Marie’s Freedom Tire Shop
Marie, in her sixties, ran Freedom’s Tire Shop in Freedom Indiana. It had been years since anyone bought tires but they kept coming for the gasoline. The station sat at the edge of town across the street from the only grocery. Marie’s husband had been dead 15 years when I met her in the late 1980’s. Her only source of income had been her husband and his business. When he died she decided she would run the gas station and each day, with walking stick in hand, she would walk to work. She had never had possession of a drivers license nor did she want too. Continue reading “Marie’s Freedom Station and Crispy BBQ Chicken Thighs”
It’s not for a lack of eggs. I raise chickens, I have more eggs then I can use most days. So what drives me to this dish. I especially like sprouted tofu, a lot. It’s not just tofu though. I like the process, the feel of the tofu as I crumble it between my fingers … Continue reading My Favorite Tofu Scramble
Rarely do I use my microwave. I use it to take the chill off my coffee. I heat leftovers for lunch. Whenever a recipe calls for “butter, melted” onto the glass turntable the fat filled Pyrex measuring cup goes. I don’t cook with my microwave in any real culinary sense. I sometimes wonder why I have it, why I allow it to take up precious counter space when I know everything for which I use it can be done just as easily on the stove.
Of course there is also the fear that has been around as long as the microwave, that somehow it poses some sort of health risk. I don’t know if it does or not but if I error on the side of solid scientific research, it would tell me the microwave is harmless. Even so, I will lean on the side of caution and repeat the mantra I continually voice to my children, don’t put your face right up to the microwave door to watch as a cooking pizza pocket swells and shrinks, as if it is coming to life, and please, stand back an arms length.
I don’t believe the microwave has ever lived up to its original space age expectations. Nonetheless I read an article touting the healthy aspects of cooking vegetables in a microwave. Because it basically steams the vegetables, the vegetables retain a large portion of nutrients then if you used other cooking methods. It made sense, and I am buying in, or at least I want to and there are lots of reasons why. Continue reading “Perfect Microwave Broccoli”
I have been, and will continue to be a believer in simple good recipes that follow great technique. I often feel as though complicated directions and hard to find ingredients set us up for disappointment and failure. Don’t get me wrong. I understand the law of diminishing return. That today’s worlds best recipe will be boring tomorrow.
We need to search out new tastes, techniques and flavors but it is also important to return to the classics. For me, I also like to share my childhood favorites with my children. These rolls are a part of me. They connect me to my past, and by sharing them, they connect me to my children. Continue reading “Dinner Rolls and a Bonus Southern White Loaf”
If I didn’t already have a list of reasons I need lots of herbs in my life, Italian Salsa Verde (green sauce) alone would be enough to convince me. It’s delicious on almost anything. Take my dinner tonight: salsa verde is outstanding on steak and takes long-cooked kale up a notch. And when I got a little on my baked potato with sour cream, it was no longer a plain old baked potato. It was sublime. Continue reading “Using Herbs with Abandon”
I have a simple rule, whenever I figure out what good restaurant cooks like to make at home I follow suit. It’s because most professional cooks like simple but deeply satisfying meals, roast chicken is one of those, it is a cook’s meal. When I say simple I don’t mean in flavor and not necessarily … Continue reading A Delicious Roast Chicken for Any Night
I know, I know you are thinking cheese and you are right to do so. It is, after all, one of the many things fondue can mean but simply put it means “melted” but fondue is also used in other culinary applications beyond the Swiss national dish.
To fondue something is to sweat it over low heat until it becomes very tender. Vegetables are often used in fondue where they are left on the stove over low heat eventually breaking down into an unctuous mess of jam. It is looser then jam and while I am sure you could preserve or can fondue I don’t. I usually don’t make a fondue in those quantities. I more or less consider it a quick jam or pickle, and much like a quick pickle it is something I will store in the fridge and use within week or so.
This particular fondue goes well with grilled pork chops, is better then great on beef quesadillas and is wildly good on hotdogs and brats. In other words you will want to have this little gem around for summer grill outs.
Continue reading “Red Onion and Rhubarb Fondue”
What thrills me the most about potato cakes like this is the crispy top and creamy interior. If you use good potatoes the flavor is unbeatable and if you are creative you can even layer the interior with things like roasted garlic, wilted onions, green onions or even chopped frozen broccoli that has been thawed … Continue reading Potato Cake
I really enjoy making and eating the foods of Southeast Asia. I make trips to the Asian grocery and buy up all kinds of different produce that aren’t found in my garden or at the local grocer. I don’t really drive but an extra five minutes to get there, the groceries cost less which makes … Continue reading Laotian Beef Salad (Larb)
This is possibly the simplest dish to make and yet it packs in all the sweet, salty, and sour flavors you want it too. It would be great kicked up with some minced red Thai chili but in this case I didn’t because I was making it kid friendly. The dish itself is based on … Continue reading Thai Shrimp and Collard Wraps