Thursday, July 10, 2014

"Best Ever Barbecued Ribs Recipe"

Bon Appetit's Photo of its "Best Ever Ribs Recipe".
Would that the recipe was as good as their photo.
         One of my very favorite things to eat are ribs. Pork ribs and to get even more specific, St. Louis cut Pork Ribs which I buy in quantity at Costco.  I long since gave up on supermarket spare ribs, which are priced in the bargain basement (where they belong).  Inevitably, you open the package of ribs only to discover a piece of leftover tails that is virtually inedible.  But once I discovered the joys of Costco ribs, I’ve never bought anything else.         
Adam Rapoport at the Grill
So you can imagine how pleased I was, when planning a birthday dinner for a dear friend and quite a few of his friends, when into my email box came a recipe from Bon Appetit entitled “Best-Ever Barbecued Ribs”.  Not only was there a recipe, but there was a video of them being made by none other than Adam Rapoport, editor of the magazine. Adam took over from Barbara Fairchild when the latter declined to move to New York City as requested by Bon Appetit’s publisher, Conde Nast.  This was just after the demise of Gourmet magazine and I thoroughly applaud Adam for lifting Bon Appetit up and including articles that could have appeared in Gourmet but most certainly did not appear in Bon Appetit in Ms. Fairchild’s day.   So it was a bit of a shock when I discovered that Adam’s video instructions were completely at odds with the written recipe.  I mean there were so many differences that it took a complete overhaul of the recipe.  But I ended up with a spectacular version of ribs--almost accidentally-- that I wanted to share with you.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Cocktail Party Fare: Shiitake Mushroom Crostini topped with Parmesan Cheese


The Cocktail Party is a perennial fixture of summer in the Hamptons. Let’s face it, it’s a great way to get all your social commitments covered in one big bash.  It generally lasts a finite number of hours, usually three at most, and gives you a chance to put people together without worrying yourself sick over whether they’ll get along at a dinner table.
  Of course, with something as ubiquitous as the
Alec Waugh
Cocktail Party, there’s bound to be some question over who first invented it.  Alec Waugh, an English writer and the elder brother of the better-known Evelyn Waugh, is often given the credit for inventing the Cocktail Party.  In the 1920s in London, he served Rum Swizzles to an astonished group of friends who thought they’d been invited for tea. Early evening drinks parties in London took off from there. But the actual credit for the invention of the Cocktail Party must go to a Mrs. Julius S. Walsh Jr of St. Louis, Missouri.  In May of 1917, Mrs. Walsh invited 50 guests to her house on a Sunday at high noon for a drinks party with a one-hour duration.   The event was written up in the St.
The home of Mrs. Julius Walsh Jr.
now owned, ironically, by the
Diocese of St. Louis
Paul MN. Pioneer Press. Since St. Paul is over 500 miles from St. Louis, Mrs. Walsh’s party must have been wildly newsworthy perhaps because Mrs. Walsh's invitees must have come directly from church services to drink at Mrs. Walsh's.  The newspaper reported “The party scored an instant hit” and noted that within weeks, cocktail parties had become “a St. Louis institution”.  And what about the food?