Strawberries Bavarian and Creme Fraiche

Bavarian 1

It finally happened: I crossed the gelatin rubicon.

You know how Julie Powell (of Julie and Julia fame) flipped out when faced with cooking Julia Child’s aspic, a.k.a. meat jello (shudder)? That’s sort of how I felt when I first saw that there’s a whole section of gelatin-based dishes in Nonnie’s cookbook.

Almost all of them are desserts — save a truly horrific-sounding shrimp mold, which I intend to avoid for as long as possible — but that still didn’t quite ease my worries. I know that gelatin is a perfectly cromulent ingredient; I know that modern gastronomic types even champion it as the secret to everything from juicier meatballs to soft-serve.

And yet… gelatin is gross, guys. Continue reading

Barbecued Chicken and Cucumber Salad

BBQ Chicken 11

I spent the last week of 2015 in Mexico City, blissfully gorging myself on meat, cheese, and gloriously simple carbohydrates. I ate red mole and black mole and guacamole, corn fungus (surprisingly delicious) and goat-milk caramel (ditto) and grasshoppers (not… great), barbacoa and chilaquiles and weird Mexican convenience store snacks, sandwich cookies and pastries and a pink drink called a Lulu that I absolutely would have been embarrassed to order at home, but whatever, we were on vacation, and if you can’t have pink drinks on vacation, when can you have them?

Naturally, I returned to New York with a heavy sigh and a mild case of scurvy. I was more than ready for January, when we atone for the excesses of the holidays with whole grains and hot water with lemon and diets disguised as “cleanses.”

Cucumber Salad 1

Unfortunately for January, there’s a real deficit of “healthy” recipes in Nonnie’s cookbook. Continue reading