1.30.2011

Elysian Food

On January 22, 1963, the Elysée Treaty was signed between Germany and France.  No, I am not going to tell you what it was about because that would mean I would have to research it - and I would rather write about food.

I mention it because on January 22, 2011- 48 years after the Treaty - Ed and Lila were coming to dinner.  I think I have introduced you to Ed and Lila before.  Lila is a wonderful potter and I love using her beautiful pieces when cooking, serving and photographing for the blog or other projects.  She did, indeed, make the best pie plate ever, using a glaze that somehow magically crisps the crust and keeps it from getting soggy, and to which the crust doesn't stick.  Seriously, it is the best pie plate ever!  If it ever breaks I will be inconsolable.  Piece by piece, I am acquiring her beautiful wares; next on tap is a blue or green - or blue-green - soufflé dish.  And Ed is no slouch, either, when it comes to talent and creativity.  He is an amazing photographer with an eye that truly sees beyond the lens, whether in black and white or color.

One time, when they were coming to dinner, I looked up what had happened in history on that date and saw that it was "Wear Brown Shoes Day" - December 4th.  So I suggested they wear brown shoes (they might have) and that we would cook accordingly (I thought lamb stew the perfect complement to brown shoes...).  Fast forward a little more than a year and it was time to celebrate the signing of the Elysée Treaty.  I suggested a theme of Franco-Germanic food.  And that, my friends, was the start of a great menu!

1.20.2011

Luscious Lemons

While it is not quite lemon season in Tucson, it is Meyer lemon season. And that works just fine for me.

The Meyer lemon (Citrus × meyeri) is a citrus fruit native to China, thought to be a cross between a lemon and an orange. It was introduced to the United States in 1908 by the agricultural explorer Frank Nicholas Meyer, an employee of the United States Department of Agriculture, who collected a sample of the plant on a trip to China. Sadly, this original Meyer lemon carried a disease that killed other citrus trees; it was banned from sale and all known trees were destroyed. Happily, in the 1950s, the University of California department of agriculture released the "Improved Meyer Lemon" which does not carry the blight and is widely available for purchase.

Now living in a place where citrus grows easily, I am fascinated by the variety of fruit available, other than the usual lime, lemon, orange and grapefruit. Sure, we know now about tangelos and clementines. But what do you hear of limequats? Calamondin oranges? Cocktail trees?