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the life and times of J T Frey

Classic Baked Beans

For about a decade now I've been making barbecue: the real-deal, low-and-slow, smoked over wood sort of stuff. Every pit master needs a few recipes for sauce and sides. Baked beans is a classic.

Written by Jeff Frey on Sunday August 28, 2016
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Claussen-like Deli Pickles

I love pickles. Sweet, spicy, salty, or sour, I'm a fan of them all. My daughters and wife — not so much. But I have found that my daughters will eat Claussen refrigerated pickles: the brine is more salty and sour, and the flavor is a rounded mélange containing garlic and onion over the usual dill. What follows is my own pickling brine recipe that mimics the Claussen flavor pretty closely.

Written by Jeff Frey on Monday July 24, 2017
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Nan's Hot Fudge Sauce

For as long as I can remember my mom has made a summer dessert called Sundae in a Pan. An Oreo cookie crust, vanilla ice cream, peanuts, whipped cream, and a layer (never thick enough) of fudge sauce. Very much like a classic ice cream cake. The same fudge sauce functions equally well on its own served warm over ice cream.

Written by Jeff Frey on Sunday August 28, 2016
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New England-Style Clam Chowder

When I was an undergraduate at Lebanon Valley College I worked for the school's computer services unit. Every now and then the entire group would head to lunch at nearby Harper's Tavern. The lunch special typically consisted of soup or salad and one of their sandwiches. I'll never forget my first visit because of the soup: a clam chowder in the New England style. This wasn't the from-a-can thick and creamy with little clam bits version that I was used to at the time, though. The broth was not as heavy, had a definitive herbal quality that melded perfectly with the briny clam flavor, and had chunks of celery and hard boiled egg amongst the usual potatoes. But of most note, it had clams: I'm talking whole clams, here.

Later in life, on an episode of "Emeril Live!" the noted chef made a true New England version from scratch, stressing (in his usual way) the importance of pork to the recipe. No clam chowder is done right unless it starts with rendered salted pork as the basis for the roux.

These two experiences form the basis for my New England-style clam chowder.

Written by Jeff Frey on Friday January 27, 2017
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