Friday, January 9, 2009

This is Pure Poetry...

Another classic installment of the Fatted Calf Newsletter:

In From The Cold

It's cold in my house. Even with wool socks and fleece-lined slippers, a hooded sweatshirt and a thermal, flannel pajamas and a skullcap, it's still cold. Go to work at the Fatted Calf kitchen and the powerful exhaust system exhales great gulps of frigid air down the back of your neck.Venture out and no sooner does the weak January sun begin to thaw your cheekbones than the damp and chilly storm wind runs up your spine. At movie theatres it seems they perpetually run the air conditioning and at restaurants I have the poor luck of being seated at the draftiest table in the house.

At home there is a twelve square foot area between the woodstove and the kitchen and it is here where I spend the bulk of my wakeful winter hours. I can find a myriad of excuses for turning on my oven. I might not really need a big earthenware pot of simmered ham hocks and butter beans but I'm sure I will put them to use. Bacon baked on a rack always seems to achieve the perfect state between chewy and crispy. Bollito misto with cotechino steams up the windows while a pork country rib roast makes the room cozy. Cassoulet loaded with confit and sausage is an all day affair that prompts you to open the oven from time to time and inhale its rich warm scent. I cannot resist a long slow braise like a Brasato al Midolo that needs at least a half day in a wine rich bath before turning tender and yielding, a sticky pot roast that warms the belly, the spirit and the whole house.

See you at the market!

Sigh...I'm sorry I'm not in Berkley, CA often enough....