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Category Archives: Food

Potatoes to the rescue

Barley biscuit, with potato in the dough My quest for bread that is both truly good and truly healthy probably will go on for the rest of my life. Bread is probably my favorite food. I could live on San Francisco sourdough bread, Havarti cheese, wine, and strawberry preserves. Though I probably wouldn’t live for […]

Tomato pudding

I rarely make tomato pudding. But, when I do, I wonder why I don’t make it more often. It’s a comfort food. Irma Rombauer’s recipe from the 1943 The Joy of Cooking is very basic. It’s canned tomatoes, bread crumbs tossed in melted butter, and brown sugar. The pudding goes into the oven for 25 […]

Those outer leaves of cabbage

A good head of cabbage is almost two separate vegetables. There are the dark green outer leaves that are difficult to shred for slaw. And there is the cabbage head after the outer leaves are removed. It’s easy to waste the outer leaves, but it’s a shame to waste that intense green. A solution is […]

Two parts snobbery per eight parts coffee

An imaginary 1938 espresso machine, in Italy. Image created by DALL-E 3. I could not find an image of a classic espresso machine that was in the public domain. But if you search for something like “classic Bezzera” you can see what they look like. Given any good thing — wine, Scotch, or coffee — […]

Hot and sour soup

Next time: More mushrooms! I’m pretty sure that I had never made hot and sour soup before. I’m not sure what made me think of it. But the soup was so easy, and so good, that I’ll do it again soon. As usual, I use recipes only to get the concept, then I improvise. I […]

Carrot-top pesto

Pesto The young farmers from whom I bought vegetables this summer are now getting their fall crops. On Friday I picked up carrots, sweet potatoes, and curly kale. The carrots had been pulled that same morning. I’d never before heard of carrots being grown in this area, and I’d never had fresh carrots with the […]

Pumpkin-barley bread

Once you’ve got some cooked pumpkin goody in the refrigerator (it’s October, so you do, don’t you?), then pumpkin bread is easy. Probably any recipe for banana bread would work, using mashed pumpkin instead of mashed bananas. And there are many recipes for pumpkin bread on the web. This pumpkin bread was made with barley […]

Pumpkin-oatmeal pudding

Pumpkin-oatmeal pudding sweetened with date sugar I could break down and make a pumpkin pie, but then I’d have to eat it all myself — a huge calorie load. I settled on pumpkin-oatmeal pudding, because I could make it in a modest quantity, and pudding avoids all the calories and carbs in the crust. For […]

Brown = umami = Maillard reaction

It would be easy to believe that the secret of cooking Chinese at home is as simple as using too much salt. That’s not it, though Chinese dishes certainly like salt. The real secret is the brownness. That’s where the umami flavor comes from. When foods are browned during cooking, that’s the Maillard reaction. Whether […]

Some recent eats

Egg foo yung with stir-fried sweet-potato leaves I buy good eggs from pastured chickens and then forget that I have eggs. I think it’s because I’m so content on a plants-only diet, until I start to worry that I might not be getting enough B-12. Then I remember how good egg foo yung can be. […]