Culinary Fundamentals

I’ve been threatening to improve my cooking for quite some time now, and I finally did something about it. My local University has a Culinology program. Culinology is a cross between Food Science and Culinary. I don’t want to earn another degree at this point in my life, but the culinary classes are based on the Culinary Institute of America’s text book. I decided to enroll as a non-traditional student taking the three culinary classes offered. This semester I am enrolled in Culinary Fundementals. Then next Autumn, I will enroll in the advanced course and in Baking and Pastry. Continue reading “Culinary Fundamentals”

 Kohupiimaküpsised American Style

I love languages despite the fact that I can only (and barely) reliably speak one. Kohupiimaküpsised translates as cheesecake (or curd cake) on Google Translate. To me that is wonderful, but totally inaccurate! They are actually more like an American biscuit than a cake. I think this has to do with the fact that “England and America are two countries separated by a common language.” I am going to attribute that quote to me, as no other writer seems to want it. And it is very true. When an American says biscuit, they think of a delicious, quick bread bun, or roll. When a Brit says biscuit they think of a dessert or snack that is fairly sweet. Think of a chocolate chip cookie (biscuit), or a ginger snap, or a vanilla wafer. I am certain that the movie, “Free Willey,” caused quite the humorous stir in Great Britain, when it debuted. Continue reading “ Kohupiimaküpsised American Style”

Fear Is The Mind Killer

When I was a young man, just out of high school, I did what most young men did after high school. I went to University. I had no idea what I wanted to do. I ended up majoring in Fussball and pinball. After the first year, the Dean of my College wrote a very nice, heartfelt letter to me, asking me to perhaps reevaluate where my life was going before registering for another semester. In effect, he told me to quit before I was quit! Continue reading “Fear Is The Mind Killer”

The Pitfalls Are Where We Learn.

Learning a new cooking skill can be difficult and expensive. I wish I could tell you that there is a short cut to learning by doing, but if there is, I have not yet found it. I really want to learn to smoke and cure foods. So far, I have done some very respectable pork butts (the shoulder of the pig), but ribs and beef brisket still evade me. Continue reading “The Pitfalls Are Where We Learn.”

Fermentation Nation

IMG_2360Remember these little fellers? They are called Dragon’s Tail radishes. A few posts ago, I said that I was going to ferment them whole and make a relish from them. Instead, I buzzed them up in a food processor with some onion, and fermented them as a relish that way. I used a bit of salt, and some vegetable fermentation starter culture. Was I bright enough to write down the recipe and method? Let’s just say that I  will have the opportunity to rediscover this recipe next year, and make tweaks, if I can remember what I originally did. Continue reading “Fermentation Nation”

My Loss Is My Gain

When I first started this blog, I hadn’t considered posting about dieting, weight loss, fitness or nutrition. What do those things have to do with learning to cook, or simply sharing recipe ideas, or cooking methods? (I always knew that I would ramble off into sociology, politics and philosophy, because that’s just how I roll.) It turns out that learning to cook has a lot more to do with those things than I originally thought. Continue reading “My Loss Is My Gain”

I’m Losing It!

Here’s a brief update on my weight loss situation. I’m losing it! That is a good thing. I am losing it far slower than previously, but loss is loss.  I hit 204 pounds a couple of weeks ago, and due to both an injury and perhaps more laziness than I care to admit to, I have gained back a couple of pounds. I am still at a lower weight than I have been in many years. Continue reading “I’m Losing It!”

New Zealand Spinach and Dragon’s Tail Radishes

Do you get stuck in a cooking rut? Do you make the same foods over and over again because they’re delicious, comfortable and easy to make? I certainly do! It is so easy to fall into a routine, especially if you live in a small town with limited food ingredient choices. Fortunately, our small town is very diverse. Not only do we have Germans and Norwegians, but we also have Belgians! Seriously, we are diverse with many people groups from Africa, Asia, Mexico and South America represented along with the typical Northern and Eastern Europeans. Continue reading “New Zealand Spinach and Dragon’s Tail Radishes”

A Pressing Matter


img_2151Sometimes you just have to try doing something different. I had never made tortillas before. Somehow, I had an old, cast iron tortilla press in my possession. I remember it being in my parent’s house for ages. My mother never used it to my knowledge. She was Ukrainian for goodness sakes! Why did she even have a tortilla press? I suppose she could have made pierogies with it. Come to think of it, I may have to try that! Pierogies are just Eastern European empanadas. Continue reading “A Pressing Matter”