Amy Ephron http://oneforthetable.com/Table/Stories/Amy-Ephron/ Fri, 22 Sep 2017 18:55:33 -0700 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Dinner Party Tips http://oneforthetable.com/Amy-Ephron/dinner-party-tips.html http://oneforthetable.com/Amy-Ephron/dinner-party-tips.html

asparagus1There’s something lovely about inviting friends for dinner, an actual dinner party with table settings and flowers. A group of friends sitting around a table, lingering over the main course, a couple of glasses of wine or home-made Arnold Palmer’s, and finishing with an excellent pie, preferably cherry. But having a dinner party can be a lot of work. And often, unless you have a lot of help, the host and hostess don’t get to always socialize themselves. So, I have a new trick.

Make-ahead sides. And on top of that room temperature sides. The thought is, it has to be a little big elegant, healthy, and, of course delicious.

I’d talked Alan into barbequing small farm raised Greek branzino (supporting the Greeks seemed like an excellent idea.) Then served the appetizers outside so he wouldn’t feel lonely while he grilled. It was a gorgeous night anyway and it’s L.A.

Simple appetizers. Cheese, an assortment of California goat and French triple creme. (Cheese is an indulgence anyway so why not triple creme. Served with an excellent bakery baguette sliced very thin. Olives. Almonds. A sliced pear. And lovely heart crackers because I love the way they look. And raw cut carrots and celery because definitely one of our guests would be only eating that....

Even the appetizers were no fuss. It was lovely and so was the summer corn salad (definitely cribbed from a Wolfgang Puck recipe) and the room temperature asparagus vinaigrette, an invention of my own.

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editor@oneforthetable.com (Amy Ephron) Amy Ephron Mon, 14 Sep 2015 19:42:14 -0700
Break Fast as Opposed to Breakfast (Sort Of) http://oneforthetable.com/Amy-Ephron/break-fast-as-opposed-to-breakfast-sort-of.html http://oneforthetable.com/Amy-Ephron/break-fast-as-opposed-to-breakfast-sort-of.html

noeatingamy ephron colorIt’s almost Yom Kippur and for those of you who are fasting, I can imagine the whining by four o’clock. “I’m hungry. Yikes this is hard.” It actually is kind of hard not to eat for a day and I am not in awe of people who go on prolonged cleansing fasts, as I’m not sure it’s actually good for you.

But fasting on Yom Kippur is a tradition and one that is honored by many on what is called The Day of Atonement. Even the origins of fasting are murky. There is possibly one biblical reference to fasting which I read in an article in the Israeli newspaper online, Haaretz: “ye shall afflict your souls,” which, the author in Haaretz states, “elsewhere in the Bible usually refers to fasting.”

But it’s a tradition that’s stuck, which brings me to break fast. One would think break fast would be an extraordinary meal, filled with all kinds of special and unique dishes. But in Los Angeles, at least, a city I can speak to, when you go to someone’s house at sundown for break fast, it most closely resembles breakfast at a deli rather than an evening feast. Bagels, cream cheese, & lox abound. Blintzes are often featured. Often accompanied by scrambled eggs.

It almost makes sense. After you’ve fasted, you generally want something light and brisket wouldn’t be the ticket. On the other hand, I could be talked into some brisket hash with poached eggs!

But what I always love to have for dinner, once or twice a year, and possibly for break fast is My Mother’s Lox, Onion, & Eggs!

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editor@oneforthetable.com (Amy Ephron) Amy Ephron Wed, 01 Oct 2014 15:21:42 -0700
My Side http://oneforthetable.com/Amy-Ephron/my-side.html http://oneforthetable.com/Amy-Ephron/my-side.html

my-sideamy ephron colorEveryone has a side of the bed. At least I think they do. I always sleep on the right side by the windows, just in case I want to make a quick exit. (Kidding.) Most people, I think, have a dedicated place at the table. We don’t really. We tend to move around, a product of our lifestyle; the view; the sort of loft-like nature of our house; who happens to be at the dinner table. One or the other of us might say, “I want to sit here.” Or one of the children, “Wait a minute, that’s MY place.” And then a shuffle occurs and we all reorder ourselves.

I also don’t believe in the rule that couples should be separated at a dinner party. Sometimes couples should be allowed to sit next to each other (and sometimes not...) depending on the make-up of the dinner party. Inevitably someone protests one rule or another – “I want to sit next to him,” or someone else will say, “Couples should be separated, I can’t help it that I feel that way, I’m British.” If there are only six of you at dinner, it doesn’t make that much difference, anyway. I sometimes wish we had a dining room that accommodated a round table. We don’t. We have a long thin dining room with a slanted ceiling (higher on one side than the other), windows only on one side and not the length-wise side, that one of my nephews refers to as “The Mafia Room.” I’m not sure why.

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editor@oneforthetable.com (Amy Ephron) Amy Ephron Tue, 16 Sep 2014 15:01:01 -0700
Four Signs You May Have Put on Three Pounds http://oneforthetable.com/Amy-Ephron/four-signs-you-may-have-put-on-three-pounds.html http://oneforthetable.com/Amy-Ephron/four-signs-you-may-have-put-on-three-pounds.html

plainbagelamy ephron color1) When the person making you scrambled eggs says, “Do you want me to cook these in olive oil?”

2) Followed by, “You don’t really want a bagel, do you?”

3) And when the bagel is grudgingly toasted and delivered to the table, naked and somewhat unappealing, the shy whispered remark, “I didn’t think you wanted anything on it...”

4) A few hours later, you call a friend and say, “I’m going to be a little late, I’m going to the gym.” And they respond, “Really, I didn’t know you went to the gym...”

Which brings me to my excellent recipe for an egg white frittata, which I usually make in grapeseed oil but olive oil works, too. And if you put enough ingredients in it, you really don’t need a bagel.

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editor@oneforthetable.com (Amy Ephron) Amy Ephron Mon, 27 Jan 2014 13:38:57 -0800
Me and My Keurig http://oneforthetable.com/Amy-Ephron/me-and-my-keurig.html http://oneforthetable.com/Amy-Ephron/me-and-my-keurig.html

kuerig.jpgamy ephron colorI have a complicated relationship with my Keurig. It was given to us at Christmas by my husband’s children. It was an amazing gift, thoughtful, inventive, and big. It is big. It is also streamlined and beautiful. I’d never seen anything like it before, which made them laugh hysterically (as it did half my friends). Confession: I don’t work in an office and when I do go to offices, they don’t usually invite me into the kitchen. The fact that I’d never seen anything like it before made me feel a little bit like Abe Simpson.

I also felt a little bit the way someone probably felt in the ‘50s when they got their first blender. “Wow, I can actually make a margarita at home. I can make a milkshake. I wonder if I can make gazpacho?” The Waring blender was probably invented in the ‘30s and someone is probably about to correct me. Yep. I just looked it up, the blender was invented in the ‘30s and the waring blender was named after Fred Waring, a musician who financed the fine tuning of the Hamilton Beach invention. (Don’t ask me about the patent rights.) But I wonder if my Grandmother wanted to buy stock in the Waring company. (My Grandmother bought stock in Campbells’ Soup when they invented Campbell’s Cream of Tomato Soup – I don’t know how she did with that, but there was no way you could get her to sell that stock.)

I have a friend who wanted to buy stock in Keurig and is mad at her husband because they didn’t. Apparently it was a good stock buy. I’m not sure I would want to buy stock in Keurig because I’m not sure it’s ecological and I have an issue with that. Also, I missed the boat. The time to buy the stock was when the Keurig came out, not when it arrived in my kitchen last December.]]> editor@oneforthetable.com (Amy Ephron) Amy Ephron Tue, 07 Feb 2012 22:57:55 -0800 Osso Buco You Can Make at Home http://oneforthetable.com/Amy-Ephron/osso-buco-you-can-make-at-home.html http://oneforthetable.com/Amy-Ephron/osso-buco-you-can-make-at-home.html

ossobucodone.jpgHave you ever tried to make something once, (twice, three times, with three different recipes from three different cookbooks) and it never quite came out the way it was supposed to. And your husband, who’s a better cook than you are (or at least better at actually following the recipe) tries the same from yet another cookbook and then another (at least we’re persistent) and it never works, never quite tastes the same tender, delicious way it does in practically any Italian restaurant on any corner in any city in the world.

So, you put it in the category of “Don’t try this at home.” Osso Bucco. It’s never quite tender, never quite fall off the bones delicious, Italian, melt in your mouth restaurant perfect!

But, a couple of months ago, I was at the butcher in the Farmer’s Market on Fairfax and they had these perfectly lovely cuts of Veal Shank, really cute, and so (what was I thinking), I bought them for the freezer. And last week, when there was nothing in the house, I defrosted them.

Alan did say to me, when he came home from work and asked what was for dinner and I announced, “Osso Bucco.

“Really,” he said with a smirk, “What are you thinking, you know that never works.”

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editor@oneforthetable.com (Amy Ephron) Amy Ephron Mon, 14 Jun 2010 05:32:25 -0700
My Filofax, My Friend http://oneforthetable.com/Amy-Ephron/my-filofax-my-friend.html http://oneforthetable.com/Amy-Ephron/my-filofax-my-friend.html

filofax.jpgFour people asked me what I wanted for my birthday last week and I gave each of them the same answer, “A new Filofax.” All four of them said the same thing. “No, you don’t. Nobody wants a Filofax any more. It’s so old-fashioned. Don’t be ridiculous. iPhone.” My daughter Maia was the harshest. She simply said, “Oh, Mom! iPhone.” It made me feel old-fashioned. It made me feel old.

For the record, I have an iPhone but despite the fact that four assistants over the last three years have religiously promised to transfer all my names and phone numbers into my computer and my iPhone, it hasn’t quite happened yet. And I never seem to have the time.

But I like my Filofax (even though it does sort of look like a truck ran over it.) It feels like a friend. I like it that it has names and addresses and phone numbers hand-printed into it. (Arguably, a few of them are dead, but I’ve learned not to notice. And I can’t quite bring myself to cross the names out. That would seem too final.) I use it in meetings to take notes. Sometimes, I’ll have a thought in the car or a random sentence for something I’m working on and I’ll pull over and jot it down into my Filofax. There are a few haikus that will probably never be printed anywhere else. I can gauge from them how sad I was on a given day. (Haikus are usually sad. The more comedic ones have found their way into my computer.)

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editor@oneforthetable.com (Amy Ephron) Amy Ephron Tue, 20 Oct 2009 06:25:58 -0700
Mail-Order BBQ http://oneforthetable.com/Amy-Ephron/mail-order-bbq.html http://oneforthetable.com/Amy-Ephron/mail-order-bbq.html

porkbutt.jpgConfession: I love food that comes in the mail.

I, also love having something in the freezer just in case we decide on a whim to have eight people for dinner tomorrow night. Or tonight for that matter, but this only works if you decide this early enough in the day to defrost whatever it is you have in the freezer just in case you’re entertaining on a whim.

A few weeks ago, I was sent samples from Edwards & Sons Virginia Traditions BBQ. It was summer and I was really excited to get them, especially since the samples included an entire pork roast butt (completely suitable for a dinner party of eight or more).

I don’t write about things that are sent to me unless I love them. Those “crabcakes” from Baltimore come to mind, the ones that sort of resembled a baseball. We tried everything – we even put them in a tomato sauce and put them on top of spaghetti – no luck. A crabcake should not resemble a meatball!

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editor@oneforthetable.com (Amy Ephron) Amy Ephron Sun, 17 Jul 2011 07:53:31 -0700
Meet Me at the Ritz http://oneforthetable.com/Amy-Ephron/meet-me-at-the-ritz.html http://oneforthetable.com/Amy-Ephron/meet-me-at-the-ritz.html

peninsula.jpgI admit it – I have a soft spot for hotel bars partly because the first time my present husband declared himself to me was at a hotel bar – albeit it was coming on the heels of “I think you have another girlfriend (true) and if you want to keep seeing me, you’d better tell her good-bye....” In fairness, we’d only been dating for a week and we hadn’t kissed yet. And my version of the story is way more dramatic than his. In my version, I exit the table and he runs after me and says, “Wait, wait...I think I’m falling in love with you.” In his version, the dialogue is the same, but he claims he didn’t run after me in the patio of the bar at The Peninsula in Beverly Hills and dramatically stop my exit, he simply said it at the table. (I’m right, by the way....)

Neither of us dispute the second part – that the first time we kissed was in the driveway of the Peninsula (about three minutes after the declaration) as we were both waiting for our own cars and the possibility that we might never see each other again was hanging in the air. The valets all started laughing and smiling, and in my writer’s mind, there was also applause (this is potentially debatable) but the valets were pretty sweet since basically it was sort of old people making out and could have elicited a slightly different reaction, like yucch, and if this is “too much information” for my children, I apologize about that....

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editor@oneforthetable.com (Amy Ephron) Amy Ephron Sun, 07 Feb 2010 05:54:36 -0800