Shelly Butcher

Currently living in Oakland, CA, formerly of Israel, by way of Palo Alto. I write about food at anopencupboard.com. There you'll find recipes, anecdotes, amateur food, restaurant, shop, book, and film/TV reviews, ramblings, musings. Just about anything food related. The cupboard is open, go ahead and rummage around for something tasty.

Perfecting the Potato Pancake

If you've been to your local market lately, you may have noticed the sudden appearance of the Chanukah shelf—that jumble of Judeo-packaged foods that appears out of nowhere around Christmas and Easter. It often includes boxes of matzo ball mix, potato pancake mix, beets in purple liquid doing their best impersonation of borscht, syrupy kosher wine, and jars of gefilte fish in dubious-looking jelly. In December, the Jewish shelf at the market signals the arrival of Chanukah, the festival of lights (and of matzo balls, apparently). The Jewish festival of lights is also a celebration of all things fried, symbolically marking the legend of the tiny vial of sacred olive oil that miraculously fueled the light of the menorah in the Jewish temple for eight days and eight nights. ...more
So far I've done sweet potato latkes, cream cheese bread, and spinach potato knishes.  Hoping to ...more

Why I'll Miss Keith Floyd, or Who Was that Crazy Drunken Brit?

I first encountered Keith Floyd while flipping through channels on a lazy Saturday afternoon. I will watch any cooking show once, if only to glean ideas for future meals. Some cooking shows are irritating, with preternaturally chipper cooks who smile incessantly at the camera while cooing and moaning at their food as if on cue. In fact, some of these food show presenters do interact with their food on cue, which is what makes them so boring. It's the rare cooking program that harks back to the high standards set by Julia Child. ...more