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Category Archives: Food


Once you legalize deep-frying in your kitchen (as I recently did), you’re on a slippery slope to — falafel. I probably thought of falafel as one of those city foods that can be made only after centuries of practice, and only in a commercial kitchen, like bagels. With falafel, it’s not like that at all. […]

Deep frying?

For many years, I avoided deep-frying. The first reason was that it’s messy. The second is that it’s not regarded as healthy. Then again … When I measure the oil before and after frying, I find that surprisingly little oil is lost — certainly less than a stir-fry, which is regarded as healthy. Also, I […]

It was 94F in the garden, though

Vegetables don’t like to be picked in the heat of the day. Early morning is the best time. But basil wants to be clipped five minutes ago, so this basil, squash, and tomato went from the garden to the supper table in 35 minutes.

I wore out my first copy

It was 1976, I believe, when I bought a copy of the 1943 edition of Irma Rombauer’s The Joy of Cooking at a junk shop. I am not hard on books, so I’m sure that the book was in fairly rough condition when I bought it. Over the years, though, the fabric peeled off the […]

Food departments

A screen capture from the Washington Post web site When a newspaper is prospering and newsroom budgets are growing, that newspaper can have itself a food department. When revenue is sliding and newsroom budgets are being cut, the food department is the first to go. If the Washington Post had a notable food department ten […]

Cucumber sandwiches

Here in the U.S., cucumber sandwiches are thought to be an English thing. I’m not sure if that’s true, though it sounds reasonable, and stores here sometimes sell what we call “English cucumbers.” In any case, when I was a boy in rural North Carolina, cucumbers were plentiful, but I had never heard of a […]


Click here for high-resolution version. I had not previously encountered borage. I think it is not as commonly used in the U.S. as it is in Europe. But we grew some this year in Ken’s herb trough, starting from seeds in a variety pack of favorite German herbs that I bought on Amazon. The borage […]

One last noble service from your mayonnaise jars

It bugs me how much food gets wasted inside retail food jars, no matter how much scraping you do when the jar is empty. With mayonnaise jars, my solution is to keep the near-empty jars in the refrigerator until I need a quick salad dressing. Add vinegar, seasonings, and herbs, shake it up, and you’re […]

Countdown to summer: 4, 3, 2, 1

The first pesto of the season may not be as exciting as the first tomato sandwich. But it’s pretty exciting. It would have been a crime to apply heat to a perfect little squash that was growing in a cool rain only minutes ago. So I et it raw. Speaking of summer, do we tolerate […]

April 20

The photo is from 7:50 p.m. Supper is over, and the kitchen has been tidied up after the wreckage of a wok supper. I am so lucky not to be cooking for one — or gardening or orcharding for one — during this quarantine. There is a certain reluctance, as suppertime approaches, for those who […]