A wonderful appreciation for the creator of, perhaps, the greatest Japanese invention ever!
"Ramen noodles, by contrast, are a dish of effortless purity. Like the egg, or tea, they attain a state of grace through a marriage with nothing but hot water. After three minutes in a yellow bath, the noodles soften. The pebbly peas and carrot chips turn practically lifelike. A near-weightless assemblage of plastic and foam is transformed into something any college student will recognize as food, for as little as 20 cents a serving." - Lawrence Downes, NYT
"At the stove in her little cabin in the Adirondacks, about a dozen miles from where she graduated from high school in 1986, Rachael Ray spent a night last week making pasta with sweet Italian sausage and canned pumpkin.
With her mind more on conversation than cooking, Ms. Ray cut a nice gash in her thumb. She bandaged it up, laughed it off and kept chopping.
Even with her wound, wine breaks and the start of a dozen stories she would never quite finish, the dish took half an hour.
Her mother, Elsa Scuderi, who is 71 and lives in the cabin, walked in from the garden when dinner was almost ready.
"Did you burn something?" Ms. Scuderi asked.
"No, mamacello, I didn't burn anything," Ms. Ray replied. She flashed the wide grin that critics of her performances on the Food Network compare to that of Batman's nemesis, the Joker.
Though the nation's food elite might cringe, Ms. Ray, 37, is one of the most influential people cooking today. Let the big-name chefs fuss with foams and sous vide. She'll stick with hot dog nachos and "jambalika," a dish that is kind of like jambalaya. With more than 4 million books in print and four shows on the Food Network, Ms. Ray has shown America the way back to the kitchen." - Kim Severson, The New York Times; Photograph by Fred R. Conrad, The New York Times
She's perky-cute, loves to cook and eat and won't break the bank. What's not to love about Rachael Ray?
"In Japan," she said, "the idea of focusing on a small aspect of something and then exploding it into many possibilities is an appealing notion, in both life and aesthetics. Working in a limited set and not letting it inhibit you but allowing it to take you to another level is part of the pleasure. Think about using just ink and paper instead of the whole palette of colors and media in painting; in the same way, the limits of cooking with plants force me to be more creative, to explode, almost into infinity, all of the possibilities." - Mark Bittman talking with chef Yumiko Kano
I find myself, more and more, awaiting the Wednesday New York Times with a rapt anticipation usually reserved for Sunday's always excellent edition. Why? For the food of course! Every week there is something to inspire, amaze, teach, and tempt the taste buds. And it always looks so good to see a big 6 column photo! This week its crab cakes!