Christopher Hirsheimer

One of the reasons that we so look forward to the latest issue of Canal House Cooking, the ongoing cookbook series by Christopher Hirsheimer  and Melissa Hamilton, is that the recipes resonate so deeply with the way we live. In other words, they completely cut the $#*!@, providing us with ideas and recipes that are of the season and senses, do-able in our insanely busy lives, AND which work from the inside out: each recipe seems to ask “what do our spirits REALLY need? What do we need to be fed?”.

Take for instance our favorite chapter of the newly-released Volume 6: Crax & Butter for Dinner. Crackers and butter is our secret perfect meal; although it seems unmeal-like, it is somehow utterly nourishing and satisfying. Volume 6 presents endless plays on the theme of crackers + ______, from homemade Pimento Cheese to Anchovy and Lemon Butter, not to mention a lovely recipe for Tender Cheese Crackers: butter and cayenne-dusted Parmigiano held together with a bit of flour to make little savory bites that melt in your mouth (it would make a swell pie crust for an apple or pear tart…)

But Volume 6’s recipe offerings range to many compelling, simple dishes that we could imagine making for a heartening lone supper, like Savory Asparagus Bread Pudding…

Christopher Hirscheimer

…in our heads is the custard-infused bread of a bread pudding made savory and surprising with Gruyere and asparagus…

…there’s also a beautiful essay about Christopher & Melissa grocery shopping for EACH OTHER, at first as an act of kindness, and then as a way of presenting surprises and challenges to their friend at home ready to improvise…

You can buy Canal House Cooking Volume N° 6 and others in the series through Amazon. They make a perfect gift. (Take a look inside here.)

Related posts: serious butter (if you can’t buy it, make it)

‘when life arrives at the door unexpectedly’ (+ lots of ideas for the holidays from canal house cooking 5)

canal house cooking vol.4 for summers bumper crop

canal house cooking: home cooks as indie publisher

canal house cooking: fast, in-the-pod peas, artichoke-style


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3 replies on “canal house cooking vol 6: crax & butter for dinner!!!

  1. crackers w/butter…a guilty pleasure…all the better dunked in hot coffee or tea!…my favorite buttered graham crackers dunked in good old fashioned lipton tea w/milk and sugar. my brothers and i distinclty remember my mother “buttering” an entire box of graham crackers and placing them in the middle of our kitchen table as the water for tea boiled and the excitement mounted until that first bite!

  2. what good fortune to have this site which always always clears my brain and reminds me that my kookiness is shared with others, it is my true meaning of community. i was born and raised in queens nyc and married at 21 and made that giant move to manhattan in 1961…my first remembered grown up restaurant meal other than chinese food and deli on sunday nights…was one of my first dates…i think the restaurant is actually still in business…in the theatre district…i just spend 10 minutes trying to find it on the computer…but my brain just remembered the name…pierre au tunnel…voila! i ate coq au vin…i never forgot that taste, i was delirious with feeling so sophisticated…i think my dates name was edmund, he was very nice too. it was a family owned place, i think their last name was pujol…i cant believe i remembered that!!! this all grew out of my joy at thinking of crackers and butter as a terrific idea for dinner…maybe i am still actually as sophisticated as i like to believe i am. this is so much fun! one more thing i needed to fact check if the place was still there…found out it closed in 2005 …the owners retired. bon chance!

  3. Funny you should mention Coq au Vin. I cooked that dish in preparation for Sandy arriving. And then discovered that two other friends did as well, unbeknownst to each other.

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