Camille Glenn’s plum tart, or Marian Burros’ plum torte?

It’s a very tasty plum tart. Buttery, jammy yet still light. We got the recipe from a late 20th century Louisville Courier-Journal clipping (the back side of the undated article talks about Seinfeld leading the ratings so we know it had to have been published somewhere in the 1989 to 1998 time frame). And Michelle’s mother’s handwritten note marked it as a Camille Glenn recipe. Indeed, the “Classic Plum Tart” calls for “cognac vanilla,” a signature Glenn ingredient. And yet, […]

Camille Glenn, coconut custard, chickens and coyotes

Camille Glenn is a name instantly recognized by most food-inclined Kentuckians and even by some Yankees. The caterer, cooking teacher and food writer was, as noted in the Village Voice when she died at the age of 100 a couple of years ago, an “avid promoter of local, seasonal produce long before it became fashionable.”  Glenn’s The Heritage of Southern Cooking has been one of our most-used volumes and most-given wedding gifts for decades.  Michelle recently came upon a copy […]

Maraschino cherries meet Perugina chocolate ice cream as we reminisce about Italy

It is September, which for many years has been the month for Gourmandistan to relocate to a different country than America. We are not doing so this year, as we decided to postpone our international travel in order to coincide with our 30th anniversary in January, when we’ll be going to Venice. That means we’re currently going through a bit of Euro-withrawal, looking forward to returning to the enchanting, sinking city and revisiting our old blog about Padua and the […]

Normandy Pudding slumps from soufflé to clafoutis, stays good.

It is once again apple season, and Steve has been bringing home several pounds of the fruit each time he goes to the market. While he’s happy to eat them out of hand, Michelle has been enjoying the chance to make tarte Tatin, apple crisp, clafoutis and other good desserts. Searching for something newish, she returned to Camille Glenn’s The Fine Art of Delectable Desserts, a 1980s-era philanthropic project from the legendary Louisville chef, teacher and author we’ve mentioned before. This […]

Meet your new King, Chocolate Elvis Cake

Elvis Presley has many, many incarnations. Swivel-hipped Ed Sullivan-censored Elvis. Terrible movie star Elvis. Television-shooting, fried peanut butter and banana sandwich-eating Elvis. Black leather-clad Comeback Elvis. Sweaty sequined Vegas Elvis. Dead Elvis. Some see Elvis as a racist, others as a messiah. Gourmandistan saw Elvis as cake. Our story begins like so many in Gourmandistan, with a bit of food about to go off. In this case, it was bananas, which Michelle (as she often does) starting thinking about making into a […]

Some ’80s jams (mostly the strawberry kind) still rock.

Being of a certain age means we Gourmandistanis often have to suffer what many in our cohort still call “Modern Rock,” as if the era which created Kajagoogoo ended hard-edged rockers forever. (Despite the nauseatingly endless careers of the Stones and Aerosmith, there are those who argued that it did.) We are also too often in close proximity to people who still believe crappy California surfer-style shorts look good on them. Some of these happen to be the same people. We feel especially […]

Boiled custard, the gossamer thread to Nanny’s Christmas Eve

For a Christmas Eve treat, Michelle’s paternal grandmother always made a Southern tradition, boiled custard. After that, things get a bit hazy. Boiled custard itself can be confusing, especially to someone like Steve who has sketchy (and Yankee) Christmas traditions. While both eggnog and boiled custard arise from the mists of Anglo-Saxon odd drink traditions (along with wassail, posset and caudle), the former is often made with raw eggs, while the “boiled” custard popular in the Southern U.S. cooks eggs […]

A parching, painterly interruption leads to Peach Ice Cream Pie

Horrifying heat is not good for ice cream. Neither, it seems, is it good for house painters. After weeks of weather-related delay, our house and kitchen were freshly painted and finally freed from painters. The outside, in its lovely new creamy white color, was baptized by a couple of non-drought-relieving nickel-sized hailstorms (thanks again, global weirding!). After restoring the cookbooks, WWII posters and various tchotchkes to our kitchen we were ready to once again bespatter its freshly painted walls with […]

First peek at peach season.

While peaches have appeared at our local markets, the best part of our region’s yield may be yet to appear. Steve wasn’t too impressed with the size or flavor of the fruits we found last weekend, so he was judicious with his purchases. “Judicious,” of course, meant he only bought half of Mrs. Deutsch’s supply instead of the whole thing—so that, plus the bunch he bought from another market, made another jam session essential. Michelle, in a bit of penance […]

Recipe Index

APPETIZERS & SNACKS Benedictine Spread Brined, Roasted Almonds Bruschetta with White Bean Spread Fried Head Cheese (Souse) Gascony “Ham” (Duck Confit) Biscuits Gascony Pimento Cheese Oatcakes Rabbit Nems Salt Cod Fritters Shrimp and Grits Pâté Spuma (“Bacon Butter”) Tramezzini Twiglet-ish Breadsticks . BEVERAGES Boiled Custard Watermelon Agua Fresca . BREADS Beaten Biscuits Bialys Blueberry-Ginger Ice Cream Pie Blueberry-Orange Bread Brioche “Pizzas” Broccoli Rabe and Sunchoke Pizza Butter Buns Duck Fat Focaccia English Muffins Lard-Lashed Hamburger Buns Lavash Crackers Light & […]

Black raspberry jam

Black raspberries are the RuPaul of brambly drupelets. While they are raspberries, they have the sass and presence of a really good blackberry. The difference? It’s the core. Both blackberries and raspberries are collections of little seed-bearing fruits (called “drupelets”) attached to a central structure. In a blackberry, these drupelets remain attached, so the fruit has a “core.” Raspberry drupelets stick to each other instead of the structure, leaving them hollow. Michelle turned our recent find of farmers’ market black […]

Pea meets pie. Gourmandistan falls in love.

First too-good-to-be-true thing:  a large bag of in-shell English peas from the Norton Commons farmers market. Second too-good-to-be-true thing:  a recipe for Fresh Green Pea Pie from Camille Glenn’s The Heritage of Southern Cooking, combining the fresh peas with a double crust. Glenn, food editor for the Louisville Courier-Journal back when it was a great newspaper who died earlier this year at the age of 100, wrote: If I were asked to name the greatest fresh vegetable dish in the […]