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Category Archives: Food

Amazon buys Whole Foods??

This morning we learned that Amazon has bought Whole Foods for $13.7 billion in cash. What’s up? Information on Amazon’s plans for Whole Foods is in short supply at present, except that it’s known that Amazon wants to get into the grocery business, that Amazon was interested in a brick-and-mortar presence, and that Whole Foods […]

What the critters so generously leave behind

Supper If I had ever really understood how much effort (and defeat) is involved in defending a garden, an orchard, and some chickens against all the hungry mouths that want to eat everything, I might never have had the heart to start. The hungry mouths come from everywhere — out of the woods, down from […]

Hoping for a peach crop

The peach trees in the abbey’s orchard are loaded with young peaches this year. Last year, the entire crop was killed by a late frost. One of our friends who is a retired agricultural extension agent says that, unless you spray, you don’t get peaches. All sorts of insects prey on peaches, including fruit moths […]

Sourdough rolls

Lately I’ve been making sourdough rolls. They’re almost as quick as yeast rolls, and almost as easy. It occurs to me that those of you who might like to get started with sourdough artisan breads, but who are concerned about the work and risk of “total bread failure” involved, might want to make sourdough rolls […]

Heritage supper

I know I’ve blogged about vegetarian (vegan actually) hot dogs before. Every now and then you’ve got to have one. Last night’s supper on the deck, near the grill, we called “heritage night.” The heritage here, of course, is Southern white trash heritage. The vegan hot dogs come in a can. They’re made by Loma […]

Carolina burger

I had lunch today with my brother at Jim’s Grill in Boonville, North Carolina. He ordered a Carolina Burger. The waitress didn’t know what that is, so he defined it for her. A Carolina Burger is a hamburger dressed like a hot dog — slaw, onions, hot dog chili, and mustard. The more usual hamburger […]

Grinding your own flour

As I have gotten more and more experienced with sourdough bread, two factors have converged to pull me into breadmaking even deeper. Watch out. It could happen to you, too. For one, the sourdough baker becomes so obsessed with the quality of the bread and takes such pride in each loaf that the amount of […]

An earthier take on sourdough

Up until recently, my philosophy on sourdough bread was influenced chiefly by Peter Reinhart (The Bread Baker’s Apprentice) and Michael Pollan (Cooked). While looking at reviews of cookbooks on Amazon, I came across this book by Lisa Rayner, Wild Bread: Handbaked Sourdough Artisan Breads in Your Own Kitchen. The book has definitely changed my philosophy […]

Cotillion chardonnay

I have very rarely bought wine just because I liked the label. But when I saw this chardonnay at Trader Joe’s, I laughed out loud at the label and bought a bottle. It’s a so-so chardonnay, barely worth the price at $8.99. It’s a blend of grapes from three counties — Sonoma (63 percent), Napa […]


Plans are in for a big garden for 2017. Last fall, Ken fed the garden with generous quantities of organic soil amendments, then planted cover crops. The abbey’s garden soil has been pure organic dynamite for years, but this year it should be better than ever. Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds has been our source for […]