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Monthly Archives: February 2010

Rehabilitating potatoes

I’ve written previously about how sweet potatoes have a lower glycemic index than white potatoes and are all around healthier than white potatoes. But lately I’ve become aware that there are things we can do to lower the glycemic insult of white potatoes. If you Google around, you’ll find a number of sources that say […]


The best popovers, to be sure, are made with white flour. They’re light, buttery, and crisp around the edges. But it’s possible to make perfectly decent whole wheat popovers. I use the austere popover recipe from the 1943 wartime edition of Irma Rombauer’s Joy of Cooking. Rombauer includes several variations on popovers in this edition, […]

More snow

It has started snowing again, though this time not much accumulation is forecast.

Whole-wheat sweet-potato gnocci

Gnocci with toasted walnuts, tempeh, and mushrooms. This is a very meaty dish … hard to believe that it’s vegan. For those days in which you walk in circles in the kitchen trying to think of something a little different to cook, consider gnocci. Gnocci, I believe, are considered tricky to make. I don’t think […]

The family cow

My grandmother Mary Lillian Bowman Dalton with one of her cows, c. 1925, Laurel Fork, Virginia Yesterday while walking back from the mailbox, I was admiring one of my neighbors’ pastures. It has a good fence and a thick stand of grass ready to turn lush as soon as spring arrives. I realized that, in […]

Thank goodness I'm out of style

Approved house style: New York Times I can think of a hundred ways to psychoanalyze the people who set themselves up as lords of style and look down on the rest of us. But I’d rather try to be nice and think of it as a serious question: Why is there such a thriving industry […]

Ken Ilgunas

Ken Ilgunas at Acorn Abbey, with his van Guess who was a guest at Acorn Abbey this weekend. Ken Ilgunas, who has become quite a celebrity after he wrote a piece in Salon Magazine about how he goes to graduate school debt-free by living in his van near Duke University. Ken, a brilliant writer, is […]

Remember when people thought Apple was dead?

Vintage 1997: The Power Macintosh 5500 It’s amazing how much abuse Macintoshes used to take from people who thought that Microsoft should, and would, rule the world. I put up with this for virtually my entire career in newspaper publishing. But without, I hope, being too boastful, I think the entire world now sees what […]

From the good old days…

My cherished Selectric III from the San Francisco Examiner If I had the space and the money, I could happily fill a warehouse with a collection of vintage technology. Typewriter technology, after steady development for at least 150 years, reached its apex in the 1970s with the IBM Correcting Selectric III. I own one of […]

Can you espy the cat?

Hint: She’s black.