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Blog

Filtering by Tag: vacation

Sage Advice

Suzanne Pollak

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The best cauliflower the Dean ever tasted (since FIG tragically removed their famous mustard-y cauliflower from the menu) was the result of a sage bush gone wild, spreading its branches thither and yon. My host in Merviel, clasping his antique kitchen cleaver in his right hand, chopped several branches off the bush, using the vegetation as the foundation for his cauliflower brainstorm. Into a steamer went the sage branches, the cauliflower florets laying on top. The moment the florets were tender, he discarded the sage and tossed the cauliflower with a little butter. The cauliflower was like perfume, infused with sage, a surprisingly wonderful marriage of flavors. File this away for Thanksgiving of course, but don’t wait! Get yourself some sage, a head of cauliflower and steam away. You are welcome!

The Stock Broker

Suzanne Pollak

Stock is an ongoing project at Chez Host of the Dean while she is on vacation in the South of France. This household wakes up each morning to the smell of stock simmering away on a back burner while the host, a dedicated amateur cook, swims laps and bikes miles, already having started his stock at sunrise. He repurposes last night's roasted guinea hens or quail bones, and any left over wine* in today’s stocks -- not one iota wasted in his kitchen. His liquid ratio is half water half wine (red, rosé or white, but definitely some red to add body.) 

A few hours later, when today’s stock from yesterday’s roast is strained, the stock becomes a foundation for gravy, a liquid for stew, a spoonful to flavor salad dressing. Even though these bones have already roasted and simmered they are not thrown away. They have more flavor to give! After straining the stock, the Stock Broker pours boiling water over the bones, and even more nourishment and flavor is released; this liquid is the beginnings of tomorrow’s stock.

*The very first night eleven diners consumed twenty bottles of wine. Not sure if any was left over for the making of stock. 

How to Pack for Vacation

A. K. Lister

Travel light, but spend money on a great suitcase. You need one not too big or small, with four wheel drive and many pockets.
— Marina Abramovic (for Porter Magazine)
From snowy Montreal...

From snowy Montreal...

Assistant Dean AK here, with another hotel room dispatch, this time in freezing Montreal! Believe it or not, our next stop happens to be the Mexican state of Oaxaca. I’ll spare you all the reasons why we ended up taking this nonsensical route, but suffice it to say we were presented with unique challenges in the packing department. Montreal's temperatures are currently in the negative degrees Fahrenheit while Oaxaca continues as warm as you might expect. Enter the handy-dandy book Packing for Travel (on loan from Dean P.) to assist with Edit: Round Two in our Canadian hotel room, before I repack my Mexican getaway suitcase and set aside the rest to be shipped home from the airport.

to toasty warm Oaxaca City.

to toasty warm Oaxaca City.

So long layers and coats! Not only does Karen Klopp, Editor of the What 2 Wear Where blog, offer several other incredibly helpful and cheerfully illustrated Top Tens, like "All the Basics" and "Steps to Panic-Free Packing," but she also includes packing lists for every destination under the sun, from a Dude Ranch to Deep Sea Fishing. Per Klopp's best advice, I'm opting for knitwear (which doesn't wrinkle) and the "Top Ten Travel Essentials," among them a pashmina, down vest, and dark jeans. I may even wear all three on the plane, ready to shed/shove in an overstuffed duffel bag the moment I arrive in a more habitable clime.

Adios! -AK