On Brooklyn Home Brewing and Hopping with Anticipation
On Brooklyn Home Brewing and Hopping with Anticipation

Remember the anticipation of childhood? The upcoming birthday. Christmas morning. Summer camp. Children are capable of an eagerness so passionate, you can almost watch them vibrate when they ponder certain approaching moments. Of course, we soon learn that the anticipation is often strangely sweeter than the ultimate gratification. But I must admit, I’m feeling some great, giddy excitement since visiting the Brooklyn Flea recently and picking up one of Brooklyn Brew Shop’s dandy little homebrew beer kits.

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Recipes Stuffed Eggplants

I’ve been off on a bit of a Claudia Roden kick for the past couple of weeks, and I must admit it’s an awfully tasty kick to be off on. In case you don’t know who she is, let me just put in a word for her classic The New Book of Middle Eastern Food — an impressive culinary resource. I love the way she breaks down recipes to discuss how ingredients and preparations differ a little in the different cultural versions of the same dish.

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Miss Ginsu, Meet… Ginsu

Any longtime readers may remember I had a spot of trouble last year with a fellow who wasn’t keen on my use of the name Miss Ginsu . As it turned out, one of the execs at Quikut, the company who owns the Ginsu name saved the day, and this little food blog lived on. Yay! And now, suprise, surprise… that very same Quikut executive just sent over an actual set of Ginsu knives for me to check out.

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Testing Six Different Fizzy Waters

My friend’s daughter calls sparkling mineral water “busy water” (a take on fizzy water, I believe). It seems quite appropriate to me: bubbly water is liquid on the move. It’s the busiest water you’re going to find. As much as I adore New York Tap, I also happen to be a big fan of the sparkling stuff. It replaces soda pop as a recreational beverage for me (no calories, no sugar, lotsa fizz!

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Travel Sipping Italy’s Cups of Gold

Based around its fresh, local ingredients, Italy clearly boasts one of the world’s greatest cuisines. That said, it’s not difficult for a hungry traveler to find a soggy slice of pizza, a vile vino or a poorly treated plate of pasta. Having just returned from a week in the regions of Lazio and Abruzzo, I can attest to a wide range of quality on offer. But Italian coffee is a different story altogether.

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Recipes Banana Cream Pie: An Endangered Food

Last week on the radio program Fresh Air, Terry Gross announced that she’d interviewed Dan Koeppel, the author of Banana:The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World . Hearing that, I almost turned the radio off. “Really?” I wondered, “Does the world actually need another single-word-title history book?” Consider just a sampling of the single-subject history genre: Tobacco. Mayflower. Cod. Salt. Hotel. Gin. Rum. Citrus. Spice. After the diva word, you’ll find that many of these have big, blustery subtitles.

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Recipe Rock Star #4: Tools make the chef

The Recipe Rock Star is a cooking tutorial series. We’ve covered one focused minute, mise en place and the importance of quality. Feel free to read them in whatever order you wish. Moving on… Recipe Rock Star Lesson #4: Tools make the chef In a professional kitchen setting, those who clock into work with dull knives have doomed themselves to an 8- to 13-hour shift of culinary hell. Delicate herbs will be crushed, not sliced, beneath a shoddy blade.

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Washing Your Vegetables: No Rubber Duck Necessary

Thanks to a recent Organic foods piece from Consumer Reports there’s new hubbub about pesticide residue. The folks I work with are all in a froth because public attention on conventional food pesticides means more organic food sales (higher profit margins) and an opportunity to upsell a commercial fruit & vegetable wash. I’ve always been a fan of produce washing (albeit not a compulsive one… an apple purchased from a fruit vendor on the street generally gets a vigorous rub on my clothing before consumption), and I worship my salad spinner.

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Dinner Goes Sci-Fi

Oh, no! Cap’in! It’s got the FISH! I know, I know… You thought the future of food came in pill form, like the ones they popped on the Jetsons. All your nutritional needs met in one tiny, utilitarian package. No joy. No flavor. No chewing. No socializing. Just three squares a day condensed into hard, gray pills. Granted, you don’t have your flying car or your robot maid, but aren’t you glad you were so very wrong about that food thing?

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Passion du Jour: The Mukka Express

One of my coworkers came into work this morning raving about this (warning… you’ll have to try not to be put off by the silly cow print): The Bialetti“Mukka Express” It’s apparently a cappuccino maker with a pressure-system frother that makes really lovely drinks. He says it’s amazing and I’m pretty interested based on the price (a fraction of the cost of those behemoth machines) the size (petite! perfect for cramped nyc apartments!

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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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