dc1
Dirt Candy Header Side Image

The Original Moosewood

.

One of the coolest things that happened to me while I was touring with the cookbook last summer, was going to Omnivore Books in San Francisco. The store itself was amazing and the event was packed which was great, but the best thing was finding a first edition copy of the Moosewood Cookbook on their shelves.

.

Moosewood_Small1

.

If you’re a vegetarian, you have a copy of the Moosewood Cookbook. If you don’t, that just means you lost it. Moosewood is the training wheels to being a vegetarian home cook, the book that launched a thousand plates of brown rice and tofu. The New York Times claims it’s one of the ten best-selling cookbooks of all time. Just holding this spiral-bound, stained, faded, typewritten and hand-lettered cookbook felt like reaching back into the misty past of vegetarianism. But then, something crazy happened.

.

Moosewood_Small2

The Moosewood Collective in all their world-changing glory.

.

One of the people attending the event was Phyllis Boudreau, one of the original members of the Moosewood collective. Moosewood was a vegetarian restaurant operated under collective ownership in upstate New York. Earnest and committed to political change, this cookbook was going to be their big foray into the world. However one of their members, Mollie Katzen, took their name and style and recipes and started publishing her own Moosewood cookbooks without the collective. There was a falling out and the whole thing ended with Katzen getting rich and a lot of hurt feelings and bad blood.

.

Moosewood3

.

It was kind of awesome to get to experience some of this history first-hand because this was a major moment for vegetarian food in America, and it reminded me of how many stories in the food world there are outside the sphere of celebrity chefs and French cuisine, and how many of them haven’t been told yet. I wish more of them were getting written down before they’re forgotten.

.


Smoking or Non-Smoking?

.

Smoking is one of those techniques that home cooks stay away from because it seems intimidating and complicated when, in reality, it’s really easy. Smoking food steps up your game, and it’s something I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of, so in the spirit of giving away my few secrets, here’s Dirt Candy’s Rough Guide to Smoking. Get ready to impress people!

.

Smoking2

Impressed, yet?

.

Read the rest of this entry »


Good health to you, Sid Caesar!

.

Sid Caesar passed away this week, so I wanted to share a bit of his show. It’s Sid Caesar, Imogene Coca in a great hat, and I think Carl Reiner is the waiter. Good health, to you!

.

.


Vegetables Get Dirty

.

What do we do in the kitchen during service? Now the shocking truth can be revealed. The kitchen crew at Dirt Candy shoots vegetable porn in the kitchen…while innocent diners are eating their meals just a few feet away!!!

.

.


50 Shades of Doughnut

.

Sometimes customers bring the kitchen crew at Dirt Candy treats, and treats are always welcome. But sometimes a customer goes that extra mile and brings us treats with a theme. So a huge thank you to Kelly who brought us Ben & Jerry’s vanilla ice cream and donettes. Why? Well, if you were at packed, standing-room-only, Dirt Candy Food Porn-a-copia at GoogaMooga, then you know exactly what these treats mean. If you weren’t there, then realize that these foodstuffs mean that things are about to get very, very dirty at Dirt Candy.

.

50ShadesofDoughnut

.


Happy International Vegetarian Day!

.

To celebrate international vegetarian day, I want to take a walk down memory lane. Let’s all cast our minds back to the olden days of vegetarian food. Like the rule says, we should only be eating food our grandmothers would recognize, and here are some of the vegetarian recipes they were making back in the day.

.

Mmmm…eggy gloop surprise!

.

Retro_Food

.

I think that’s an eggplant surrounded by minty jelly squares that jiggle.

.

Retro_Food2

.

Remember the good old days when we used to sit around eating potato “hamburgers”?

.

Retro_Food0

.

I really miss egg mold with green onion sauce…

.

Retro_Food5

.

My favorite old timey recipe: grape fantasies…

.

Retro_Food4

.

I actually do kind of miss things like these garlic cheese balls, however.

.Retro_Food3

.


The Gentle Art of Entertaining

.

Life Magazine’s Picture Cookbook (1958) does not skimp on pictures. They’re right there in the title, after all. And it’s only by looking at these pictures that I learned how to entertain at home. Thank you, Life Magazine.

.

IMG_2680

.

Lesson 1: it is easy to make everyone dine at the coffee table as long as the men wear tuxedos and the women wear enormous gowns. However, rude women checking their phones will have to wear pearly gray numbers and sit in a chair against the wall.

.

IMG_2685

.

Lesson 2: when planning a beach picnic, it is essential to have two enormous wedges of cheese, a loaf of bread the size of a small child, at least nine roast chickens, and a sectional beach table (do NOT substitute a lighter meadow table – your guests will notice!) which means you must have many daughters so that they can haul the necessaries through the dunes. If you get tired, don’t worry. Touching the bowl of cherry tomatoes will be enough to bring a smile to your face.

.

IMG_2683

.

Lesson 3: when having an informal gathering at home you need AT LEAST 13 different snack dishes. Also, if you have a friend who is a foot fetishist, put him in charge of photographing your party.

.

IMG_2684

.

Lesson 4: opening a thermos can be FUN! It is your job to find joy in everything you do to serve your family.

.

IMG_2686

.

Lesson 5: glazing a chicken with ketchup should only be attempted by a man. However, while he bastes you will have time to rest your chin on your hand and contemplate the mysteries of existence: why is fire hot? Is it overly sexual to husk your corn before grilling it? Shouldn’t someone make little jackets and pants for dead chickens so they are not so shamefully naked? Is there such a thing as cold fire? Should I wait until Gary is asleep before putting a bullet through my brain? Or after? Which room in the house would it be most considerate to kill myself in?

.


Charlie Trotter Book

.

This is the very first cookbook I ever got as a gift that changed my life. I had just started going to the Natural Gourmet and my birthday came up the first couple of days I was there. My classmates bought me Charlie Trotter’s Vegetables and they all signed it and I was in love.

.

CT_Vegetables

.

It’s the first time I saw a book treat vegetables like they weren’t just an option over in the menu ghetto for someone on a diet or a (hold your nose) vegetarian. This was a world-class chef treating them like they deserved respect. I stared at those pictures for hours.

.

CT_Vegetables2

.

I never stole a recipe from his book, but it’s influenced everything I’ve done ever since. I still pick it up from time to time even though I’ve pretty much memorized every page by now. For me, it’ll never get old.

.

 


Pasquale’s Kitchen

.

If you cook for a living you get asked a lot of questions about who taught you how to cook. Reporters want to hear stories about mama teaching you how to bake a cake when you were a baby, or spending time watching grandma cook, or dad manning the grill, and most chefs are happy to accommodate. I wish I could, but I just can’t. No one taught me how to cook, I taught myself and then I went to cooking school. But recently I was thinking back and I realized that there was someone I watched cook when I was a small child. He was a drunk Italian with an incomprehensible accent who, terrifyingly, burst into song at random moments.

.

His name was Pasquale Carpino. His show? Cooking with Pasquale.

.

.

Starting when I was 6 years old, I watched his shows every day. He was on public access, then on other channels, then he eventually started his second show Pasquale Cooks Express and it was the most entertaining thing I had ever seen because he made the same thing every day and he consumed enough wine over the course of making a dish to drop an elephant.

.

.

People claim his cooking style was Italian, but I’m not so sure about that. If Pasquale is cooking Italian it’s a very, very, very…very loose version of Italian. His formula seemed to be “Take a bunch of vegetables, chop them up, sing at them, put them in a pan, fire.” And he was very serious about it. By his side was his ever-present coffee cup and while he claimed it was full of coffee it was pretty much wine. Occasionally he says that he needs to add a little milk, then he picks up a carafe of red wine and pours it in. Sometimes he’ll pour a little of what’s in his coffee cup into his pan.

.

.

I watched Pasquale for hours at a time, day after day, and when I go home and I find broadcasts of his show on late night TV I’ll fall into a hypnotic trance and stare at him for hours again. I realize now that he’s been my biggest influence. He was very passionate about chopping up vegetables and putting them in a pan, and he was very drunk. I find that now that I’m older, I’m passionate about chopping up vegetables and putting them in a pan, too, and I am also often very drunk.

.

So thank you, Pasquale. It turns out that you’re my daddy.

.


It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s Man’s Job

.

One of my favorite things about my copy of Life Magazine’s Picture Cookbook (1958) is how outrageously sexist it is. For instance, did you know:

.

IMG_2688

.

If you can’t read the tiny print:

“Whenever the menu calls for a delicate dish or a fancy pie, most men are more than happy to let their wives take care of the cooking. When it’s a matter of steak, this tolerant attitude is replaced by an unassailable belief in masculine know-how. Steak is a man’s job.”

.

Ladies, you are fine with your fancy pies, but a big slab of juicy meat can only come from a man. If you had any doubts, just look at this candid, unstaged photograph of steaks being grilled in the wild.

.

IMG_2687

.

Note the woman’s submissive interest in the fire being tended by the man. See her pet steaks cavorting about her skirts, waiting for their turn on the grill. I have to assume that the two men in the background not cooking steak are of ambiguous sexuality.

.

However, all you fancy pie owners, do not despair. There is one area that is the unquestioned Domain of the Woman: the kitchen. As a later article reads:

.

“Almost all U.S. kitchens are designed by men. That housewives are not entirely happy with man’s conception of woman’s domain was made clear at a U.S. housing administration forum at which women explained what they think ails modern houses. Having considered their complaints, one of the country’s few successful women architects, Margaret King Hunter of Hanover, N.H., planned an interior to suit her own needs.

.

“Her design so impressed General Electric Company executives that they built it. Mrs. Hunter’s kitchen does away with walls and is stationed in the middle of the living space. Motor-driven shades lower to enclose kitchen or screen any side. A ventilating fan is in plastic skylight over kitchen. Here Mrs. Hunter stands in the hub of her house while son Christopher and friends have supper. Dining area is in foreground, living room at right.”

.

IMG_2692

.

If anything, it makes me think that the kitchen on The Brady Bunch was kind of progressive since it was the center of the house (TV room to the left, living room to the right) and had the same kind of open plan. Also, I would love to know if the U.S. Housing Administration still holds forums where it asks housewives what’s wrong with their homes. Maybe they meet in an auditorium designed by one of the large number of unsuccessful women architects that the caption implies?

.

So, just in case you had any doubts:

.

Steak = man’s job

Kitchen = women’s domain

Architecture = difficult for women

Running GE = easy for men

Fancy pies = woman

Steak = man

Delicate dish = woman

Steak = man

.

Later, there will be a quiz.

.



menu


Menu

Snack

.

Jalapeno Hush Puppies $6
served with maple butter
.

Appetizers

.

Mushroom $13
portobello mousse, truffled toast
pear & fennel compote

.

Cucumber $12
roasted cucumber hot and sour soup,
black sesame, garlic chili oil, wood ear
mushroom, cucumber jelly

.

Tomato $13
tomato cake with smoked feta,
yellow tomato leather, herb puree

.

Potato $12
warm potato salad, crispy Japanese
yams, grilled sweet potato, olives,
bitter greens, apples

.

.

Entrees

.

Beets $20
salt-roasted beets, thai green curry,
beet gnocchi, whipped coconut galangal cream

.

Pepper $18
fennel & pepper tofu,
parsley spaetzle, grilled
yellow pepper broth,
mustard crumbs

.

Broccoli $21
smoked broccoli dogs,
broccoli kraut, salt &
vinegar broccoli rabe

.

Corn $19
stone ground grits, corn cream,
pickled shiitakes, huitlacoche,
tempura poached egg

.

- everything on the menu can be made vegan on request.

.

.

Dessert

Rosemary Eggplant Tiramisu $12
grilled eggplant, rosemary cotton
candy, mascarpone

.

Ice Cream Nanaimo Bar$11
sweet pea, mint, chocolate

.

Popcorn Pudding$11
salted caramel corn

.

Celery Cheesecake Roll$10
celeriac ice cream, peanut filling,

& candied grapes

.

- vegan dessert selection changes regularly, please ask your server.

.

Our wine list (and other beverages)

.

.

Gift Certificates

.

.

FacebookButton

.

twitterimage