Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘cooking’ Category

Books, the bodies of reading, were fascinating for me early in life, and I’m fortunate enough to have had parents who, after I left for college, saved many that I had as a kid. The oversized Dinosaur picture book, the scholastic book service biographies I ordered in school, the heroic war stories, the Vonnegut novels. The whole collection fit neatly on shelves built in over my bed.

The book shelves of my first apartments were also easily ordered. After a decade and a half in San Francisco, I moved, following a job across the bay that kept me busy for months. But one Saturday morning I woke with the usual to-do-list, which was interrupted by the realization I’d never properly sorted my books. Many simply came out of the boxes, which I’d filled by size and shape, not subject.

It was a nice weekend—my recollection is it was blustery outside, but inside I stacked piles of books, moving between bookcases in my living room, kitchen, and bedroom. American fiction, travel guides, a stack for Anne Tyler, movie references, et cetera.

I respect the decimal system of Dewey, but my categories are more organic. A History of Eating in America next to a Chinese cookbook; the collected Grantas shared space next to Graham Greene because they fit well.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

We have two freezers: the bottom compartment of our kitchen refrigerator, and the larger one in our downstairs garage’s side-by-side fridge.

Containers abide in them so long we might well be preserving mammoth meat.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

It’s time. I’ve saved for years. I bought five extra years’ service with the state, bolstering my pension. I don’t have to work in the court system any more. The judicial process is painstaking, and as a citizen I appreciate the serious efforts of the courts to apply the law, to resolve conflicts, to get things right — at the same time, I don’t have to take those pains myself any more.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

It’s one of my favorite holidays:  the Day After Thanksgiving. We have two turkeys in our house, one of them cooked, and my wife is a vegetarian.  Look out, freezer!

(more…)

Read Full Post »

 I’ve corresponded with Robin, over at The Bogs, about getting stuck on the same old pages of our cookbooks. She opened the index, pointed at an item, and tried out something new – it’s my turn to do the same.  (more…)

Read Full Post »

A Frothy Experiment Works

 Among my recurring expenses when I brew is buying yeast. Yeast is alive, and brewing beer is a controlled population explosion and collapse—the little single-celled organisms giving their lives that we might also live, and live more happily, too.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

the list

I’ve done exhaustive research on this.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Bacon Kielbasa Bake

A coworker and friend of mine, L, went to Syracuse University, home of the Orangemen, who opened their football season by hosting the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. As our alma maters were meeting on the gridiron, we decided to watch together, and I decided to cook a breakfast dish I haven’t made for decades.

 My mom sent it to me in the 1980s—back before my cholesterol tested high. L has high cholesterol, too. We’re both supposed to behave ourselves. As I’ve mentioned before, this is what makes stuff like bacon and kielbasa taste so good. (The vegetarian Mrs. O fled to run errands and avoid the carnage, both in the kitchen and on the TV screen.) (more…)

Read Full Post »

First, the pears. I’m rather amazed at how reluctant these pears are to ripen. This picture was taken in early September, and you can see how green they remain:

(more…)

Read Full Post »

The Chili You’ve Dreamt Of

 Years ago my roommate came home from a vacation with the original version of this chili recipe, which won a chili cookoff in New Orleans back in, oh, 1982 or so. I’ve modified it down through the years, but the main ingredients and proportions remain the same. I’ve never found any chili I’ve liked better than this — it’s ruined me for restaurant chili.

In copying this recipe once I neglected to note the cooking times from the well-worn original slip of paper, but that shouldn’t matter much. You want the initial ingredients to simmer for an hour or more. It takes a while to cook and add the meat. In the time it takes to add the final ingredients, the thickeners should do their work; at the end you can simmer it for a half hour or so, if it makes you feel better — but I can’t usually wait that long. *smile*

A coworker once spoke about his favorite chili con carne, and how much he loved the meaty flavor. That weekend I made this recipe, and the next week I brought in a container before lunch, set it on his desk, said “try this,” and walked out. That afternoon he wanted this recipe, and as his wife did the cooking, he had me cook it with her. (He complained about the beans and celery, but we ignored him.) He never mentioned the other recipe again.
(more…)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »