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With the end of summer upon us, it seems as though there are still a hundred and one things to do. For us the last couple weeks of the summer have been filled with summer concerts (saw both Radiohead and DEVO this week), reconnecting with old friends over wine in Temecula, a momentous 10 year class reunion and one last beach barbecue. Although I have to admit, for those of us in San Diego, September marks the start of "our" summer. As the tourist head home and the kids go back to school our coastline becomes clear, both of vacationer freeway traffic and sunbathers. In the kitchen we have been inspired by a couple of recent cookbook purchases.
If you had not been able to tell, we LOVE meat! So it will be no surprise that two of those books focus on meat.
Perhaps my favorite books of the three is The River Cottage Meat Book which I first heard about when Robin with Caviar and Codfish referenced it in her Pickled Tongue recipe. I wasted no time pickling some beef tongue of my own. Having grown up in Japan eating thin slices of gyutan in yakiniku restaurants, coupled with the fact that the brine is much like that of my beloved Corned Beef I couldn't wait to give it a try! Lucky for me there is a great butcher shop up the street.
Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking and Curing was co-authored by Michael Ruhlman who I remember best from his rants with Anthony Bourdain on No Reservations. This purchase stemmed from my fascination with meat curing. Although I have yet to delve into the process myself I am very excited about the possibilities and great history.
The third holds a wealth of general cooking knowledge, On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen, is a must-have for any food lover. In fact, I have to confess that I am embarrassed that it has taken me this long to get around to buying it. It now includes revisions from its 1984 debut. We have already found it be a great resource when a couple of weeks ago we found that the purple wax beans we received from our CSA turned green when cooked!