Smooth move

September 18, 2014

Breakfast makin's. Healthy stuff.

Breakfast makin’s. Healthy stuff.

I am in the midst of one of my fitful attempts to eat healthy, get myself in shape, and lose weight. You understand, I do this periodically, with varying amounts of success. But if I don’t lose a pound (which I have not, yet), I have at least learned an excellent addition to the breakfast lexicon.

I’m making smoothies.

This post is a sad attempt to make me feel better because I missed my gym for the second day in a row, including yoga class today, because I was canning tomato soup and cleaning out the refrigerator of stuff that was old enough to vote. Hell, it was old enough to draw Social Security and go on Medicare. My guilt at this is only slightly ameliorated (now there’s a nice word for you) because my yoga instructor, who is also my personal trainer, is obviously a direct descendant of the Marquis de Sade. But I digress.

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Um. Hello. Anybody home?

September 12, 2014

Summer food. Some of the best of what's been going on.

Summer food. Some of the best of what’s been going on.

It’s been…well, I’m not sure how long it’s been, but it’s been several months since I last visited with y’all.

Have you MISSED me?

If you haven’t…Please lie. I don’t deal well with rejection.

I’m not swearing that I’m back on a regular basis, but as my travel schedule and thus my cooking schedule seems to have calmed down a bit, I figure I will at least try. With a caveat — I do have a couple of trips coming up in the next 30 days, but as one of them is to Kansas City and one is to Aiken, SC, I will at least get to eat in some different places. I plan to go to Arthur Bryant’s and just see how that KC barbecue stacks up to Memphis (my money’s on Memphis), and Aiken, well, who knows?

Been a decent summer, food-wise. The fresh produce has been plentiful; I’m a regular Saturday visitor to the Farmers’ Market, and there’s also a fresh produce place on my way home from half the places I go regularly that I can use to supplement during the week. We’ve not suffered from the lack of fresh okra , corn, tomatoes, purple hulled peas, eggplant, squash, and the like. You’ve seen all those, so I won’t belabor the point.

I even went (along with Child A) to the market’s Farm to Table dinner, which was quite excellent. Smoked brisket that was fork-tender, from the same farmers from whom I get beef. I must say that their brisket kicked hell out of mine. With both hands tied behind it. Veggies and appetizers were quite admirable. ┬áDesserts were killer. And I learned about the sourdough rolls.

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Good stuff!

May 25, 2014

First this....

First this….

Then this!

Then this!


So….this happened.

What also happened, and which you are not seeing because, well, I didn’t take a photo of it, was the first grilled hamburger of the summer (appropriate for Memorial Day weekend), accompanied by a healthy smear of this, plus a healthy smear of homemade Comeback Sauce, plus a slice of tomato from the farmers’ market, plus fresh lettuce from the farmers’ market, plus baked beans, plus potato skins.

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Summer. Smile.

May 20, 2014

God’s in his heaven, all’s right with the world, and there are greenhouse tomatoes at the Farmers’ Market.

I’ve had my first BLT, and my first caprese. Life is good.

Don't need bread. Don't need lettuce, either. Slaw and potato salad are nice extras.

Don’t need bread. Don’t need lettuce, either. Slaw and potato salad are nice extras.

One of the things I really worried about, leaving Hot Springs, was the availability of greenhouse tomatoes. An Amish family, the Stutzmanns, grew them somewhere in that part of the world, and had them at the market from late February on. And I bought them religiously.

And, lo and behold, the second weekend of the Jonesboro market, what did I find? An Amish vendor with baskets of gorgeous, glorious ripe tomatoes. Greenhouse grown. Six bucks for about three pounds, and worth every penny of it.

Homegrown basil, too.

Homegrown basil, too.

The top photo was my lunch that afternoon. The one above was my dinner that night.

Odd thing with these tomatoes. The top inch or so on the stem end, when you just cut that sliver off the top, looks like nothing in the world so much as though it’s only about half ripe. Get past that, and it’s fine. Weird. I’ve never seen that in a tomato, and I’ve sliced lots of tomatoes.

I’ll be a happy woman when the heirloom tomatoes — especially the Arkansas Travelers and the Cherokee Purples — come in, but for now, these will most assuredly do. If you ‘n y’mama ‘n ‘em are successful growing heirlooms in a greenhouse, I may go into the greenhouse tomato farming business.


A hymn to excess, right here on a plate.

A hymn to excess, right here on a plate.

In fact, I’m not at all sure that looking at the picture may not cause a rise in your cholesterol. This is some seriously unhealthy food, here. And despite the fact it looks sinfully good, it’s just so rich that after the first bite or two, it’s almost too much to take.

That first bite or two? That, though, is pretty freakin’ heavenly.

This is the dish that made me a regular reader of the Serious Eats blog. It’s Latkes Benedict, and it combines four things that I dearly love — latkes, pastrami, an over-easy egg, and Hollandaise sauce.

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Crazy for condiments

May 14, 2014

The next big adventure in the kitchen at Chez Brockwell is going to be condiments. Although, being that it is presently 48 degrees outside (in mid-May? Seriously? I had to bring the basil inside!), I might think about something like braised short ribs or beef stew.

But I’m enamored of the notion of condiments, in part due to the fact my Memphis Guinea Pig finally brought back a batch of jars I’d sent home with him over the years with bacon jam and other goodies in them. The other issue was a confluence of three seemingly unrelated things: I bought a smoker box to hold wood chips in the gas grill; the Farmers’ Market has greenhouse tomatoes; and today, the Commercial Appeal published a recipe for Smoked Tomato Jam.

Let me type that again, slowly. Smoked. Tomato. Jam. Are there words on the face of the planet to begin to contemplate how awesome that concept really IS? Would that make a hellacious BLT, or what? And on a burger? Just kill me now.

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Yes, that's me, digging in behind the fudge pie mountain.

Yes, that’s me, digging in behind the fudge pie mountain.

If you’re gonna splurge, you might as well do it right.

This is, I am here to assure you, doing it right.

Residents of the Greater Memphis area may recognize this as the famous Hot Fudge Pie from Westy’s, on North Main at the corner of Jackson, in downtown Memphis. Those who do not should go there as soon as possible.

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