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Category Archives: Food

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. […]

To heck with the news. Let’s talk about food.

Barley biscuits with pinto beans, okra-tomato sauté, and green beans. Click here for high resolution version. The news is exasperating. Even as Trump makes madman threats, including threatening people such as Mike Pence, who is sure to be a witness at Trump’s trials, the media are doubling down on the horsewash idea that Smith won’t […]

Outsourcing is now an option

I grew the tomatoes on the upper shelf. The tomatoes on the lower shelf were part of my weekly vegetable pickup. Technically, where I live is a food desert. The nearest grocery stores are about twelve miles away. A shocking number of rural people get most of their food these days from dollar stores such […]

Feasting your inner pet

Lentil-barley burger with fixin’s Just in the last ten to twenty years, we’ve gotten a whole new insight into how to use food to keep ourselves healthy. That new insight has to do with our microbiome. For much longer than that, we’ve known that antibiotics will do serious harm to our digestive systems. Even so, […]

The upside of summer

Dandelion pesto, made with Gorgonzola cheese Summer pesto: One of the best ideas I know for making the best of summer is: Eat more pesto. Already this season I’ve had pestos made of basil, kale, dandelions, and mixtures including parsley, dill, cilantro, and thyme. I was afraid that the dandelion pesto would be bitter, but […]

Sardines, well disguised

Pea and sardine burgers with fresh herbs; potato salad with fresh dill A week or so ago, I mentioned having acquired a dozen tins of nice, clean, Norwegian sardines, skinless and boneless and packed in olive oil. I had the idea of using them in burgers that are partly sardines and partly legumes. They’re good! […]

Pilchards! (also known as sardines)

Sardine salad sandwich I’m trying to remember the train of thought that led me to think of pilchards. I think it was because I’ve been short on fiction lately, and I wondered whether it might be time to re-read Winston Graham’s Poldark novels. That would have caused me to think about Cornwall, and that might […]

My AI conversation with Jake about food and entropy

Fresh basil, just in from the sun: A heaping helping of negative entropy I’ve written in the past about how it is possible to think of human health and what we eat in terms of negative entropy, here and here. The principles of nutrition are still valid. It’s just that the concept of negative entropy […]

Vegan sausage muffin

Whoever invented sausage was a genius. If we saw it made, we’d never eat it again. And yet, as long as we don’t think about what’s in it, it’s delicious. The real thing is also extremely unhealthy. I never touch the stuff. The key to vegan burgers is gluten. The other essential ingredient is soybeans. […]