Abby’s Page

Abby eats oystersI’m Abby Goldstein and I live in Pittsburgh, PA by way of Concord, NH with roots in Texas. My husband Jason and I love to explore, we like to travel and we love those random, oddball, out of the way places that seem to make the best travel stories.

Alan, my Killer Delicious partner in crime, is my twin brother. We grew up in New Jersey, but moved to Texas when we were 16. Both of our parents are native New Yorkers from Hungarian and Eastern Europpean backgrounds, both first generation Americans whose families arrived before the turn of the century and made their way from the Lower East Side to various parts of New York, New Jersey, the northeast and beyond.

We inherited our love of food and cooking from our mother Bonnie. There are many recipes and techniques that she passed down to us that became launching points for our future experiments. Mom was a great cook. Her food was delicious, she had good kitchen skills and she really enjoyed preparing good food. That said, she had sort of a rigid way of doing things and she didn’t change her recipes up very much. She made the same dishes the same way every time and while they were always yummy, they were always the same. She was resourceful and always managed to get a balanced and well prepared meal on the table, but I would not say Mom was an experimental cook or an adventurous eater. She didn’t like anything spicy or too exotic. No sushi, no Thai or Indian, Mexican was OK as long as there were no jalapenos on her food. But she loved Julia Child and she had a strong appreciation for fine food. When she got her groove on in the kitchen, she did great things.

My Dad, on the other hand, will sample just about anything and is challenged by exotic cuisine. His parents were jet setters and he grew up with a taste for the finer things in life. Dad didn’t cook all that much when we were growing up, but when he did cook, it frequently blew our minds. It was my Dad’s side of the family, my Grandma Dagmar, that took us to the legendary restaurants in New York. As children, we ate at the Russian Tea Room and Trader Vic’s and we dined in China Town and Little Italy. We were taught good table manners and learned how to behave in restaurants at a young age.

Alan definately got the cooking bug before I did. I remember Alan making pasta fagioli when we were about 10 years old. When we were about 12, Alan made eggrolls for his friends, but since there was no other meat in the fridge, he used kosher hot dogs instead of pork. He was the real trailblazer, I followed him down the trail.

Once I started cooking, I was quick to try new things and new techniques. I became a cooking show fanatic and gravitated to the public television cooking shows. I loved watching Julia Child and Jaques Pepin and Rick Bayliss and when the Food Network signed on, I was hooked. While living in Dallas, I worked in public media and during the TV pledge drives, I’d volunteer to go on camera and cook with guest chefs. I’ve cooked with Dean Fearring, Mark Bittman, Christopher Kimball and many other familair faces. I guess I’m a bit of a chef groupie.

These days, I cook frequently and I take my inspiration from Cooks Illustrated, Yankee Magazine and some of my favorite food blogs. I have the most fun cooking when I’m cooking with Alan, but since we live 2,000 miles apart, that doesn’t happen very often. Thanks for spending time with The Goldstein twins on our Killer Delicious blog.

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16 Responses to Abby’s Page

  1. jen boyd says:

    i’m here to tell you i spent many a happy hour around goldstein tables…bonnie’s, abby’s and alan’s. bonnie exposed me to food outside of spam and meatloaf so while abby says she played is safe i thought of it totally differently….lox and cream cheese, veggie that didn’t come from a can and coddled eggs always were served with a well told story at her table….i still have a long standing debate with abby just how to fry chicken but other than that her cooking is like a warm blanket that fills my soul…i’m so glad that you guys started this blog…it makes me laugh every day!

  2. Philbert says:

    Abby, thanks for posting that great picture. Glad to see they have such massive crawfish in New England. Good eatin’!

  3. Lynne Q. says:

    What a wonderful idea! And in this day and age where there is so much stress and age brings on all sorts of wonderful ailments it is so good to laugh. I thank you and Alan for this.

  4. Harry says:

    I met Abby when she and some friends came by a Seafood Restaurant I was running for the Lobster Special, and then she came back for the Crawfish Boil.
    Later, she came ,very sparingly, to my BarBQue shack. Apparently she likes crustaceans more than bovines.
    Hey Abby, I didn’t know you cooked…
    Have fun
    Harry

  5. Abby The Twin says:

    Harry, so nice to hear from you!!! Thanks for the kind note. I hope you’re doing well. Last time I saw you, you were slinging drinks at the Inwood Lounge. What are you up to these days?

  6. What an excellent website. You guys have done a great job organizing everything and making the navigation easy to browse. How can I subscribe to your RSS feed? If you have one please let us know how to get more great information from your website.

  7. Mel says:

    Abby, I’m hoping you’ll bring a sample of your jam when you visit us next weekend. Mel

  8. Marrty Greenberg says:

    Texas misses you, girl!

    Good to see your blog.

    Marty

  9. Marty Greenberg says:

    Not nice misspelling my own name……

  10. Leslie Deutsch says:

    Hi Abby,

    I’ve been baking for some decades and gotten into it deeply in the last couple years. I started out with Bread Makers Apprentice and the Blessing of Bread. Later and much more interesting are Daniel Leaders Local Breads and Bread Alone which introduced me to whole-wheat flour with bran removed. This flour gives the satisfying whole-wheat flavor but without the bran inhibiting rise. Also I often replace some of the whole wheat in recipes with a combination of the whole wheat with bran removed and high gluten flour. I find the taste more pleasing, the bread softer inside , and superior rise.

    Also I pay close attention to both steaming the bread in the oven except for soft crust products. Also important is the windowpane test, which Peter Reinhart provides a great explanation of. The proper development of the gluten is what provides the crust and chewiness I desire. Gluten is developed by the absorption of the water into the flour. This is done by kneading for about ten minutes or waiting and doing a short kneed. This explains why as a kid the 75 pounds of dough we kneaded for pizzas go easier as we got near the finish an hour later.

    Although some beads call for packaged yeast rise only, I find sourdough to be much superior. Better taste and longer shelve life. Bagels make from the Apprentice of Bread with yeast are hard as rocks after 3 days. Bagels using sourdough see note on sidebar last a week in good shape. Sourdough breads seem to stay fresh t least twice as long. I use a liquid Levin and refresh weekly it’s a couple year old now.

    I use a dough whisk for most recipes and kneed by hand unless dough is very wet such as brioche. It’s amazing how well it works.

    As to flours I never believed in organic or specialty flours but once I tried there is no going back. High gluten is needed to make pizzas bagels, any recipe that call for high gluten or bread, and some recipes that call for bread. This is probably due the lack of availability of high gluten. I get mine at Costco but 25 lbs at a time. Bread flour I use King Arthurs Artisan Bread. The all-purpose, rye, whole wheat with bran removed come from the local co—op. It is locally grown and organic. The improvement in taste was dramatic. I substituted the commercial all purpose at with mix of bread and local all purpose for the pumpkin rolls and everyone noticed the difference. On the other hand a put some pastry dough into the pie crusts and the structure suffered. I am back to 100% cake flour for now.

    I haven’t bought bread for about a year and find myself going more to sourdough. Dried starters are available from NY bakers at no charge not sure if you have order something or not. You can make your own. I use a liquid leaven 50% water by weight. Some recipes call for a firm starter so use about 33% water. You can substitute liquid for firm by adding 50% more leaven and subtracting the difference in weight from the recipes water
    Pizza

    I’ve been using the recipe from http://sourdough.com/recipes/carlas-durum-pizza-sourdough. The durum flour along with high gluten provides a great crispy crust. Freeze leftover dough and use as desired. My is never around for more than a couple weeks because of demand so I have no idea how long it’ll keep.

    Cousin Les

  11. radioabby says:

    Wow, Cuz, you’re far more advanced than me. This is all really good info! Maybe I need to drive up to Vermont for a baking lesson.

  12. Cindi Burkey says:

    Let’s try this again..
    It’s me..
    found you from your comment on Kim’s and my old blog…
    s e n d m e @ e a r t h l i n k.n e t

  13. martingg4 says:

    How is the adjustment to Pitt?

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