10:48 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Souvenirs? Consider The Grocery Store

Banana sauce
John Stephen Dwyer Wikimedia

Food is a telling thing. For a true venture into cultural anthropology, visit a local grocery store – preferably a mom-and-pop operation. I’ve shopped for groceries on three continents and in many states of the US. I always find interesting things to take home.

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10:58 am
Tue May 13, 2014

In Good Taste: How To Be A Host Who Makes Guests Happy

Hip, hip, hurra! Konstnärsfest på Skagen by Peder Severin Krøyer

Welcome to “In Good Taste,” where we’ll explore all things mannerly pertaining to food and how to enjoy it with others. Today we’ll explain how a host can make dinner party guests feel welcomed.

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2:21 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Half-Baked: Thin-Crust Whole-Wheat Pizza

Pizza (professional)
Credit Steven Depolo / Flickr

For my second attempt at preparing a meal that wasn’t constructed in a New Jersey chemical plant and wrapped in microwave-safe plastic, I opted for America’s Test Kitchen’s Thin-Crust Whole-Wheat Pizza with Garlic Oil, Three Cheeses, and Basil. While pizza might seem a bit ambitious for a no-talent chef, if I could master this, think of the money I’d save by not having to tip the delivery guy every night. 

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10:20 am
Mon April 28, 2014

How To Make A Perfect Mint Julep

Credit Tammy Green

There are a number of days on the calendar when the average American drinker decides to forgo his usual celebratory beverage routine of “open bottle, pour contents,” and dabble instead in the art of what is known, in current parlance, as mixology. With one of these days quickly approaching I would like to help you prepare by explaining the subtleties of the Mint Julep.

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12:23 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Maria Roselina

Tagliatelle bolognesi
Credit Paolo Piscolla

There is a moment Sunday,
an inexplicable instant of clarity
and purpose the dying often summon,
when my mother extends a hand through the mist,
lifts off her bed and makes for the kitchen.

On a marble slab, she mixes egg and flour,
salt and water, rolls flat the shroud of dough,
snips it into tagliatelle,
and covers it with a sheet.

Even the rain halts and the sun appears
to allow her passage into the garden
for Romas, parsley,
garlic and basilico.

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11:59 am
Mon April 14, 2014



So many times I've witnessed this
that familiarity is not the word

to conjure my mother's taking up of the breast-
shaped purple blackness, her paring

knife commencing from the areola,
strokes of peel stripping away into the sink

until the corpuscular fruit is nude
and ready to be sliced. In the colander

she tiers the rounds, salting each layer
to draw out the bitter water, and weights

them down with a piece of heart-
shaped iron with which her tailor father pressed.

They sit on the counter all day:
the eggplant with the heart pressing on them,

the water in the pan beneath
turning red.

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10:58 am
Tue April 8, 2014

A “Frank” Story of Survival

Portrait of a hot dog
Credit Tamra Wilson

Experts tell us that hot dogs are full of preservatives. I know this for a fact.

When I was ten years old, my mother had a portable dishwasher she seldom used. She preferred hand-washing to dragging the heavy machine across the linoleum and hooking the clumsy nozzle to the hot-water faucet. So the portable stayed next to the refrigerator – and this is where our saga begins.

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3:00 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Half-Baked: Crispy Cabbage And Two-Step Mashed Potatoes

Yukon Gold potatoes are perfect for mashing, if you know how to do that kind of thing
Credit Anne White ( / Flickr

This is the second installment in an on-going series about a full-grown adult learning to cook for the first time. Read the back story here.

While listening to America’s Test Kitchen recently, I heard a recipe for thin-crust whole-wheat pizza with garlic oil, three cheeses, and basil, which seemed like the perfect recipe to inaugurate my novice cooking project, so yesterday after work, starving and excited about my first attempt to make pizza, I printed out the recipe and walked up to my neighborhood grocery.  

That’s where things started to go wrong.

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11:50 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Half-Baked: A Reluctant Cook At Home

Novice cook and WFAE web producer Katie Herzog
Credit Navja Sol

I’m surrounded by foodies. My friends, my family—they go out for long, elaborate meals where they order things like pork belly and wild mushroom sorbet, close their eyes to taste it, sigh with contentment, and then turn to offer me a bite, which I invariably refuse. For me, dining out is merely a way to avoid cooking and eating is merely a way to avoid starving. It’s as much a chore as doing laundry or cleaning my bathroom but worse because if I procrastinate for too long I’ll die. 

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10:37 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Ruth Reichl: "A Spy In The House Of Food"

Delicious is the forthcoming novel by acclaimed food writer Ruth Reichl.
Random House

It’s hard to keep up with Ruth Reichl. In 29 minutes by phone, the acclaimed food writer covered a lot of ground, answering my questions about what she cooks for her family, what she loves to eat in other people’s homes, the one food she despises – and her forthcoming novel, Delicious.

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