Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day

As I write this newsletter, my daddy is sitting in a hospital waiting to go home.  He’s been there several days after a collapse at home and a diagnoses of pneumonia.  This is his second hospitalization for pneumonia this year and naturally, everyone in the family is concerned.  Daddy has an amazing spirit, though, and I’d like to share some of the things that keep him going:

Daddy is very slow to anger, but when he blows, find the nearest cast iron bathtub to crouch down in.  For daddy, explosion is sometimes the best medicine.

Daddy would rather be on the water (ON, not IN) than ANYwhere else in the world.  Preferably in silence.

Daddy is a man of few words (hence the silence above).

At 83, Daddy still races in regattas, and still wins.

Clint Eastwood looks a great deal like my daddy.

Daddy has a very dry sense of humour, and he’s so slick you don’t even know that sometimes it’s directed AT you.

Daddy has a hard time saying no to the people he loves.  This makes them love him more.

Daddy is a well respected Harley “dude”, at 82 graduating from a Heritage Softail to a Freewheeler Trike.

Once daddy makes a promise, you can count on it.  You can really count on my dad.

Daddy hobnobs with some extremely hi-falutin’ people.  You’d never know it.  Daddy’s never thrown a name around (Jimmy Buffet for one) or tried to impress anyone with his connections (Russian Olympic Sailing Team, America’s Cup winners, Silicon Valley billionaires).  As you can see I am not above throwing names around on behalf of my daddy.

Daddy doesn’t get to indulge in his favorite foodstuffs very often anymore because of his health problems, so in honor of him this Father’s Day, Lula’s is offering some of the things he loves.  Click here to see Lula’s for Lunch…and More! father’s day menu.  I love you daddy, and I miss you!

Pineapple

How do you pick a pineapple in a store?  I always pluck out a center leaf – if it comes out quite easily the pineapple is ripe.  Now that I’ve let the cat out of the bag, though, I guess everyone else will do the same and when I get there, maybe that’s not such a good test anymore!!  So, I’ll smell it at the stem end.  The stronger and sweeter it smells (it should REALLY reek of pineapple), the riper it is.  If you really need a pineapple and they are all giving off only faint smells, buy it and let it sit on the counter for a couple of days till the aroma develops.  Then slice into that juicy bad boy!!  – Lula

Daddy’s “Pie Plant”

raspberry-rhubarb-fool-2

We’re talkin’ Rhubarb, here…known all over the US as “Pie Plant”.  I first tasted rhubarb when my daddy began growing it in our back yard for my mother to make pies.  He had grown up on Rhubarb Pie in Michigan and my mom had never heard of it!

Officially a vegetable, rhubarb has been treated as a fruit for centuries.  I find it to be a very interesting vegetable because of all of its contradictions:  used as a fruit but it’s a vegetable, its leaves are toxic (yes they will KILL you if you eat a bunch, or just make you really sick if you only eat one or two), and its root has been used medicinally for eons to cure several maladies, constipation for one!Chemicals in rhubarb have also been found to destroy leukemia cells and lung cancer cells.  Go figure!

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie comes to mind when rhubarb is brought up in conversation, but Lula has a base recipe for several lovely dishes using RASPBERRY Rhubarb.  Enjoy this pic of our Raspberry Rhubarb Fool!  You can ask for a derivation of this combination anytime from February thru July usually – or until we run out!!

Labeling your Leftovers!

I don’t know HOW MANY times I’ve put leftovers in containers (you know the cottage cheese container that you feel really bad about just throwing away – SAVE OUR PLANET! – so you wash it and re-use it as many times as possible before it goes into recycling)…and said to myself “Self, you’re incredibly smart and quick and have the best memory; of COURSE you’re going to remember what’s in this container next month when you’re scrounging for a quick lunch”!

NOT.  So I started using folder labels to identify and date the food.  Didn’t work – labels fell off.  So I bought freezer labels but really resented how expensive they were.  So I bought myself a permanent black Sharpie and started writing stuff on the lids.  The lids got “full” (I’m really concerned about the environment).  THEN I saw a tip SOMEwhere I can’t remember – and I’m going to share it with you.  Buy a roll of blue painter’s tape at the hardware store.  Five bucks, you can tear pieces off with your hands – no need for scissors, it won’t fall off in the freezer, that five dollar investment will pay off for 5 YEARS,  and it’s easily removable when you need to switch labels.  There.  For more tips and tidbits subscribe here.

Keep your Guacamole GREEN!

I hate it when my beautiful avocado stuff starts to “turn” and gets dull and brown.   Lula’s for Lunch…and More! Catering  has to make a pretty large volume upon occasion and sometimes it has to sit in the fridge for a couple of days – and there’s just not enough acid in the recipe to keep it in the “Kermit” family, SO…..I cover the surface with a thin film of WATER.  The guac is dense enough (and fatty enough!)  that it won’t absorb the water – so when I’m  ready to use it I just tilt the container and pour the water off and voila!  it’s just as vibrant as when I made it!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Merry Christmas!I miss my mom.  She hasn’t left this earth, but she’s not really here either – she has Alzheimer’s.  I would really like to feed my mom this Mother’s Day – she would love the menu (well…most of it, anyway…like these Deconstructed Truffled Deviled Eggs) and that’s saying something – she has never really even liked to eat!

Instead, I’d like to feed you.  The good news is that you can mix and match Lula’s selections from our Mother’s Day menu.  You can order for as few as 8 people on up.  And we deliver the day before with presentation instructions so it’s foolproof and you can take all of the credit if you want! 🙂  Click here to see the goodies from which you can choose!

A Note From Chef Lori

Here’s another offering on our Mother’s Day menu…Raspberry or Strawberry Rhubarb Fool with Cardamom Dust – creamy, sweet, tart, cool…

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Does Gluten make your Tummy Hurt?

CHICKPEA BREAD!

Here are some alternative flours and how to use them:

Rice Flour is pretty high in protein and can provide the structure you want in baked goods, but make sure it is finely ground.  If you’ve bought a brown rice flour keep it in the fridge or freezer so it won’t go rancid – the germ and bran layer contains oil.

Nut Flours, when ground properly, simulate the grain of wheat flours but contain gluten producing proteins.  You can’t produce bread  or cake with these, but adding them to regular flour to lower the gluten content will make your finished product very tasty and tenderized.  You really want to store these in the freezer with their high oil content – they’re so expensive you don’t want them to go rancid!  Lula’s for Lunch…and More! Catering uses nut flours in a few of our pastry dishes.

Buckwheat Flour, even though the name contains the word wheat, isn’t wheat in any shape or form – it’s more closely related to rhubarb and sorrel!!  Protein is high – about 13%, and people make crepes and soba noodles with it, as well as the Russian pancake called blini.  Try , which can be made at your request with 100% buckwheat flour, or a combination of wheat flour & buckwheat – you get the same light texture but all of the fabulous flavor of buckwheat!

Chickpea, or garbanzo flour can be made from raw OR roasted beans.  It as a really high protein content at around 20% and can be used for bread and other savory gluten-free baking.

An Asparagus Primer

Roasted Asparagus Wrapped in Roast Beef w/Homemade Wasabi Creme

Spring has sprung and with it so has the asparagus!  Did you know asparagus is related to the lily?  You can get green, purple, and white asparagus for a lovely bouquet.  Don’t shave purple asparagus either – the fabulous color is only skin deep.  Purple asparagus contains about 20% more sugar than the other two, and less fiber, so it’s sweeter and more tender.

Store ALL of your asparagus upright (cut stalk down) in a little bit of water in the fridge – it’ll last much longer!  The next time you visit Lula’s website, or Lula’s Facebook Page, order our  refreshing Chilled Creamy Asparagus Soup,  our lovely Asparagus and Goat Cheese Tart (or tartlettes if you’re having an appetizer party!) or our FABULOUS Roasted Asparagus Wrapped in Roast Beef with our Homemade Wasabi Crème!

Lula’s Sugar Series – The Wet Stuff LAST Post – Sorghum

What a plant.  This stuff is kind of like hemp in its varied uses and value.  Look it up!  I will only concentrate on Sorghum SYRUP which comes from a native African grass.  Mostly made in the southeast and gulf states, every small batch and brand is different – owing probably to the soil and climate where the grass is grown.

Lula’s for Lunch…and More! Catering loves sorghum for its earthy, malty and molasses like flavors and odors – it contributes depth to recipes and creates that “what IS that flavor” question on the tip of your palate! It is a (no longer) secret ingredient in Lula’s Kentucky Black Bourbon Sauce and is key in our popular Sorghum, Cider and Sassafras Vinaigrette, gracing our Heirloom Beet Salad pictured above.

Lula’s Sugar Series – The Wet Stuff Part 6

You don’t hear much about Golden Syrup outside of Great Britain,  and even there you’ll almost exclusively find the brand Lyle’s, but it is well loved across the pond.  It’s about 25% sweeter than sugar and is made from cane.  It has a butterscotch and toffee flavor.  the Brits like to use it in the flapjack, which is a bar cookie, not a pancake.  It IS great poured over pancakes however!!  It is also called “treacle“.  Ever heard of the movie “Brimstone and Treacle”?  If you’re a Sting fan you might want to check it out!

In Lula's Kitchen, Love is ALWAYS our First Ingredient!