Playing With My Food

OCTOBER 5, 2011 2:17PM

Skin in the Game

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) said he was only making “a historical observation” during a House Judiciary Committee hearing….

“[T]here was a time in American history when you had to be a male property owner in order to vote. The reason for that was, because they wanted the peop… Read full post »

JUNE 14, 2011 8:39AM

Rocket Science

von braun
  Gather round while I sing you of Wernher von Braun,
A man whose allegiance
Is ruled by expedience.
Call him a Nazi, he won't even frown.
"Ha, Nazi Schmazi," says Wernher von Braun.

 "Wernher von Braun" - music and lyrics by Tom Lehrer


Wernher von Braun, the greatest rocket… Read full post »

JUNE 10, 2011 1:06PM

The Rye Stuff

 rye grain

Ever since I got that USB microscope, I’ve been trying to find a way to work it in here. The built-in LED illumination puts a greenish-blue color cast which is the opposite of the warm colors you usually want with food pictures, but PhotoShop lets me get rid of most of…

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JUNE 5, 2011 8:04AM

Homemade Mystery Meat


ground meat

I’m sure you’re familiar with mystery meat from high school cafeterias, army mess halls, or some other place where institutional food is served. It is almost always gray and has a strange texture and no recognizable flavor. You eat it because it is what they’ve served… Read full post »

JUNE 1, 2011 10:51AM

Salmon Dave



When I got my first smoker from the SausageMaker (about a quarter century ago) it was initially to make venison summer sausage. A friend of mine hunted and had this recipe from his grandmother that called for cooking it in an oven at 150°F. That’s… Read full post »

MAY 27, 2011 8:35AM

Out of the Smoker

the ribs 
I learned to glean meat from tiny bones as a child, picking tiny bits from a stewed chicken neck to go into the gravy. We weren’t poor, but nothing got wasted. I remember the hardest part was waiting for it to cool down. The ultimate meat gleaning project… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MAY 24, 2011 8:30AM

Medieval Trickle-Down


the pancake bakery
  Blame Phillippa Gregory. The trouble began when I read The White Queen. It’s a fictional account of the life of Elizabeth Woodville, the commoner who married Edward IV and became a key player in the House of York’s participation in the Wars of the Roses. The medieval…

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MAY 19, 2011 7:12AM

High Roller Baby Backs

po boy 

Like a genetically-compelled Monarch butterfly, I returned to The Pig yesterday. This time I got the catfish Po Boy. As you can see, it was decorated with pepper slices, red onion, and lettuce. It was dressed with Kewpie mayonnaise. The cucumber slices were marinated in vinegar,… Read full post »

MAY 18, 2011 8:54AM

The Pig


The Pig
  First of all, I’m all excited that Gilt Taste premiered today, headed by Ruth Reichl. The site will feature, I’m told, and up-and-coming food writer by the name of Francis Lam – though there’s nothing by him in this issue.


Second of all,… Read full post »

MAY 18, 2011 5:28AM

The Brooks Meme

Details at The Atlantic







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MAY 13, 2011 6:48AM

Even Simpler Mineral Waters

 My previous posts on mineral water might have been too complicated, with hundredths of an ounce and scary chemistry stuff. This post is a practical guide to making the solutions and using them to synthesize a wide range of commercial mineral waters.

 You’ll need 6 quart jars with l… Read full post »

MAY 12, 2011 2:52PM

Steamed Asparagus


bacon bon-bons

 First off, another use for bacon powder! Use a very small ice cream scoop and form the powder into bon-bons, then bake at 375°F for 3-5 minutes. They will crisp right up and you can pop ‘em in your mouth.

I was watching episode #102 of NewRead full post »

MAY 11, 2011 12:10PM

Bacon Powder

bacon render

Tapioca maltodextrin is light as a feather and has no distinguishable taste. A quarter cup if it weighs only 4 grams – less than a teaspoon of salt! Home brewers use it to add extra body to their beers and wines by increasing specific gravity without affecting flavor. A… Read full post »

MAY 10, 2011 11:20AM


hovis dough 

A few weeks back, I finally sprung for a KitchenAid grain mill attachment. After grinding a few cups of winter wheat berries, I stopped by the homebrew store and picked up a bag of malted barley which, ground up, makes those yeast fellows really happy. Of course,… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 26, 2011 11:08AM

Set Him and Forget Him


The name “Lambert” has always been special for me, but not always in a pleasant way. It is my middle name and, since it is uncommon, it became a taunt against me on my hour-long school bus rides each day until my fellow passengers discovered that calling me “Herman,&r… Read full post »

APRIL 13, 2011 1:09PM

Twitter Shot

There is beauty in a shot of tequila. Not just the tequila cruda ritual of salt-shot-lime, but the successive burst of flavors – like liquid sushi or a bento box miniature. If you count alcohol as a flavor – and there is a definite mouth-warming effect that is distinc/…

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APRIL 6, 2011 8:11AM

New shoe for women by sun zhu

Woke up this mornin', sumthin' troubling my poor mind: Those spammers on OS. Nobody likes them and the faint human touch in their comments suggests either (1) OCR software without a spell-checker coupled with a search engine that cuts and pastes or (b) sweatshop children who get paid by the amount… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 5, 2011 7:37AM

Foodie Tuesday: Cold Brew Coffee


 Coffee: Black as the devil, Hot as hell, Pure as an angel, Sweet as love. -Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord

Figure it like this: Coffee has about 100 mg of caffeine per cup and there are about 32 8-ounce cups per pound, so a pound has 3200… Read full post »

  Sure, at first glance it looks like there was a very strange party here, but this is really just a simple way to extract aromatic oils at home (without building a still, which is still frowned upon by the ATF). It works because these oils, insoluble in water, do/…

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MARCH 31, 2011 11:00AM

Homemade Mineral Waters for Dummies


When I made homemade mineral waters a few weeks ago, I probably scared off some folks whose memories of high school chemistry involved traumas of dumb-looking safety glasses and forced evacuations when somebody dropped a penny in nitric acid just to see what happens. It does not need to… Read full post »


There are some loose ends regarding my post on prettels. First of all, searching on “prettles” yields many more recipes (though they all look like the same two), so I’ll defer to that spelling. A friend from Deshler pointed that out to me. She also mentioned a butche…

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MARCH 28, 2011 10:30AM


with eggs

 German roots are deeply sunk into rural Henry County, Ohio and can be seen in common surnames such as Tietje, Petersen, Rosebrook, Sunderman, and Schweibert. The many Lutheran churches, until a few years ago, would hold two services each Sunday, one in English and one in German. When t… Read full post »

MARCH 23, 2011 9:32PM

Cackle Candy


Give Francis Lam the credit - or blame - for this. After all, nanos gigantium humeris insidentes, or as Isaac Newton famously put it: "What Descartes did was a good step. You have added much several ways, and especially in taking the colours of thin plates into philosophical consideratio…

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MARCH 19, 2011 12:33PM

13 Radishes

radish juice

Juice from 13 radishes, using a juice extractor, yielding a little under 8 ounces and an unexpected color. The flavor is about what I expected, though not as pungent as I’d hoped. This can be used to give color and flavor to vegetable drinks – such as the clarifiedRead full post »

MARCH 18, 2011 7:41AM

Good Morning, Sweet Chicharrón!


Victory is mine! (thumping sounds of chest-beating in background) I have unlocked the secret of the chicharrón! Well, not me, but whatever snack food company consented to show their processes on Modern Marvels. I’ve been following recipes on the derned internets which had m…

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