Start Your Christmas Cake Now!

Last week we unwrapped and cut open a Christmas cake, dark like mahogany, tall as a hat block, one we had tucked away on an upper shelf in a tin since last November, unsure whether a summer of neglect had made a hash of it. For the first six or eight months, each week, we had dutifully peeled back parchment paper, flipped and moistened the cake with a tablespoon or two of brandy – a recipe we adapted from Jane Grigson’s English Food – a chore we abandoned around mid-July. It was perfect. With three months until the end of

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Fragrant, Crackling Ribs a Standout at Taíno in Middletown

Ribs were the standout when we stopped into Taíno Smokehouse in Middletown, CT, regarded among the better places for barbecue in Connecticut, for takeout. If we had known earlier just how inviting the vine-draped patio would be, we probably would have stayed for lunch. We ordered their top-tier beef brisket, American Wagyu sourced from the suddenly faddish Snake River Farms, and house-made sausage, but the St. Louis pork ribs had ‘it’ — a backyard quality of the pit, fragrant, crackling, lost in many larger and commercial operations. My companions were especially taken by the cheesy corn — a creamed-corn-like side dish

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CT Examiner’s Weekend Crossword

This week’s crossword puzzle is “Sound Fountain Orders.” As always, send you completed puzzles to editor@ctexaminer.com You can download a print copy of the puzzle here Last week’s puzzle solution…

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CT Examiner’s Weekend Crossword

Every weekend the staff at the Connecticut Examiner brings you a puzzle to while away an hour or two on Sunday. You can download and print the puzzle by clicking here Last week’s solution

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CT Examiner’s Weekend Crossword

After a one week hiatus, we’re back with our weekly crossword puzzle. As always, mail your completed puzzles to editor@ctexaminer.com You can download a PDF of the puzzle to print out here

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When Life Gives You Red Currants

Good white bread, tart red fruit, a few tablespoons of sugar, a splash of water — in less than a half hour, with no particular skill and a little patience, you can make a splendid English summer pudding. I guarantee you, no sweet better conveys the pure fresh flavors of raspberries or red currants, is more refreshing after a light evening meal or luncheon. All the things you think you want — the butteriness of shortbread, the creaminess of ice cream, the rich, thickened fruitiness of cobbler and pie — summer pudding proves the addition of subtraction. Tempted to improve

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CT Examiner’s Sunday Crossword

Congratulations, to Bob Flanagan in West Hartford for the winning puzzle last week… have a solution? Mail it to editor@ctexaminer.com for a fabulous prize!

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CT Examiner’s Memorial Day Crossword Puzzle

Last week’s prize winner from Essex, CT chooses to remain anonymous, but is entitled to the same fabulous prize that everyone will eventually receive. Please send your completed puzzles to editor@ctexaminer.com

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CT Examiner’s Sunday Puzzle

Congratulations to Renwick Griswold for the win! All the prizes are delayed with COVID-19, but they will fabulous! Have this week’s solution? Send it to editor@ctexaminer.com Last week’s solution

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CT Examiner’s Sunday Crossword

138 clues — and every letter in the alphabet with the exception of Q and X — in a 21 by 21 square. Every Sunday, each week’s winner receives a fabulous prize (eventually). Send your completed puzzle to editor@ctexaminer.com Solution for May 3, 2020

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The Holy Grail of Backyard Pizza

On my fourth go – with supermarket dough no less – I had achieved (or at least glimpsed) the Holy Grail of backyard pizza, a Neapolitan-style pizza in just under 90 seconds, telltale leopard-spotting on the cornicione, a bit of char on the undercarriage. As a personal expression, I was turning out in these first attempts pizza competitive with the best in the state. After twenty years of pizza making and all sorts of stoves and stones and grills – none actually better than a cheap grad school Magic Chef that melted the kitchen linoleum each time it came up

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‘Tis the Season: The Original Sazerac

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The earliest American cocktails, or most of them, cobblers, old-fashioneds, juleps, sazeracs — all dating to some time prior to the Civil War — combine a base spirit, often brandy or whiskey, a bit of sweetener in the form of simple syrup or a sugar cube, herbal bitters, and more or less garnish. 3 oz rye whiskey, a sugar cube soaked with angostura bitters, muddled with a bit of fruit, built with enough additional ice so that it no longer floats, and you have an classic old-fashioned. With a copious fruit garnish, you have a cobbler. Drop the fruit garnish,

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A Better Corned Beef for St. Patrick’s Day

About a dozen days ago I stood across the counter from owner Paul Kozey at Walt’s Food Market in Old Saybrook and asked for a whole flat-cut brisket — the relatively lean portion with the familiar boxy shape separated from the odd-shaped point. Walt’s is a mid-century throwback, a familiar sort of small grocery on the Main Street with the meat counter in the back and groceries up front. A steady traffic of locals buys sandwiches, maybe the best in the area, roasts and prepared food. Kozey stepped into the back and brought out a few choices — none of

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Effective Response, Cross-border Lag, in Case of Coronavirus in Stonington Daycare – Niantic Children’s Museum Closes After Positive Test

With the first confirmed case of the Coronavirus in southeastern Connecticut linked to a Rhode Island child in a daycare facility in Stonington, Stephen Mansfield, executive director of Ledge Light Health District, said that while initial communication across state borders overnight had caused a short lag in awareness, proactive steps by the family and daycare provider nevertheless followed best practices recommended by the State Department of Health in Connecticut. Families and individuals possibly exposed to the virus in Stonington have been asked to “self-quarantine” for 14 days. Rather than focusing on a particular case, Mansfield cautioned that the public “should

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