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The Brass Sisters celebrate Mother’s Day by sharing their mother’s favorite recipes, while Helena Echlin tells us the rules on keeping secret recipes confidential. Clare Crespo creates magic with Yummyfun Kooking, septuagenarian Clarence Bass shares his “uniform eating” diet and filmmaker Justin Bookey digs up the geoduck clam. Plus, Jonathan Gold tells us about his latest food find, writer Jennifer 8. Lee discusses the evolution of Chinese food in America and Laura Avery finds what’s in season in a fresh Market Report.

The Art of Simple Food

Alice Waters

Guest Interview The Market Report 7 MIN, 38 SEC



Laura Avery chat with Mark Peel, chef-owner of Campanile restaurant, who loves the fresh berries this time of year. His favorite variety of strawberry right now is the Avalon. Also good are Seascape and Gaviota.  He also likes to buy Agretti, a herb-like vegetable that is available right now from some farmers.  He sautes it quickly with a little garlic and olive oil.


Fresh morel mushrooms are also available right now. They need to be washed well since they grow in sandy soil.  Cook them slowly over low heat in olive oil. He eats them with chicken breast or any other kind of meat.

Cherries are here! Brooks are the first variety to make it to the market. Look for Tulare to come next before the dark red Bings.


Music break: Mon Manage a Moi by Ze Maria

Guest Interview A Mother's Day Tale 8 MIN, 2 SEC


Marilynn and Sheila Brass, known as the Brass Sisters, celebrate Mother's Day by recounting a story of their mother that made her cry tears of despair. They also share their mother's favorite recipes. Marilynn and Sheila Brass have a new PBS show called The Brass Sisters: Queens of Comfort Food, which airs on WGBH in Boston. Their new book, Heirloom Cooking, is due out in October 2008.

Mama’s Chocolate Velvet Cake
Makes 10 slices

1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup milk
¼ tsp baking soda
3oz bitter chocolate, melted
2 Tablespoons hot water
2 ¼ cups sifted cake flour
2 ½ tsps baking powder
1 tsp salt
½ cup butter
1 ½ cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
Confectioners sugar (optional)

1.  Set the oven rack in the middle position. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat a 10-inch springform pan with vegetable spray. Cut a parchment paper or wax paper liner to fit the bottom of the pan. Insert the liner and coat with vegetable spray. Dust pan with flour and tap out the excess. (This cake can also be baked in an 8-cup Bundt pan.)

2.  Add lemon juice to milk, stir, and set aside to sour, about 15 minutes.

3.  Combine baking soda, chocolate, and hot water in a small bowl, stirring briskly. Let cool slightly. (The mixture will become very stiff but will combine with batter.)

4.  Sift together cake flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl.

5.  Cream butter and sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until soft and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and blend in. Add chocolate mixture and combine. Add vanilla to soured milk. Add sifted dry ingredients alternately with milk to batter.

6.  Place batter in springform pan. Bake 35 minutes (45 minutes for Bundt pan), or until tester inserted into cake comes out dry. The top of cake may be slightly cracked. Place pan on rack and allow to cool 30 minutes. Run a butter knife gently around edges and remove sides of pan. When completely cool, run butter knife around bottom of pan, invert cake, and remove the wax paper liner. Place the cake on a serving plate and dust with confectioners’ sugar, if desired. Store cake loosely wrapped in wax paper at room temperature.

Sweet Tip: This cake cuts easily when cooled to room temperature. Do not attempt to cut it while it is still warm, though - it will crumble.

Mama's Apricot Strudel with Cream Cheese Crust
Makes 40 slices

For Apricot Filling
8 ozs dried apricots
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar
15 soda crackers, broken into crumbs
1 cup pistachio nuts, toasted

For Dough
½ cup butter
4 ozs cream cheese
1 2/3 cups flour
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup cold milk
¼ cup butter, melted

1.  Set the oven rack in the middle position. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cover a 14-inch by 16-inch baking sheet with foil, shiny side up. Coat the foil with vegetable spray or use a silicone liner.

2.  To make the filling: Place apricots in a saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cover and simmer about 15 minutes, or until apricots form a soft paste. Check on fruit periodically to see that it does not burn, especially toward end of cooking time. Transfer apricot paste to a bowl and add lemon juice and sugar. Allow to cool.

3.  To make the dough: Place butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream until soft and fluffy. Add flour and salt and mix to combine. Add milk to form a soft dough. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator until firm enough to roll out.

4.  Remove dough from refrigerator and divide into 4 sections. Roll out one section of dough on floured wax paper or parchment paper to a 1/16-inch thick rectangle. Brush surface with melted butter. Place one fourth of the apricot filling at top of dough leaving a 1-inch edge. Sprinkle one fourth of nuts and soda cracker crumbs on top of filling. Roll strudel lengthwise from top to bottom, like a jelly roll, using paper as an aid. Place strudel on baking sheet, seam side down. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.

5.  Brush each strudel with melted butter. Bake 20 minutes at 400°F. Turn oven temperature down to 350°F and bake 10 to 12 minutes more. Brush once during baking with melted butter. Remove pan from oven and place on rack. Cool for 10 minutes. While still on pan, cut strudel diagonally into 1-inch slices. Continue to cool. Store between sheets of wax paper in a covered tin.

Sweet Tip: Serve this strudel dusted with confectioners’ sugar. It is best when eaten within 2=two days.

Music break: Mountain Greenery by Larry Elgart

Heirloom Cooking

Marilynn Brass

Guest Interview Secret Recipe Etiquette 6 MIN, 19 SEC

Etiquette expert Helena Echlin tells us the rules on keeping secret recipes confidential and talks about her own secret salsa recipe that won't share with anyone. Echlin writes the Table Manner column for Chow magazine online.

Music break: Music to Watch Girls By by The Brass Ring

Guest Interview Yummyfun Kooking 5 MIN, 35 SEC


Clare Crespo creates kitchen magic with Yummyfun Kooking, an amazingly inventive cooking series that transports viewers into another world. Her shows are available for purchase on DVD on her YummyFun website.

Music break: Mysterious Habitats by Los Angeles Guitar Quartet

Guest Interview Uniform Eating 7 MIN, 24 SEC


Septuagenarian Clarence Bass controls his caloric intake by eating the same meals everyday through his "uniform eating" diet. He recommends eating healthy foods that you enjoy and respond to your body. Bass is a lawyer, bodybuilding champion and author of Great Expectations: Health Fitness Leanness Without Suffering.

Music break: Neil's Theme by Robin Guthrie and Harold Budd

Great Expectations

Clarence Bass

Guest Interview Geoduck Clam 8 MIN, 18 SEC


Filmmaker Justin Bookey digs deep for the geoduck clam, the world's largest and oldest clam, in 3 Feet Under: Digging Deep for the Geoduck Clam. Pronounced "gooey duck", the clam has a phallic neck, can live over 160 years and is native to the Pacific Northwest.

Music break: No Name Bar by Isaac Hayes

3 Feet Under

Justin Bookey

Guest Interview La Mill Coffee 7 MIN, 2 SEC

Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic and LA Weekly columnist Jonathan Gold samples the next generation of coffee gastronomy at La Mill Coffee in Silver Lake. He recommends the French toast, Yukon gold potato/leek soup, Asian BLT and cured Tasmanian sea trout, as well as the cafe con leche.

La Mill Coffee Boutique
1636 Silver Lake Blvd
Silver Lake, CA 90026

Music break: Stressed Out (ReMix) by Jerry Allen

Guest Interview American Chinese Food 7 MIN, 16 SEC


Writer Jennifer 8. Lee discusses the evolution of Chinese food in America in her book, The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food. Lee also solves Chinese food mysteries, such as the chow mein sandwich.


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