It was a banner week for cookbooks with the arrival of Pok Pok, Vedge and LA Son. Nobody can accuse me of cookbook hoarding if I actually use them. I immediately purchased a clay mortar and pestle set (for making authentic som tam), a sticky rice steaming set (mango with sticky rice!) and a bag of Thai tea. The ingredients on the Thai tea bag are: Thai tea, herb, FD&C yellow No. 6. Now I know where that distinctive orange color comes from, and I hope that the "herb" is not the type that will show up on a random urinalysis. I added a lot less sweetened condensed milk than Sophie would have. She likes it achingly sweet--we refer to her preferred level of sweetness as "molar scream". She told me the other day she would like to open a candy shop and call it Molar Scream.
We spent the weekend in Philadelphia enjoying things like the Mutter Museum (medical oddities), Federal Doughnuts, hand-pulled noodles in Chinatown, and a stunningly good dinner at Vedge. This is a fantastic establishment that just happens to be vegan. The only time I missed my dairy was the soy creamer accompanying my post dinner coffee. It set the bar way too high for Sophie who was underwhelmed by her official Philly chicken cheesesteak the next day. "It's just a bunch of meat and cheese." We had another delicious dinner at Little Nonna's the next night--gnocchi with brown butter, gorganzola and wine-soaked prunes, roasted romanesco with capers and raisins. The Vedge cookbook has much Thanksgiving potential, and I am currently testing roast turnips with falafel crumb and sesame cream. If I can recreate the eggplant braciole using their recipe, that alone will be worth the price of the book.