Tuesday, March 16, 2010

H&S 100: #3 Brach's Easter Candy

Some of my favorite candy is available only at Easter, and I may even venture to say that Brach's Pastel Fiesta malted milk eggs is my favorite candy of all time. No other malted milk eggs compare. The ratio of crunchy shell to chocolate layer to malted milk interior is perfection. Surprisingly, this Brach's candy is difficult to find locally. Our primary grocery store, Lund's, carries it but has been known to run out of stock long before Easter. Also, I find that with every passing year, there are fewer and fewer candy pieces in each bag. Nonetheless, the speckled candy shells and pastel colors are emblematic of time and place. My boys love them, too.

Brach's Jelly Bird Eggs (read, jelly beans) run a close second. My mother always included these jelly beans in our Easter baskets as well as in the plastic eggs she hid around the yard. Plus, she often makes a white cake with lemon curd filling, frosted with seven-minute frosting, dusted with coconut, and crowned with a nest of jelly bird eggs. When jelly bird eggs are stale, the gel center is more stiff and tacky, and this is what I like best about these jelly beans. Recently I bought a bag of "fresh" beans, and the interior was so sticky and springy—all wrong. Thank goodness these jelly beans are available year round.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

H&S 100: #2 Clancey's Meat and Fish

Clancey's Meat and Fish

4307 Upton Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55410-1556
(612) 926-0222

I have proclaimed my Clancey's love on numerous occasions. If you live in the Twin Cities but haven't visited this Linden Hills meat and fish market, go. Go now. Go for the unique housemade sausages (lamb-pine nut-dried blueberry or beef-[Surly] Bender [beer]-cherries-blue [cheese]) and for the dry-aged steaks. But don't overlook all the other lovelies—the sunchoke tapenade or the duck rillettes or the duck jerky. These foodstuffs are great when you're entertaining or for Friday date-nights-at-home. Four petite filets cost the same as one served at any local steakhouse, which means you can splurge on an extra-nice Cab or rioja. You'll also find a freezer case laden with items such as stock, duck confit, and pork leaf lard.

(tiny merguez sausages and chickpeas)

We're Clancey's fans because the fare is of an impeccably high quality, made with love. The owners are passionate about what they do, and they're interested in how you're going to prepare your purchases. I always have an inspiring conversation about food while I'm in the cozy shop. Places like Clancey's are true measures of civility.

As I was looking up Clancey's address, I noticed a new web link...yay! The site is still under construction, but once it's functional, I have no doubt it will be entertaining.