Friday, July 11, 2014

Foodie Friday: Olives, Sardines and Crisco


When Shira and I travel, one of our favorite activities is to browse the local grocery store and try our luck with some of the items being sold. Sometimes this goes horribly wrong. But sometimes it goes wonderfully right. Like our discovery of Crespo Olive Pouches. We picked up one of these guys in a Paris grocery store, and they turned out to be a wonderful picnic treat. The packaging is nice and portable, they don't require refrigeration and of course, they are quite tasty.

We bought a bunch more packages and even brought some back with us to the states. Our supply was just about gone when it occurred to me that we could probably buy said olives online. And of course, you can. While browsing the site, I learned that they olives are actually under Kosher supervision. I went ahead and purchased the sampler box and it arrived yesterday. (Let's ignore the fact that it came from Baltimore; I'd like to imagine they carried over by boat from a small town in France).

And sure enough, it's the real deal:

Above is the French version compared to the English versions. I noticed that the English ones are indeed marked O-U. Some items included in the sampler were not marked, and I actually asked the Transmed Food people about this. They responded by sending me the O-U Kosher Certificate that demonstrates that all their products, not just the olive packets, are under supervision. (They asked that I don't post the certificate; though they'll be glad to send you a copy).

All I know is, I've got another quick and easy item to toss into my bag when Shira and I go on a hike or otherwise plan a picnic. And opening them up, brings us right back to the banks of Seine.


I've been meaning to try a recipe with the cans of sardines I picked up for last Passover. One option that looked nice and easy: Fisherman's Eggs. This three step recipe was easy enough that even I could pull it off. It's something you bake, so it's relatively easy to set it and forget it (for all of 15 minutes, that is). Here's how my version came out:

Trust me, that's pretty dang close to how it's supposed to look. (Though, I hardly nailed the presentation. My eggs are lopsided. D'oh.)

The dish was quite tasty and was far more impressive than just eating sardines from a can. I'd say it's one of those cases where the sum is greater than each of the parts. And here's the best part: the ingredients are simply: sardines, eggs, onions, garlic, parsley (which I skipped) and some black pepper, all of which are Kosher for Passover. In other words, Passover breakfast will never be the same again!

(And by the way, I had no idea that My People had such a love affair with sardines. Herring, yes. Lox, definitely. But sardines? it's true.


Good news, this isn't actually about *eating* Crisco, just using it. You know how you can use an orange and some olive oil to make a mood enhancing lamp? It turns out, that's not the only field expedient light source you've got in and around your kitchen. This article lists 5 different ideas.

They all have a common theme: take a wick (any old piece of cotton fiber - a strand of a mop or a bit of old t-shirt) and stick it in some fat. The leftover grease from a sardine can packed in olive oil is perfect. As is just sticking the wick into a big 'ol pile of Crisco and lighting it. Apparently, you can bundle a bunch of Crayolas, with a wick at the center, and light those.

If it's got fat, it can burn.

We just had a power outage a few days ago. Next outage, I'll have to give some of these a try.

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