July 27, 2015

macarons de noix de coco au chocolat

coconut-chocolate macaroons

Here’s a simple question: “How many nickels are in a dollar?” I asked three students that question. Only one was willing to try to answer, and it took him three tries and a hint to get the correct answer. The students had already admitted that they had no idea about simple fractions and couldn’t do decimal math, even with a calculator. more »

July 20, 2015

crevettes et maïs bouillie

shrimp and grits

There are certain food words that, for me, always have a place associated with them. Say cioppino, and I think of San Francisco. Specifically, DiMaggio’s Restaurant in the Fisherman’s Wharf district and high‑school dates in the 1960s. Say artichokes, and I think of Castroville, the sell‑proclaimed artichoke capital of the world. more »

July 13, 2015

boulette de semoule

Roman-style gnocchi

According to the New Oxford American Dictionary, the meaning of “bane” is “a cause of great distress or annoyance.” For many years, gnocchi were the bane of my teaching. It was the one dish that I could count on students screwing up. It was the one dish that never seemed to work, even if the students followed the directions as they claimed they did. more »

July 6, 2015

cluster de macadamia

macadamia-nut cluster

According to the Hawaiian Host website, Ellen Dye Candies, its predecessor, was the first company to dip macadamia nuts into chocolate. The year was 1927. My parents travelled to Hawaii when I was in high school. They returned with a box of chocolate‑covered macadamia nuts for my father’s officemates. The year was 1962. more »

June 29, 2015

les pois

the peas

Roland Stofeth handed me a liter‑size deli container of blanched petit pois. Using kitchen sign language, he instructed me to peel each of the tiny peas. He then quickly left to eat his lunch while I faced the task of peeling what must have been a few thousand peas. Roland was a young apprentice in the restaurant where I was stagingmore »

June 22, 2015

le brevet d’invention

the patent

Eugene D. Gagliardi, Jr.,is an octogenarian inventor of meat products. His most famous product may be Steak‑umms, a method of restructuring thin slices of meat into steak‑like planks. I first heard about Gagliardi when a friend emailed me a link to an interview where he was demonstrating a novel, patented method of cutting a chicken breast to make the poultry equivalent of a blooming onion. more »

June 15, 2015

pouding des haricots

bean pudding

We first visited the Otowa‑san Kiyomizu‑dera in 1986. It’s more popularly known by Westerners as the Kiyomizu Temple. It’s located on the eastern edge of Kyoto although when it was founded in 778, the city was probably still to the west but a bit farther away. I’ve been back twice since my original visit, but I think the first was still the best. more »

June 8, 2015

rouleau de haricots à la vapeur

bean roll

What do Jackson Wonder, Black Calypso, Cannellini, Pinquito, Canario, and Baby Lima have in common? They are all varieties of dried beans. I recently received a box with one twelve‑ounce bag of each variety along with a baseball cap with the producer’s name on it. It was my prize for winning a recipe contest they sponsored on their Facebook page. more »

June 1, 2015

sandwich « ramen » au fromage grillé

grilled cheese “ramen” sandwich

A month or so before Yoshiko died, she suddenly stopped eating and drinking. She was in her nineties and had lived in a nursing home for many years. She was in good overall health, but her severe osteoporosis often made her extremely uncomfortable. Yoshiko also had dementia. I can’t say that she suffered from dementia. more »

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 »

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