Category: Food

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Recipe: Winter’s better with sour cabbage soup!

November 19, 2010 | 1 comment { Food }

It behooves one to have some food constructs up one’s sleeve that one can pull out at will and riff on: recipes that allow for variations on a theme, often more of a narrative than a list of ingredients and instructions for their combination. Such is the case for what I’ll here call sour cabbage soup.

What I’m going to tell you about here was at one time based on a variant of Schchi, a Russian cabbage soup that, in Cyrillic, only has two letters (yep, there’s a single letter for “shch”). Most Americans likely think that Russian classic soup starts and ends at borscht, but I say, Not so! Not so!

Stockpot image from

Food: David’s molcajete, ancient cookware for mean salsas

April 9, 2010 { David, Food }
Last night's salsa in the molcajete.

David’s 35th birthday was last week. After my first four gift ideas went wholly south, I decided to get him something he’d been asking for. Well, sort of. Our kitchen’s mortar and pestle complement was sorely lacking. Our little guy only held a few ounces and served more to spray bits of things around than to crush or muddle them usefully. David had, for some time, been on the warpath for a new mortar and pestle, a big, manly, indestructible one.

I took it a bit further and found something shaped like a pig. Instead of an outsized marble variant or, even less usefully, a ceramic one, I found a jumbo-sized Mexican molcajete. These three-footed vessels are traditionally made from volcanic rock, tend to shed dust and grit until they’re seasoned, and have been around in some way or another since the Aztecs ruled Tenōchtitlān, awesome calendaring system and all.

Iceland: A challenge even for the cuisine-bold

March 15, 2010 | 5 comments { Food, Travel }
No, thanks

I am seriously pro-food. I like to think about food, read about food, gently prod food, ferment food, garnish food, smell food, buy food, seek food and experience new food. I regale the difference between 6-month and 12-month Manchego, care whether asparagus is in season, and am honestly fond of (not just making a point of) eating sweetbreads (thymus and pancreas, usually, of calf), bone marrow, squid and fermented fish sauce. However, my upcoming trip to Iceland is making me gustatorily anxious.

Icelandic food specialties read more like grievous and fatal fraternity hazing rituals than anything that a human with extant taste buds and olfactory capability would submit to willingly. The regional recipes manage to get an F- on each of the rough trinity of food-is-yummy criteria, offending the user psychologically, aesthetically, and sensually.

Food: One dough to rule them all

January 13, 2010 { Food, Life }

You can do so many things with this dough that it’s almost not funny. I’ve memorized this recipe because it’s just that useful. Four quick ingredients turn into a stupidly large array of possibilities. My recipes here cover pizza and bagel derivatives, but I imagine that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Photo by Dalboz17

Booze: Things that Taste Wonderful

January 8, 2010 | 2 comments { Food, Life }
Worshipping Booze

Feeling festive? Had a hard day at the ol’ office? In the mood to abuse a substance?

Here are some things that I started mixing together in the past six months or so. I found that many of them taste surprisingly good, and thought I would share. Fair warning: all involve alcohol. Bottoms up, kids!

In Defense of my Diet AND The Words I Use to Reference it

July 16, 2009 | 1 comment { Crohn's, Food, Life }

Jim’s comment on my last post reminded me of something I haven’t covered here–and I like to cover the crap out of things. That is, what I eat and drink. And the whole interaction with my little Crohn’s problem. We’ll start here. Curiously and counter-intuitively, there has not ever been any direct or observable correlation [...]

Analytic Tuna Fish

July 10, 2008 | 9 comments { Food, Life }

Are there really any two families in the United States that prepare their tuna fish the same way? I would beg to assert that the composition of tuna fish salad is one of the most beautiful regional variations there is. Some people are pickle devotees. Some people swear by bare minimalism. This is how we [...]

Duck, the Sequel

June 9, 2008 { Food }

Clamor, clamor, little readers / how I have joy that you care browsing through the tubes so high / like a duck-fiend in the sky satue, simmer little duck / you cooked well, such was my luck! I am glad to follow up with some nonsense and finality about my duck. It all came together [...]

The Duck Drama, Post 1 of Perhaps 2 if Everything Goes Right

June 4, 2008 | 3 comments { Food }

It started simply, as most cooking plans do, with not enough foresight and a general craving. Duck. My god, duck. It’s good. Mr. Pencil and I thus swayed just had to impulsively buy a frozen duck a few months ago with no concept beyond: “Duck, hell yes.” I don’t remember where we got it: Sheridan’s? [...]

PDX: New Deschutes Brewery in the Pearl, via Autumn

June 4, 2008 | 5 comments { Food, PDX }

My friend Autumn tried out the new Deschutes Brewery in the Pearl and wrote about it on her blog. I find it funny. not totally thrilled my reuben was going to cost me $11.95 i was downright flummoxed to see that the kids menu listed grilled salmon as one of its offerings. grilled salmon? seriously? [...]

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From the Archive

From the archive, a few random posts that you might not have seen before.

Wonderful games with Caslon