Tuesday, April 27, 2021

First Downtown Shopping in 15 Months: A Thrill

Having been fully vaccinated for eleven weeks, I finally got up the courage to take the subway today, which I had been avoiding for hard-to-define emotional reasons. My first outing took me to my favorite shopping destinations, Kalustyan's and Eataly, and I found both to be nearly the same as in pre-pandemic times. As you can see, I had pretty nice results at both places.

At Kalustyans, I was able to replenish certain spices, replacing the mediocre sumac, za'atar and cumin powder that I bought at the supermarkets with real, intense, fresh versions. And also to restock some favorites: Indian snacks, nougat, homemade preserved lemons, mango chutney and ginger pickle. Also good-quality staples like Tellicherry peppercorns, Persian pistachios and course polenta.

My haul from Kalustyan's

At Eataly, too, I returned to some old favorites.  My favorite Sicilian mandranova olive oil, porchetta, 24-month old Friulian prosciutto, Salvatore's smoked ricotta, wonderful artisanal pasta, excellent Italian jarred tuna, an interesting chocolate bar and some heirloom tomatoes.

Old favorites at Eataly
Although this was an ordinary expedition, these days ordinary is thrilling, and I had a great time. I look forward to more wonderful, normal outings in the weeks and months ahead. 

Bobby Jay

Wednesday, March 31, 2021


I haven't posted in forever, because I've been cooking so often that I want to be done with it. I have continued to make sourdough bread about once a week, but no exciting new discoveries. Until now.

Having had some time on my hands yesterday, with guests coming for dinner tonight, I decided to bake matzohs. Searching my cookbooks with eatyourbooks.com, I came upon a recipe for Mediterranean Matzohs in Rose Levy Baranbaum's The Bread Bible.  (Rosemary and a little olive oil make them Mediterranean, I guess.) Not hard to do, and came out looking very artisanal and tasting quite good. 

Bobby Jay