I experimented with pate a choux the past couple of days. Here’s the eclairs we’ve been snacking on.
My wife’s family has a longstanding tradition for breakfast Christmas morning that is, well, rather disgusting. All it is is melted cheddar cheese, but we bake cubes of sharp cheddar until the oil starts separating from the cheese solids and a crust forms along the top and edges. This crust, called “frust” for some reason by my family, is the most desired part of the dish. We serve the cheese with freshly baked buttermilk biscuits and preserves (fig is the first choice). I generally serve some scrambled eggs, too, but it’s a simple breakfast where the frust is the star.
It’s funny how such a simple thing can be so special, when you serve it only once a year. May you have a little frust in your world this Christmas.
Ever drink an Abita Amber? Or a Turbodog? How about a Purple Haze? Well, those are all beers that my good buddy Brooks Hamaker formulated and brewed down in Abita Springs, Louisiana for the iconic Abita Brewing Company. Brooks was with Abita at its inception and helped grow the brewery into the South’s leading producer of craft beer.
And now he’s coming to North Carolina to join the crew at Durham’s Fullsteam Brewery as its Head of Operations. Brooks will initially focus on helping to move and install Fullsteam’s brewhouse to the new brewpad. He’ll work with brewer Chris Davis to help fine-tune the brewing system and scale brewery operations in anticipation of a spring launch.
Needless to say, I’m incredibly excited for Fullsteam, which will be opening in the spring, producing its fantastic Southern agricultural beers. I’m also excited for founder Sean Lilly Wilson, who now has the perfect operations guy to help run the show. But in the end, I’m excited for me, as one of my best friends in the world is relocating from New Orleans to Durham, and I’ll get to drink his beer.
Brooks isn’t just a brewer; he’s a food writer, too, who has appeared in many regional and national publications. Of course, we were both on the managerial staff of the eGullet Culinary Society. Salon.com recently appointed Brooks to the Salon Kitchen Cabinet, where he serves as the online magazine’s resident beer expert. And hell, he even dates a Beard Award-winning chef.
And I will be writing about the construction of the Fullsteam Brewery in the coming weeks. There’s a lot of work to be done, but now that Brooks Hamaker is onboard, I see nothing but smooth sailing — and drinking — ahead. Welcome to the Triangle, Brooksie!
I really love this new long-format ad for Kellogg’s Raisin Bran Crunch.
And don’t worry, I actually have some things to write about soon!
Looking for that perfect gift for the food-fanatic in your life? Look no further than this, the banana slicer. Yes, for $2.12, you can have this amazing tool from Amazon. I mean, what would you have done without this baby? Use a friggin’ knife? Oh, that’s so, um, practical.
I’ve seen some stupid kitchen tools over the years, but this might be the absolute worst.
I’ve heard of being artistic in the kitchen, but I never thought of making the kitchen into art. Until now.