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Category Archives: Food

Oh no. More low-end grocery stores.

I went into a Lidl store for the first time yesterday. I had no idea what it is, any more than I knew what an Aldi store is the first (and last) time I went into one. I was shocked that this is the way the grocery business is going — extremely wide aisles, not […]

Fried barley polenta

A good New Year’s resolution would be: Eat less bread, but eat more barley. They didn’t call the gladiators “barley eaters” for nothing. I think we tend to scorn barley, because it’s old fashioned and common, in favor of fad grains such as quinoa (which I detest for its taste and texture and overpriced fad-itude). […]

Improvisations on foo yung

Szechuan-style foo yung with yellow squash and store-bought pot stickers. The chickens are laying so well and I am so rich with eggs that I’ve been eating far too much egg foo yung — and, of course, running experiments. This is a post about Szechuan-style sauce. It’s also a post about MSG. First, about MSG. […]

Two-course breakfasts?

The French conceive of breakfasts in two categories — sweet and salty. I suppose we Americans do, too, though I don’t recall anyone ever asking, “Would you prefer a sweet breakfast or a salty breakfast?” Usually we choose. But this morning the cool, gray weather — and the devil — led me to do both. […]

Foo yung to the rescue

I hadn’t made egg foo yung in many years. In fact, I hadn’t even thought about it in many years. I recall that, thirty years ago before I moved to San Francisco, egg foo yung was a popular item in Chinese restaurants in the South. And yet I don’t recall ever seeing it on menus […]

Domesticated muscadines

From my years as a young’un, I have clear memories of picking strawberries by the gallon. Mama made strawberry preserves. Mama also made grape jelly, but for some reason I don’t have recollections of picking grapes wholesale for the kitchen. Wild muscadines, though, grew in lots of places at the edges of the woods, and […]

Eggplant bacon?

A homegrown organic eggplant Two days ago, a friend sent me a Facebook video on making vegan bacon from eggplant. The next day, when I took a dozen surplus eggs to friends (among the few superb gardeners in the county who can outgarden the abbey when Ken is in residence) they gave me eggplants, green […]

The kraken vine

Last year, a friend sent me a gift from his garden. He called it a squash, I called it a little pumpkin. Save the seeds, he said. Plant in early summer, he said, feed it well, give it lots of room, and it will become a kraken plant. The vine will spread like kudzu, and […]

Wintertime table lighting

W.T. Kirkman No. 1 “Little Champ” oil lanterns For many years, I have been weird about how the table is lit for supper. Electric light is not allowed. It’s not just an affectation for when there is company. It’s an everyday thing, even when I’m having supper alone. During the summer months, supper is over […]

The new girls come on line

The easiest time of year to acquire chickens — at least in these parts — comes in the weeks before Easter. That’s when the local mills and Tractor Supply have chicks for sale. Spring chickens can be counted on to start laying in August. The new girls are right on time — maybe even a […]