Jambon Persille

Jambon Persille

This is a specialty of Burgundy. It has a light, sparkling flavor that dances in your mouth as the jelly melts, full of wonderful flavors!

I read about the Jambon Persille in Jane Grigson's Charcuterie long ago, and I wanted to try it ever since. Then last year while touring Burgundy on our big vacation, I got the opportunity to have it for lunch in Dijon! 

Once I knew how it was supposed to be, I could make it with confidence. Here's my recipe. 

Mushroom Pate

Mushroom PateA delicious cold dish the contrasts hearty mushroom flavors with creamy cheese. Use a mix of fresh supermarket mushrooms and dried wild mushrooms to get great depth of flavor.

I get excellent dried mushrooms in the Polish markets on Millbury Street in Worcester, near Kelly Square. The expensive King Bolete is a particularly nice addition, if you can get it. 

A German Winter Dinner

German Christmas Dinner

I made this hearty traditional German winter dinner in December 2014. Sauerbraten, the centerpiece of the dinner, is a Christmas favorite so it was a timely choice for December, but it's really good for any of the colder months.

I had recently been to Morse's Sauerkraut, where I got some good supplies and inspiration, but I had planned to make a sauerbraten for a long time so the whole plan just came together.

We had:


Honeymoon Cocktail

Honeymoon Cocktail, at Central Provisions in Portland

This one is too sweet for me as written. The Calvados is a stroke of genius, but I had to increase the lemon juice.

I'm intrigued by the ingredients, but I think the Honeymoon is not the best formula to use them.  I've been pretty happy with the cocktails in this fine book, but this one needs some experimentation. 

Opal Cocktail

Opal cocktail

This drink is simple and delicious! It's a bit on the sweet side for my taste, but it's light enough that the gin comes through. This will be a good cocktail for sampling different gins.

I think it would also make a good summertime drink, either straight up or as a cooler with seltzer and plenty of ice. 

A Weekend in Quebec City

Type of Post: 
Beyond New England
Looking down upon Quebec City

We had not been to Quebec City in 15 years, so a return trip was way overdue. We did it over Columbus Day 2016, adding Friday to make it a four-day weekend. That was enough time for a fun little expedition with plenty of sightseeing. 

The Canadian dollar was worth about $0.75, so some things looked more expensive than they were. Overall it was easy to stay on budget. Gas is expensive there, but if you fill up in Fort Kent then you won't need to buy much or any gas until you get back over the border.

Mount Katahdin from Rte 11

We spent Friday driving north through the length of Maine, departing I-95 at Sherman to take lonely Rte 11 past Mount Katahdin due north to Fort Kent, and then on to Riviere-du-Loup, Quebec, on the mighty Saint Lawrence. There was no foodie excellence that day, but we love that drive up Route 11 and the scenery was excellent. We spent the night at the Auberge de la Point in Riviere du Loup, a sprawling complex not far from the ferry terminal. 

Club Cocktail

Club Cocktail

I don't know which club is honored by this cocktail. There's a Pegu Club Cocktail and a Clover Club Cocktail... maybe this is a generic cocktail for all clubs where gentlemen sit about smoking cigars and saying "Splendid! Splendid!" in well-aged baritone voices. 

In any event, this cocktail is all about quality ingredients. It's just gin and sweet vermouth. There are so many interesting American gins that this formula fits a near infinite range of drinks. 

Waldorf Cocktail

Waldorf Cocktail

This pre-prohibition classic from the famed Waldorf Hotel (before it became the Waldorf Astoria) was recommended to me by my old friend Joe Adams. There are a lot of words online about it, mostly trying to adapt it to "modern tastes", as if today's cocktail fans would be too challenged by the absinthe. 

There's some pretty bad absinthe out there; use a good one. Absinthe has a strong flavor, so a strong rye and strong sweet vermouth are also important. I used a cask-aged sweet vermouth, but Carpano Antica would go well.

As for the rye, I started with Old Overholt, but once I had a good formula I switched to 100-proof Whistle Pig... Now there's a cocktail worthy of the Waldorf! 

Chicago Cocktail

Chicago Cocktail

I was looking for an old-school cocktail to enjoy while rooting the Cubs toward their first World Series title since 1908 when what should I find but the Chicago Cocktail!

This one may not go back to 1908, but it definitely predates 1930, when it was first in print. Considering how Al Capone's Chicago was awash in Canadian whisky during Prohibition, this brandy-based concoction probably predates that dark period as well. 

Here's something peculiar about the Chicago: the recipe calls for an old-fashioned glass, but the whole drink is little more than 2 ounces, so use the smallest old-fashioned glass you have, or make it a double! 

Hanky Panky

Hanky Panky cocktailThis peculiar classic uses the downright medicinal Fernet Branca, so it's best with a rich flavorful gin like the Ingenium from New England Distilling or Maine Distilleries Cold River Gin.
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