Plantain Bread & The Wonder of Quick Loaves
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.

read more
Pückler and the Neapolitans: A History of Three-Flavor Ice Cream
Pückler and the Neapolitans: A History of Three-Flavor Ice Cream

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always thought of Neapolitan, the classic, three-layered Chocolate-Strawberry-Vanilla ice cream, as the refuge of the indecisive person. After all, why make a choice? Choosing is painful. By choosing the triple-combination of Neapolitan, or its somewhat fancier cousin, Spumoni, you get multiple options and no regret. Win! Having moved to Germany, I’ve noticed a different approach. The locals here seem to eliminate the pain of choosing by getting a standard two scoops with two different flavors on every cone and cup.

read more
A (Modern) Jazz Age Cocktail:
Recipes Travel A (Modern) Jazz Age Cocktail:

“First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you.” F. Scott Fitzgerald Say you find yourself standing on an uninhabited island among gaily costumed picnickers with a cocktail in your hand, a dance floor and orchestra before you, a pie contest to your left and the Dorothy Parker Society just behind you. Never fear. You’re probably not dreaming. You probably didn’t fall into a time warp.

read more
Bee Smart: 10 Things You Might Not Have Known About Honey

In honor of Earth Day this week, we’ll be doing the Bee Sweet Bake Sale at work to benefit honey bee research. With that in mind, I thought it might be fun to review some fascinating facts about our favorite bee-stuff: honey. Bet there’s at least a couple you didn’t know. (Unless you’re a beekeeper, in which case I really hope you do know all ten.) There are four honey grades (Grade A = Good; Grade B = Reasonably Good; Grade C = Fairly Good; Substandard = Poor), and although the USDA sets up the standards, the way a beekeeper grades honey is completely subjective.

read more
Recipes Recession Proof: Rumsford’s Soup

If you read much food writing, you may have encountered writer MFK Fisher’s notes on thrifty cuisine. In her 1942 recession-proof tome, How to Cook a Wolf she wrote of an inexpensive, nutritious meat-grain subsistence loaf (writer Jeffrey Steingarten later taste-tested that very recipe in The Man Who Ate Everything). But far earlier than that, in the late 1700s, a remarkably multi-talented scientist/inventor named [Benjamin Thompson](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Thompson “Wikipedia”) (later known as Count von Rumford) was also interested in nutritious subsistence food, which led him to the creation of Rumford Soup.

read more
Recipes Day 21: A Festive Frybread

*This post marks Day 21 of Miss Ginsu’s 2008 Advent Calendar. Since today marks the first day of Hanukkah (as well as the shortest day of the year), I thought it’d be appropriate to commemorate the miracle of the oil with a frybread recipe… a treat for anyone, really. It’s interesting to note that just about any culture that eats bread has its own version of frybread. The classic Donut. Southern Hushpuppies.

read more
Recipes Day 9: A Holiday Halva

*This post marks Day 9 of Miss Ginsu’s 2008 Advent Calendar. I find it really interesting that the Christmas season is supposed to be about the birth of Christ, and yet modern-era Christmas celebrations don’t feature anything that calls to mind the early Christian-era foods… that is, the foods of the Middle East. Rather than eating something like pita with hummus and baba ganoush or Spiced Ground Lamb, we feast on roasted turkey or baked hams for the holidays.

read more
Egg Cream: No Egg, No Cream. Still Good.

“When I was a young man, no bigger than this A chocolate egg cream was not to be missed Some U-Bet’s Chocolate Syrup, seltzer water mixed with milk Stir it up into a heady fro’, tasted just like silk You scream, I scream, We all want Egg Cream” — Lou Reed from Egg Cream If you ever move to New York — and lots of folks do just that each year — you are bound to encounter the classic beverage that goes by the name Egg Cream .

read more
Old Mr. Boston and His Bronx Cheer

Flipping through my Old Mr. Boston De Luxe Official Bartender’s Guide (1960 edition, naturally…), I was struck by how many random place names pop up in the cocktails. There’s the Alaska and Alabama cocktails, but with no explanation, Old Mr. Boston gives no such honor to Arizona or Arkansas. Baltimore gets representation in the form of both the Baltimore Bracer and the Baltimore Eggnog, but is there a Brooklyn ? No.

read more
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.

read more

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.

Know More

Social