Adventures in the Punk DIY Kitchen: LImoncello and Steak Sauce

I come from several generations of courageous cooks; women who never met a challenge in the kitchen they couldn’t tackle.  My mother and Nana were great cooks in the same way that Einstein was a smart guy.  Quite of bit of the culinary adventurer runs swift in my own veins, and like the song from a Chorus Line says my personal battle cry is :  “I Can Do That!”.

This week’s adventure in the kitchen was due in part to my husband.    One of the customers on his postal route gave him a large bag of lemons that were perfectly ripe.   So rather than waste 10 good lemons, I decided to make Limoncello from the recipe from Imbibe Magazine. Easy!  All you do is peel those lemons, stick them in a bath of vodka, let them steep for a few weeks, add some simple sugar (and more vodka) and you have homemade Limoncello!

Well..there’s this little issue with the white pith.   My advice is that when you zest your lemons, make those strips big because scraping off the pith of lemon peels for 20 minutes can get a bit old.  But I now have a beautiful mason jar of golden goodness sitting on my counter, so I guess it was worth it, even if my shoulder is a bit sore from the repetitive motion.


Making a home version of A1 was much more fun.   This past Thursday, after a dump run (yeah, we know how to have a romantic date), my husband and I went out to a local cafe for lunch.   He had an open steak sandwich with A1 sauce on the side.   On the way home, he asked me what was in “steak sauce”.  Aha!  A challenge if I ever heard one.

This recipe from Simply Scratch is great.   It took under an hour (that includes finding all the ingredients and chopping the onion and garlic).   While it was brewing on the stove, it made the whole house smell absolutely wonderful.    Being a vegetarian, I used a vegetarian Worcestershire Sauce and since as an avid pickler I always have white vinegar in the house, I used that instead of the vinegar mentioned in the recipe.    The boys piled it on their steaks last night and it tasted great on grilled Seitan.   Success!  I don’t think I’ll be buying any more A1 (or its vegetarian counterpart) any time soon.

And now advice from my Mom’s kitchen:

“Never cook with wine you wouldn’t drink.”

I have a friend who is a wonderful Italian cook, but insists on using “Two buck Chuck” when he uses wine in cooking.    Personally, I don’t think using drinkable wine in cooking is a waste and gives the cook something to sip when stirring up that nice pot of bourguignon.  I’m with you on this one, Mom!

2 thoughts on “Adventures in the Punk DIY Kitchen: LImoncello and Steak Sauce

  1. I must be the only person in the world who actually admits to liking the taste of two buck Chuck. (See I even capitalized Chuck.) Honestly, for $2.50, I think it’s really good. I’ve tasted much more expensive wines that weren’t half as good. I also look forward to checking out the recipe for steak sauce. Thanks! Limoncello is a little too strong for me though. (Also, good idea to have the recipe in a link as opposed to have it take up space on the blog. How are people responding to that?)


  2. love your new blog tammy! how do i sign up?

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