Posts By This Author
The Joy of Letter Writing
For quite a few winters now, I have watched a great joy of mine turn slowly into sadness: No one writes letters anymore, a fact that is especially noticeable at Christmas card time.
Tolerating Food Intolerances
"No thanks, it makes me sick." "Let’s see, if I leave the milk out of these rolls Sheila can eat them."
Splurge on a Dozen!
Someday when I see the sale card announcing "12 Lemons for a Dollar" at the grocery store, I’m going to buy all 12 instead of just two or three.
A Second Chance for Sandwiches
Celebrations Large and Small
Yesterday I learned that a friend will be moving far away.
Oh How We Love Chocolate
Would it be cruel to extol the virtues of chocolate these dark, cold days of January and February, months traditionally reserved for dietary resolutions and abstention from such temptations?
Eating More of It Wouldn't Hurt...
What time-honored edible has all of the following: the warmth and comfort of hot bread; the fragrance of a baking cake; the staying power of potatoes and gravy
Food Snobs Beware
An article on breakfast about did me in for reading any more words on what's new, healthy, or chic in the food world. Dismissed out of hand as never appropriate was the classic American morning meal of eggs, bacon, pancakes, coffee. I felt a certain amount of proletarian ire: Perhaps some of us need those kind of calories for our work, or maybe some of us really like that kind of breakfast.
Then, not long after, I found myself alone at the table with a tuna fish sandwich, cherry Kool-Aid, and Oreo cookies. "Would you look at this. Where is the arrugula salad with olive oil?" sniffed the New York Times food section fan inside me. "Comfort food," answered the inner child.
The spectrum of people's food preferences runs from gourmet to ordinary, from high fat to low, from health food to junk. I suspect many of us travel back and forth between the extremes. I also suspect that when life gets tough, we return to foods that are familiar to us.
Earlier this year, a cooking school in Austin, Texas, invited famed Louisiana chef Paul Prudhomme to give a demonstration based on his new book about low-fat hot and spicy cooking. But at the end of his presentation, the inquiry that drew loud and instant applause from the crowd of 500 had nothing to do with vegetable-based, low-fat food preparation. Rather it was: "How do I get the coating to stick on my chicken fried steak?"
Obviously, a lot of us want to eat and cook interesting, healthy fare. But we also want to continue the food traditions of our families. We don't want to spend an arm and a leg on exotic ingredients, at least not very often. We want to please our eaters, which may occasionally mean Velveeta cheese, meatloaf, or white bread.
New Workers on the Farm
Life before white sugar probably was pretty good.
Back to Basics
When blizzards closed down cities on the East Coast this past winter, the media reported on some strange meals people were eating.
A cook is a chemist. All manner of wizardry and wondrous reactions occur in the oven and the mixing bowl.
Using Your Noodle
Talk about basic ingredients. Look at a package of pasta sometime: flour. You can't get much simpler than that.
Gifts in Good Taste
In large part because of my grandmother's North Dakota farm stories, I spent the first 30 years of my life wishing I lived on a farm so I could bake pies, make soap, churn butter...
Vitamins the Old-Fashioned Way
VITAMINS THE OLD-FASHIONED WAY
In the Company of Nuts
I remember the moment when, as a new apprentice in a retreat center's vegetarian kitchen, I spotted the shelf of nuts in the storeroom.
Let Them Bake Cake
It takes love to bake a cake. Cakes cannot be baked indifferently or in a hurry.
All Things in Moderation
It is fitting that this morning, after paying bills and moaning about another increase in our health insurance premium, I came across a Russian proverb in a nutrition magazine
The Berry With Bite
Someday I would like to see a cranberry harvest: crimson fruit floating on flooded coastal fields, skimmed off like a school of tropical fish.
Its hot. The yard needs mowingthe grass is so tall I have to wear rubber boots in the morning dew.