At the corner of ennui and apathy…

I sometimes wonder how professional chefs do it. Cooking the same dishes again and again and again and again. Most chef’s don’t add new dishes to the menu. And when they do, those new dishes just become another dish to make again and again and again.

Home cooks have a similar problem. You open the fridge, getting ready to cook a meal, and nothing looks interesting. You’re tired of it all. And you’re just too meh to learn a new technique right now. Some people say insanity is doing the same thing and expecting the results to be different. Sometimes it’s just something that happens at the corner. The corner of ennui and apathy.

When I find myself there, I try to do something simple that will give me a blast of additional flavor, something that will take a dish I’ve made a number of times for the family to the next level. But something that doesn’t require much thought or effort. I’ll talk about a few of these in days and weeks to come. Continue reading

Battle Rosemary

I suddenly realized I was standing in this large kitchen and some Asian dude was standing in front of me, opening a large display case and screaming, “And the final ingredient in today’s battle is ROSEMARY!”  And there, in the case were a few dozen 6 to 8 inch long branches of rosemary.  Lovely.  Fragrant.  Delightful.  And I had an hour to prepare four dishes that highlighted rosemary.

Across from me was some imposing person I’d never heard of before.  Cat Flayer or something like that.

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Don’t let me boar you

Last weekend marked Beth’s and my 15th wedding anniversary.  So, we decided to go off and have some fun.   This time that meant we visited Austin, TX.  I lived there for 20 years and like visiting the town again.  I haven’t lived there in 20 years, and I don’t think I’d want to live there now.  It’s not the same city – its grown too big with all that means..  Still, there’s a lot to love in Austin.  One thing we love is Antonelli’s Cheese Shop.  If you love cheese, sausage, breads, chocolate, wines, beers, olive oils and other exquisite foods, you should visit Antonelli’s if you’re in the area.  (Scardello’s in Dallas also gets my praise, and money.)

As we were looking at Antonelli’s meats I saw a prosciutto.  It was stunningly 5beautiful.  The meat was translucent, and somehow glowed with its own inner light.  They wanted $40 per half pound.  I laughed and looked at some of the salume.  But my eyes kept going back to the prosciutto.

Then I noticed a sign in front of it that said the prosciutto was La Quercia’s  Acorn Edition.  A prosciutto made from Berkshire hogs that had been fed on 60% acorns.  Oh. Wow. Continue reading

What IS Barbeque?

At times, I think we should have a separate category for barbeque.  It’s just such a wonderful food.  Sadly, the word has been so widely used and abused that it really isn’t terribly descriptive.

To me, barbeque is not a social event, it is not cooking food by exposing it to high and direct heat.  One is a party, the other is grilling.  I like both.  Really. Continue reading

Hints for Food Bloggers, 2


As we try to move from being small fry to wok stars, we’re learning.  This is another picture from our (unpublished) piece on National Peach Cobbler Day. 

The bit hint for food bloggers here is, take the picture when the food looks its best.  Fresh from the oven, this had a great golden brown crust.  Cutting out a piece would have revealed a rich creamy-peachy filling.  Now, well, it’s past its prime.

Hints for Food Bloggers, 1


We’re really not there yet, but we’re learning.  And as we learn more about what we’re doing, we’ll share the tips and tricks that separate the big woks from the small fry (like us).

The first hint is pretty straight forward, but we have a number of cool posts we’d love to share but we didn’t follow this hint.

“Take the pictures before the food is gone.”  I guess we won’t be doing our piece on this year’s National Peach Cobbler Day after all.  Maybe next year!

Some of our would-be posts have pictures of 4 courses out of the 5 we were server.  Or 6.  Or 7.  Like the Lockhart Smokehouse’s “Snout to Tail” pig-out dinner.  Or some of the really rocking special dinners Chef Chad Kelley put together when he was at the Meddlesome Moth.  Maybe not taking pictures should have been something we gave up for Lent!

A Culinary Pilgrimage

It’s odd how strands of ones life come together.  The other day Scott Heimendinger, the The Bon Ton Cafe's Crab au Gratin, one of the first pics taken with my cell phone cameraSeattle Food Geek, tweeted “Every time someone says ‘American cheese’ and they aren’t referring to the entire set of cheeses made in the US, I die a little inside.”

Wow.  Really?  Where’s that coming from? Scott has one of the most delightfully tweaky and geeky food blogs out there.

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Thoughts About This Blog

When Michael suggested that we start blogging as the New Burgundians, I thought it was a good idea for him, but not for me. He’s the true foodie. For years he’s read about cooking, baking and brewing, not just the cookbooks, but the scientific articles I find for him about the chemistry of sourdough, For years he’s done those things. He’s enjoyed doing them. Continue reading