Tuesday, June 28, 2011


It’s almost one hundred years since Titanic struck that iceberg and sent thousands and itself to the bottom of the sea. While we may shudder recalling the icy demise of so many, I also think about the fabulous last meal they enjoyed before their end. They were certainly well fed and well wined.

Ten courses of exquisitely complicated foods (served with an equal number of paired wines) set out on fine English porcelain made just for the ship.

I stumbled across the menu a few days ago and marveled at the quantity of food consumed at one sitting....how did they possibly manage; especially the ladies in all their whale bone corsets? And that was the norm for every meal! I wondered. Could I eat that much at one sitting with a different wine for each course? Better, yet, could I reproduce that menu? Do I want to do a Julie type job on Titanic’s Last Menu? You bet I do!

I’m going to try one course at a time and my (now) unsuspecting friends are about to eat really really well.  I will not, however, do as Julie did and prepare the menu in order. I will, instead, begin with a food I adore: Salmon. It was presented with mouseline sauce and cucumber (and I hope their fish was poached, ‘cause that’s what mine is going to be).

Stay tuned….pictures, recipes, odd moments (and I'm certain a few disasters) to come.

Pickle. Pickle.

Alice Roosevelt once described a man as looking "as though he's been weaned on a pickle."  Not an admiring statement......about the pickle or the man. But such is the reputation of the pickle. Not a pretty thing and frequently considered sour.

Poor pickle, it gets so little respect

But I am not willing to let the lowly pickle suffer such abuse and like Thomas Jefferson I see a good pickle as a comforting joy as it is "brought up trout-like from the sparkling depths of the aromatic jar..."  Aaaah.

When I was a little girl, I went with Daddy and Grandma to the Lower East Side of New York. All you had to do was raise your nose in the air to find the barrels of pickles arrayed along the sidewalks and the grumpy men who stood nearby. Grandma brought her own jars and she instructed the men to "get from the bottom" the Kosher dills and pickled green tomatoes we'd enjoy later with pastrami and rye.

Kosher Dills in a barrel as I remember them 

Years later the Kosher dills---the only kind of pickle I had ever known----are being joined by gorgeous new versions of the no longer lowly cucumber pickle.  Whether it is the wonderful abundance of fresh produce, the popularity of local farmer's markets or the move back to homier things, pickling---that lovely result of brining and spices and time---is quite frankly coming into it's own.

And it isn't just the Restaurant Chef pushing all this pickling. Home cooks are also finding the satisfaction and superior taste of home made pickles.

Consider these....

Friend Kim does this every year...she pickles veggies from her garden and from gardens around the south: dills, sours, bread and butters, sliced and unsliced and tiny green tomatoes.

Kim's pickles 

Notice Grandma's funnel at the top                                   

Friends Debra and Tina launched a food company (2 Sisters Secrets)  just to sell their wonderful pickles----lightly sweet & crunchy refrigerator slices they call Tickles----and have found terrific local success.  
Tickles by 2 Sisters Secrets

The Viking Cooking School is offering wildly successful classes on pickling and canning. Chef Mark Rhodes has jars of sweet pickles, fiery hots and lovely 1/2 sours.

Mark's 1/2 Sour Pickles The Viking Cooking School, Atlanta
And not to be forgotten are the pickles bumped to the next level of crunchy pickley deliciousness....dunked in batter and Deep Fried. Find the best here in Atlanta at Yeah! Burger, FLIP burger boutique, Holman and Finch, & Chef Jay's 4th and Swift.

No Reading...Watching

These guys got so fed up with waiting for the iPhone 5 that they created their own...Enjoy!