oh yes, the importance of how to roll herbs (and other leafy things) for chiffonading. i love everything about these little drawings from illustrated bites. i may just re-post them all. also, a proper chiffonade not only makes leafy food manageable to eat, but it can totally change the appeal of something – like stir fry with collards and cabbage. recently, my default is to throw everything green into a wok (celery, leeks, broccoli, etc.) and add liquid aminos or shoyu sauce. fast, healthy, good.


happy fourth of july

hope everyone had a wonderful independence day! the only strange part for me was that this year we missed fireworks. SO strange. i can count the number of July 4th’s sans fireworks on one hand…maybe on two fingers even. actually make that one indented thumb and one regular, because i’m not certain that there have been even two independence days in my twenty-five years without a display of pyrotechnics. i might have to go light a candle. maybe that will compensate a bit.

or maybe tomorrow, after i cross the border into the great state of Pennsylvania where the sale of fireworks is legal (and according to the billboards, quite plentiful), i will pick up a handful of sparklers so we can celebrate fake fourth of July tomorrow night. and by then, the strawberry rhubarb pie that I made with my aunt will be ready to eat. (yep, I started a pie at 7:30 pm… and it needs to cool. so there’s that.)

but, that said, pie-making was my token American activity for the day. other activities included apartment-hunting in Philly. one place we loved but discovered it didn’t allow dogs (which made us sad), but then another favorite appeared just down the street (which made us glad). so, tomorrow, decisions await. and if all goes smoothly, we could be living around the corner from our (did there need to be a “period” between pizza and place? what’s the proper technique on dramatic period placements? i debated it…)

anyway, more later on pizza, apartments, faux independence day, and the outcome of the pie. (and, to my strawberry-allergic Grandmom: if you were coming over today I would have made raspberry-rhubarb, don’t you worry!). also, note to self and everyone else: there is a darn good reason that you roll collards (and long leafy things) on the horizontal (i.e. along the short side) because otherwise you have long spaghetti-like collards when you chiffonade them. no one likes spaghetti collards. well, we like them well enough, but they hang out of our mouths. but this is what I get for bagging practice collards from other chefs-in-training. yep, i’m a fruit and veggie hoarder. still, i’m not alone in this hoarding subset. i think it’s gaining momentum. truly. at least among the culinary student demographic, so i hear. also, i’m impressed by how many times i just said “collards” in this post; i didn’t see that coming.

and with that, i leave you with a nostalgic photo (above) of fireworks from last summer. i do believe i smell a pie in the oven. happy America. and forever thanks to all the veterans (Grandpop, Pop Pop, and the many others) for their service to this country and commitment to freedom.

get chopping.

(via illustrated bites)

good summary of my first french knife skills class at culinary school.