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Dallas. After six days, three Texas BBQs, a culinary highlight tour of the Dallas metropolitan area, a cookbook signing, a handful of informative IACP panels, conversations sparked by finally being able to put names with faces, and one cancelled flight - I am home from a city that may be the worst place on earth to be a vegetarian. It might not have be so bad if you had access to a kitchen - much of the produce I saw in the Dallas Central Market looked diverse and beautiful, but having a non-meat entree on a menu seems to be a foreign concept in the Big D. I knew within the first twenty-four hours that there were going to be a lot of meals consisting of chips, salsa, and cheese quesadillas ahead of me. Luna's Tortilla Factory: Keeping watch over the cooking corn kernels
If you've ever tasted pesto in Italy you know that the pesto here in the United States just isn't the same. I received a lesson in how to make pesto from a real Italian grandmother last week and now I understand the difference and what makes it so. My friend Francesca makes the trip from her small town near the pesto-epicenter of Genoa, Italy to San Francisco once or twice a year - this time (lucky for us) she brought her mom and two-year old son Mattia. Her mom makes a beautiful pesto (and perfectly light, potato gnocchi to go along with it) and offered to show me and my friend Jen how it is done.
This is a thank-you note to Pam Corbin. Pam wrote the lovely River Cottage Preserves Handbook .* And in the very back of this exquisite little book, long past the rhubarb relish, and well beyond the piccalilli and winter fruit compote, she proposes a simple idea: make your own bouillon blend. I'm not sure why this never occurred to me, but until I reached page 207, it hadn't.