All Hail The Pig, A Most Noble Beast!

I had a bit of an epiphany as I sat down to write this blog post. I am a dabbler, and if I want to really learn to cook well, I will have to come to terms with the need to pay attention to detail. The problem is that my mind never stays on task. I’m thinking about the next thing I’m going to try before I’m actually cooking what I am currently working on. Truly great food is prepared thoughtfully, with attention to detail. It doesn’t mean that you aren’t thinking ahead, but you must be able to focus on the task at hand. Continue reading “All Hail The Pig, A Most Noble Beast!”

O Canada!

I apologize for this deceptive title. Canadian bacon isn’t actually Canadian. It’s the same old story – Americans just have to tinker with things, and we seem to have difficulty in naming things accurately! True Canadian Bacon is actually called Peameal Bacon. Peameal Bacon is brined, but not smoked, and it is coated in a meal made from yellow peas. Well, it was coated in peameal, but since cornmeal is more abundant and economical, it was changed. Apparently our cousins to the north are as bad about naming things as we are, because the name never changed to reflect the new coating. Continue reading “O Canada!”

A Simple Dinner Party

One of the things my wife and I don’t do enough of is entertain. When the opportunity presents itself, I am all over it! She called the other night and asked if we could host a dinner for a prospective new hire and her family. It’s a great chance to meet new people, help introduce them to the area, make them feel cared for and comfortable, and to just make good food to share with good people. Continue reading “A Simple Dinner Party”

I Would Relish Your Condiments About This Chutney

(See Bourbon Cranberry Orange Relish)

A man takes his son and fiance to dinner. The evening is going pleasantly, and the conversation is unhurried and comfortable. As they eat the father notices that his soon to be daughter-in-law hasn’t touched any of the relishes or chutney’s. Continue reading “I Would Relish Your Condiments About This Chutney”

Down Home Sous Vide

“Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.” – Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

This is great news for many of us when you give it some thought. It means that beef, pork, lamb and goat are vegetables. Of course you must consider that chickens are then insects. Don’t even ask what tilapia really are! We don’t live in a perfect world. Continue reading “Down Home Sous Vide”

The Bastard Child… Ketchup

Some people think I am crazy for making things that I could easily buy. There are a lot better reasons for thinking that than my cooking habits. I question their reasoning anyway. Can you really buy good tomato ketchup in the Super Market? I can honestly say that I was blown away by the flavor of my tomato ketchup. Sure, I will probably still buy the old stand by, but I will always try to make a batch or two a year of my own. Because of the spice level in my ketchup, it makes and excellent sauce for shrimp cocktail! Continue reading “The Bastard Child… Ketchup”

Colonel Mustard Did It In The Kitchen…

…with a Szechuan Peppercorn!

I am not an intellectual. An intellectual is someone who looks at a sausage and thinks of Picasso, whereas I just say ‘pass the mustard’.

                                                                                                       -Sebastian Horsley

szechuan mustardI suppose we could be accused of over thinking our food, of making more of it than it is. Yet, to think of food as only fuel for the body misses the majority of what food is. To me, asceticism is as great a sin as gluttony, and perhaps an even more profound sin. I guess it all depends upon the intent behind the action. I’ve always considered food as a communion. Even when I eat alone, there is an intimate tie to other people, even people I have never met or heard of. Continue reading “Colonel Mustard Did It In The Kitchen…”