Holiday time machine; 12 vegetables of Christmas

Is there any more effective time machine than a Christmas tree? The first ornament that was mine and only mine was given to me by my maternal grandmother, Christmas of 1952. I pull out that silver cardboard horse to hang it up and, bam!, I’m 7 years old in Watsontown, PA, waiting with dread for the… Continue reading Holiday time machine; 12 vegetables of Christmas

Punkin for pie. Also soups, pasta dishes, bread, etc., etc., etc.

How does a pumpkin get from being a decoration to one of the best ingredients you can keep in your freezer? First of all, pick out the right kind of pumpkin. Our neighbor Frank Myers used to share what he called cheese pumpkins with us. They were such a pale orange they were almost white, and… Continue reading Punkin for pie. Also soups, pasta dishes, bread, etc., etc., etc.

Smokey the Bear and Fall Noodle Bowl to take to your cave

This is the time of year when I eat as though I were going to hibernate — red meat, salmon, honey, anything I find under logs in the forest. Add to that a world-class cold I brought home last week from a Boston food fest, and you have the potential for serious ballooning. All this just… Continue reading Smokey the Bear and Fall Noodle Bowl to take to your cave

Hoppin’ John Salad

Please note: A friend who ate this after it spent a day in the fridge liked it just fine. I could not taste any Italian dressing or thyme. Next time I will dress salad immediately before serving. My new left hip and I are celebrating today with the traditional Southern dinner thought to bring good luck, health… Continue reading Hoppin’ John Salad

Just say no?; grilled romaine

My Mother speaks. If  you don’t believe in those things, how are you going to stay sober? Every time I want to drink or do drugs, I’m going to make the decision not to do them. I’ll keep making that decision until it’s no longer a decision, but a way of life. Originally marketed as… Continue reading Just say no?; grilled romaine

Easter dinner, harissa roasted carrots

Occasionally, I’m reminded of our narrow taste palette. Making and cooking with harissa, a hot pepper paste from North Africa and the Mediterranean, was one of those times. Even before adding the lemon juice, olive oil and garlic, it smelled like nothing I could identify, except the overtones of anise. I needed only a wee… Continue reading Easter dinner, harissa roasted carrots

Grilled pizza — so good, so easy and so inexpensive

A nice neighbor gave us a huge box of North Carolina sweet potatoes as well as a huge package of sausage made from a hog he raised. So we were already halfway toward the Grilled Sweet Potato and Sausage Pizza recipe I’d saved from the Winston-Salem Journal for more than two years. The other challenge,… Continue reading Grilled pizza — so good, so easy and so inexpensive

Sweet Potatoes; Big Brother

If I could get you to read one book before you head to the table on Thanksgiving, it would be Lionel Shriver’s Big Brother, her intense new novel about the meaning of food (besides survival) in our lives and our relationships. “Not irresistible tastiness but the very failure of food to reward is what drives… Continue reading Sweet Potatoes; Big Brother

Giving thanks on the road

So Thanksgiving dinner, I read, can easily amount to 3,000 calories. Yikes, as Leonard’s mother says on “Big Bang Theory” — that’s about TWICE what I’m supposed to eat in a day to lose 1 pound per week. Add to that, we’ll be in the truck for at least 7 hours on Thursday and I… Continue reading Giving thanks on the road

Full moon setting; rosemary mashed sweet potatoes with caramelized shallots

Florida-grapefruit yellow moon dropping to the horizon outside study windows this morning, something I’d miss if I could sleep past 4 a.m. The last of the moonlight makes luminous the mist exhaled by the sleeping pastures, and I wonder, again, how I can leave this extraordinary beauty for a more prosaic site with more people,  more life.… Continue reading Full moon setting; rosemary mashed sweet potatoes with caramelized shallots