May 25, 2015

pudding aux carottes

carrot pudding

It was the first old recipe that ever interested me. The recipe was called rafioli comun de herbe vantazati. It was ravioli filled with spinach or beet leaves, ricotta, raisins, cinnamon, and nutmeg. The “sauce” was a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. The recipe was an adaptation of one from the fourteenth century. more »

May 18, 2015

un petit hamburger


It’s been over forty years since my one‑and‑only experience of eating a White Castle hamburger. It wasn’t a great experience. I remember buying a bag of six sliders expecting that there would be enough to share with my two friends. We all came away hungry and unhappy. At that point in my life, the first‑ever fast food joint and creator of the fast‑food hamburger gave all fast‑food joints and all the fast‑food hamburgers a bad name. more »

May 11, 2015

la purée de Robuchon

Robuchon's potatoes

I may be a fool. I may be the world’s biggest fool. I think I’ve found a way to simplify Joël Robuchon’s La Purée. Some people call Robuchon’s version of purée de pommes de terre mashed potatoes, but that is blasphemy. This dish is the mythical ambrosia that fed the gods of ancient Greece. more »

May 4, 2015

les gaufres de Miss Leslie

Miss Leslie’s waffles

Another week, another waffle. My toy is taking over my life. The machine worked better this week than at any time in the past, even with a recipe that is over 175 years old. Maybe I should leave the mini‑waffle maker a five‑star rating on Amazon and move on to a different category of dishes? more »

April 27, 2015

gaufres de pommes de terre

potato waffles

I call it the law of the instrument, and it may be formulated as follows: Give a small boy a hammer, and he will find that everything he encounters needs pounding. Thus wrote Abraham Kaplan in The Conduct of Inquiry: Methodology for Behavioral Science in 1964. The phrase has been quoted in many ways since then. more »

April 20, 2015

le petit pain avec homard et beurre

lobster roll

It was my first encounter with lobster. It was on the plate of the person to my left. It was on the plate of the person to my right. It was on the plates of the people across from me at the long, communal table. Dave, a business acquaintance from Seattle, was sitting across from me. more »

April 13, 2015

mandarine confite

candied mandarin

The part we eat is called the endocarp. Each segment in the endocarp is a carpel. Each carpel is made up of small, individual juice‑filled follicles or hairs. Each follicle is an individual cell quite visible with naked vision. No microscope required. It’s quite easy to look at the individual cells of an orange before we slurp them up. more »

April 6, 2015

escargots croustillantes

crispy snails

The stuff was called Bug‑Geta, and I used it by the boxful. It didn’t seem to work, but I keep using it in between more ecological and pet friendly attempts to win my personal war with garden snails. I was trying to grow vegetables in a small plot of half‑hidden land in front of my house. more »

March 30, 2015

gaufres de poulet

chicken waffles

When I’m doing my happy dance in the kitchen, I get accused of having too much fun playing with my toys. Mostly I think of my varied and sundry tools as a valuable part of my kitchen life, but I guess one or two really are toys. Certainly my baby‑blue mini‑waffle maker qualifies as a toy. more »

March 23, 2015

biscuits de thé vert

green-tea cookies

I’ve often tripped over cultural traditions. Maybe not tripped. More like falling face down with a thud. It usually happens just when I think I have mastered a tradition. Then the traditions get tweaked or modified or scrapped or reinvented. I’m confused, but these things always confuse me. When I was small I was told it was not my place to question why. more »

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