A Cook's Kitchen

"The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude." -Julia Child  










All we really need is a collection of favorites to entertain. A generous wine glass, nice linens, and great company. Even if the preparations go awry the dinner will be memorable.













 Back to Basics: White Glazed Ceramics by Cote Bastide






James Beard was one of the giants of American food. Teacher as well as Chef with a gift of enthusiasm in speech and writing. Simply, he wanted everyone to cook and share. 

Ina Garten: The Barefoot Contessa, has been able to achieve celebrity chef status through easy recipes, and gracious entertaining, all of which were self taught. An extraordinarily private person, often declining interviews and social functions, found her way by simply working hard and enjoying life. 





 Hand blown decanters and glasses. 









Growing up in Colorado, I was fortunate enough to live in the mountain range. A place where wild rose hips were abundant. My parents and I would go trout fishing quite often in the local streams, rivers and lakes. My mother would spot the developing rose hips and had an idea that became a tradition. 

This time of year they were perfect for the picking, if we could only remember where we saw them a few weeks ago, or if the local animals didn't beat us to the harvest. After an hour or so of climbing, hiking and looking for the cherished Rocky Mountain fruit, we came across what I thought was the mother lode. It wasn't, mind you it was good.....but we needed a giant basket full not a small pockets worth. After a full day of gathering, we accomplished our goal: Enough to make one of my favorites to date, Rose hip jelly. I found the recipe the other day, folded and glued on a 3 x 5 card. From House Beautiful 1962 

I wonder if I can find Rose hips in Chicago.... 

Preparations and ingredients:

1 3/4 lbs rose hips

12 cups water

4 pounds unripe apples

4 cups sugar

Simmer the rose hips (available in Scandinavian food shops) and 6 cups of water in a covered pot over low heat for 3 hours, or until very soft. (Or cook in a pressure cooker for 1 hour.) Drip through a jelly bag overnight. (If you do not have a jelly bag, line a colander with 4 thicknesses of cheesecloth and set over a bowl.) Quarter the apples and simmer in remaining water in a covered pot over low heat until reduced to a pulp. Drip through a jelly bag overnight. The next day, measure 4 cups of rose hip juice and 4 cups of apple juice into a large preserving kettle. (If the juice is insufficient, add water to make up the difference.) Add the sugar and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly until the sugar is dissolved. Continue to boil until a thermometer registers 220° or until the juice thickens and sheets from the side of a spoon (i.e., when the last 2 drops on the spoon run together). Skim the jelly, pour into hot, sterilized jelly glasses and cover with a thin layer of melted paraffin. When the paraffin has hardened, cover the glasses and store.