What makes a better gift than DIY cocktail supplies? This kind of gift is cute, unique, and way more useful than another pair of hand-knit socks. Best of all, it’s surprisingly easy to make the components of one of my favorite cocktails, the Manhattan. Well, all of the components except for the rye whiskey. That one, I’ll leave to the experts.
Bridget Lancaster and Jack Bishop advise using ripe fruit, extra-firm tofu and poking your hamburgers so they don’t puff up like tennis balls.
The author of True Brews shares her homebrewing habit with BAB’s Sarah Henry. Watermelon-Mint Soda anyone?
It’s not just homesteaders, hipsters and foodies getting into the hands-on pursuit. The butter-churning craze is part of a larger, do-it-yourself food movement that includes everything from canning, to making homemade bitters, a food writer says.
Rather than waiting for someone to give you a treat, why not make one of your favorites for yourself? Something you can snack on all week when no one’s around. Or, better yet, something you don’t have to share. Food writer T. Susan Chang recommends slow-roasted pecans, salty-sweet matzo candy and more.
Megan Gordon shares her thoughts on Alana Chernila’s new book, The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying and Start Making. And Alana agreed to share her recipe for Wheat Crackers with Bay Area Bites, and chats with us about the process of writing the book.
Vanessa Barrington is a food writer and cookbook author based in the Temescal District in Oakland. She is the author of the recently published D.I.Y. Delicious: Recipes and Ideas for Simple Food From Scratch and co-authored Heirloom Beans with Steve Sando. Vanessa shared her local food secrets with BAB as well as a couple of recipes from her book.
One of my favorite culinary mash-ups of recent years is the Vietnamese-Chinese-Cajun crawfish boil served with rice or garlic noodles. Following the arc of families moving from Vietnam to New Orleans to Southern California to, finally, San Jose and San Francisco, mud bugs have taken a garlicky turn and shown up, of all places, in Little Saigon’s across the country.
In keeping with another current trend, that of back alley catering and restaurant-esque entities sprouting up all over town, d.i.y. barbecue operations churning away on the edges of the local food scene actually best the likes of Baby Blues, Memphis Minnie’s, and Big Nate’s. There’s definitely something appealing about outlaw status, and barbecue wears it especially well, even here.
Making butter? I pictured him sitting on an Amish stool churning away in the shade of his porch. And since I’ve always thought of butter-making as the sole province of women, I pictured him in a dairy maid’s bonnet that matched both his eyes and his rugby shirt. I was a bit jealous of both his crushing amount of free time and the fact that he had thought of making butter before I did. I asked him where he picked up the churn.
“I don’t have a churn, Michael. I’m doing it in my Kitchen Aid.”