an effort to create crazy new fruits (with Zaiger-registered trademarks, of course) for the marketplace.

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My Big Fat Granola Epiphany
Recipes My Big Fat Granola Epiphany

Sometimes, I’m just rolling along with my life and I’m suddenly hit upside the head with the realization I’ve been doing something completely silly for years. Case in point: Granola. Why have I been buying granola? I feel like such a dope for having paid Kellogg’s to make a substandard version of it for me. And speaking of big American companies, granola actually is a very American invention. By now, granola has made its way into health food stores across the world, but interestingly, it was invented in a little town in western New York as a health food for a sanitarium.

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The Tomato Sandwich. Simple. Succulent. Summer-y
Recipes The Tomato Sandwich. Simple. Succulent. Summer-y

Anything you’re forced to eat over the sink or off the edge of the deck is a sign of a life well-lived. Case in point: the Summer Tomato Sandwich. My landlord leaves tomatoes and cucumbers on the ledge of my kitchen windowsill. A neighborhood blessing. These very welcome offerings arrive mysteriously, no fanfare, as if on the wings of fairies, so it seems appropriate that they should make their way into my meals in a whimsical, offhand fashion.

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About Me

Miss Ginsu is a nom-nom-nom de plume of Leitha Matz, who worked at Tabla and FreshDirect in NYC, wrote about the food scene from 2004 to 2009 in Brooklyn and presently lives in Berlin. Occasionally seen on TV cooking segments, Leitha has also written for FreshDirect, contributed to Cee Cee Berlin, The Food52 Cookbook and has been interviewed/quoted in The Food Keeper as well as The Washington Times and Salon.

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