Friday, April 16, 2010

Reviewing NYC Restaurant Bread (Be Careful What You Wish For)

I spent yesterday afternoon in the offices of the New York Post reviewing restaurant bread, which the Post had assembled from over a dozen NYC restaurants. I know this sounds like a dream assignment for a baking enthusiast and writer, and I have to admit, I was the proverbial kid in a candy store --- until I started to taste the candy. By the tenth loaf I was about ready to pack it in. Not only did I skip dinner (does beer count?), but I don't know if I'll be able to even eat a slice of toast for a month.

But it was a great adventure. I got to walk the length of a real newsroom (rows of business-attired women and men in ties -- until you hit the sports desk, which is exactly what your think it would be. Everyone looks -- and dresses like -- Ray Romano)

As for the bread, I don't want to steal the thunder from the article (which will be appearing, I believe, the weekend of April 24-25), but the most shocking thing to me was how many of the breads were incompatible (salty, garlicky, cloyingly sweet) with a cocktail or a glass of wine. Or the food to follow, for that matter. I'll post a link to the article when it comes out, but in the meantime, home bakers rejoice: Your bread is better than what 99% of restaurants are serving.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

You Want Mice With that Pizza?

So, winter's over and it's time, I figured, to So, winter's over and it's time, I figured, to pull the tarp off the clay bread oven I built in my garden (with assistance from number-one son), build a good fire, and make some pizza. Never got past step one: seems the oven has acquired some tenants  -- make that squatters -- over the winter. The back of the oven is dominated by a huge mouse nest, complete with mice. Could be worse. Last year is was wasps. Maybe next year it'll be foxes. Foxes are cool.

(Footnote: I made pizza indoors; the mice should be moving on shortly).

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