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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Garden of Eve Farm Trip III: How to plan CSA Shares
Garden of Eve Farm Trip III: How to plan CSA Shares

As city-based CSA member, I’m on the receiving end of a long process. Vegetables, fruit, flowers and eggs just magically show up every week at my CSA drop-site in Brooklyn, leaving me with very vague notions of the machinations behind the mesclun mix. A recent trip out to my CSA source, Garden of Eve Farm, finally unveiled some of the hard work and careful planning that go into each bulb of fennel and head of cabbage I nestle into my weekly totebag of goodies.

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Garden of Eve Farm Trip II: The Antique Roadshow
Garden of Eve Farm Trip II: The Antique Roadshow

All-Crop Combine in the back, New Holland (a seeder, I think) up in the front. One of the most interesting things I learned while visiting Garden of Eve Farm just recently is the way that small-scale organic veggie farmers like Chris and Eve are looking to the technology of yesterday to help them streamline their work today. When you really think about it, this makes sense. It wasn’t until after WWII that American farmers started using industrial pesticides and fertilizers.

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Garden of Eve Farm Trip I: Farming Farmstands and CSA Sales
Garden of Eve Farm Trip I: Farming Farmstands and CSA Sales

Having been a CSA member for many years, it’s my great shame that I’ve only just visited the source of my delicious veggies. Thankfully, now I’ve been there and back, returning with armfuls of fun things to share. But first, a little context: Garden of Eve Farm spreads out across 120 acres on Long Island near the Long Island Sound. They farm a variety of fruits, vegetables, flowers and honey, and they supply a farmstand, as well as farmers market sales and CSA shares that are delivered to New York City and Long Island.

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Old World vs New World: a Ricotta Comparison
Old World vs New World: a Ricotta Comparison

I was up at Coach Farm with some of my coworkers in Upstate New York last Friday. In the days since, I’ve been trying to wrangle all the video clips together into a watchable form. Thus far, I’ve got a quick video that illustrates how they’re doing a brand-new product: ricotta cheese. If you’re a cheese person, you already know that ricotta is a classically useful product for cheesemakers because it’s made with the cast-offs of the cheesemaking process: the whey.

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Video Treat: Dual Lion Dance in Chinatown
Video Treat: Dual Lion Dance in Chinatown

On a quest for a golden ox in Chinatown today, I ran into two lions. No lie. These things happen in Chinatown. Sadly, I didn’t find the golden ox I was seeking (not every quest ends in success) but you can see the lions for yourself — I caught them on video. The dancers are from New York United Lion & Dragon Dance Troupe. I particularly like the way they flick their ears and pay attention to lion-like mannerisms.

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Video Treat: Saxelby’s Snazzy Cheese Sandwich
Recipes Video Treat: Saxelby’s Snazzy Cheese Sandwich

This savory little treat is overdue, but tasty nevertheless… and since it’s an ideal choice for New Year’s Eve appetizers, I think now’s the right time to unveil it. Behold! Snazzy grilled cheese as done by Anne Saxelby, charming monger of the Essex Street Market. This video was captured at this year’s NYC International Pickle Festival, back when short sleeved shirts and light summer dresses were appropriate attire. (Oh, how I pine for the sun!

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Barbecue for a Thousand People
Barbecue for a Thousand People

It’s not every you get to play with 600 pounds of meat and a smoker the size of a Humvee. I’m going to back up for a second and tell you this: Every year at work — and this is a food company, mind you — we’ve eaten the same classic American cookout menu: Burgers, hot dogs, chips and watermelon. I mean it’s good, but we’re a food company… shouldn’t we make more ambitious food?

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Italian Pecorino Cheese: A How-To Video
Travel How to Italian Pecorino Cheese: A How-To Video

In my short career in video blogging, I’ve run through making fresh paneer cheese, watching the Salvatore Ricotta folks stuff cheese into cannoli and now, my latest clip documents the making of uber-traditional pecorino in the Italian countryside. I’m afraid you’ll start to believe I’m a bit cheese-obsessed. I assure you, the theme is entirely coincidental. I swear the next video will be about something other than cheese. Meanwhile, I have to say, this is really my favorite clip yet, featuring some truly charming Italian sheep and goats I met in the mountains of Abruzzo while on a farm stay near Sora, Italy.

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Life Gives You Spinach? Make Palek Paneer.
Recipes How to Life Gives You Spinach? Make Palek Paneer.

Spotting a fine sale on washed spinach last week, my thoughts turned to darkness… as in the rich green darkness one finds in a pot of long-simmered spinach. “It’s a sign from the food gods!” I thought, “I must make make palek paneer!” (I’m sure this sort of thing happens to everyone, no?) For those who haven’t spent a lot of time staring at Indian take-out menus, palek paneer might sound like a lot of mumbo-jumbo.

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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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