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Category Archives: Food

Fall sproutings

My attempts during the spring of this year to get an early garden going under a cold frame were pretty much a total failure. I’m not sure why. But my guess would be that the soil was just too cold for good germination, because spring was unusually cold and dry. Now I’m using the cold […]

Fall desserts

Poached pear. Click here for high-resolution version. Though it’s mid-October, it was nice for Ken to be able to have some abbey-grown foods while he was here for a five-day visit — persimmon pudding from persimmons he picked from the wild persimmon trees that grow in the yard, a poached pear from the abbey’s orchard, […]

Persimmon season

Persimmon season has started. Ken picked (and shook trees) for only a little while this morning and got more than enough for the first persimmon pudding of the year. This is only about a tenth, Ken said, of what we’ll get this year just from the persimmon trees in the yard. We’ll make a video […]

Summer 2021: Some of us had it easy

Tomato bisque from tomatoes I grew and canned Nature was not kind to everyone this summer. There were terrifying fires in California and Australia, and deadly floods in the United States, Europe, and Asia. But here in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains, it was like 1950 again. The temperature here in my woods never […]

Deep frying with olive oil?

Rutabaga-Roquefort fried pie, deep fried in olive oil We have learned in recent years that olive oil is more stable at high temperatures than we knew. Research has shown that the stability of vegetable oils when heated is more complicated than the temperature at which they begin to smoke. In any case, I can testify […]

The French paradox

Roquefort Several news outlets carried stories yesterday about a Swedish study which found that full-fat dairy products not only may not be harmful to heart health but actually may be beneficial. For example, there was this story in the Guardian: “Research suggests a diet rich in dairy fat may lower the risk of heart disease.” […]


When I was a young’un growing up in North Carolina’s Yadkin Valley, corn of the type one wants for corn on the cob was called roastnears. I learned in school, around the fifth grade, that roastnears means roasting ears. Back then, I thought of that as just the way people talked. Now I would see […]

Country-style seitan

Country-style steak made from seitan I have bought seitan in the past (it’s very expensive), and I didn’t really like it. Homemade seitan is a whole ′nother thing. The key ingredient is gluten flour. Gluten alone would be impossibly rubbery, so a certain amount of ground legumes (I used garbanzo beans in the seitan in […]

Tomato day

Canning is serious work. But it’s very satisfying to put up vegetables for the cold winter that you yourself grew during the hot summer. I canned tomatoes today. I have so many tomatoes that I probably will need to do it again. I worked on the deck to the keep the heat out of the […]

Entropy and a speculative theory of health

Basil (with okra in the background) — a negative entropy factory! Edible order I have written here before about negative entropy and its relation to life on earth. The post was “The opposite of entropy, and why we’re alive,” from December 2016. The concepts are based on a short but important book by the physicist […]