" When the stories we tell about cooking say that it is only ever fun and rewarding—instead of copping to the fact that it can also be annoying, time consuming, and risky—we alienate the people who don’t have the luxury of choice, and we unwittingly reinforce the impression that cooking is a specialty hobby instead of a basic life skill." [more inside]
The entire creation story of the Toll House Cookie™ is full of half-truths and outright misinformation. It’s time we knew the truth about the history of chocolate chip cookies. (sl, the Toast.) [more inside]
Pizza making questions come up on Ask Mefi and the Blue semi-regularly. But I was surprised to find that (before it was a pricey book) ENCYCLOPIZZA was a web site that has apparently never been mentioned here. It went officially offline at the end of 2011, but thanks to the Wayback Machine, the online ENCYCLOPIZZA can still be yours. If you are serious about learning and hanging out with other serious pizzamakers of all stripes, you should also get thee to the pizzamaking.com forums. (Previously: A Layman's Guide to Regional Styles, and The Ridiculously Thorough Guide to Making Your Own Pizza )
How to Cook Vegetables. How to Flavor with Spices. How to Flavor with Fresh Herbs. How to Maximize Flavor using the Flavor Star. An international guide to Aromatics.
Reanna Alder eats roadkill raccoon so you don't have to. (Article has no images except a highly processed one of a live raccoon.)
Cooking the Books
"Cooking the Books is an internet cooking show hosted by Emily Gould in which she invites famous authors into her kitchen to make food inspired by their books."[more inside]
As hinted in the leaked digital innovation report which outlined how the venerable newspaper could leverage a substantial archive to compete with clickbait, The New York Times has been developing cooking.nytimes.com, a beautifully searchable repository of every recipe ever published in the newspaper. [more inside]
Eating healthy food and eating together is important. But if you hate to cook, what's the best way to do that? (SLNYT)
American Chop Suey (aka Goulash) gets the Food Lab treatment from MeFi favorite J. Kenji López-Alt. (American Chop Suey was the subject of two recent questions on The Green.)
The Food Lab: Make Your Own Just-Add-Hot-Water Instant Noodles. "Wouldn't it be great if you could get all of the convenience and pleasure of instant noodles—the portability, the just-add-water cooking, the lunch-sized portions—but pack it full of fresh vegetables and real, honest-to-goodness flavor? Here's a secret: you can, and it's easier than you think."
Of course long before my boyfriend cheated on me or I made awful carrot/goldfish cum pasta sauce, cooking shame and sexual shame have gone together. For each, you put the very core of yourself out there in a very pointed attempt to give someone a one-of-a-kind sensual experience, and to differentiate yourself, to declare, "Please notice and appreciate my singular talent" and when at your urging they sample and reject, well, it is not good.An Argument for Never Cooking Again
Amy Glaze writes How To Talk Like A French Chef:
I’m not learning the kind of French I intended to. The other night on one of my days off, I ordered a cocktail at an upscale restaurant that I had never heard of before. It was a mixture of rum and spirits with fruit juice. It sounded interesting but a little too sweet for my taste. I asked the server if it was dégueulasse (deh-guh-lass), which I thought meant ‘gross’.and The Chocolate Chip Caper:
My hands are permanently blood stained (out out damn spot!) and no matter how much bleach or hydrogen pyroxide I use it won’t go away. They are swollen from gutting hunted animals by hand and getting pricked by tiny bullet shattered bones – so much so, that I can’t even get my engagement ring over my knuckle let alone make a tight fist. The scars on my hands, wrists and arms from cooking and accidents (like the time I tripped on a box left on the floor and landed hands first onto our massive hot plate stove burning the entire side of my hand and wrist) are obscene.[more inside]
Every competitive cooking show in America, ranked by the A.V. Club
"Nowadays, we tend to eat biscuits with beverages like tea and coffee. But in the past they were an important element of the dessert course and were dipped into sweet wine." - Food History Jottings (previously) on the strange world of Regency biscuits. (Cookies to you US types.)
29 life-changing quesadillas you need to know about. Buzzfeed, gloriously cheesy list on one page.
One pound of Almons beat them small, in the beating put in the Row of a Pike 4 dates cut and the yolkes of 4 Eggs temper it with cold water Straine it through a Strainer & make a quart of it Season it with Suger Rosewater Salt pxxxxe beaten Mace When it is Baked scrape suger on
The simple chilled soup is perfect for steamy August days.
Gazpacho is so easy that children old enough to manage a food processor or a blender can make it themselves. But whether or not you have pint-size sous chefs at your disposal, a recipe that requires minimal effort and in most instances no heat is always a good thing this time of year. So, here is that ubiquitous summer standby done a few ways that you’re probably familiar with and a bunch more that you’re probably not. (If Thai melon gazpacho is already in your rotation, good for you, and I surrender.) The “recipes” here amount to little more than lists of ingredients and quantities, because the method doesn’t bear repeating 12 times: Combine everything in a blender or food processor, process to your desired texture, chill in the refrigerator if you like, garnish and eat.[more inside]
The Salt, NPR's food blog, explains how Leanne Brown was inspired to develop a cookbook for people on SNAP. Leanne published Good and Cheap[PDF] as the capstone project for her MA in Food Studies at New York University and released it online as a free ebook. She also ran a successful Kickstarter to produce a print version.
J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, managing culinary director at food blog Serious Eats, recently took an extended trip to China and southeast Asia with his wife, Adri, after driving across the country during a move from New York to San Francisco. He documented his Asia trip on a personal blog set up to elude Chinese censors. [more inside]
VanillaReview.com provides reviews of online vanilla bean sources. If you want to give homemade vanilla extract to your friends and family this Giftmas, now's the time to get started. But don't stop there -- you can also learn about vanilla frost, vanilla bean grading, vanilla growing, and even vanilla tattoos, which are used to prevent vanilla rustling. [more inside]
Multiple websites are out there to help you dine like an anime character. Typically, they consist of anime screencaps plus either adapted or invented recipes that attempt to replicate the dishes. Okonomiyaki, dainty strawberry cakes, gyoza, Ponyo's ramen, coffee jelly, you name it! There's the earnest Real Anime Food. Then there's the sillier Recipes for Weebs, which has functional indices. Anime Recipes hasn't updated in a year, but it has a long list of recipes, including the fish pie from Kiki's Delivery Service. [more inside]
"In peace or war, the ultimate refuge—the sanctuary of all that is humane—lies distilled within the warmth of the kitchen." Journalist Paul Salopek pauses in the middle of his 21,000-mile Out of Eden Walk from Africa to South America -- Ethiopia to Tierra del Fuego -- to reflect on the food shared with him during his time in Israel and Palestine. "Watching the women of Nablus move briskly, efficiently, purposefully about their tasks, chatting, often joking (about men, politics, life), I am reminded of all the meals that admitted me briefly into the conflicted lives of Israelis and Palestinians." [more inside]
The Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery is an annual weekend conference discussing food, its history, and culture. Since 1981 the papers presented at the Symposium have been collected into a conference volume called the Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery, most of which have been made available for free in their entirety via Google Books. Each volume consists of about 25-40 papers surrounding the theme of that year's Symposium (e.g. Eggs, Authenticity, or The Meal). [more inside]
Food in Every Country provides information on the foodways of several dozen countries (not all of them, despite the site's name), with brief explanations of their culture and history -- and recipes! [more inside]
The Girl Scouts published the first recipe for Some Mores in 1927, and it just took off. The s'more has become an All-American campfire treat … and the combination of warm gooey marshmallow, melty chocolate, and crisp graham cracker has inspired a bunch of other s'more-inspired recipes. I give you: Triple dipped apples. Pie. Popcorn. Mini donuts. Stuffed cookies. Dip. Ice cream. Chocolatier ice cream. Homemade pop tarts. Macarons. Cups. Fudge. Krispies Bar. Truffles. Cheesecake. Pie pops. Bites. Milkshake. Empanadas. Trifles. Frozen. [more inside]
Looking for American recipes to take to tonight's 4th of July party? It's easy to find historic recipes. But why not look to America's great fiction writers instead? [more inside]
"Pastry work takes a level of skill, precision and rigor that I lacked in spades. I could’ve maybe become a decent pastry cook, with months of practice and a patient boss, but I was in no way qualified to be a pastry chef. I gave it my best effort, for three days, until the chef-owner realized her mistake and fired me. The place closed in less than 6 months. I never got paid." Laurie Woolever at The Billfold talks about how she went from Botantical Garden Intern to Anthony Bourdain's assistant.
The psychology of Soylent and the prison of first-world food choices
People are born with neither the ability to cook nor compile; both are taught, and chastising even an adult for not knowing how to cook a healthy meal makes about as much sense as chastising an adult for not knowing how to code or how to compile an application from source. Each of those two different ridicules demonstrates an identical lack of empathy and an accompanying equally stunning sense of privilege that you should probably check immediately.
The Art of Antarctic Cooking
What comprises “Antarctic culinary history,” Anthony writes, is “a mere century of stories of isolated, insulated people eating either prepackaged expedition food or butchered sea life.” It helped if some of these isolated, insulated people knew their way around the kitchen. “The cook, however good or bad, is an artist whose simple vocation is to make others lives happier,” observed chef Raymond Oliver. More magician than artist, a cook with an Antarctic expedition ranked as one of its most important members. His kitchen little more than a Primus stove, his ingredients either canned or scrounged, he conjured nourishing dishes as if from the gelid air.[more inside]
Molecular gastronomy at its most basic: Chef Heston Blumenthal makes chocolate mousse in five minutes using nothing but chocolate and water. (Heston Blumenthal (previously, pre-previously) [SLYT]
Conservative bon vivant Michael Anton writes about the thrill of cooking in an haute cuisine restaurant, as well as the rise of celebrity chef culture and personalities like Anthony Bourdain and Michael Ruhlman.
Ever thought about making ramen in your hotel's coffee maker? Well, this lady cooks everything in her coffee maker (also available in svenska). [more inside]
This video is an eight minute tutorial on how to carve an Iberian ham. You might feel the need to pause it for a drink and a plate of jamon at your nearest tapas.
His recipe calls for a bustard stuffed with a turkey stuffed with a goose stuffed with a pheasant stuffed with a chicken stuffed with a duck stuffed with a guinea fowl stuffed with a teal stuffed with a woodcock stuffed with a partridge stuffed with a plover stuffed with a lapwing stuffed with a quail stuffed with a thrush stuffed with a lark stuffed with an ortolan bunting stuffed with a garden warbler stuffed with an olive stuffed with an anchovy stuffed with a single caper - The Roti Sans Pareil or Roast Without Equal.
Clarissa Dickson Wright has passed away, aged 66. The surviving half of the BBC cooking show Two Fat Ladies, she "was utterly non-PC and fought for what she believed in, always, with no thought to her own personal cost," her agent said in the announcement. [more inside]
Each week for a year, the folks in the special collections library at the University of St. Andrews are taking a how-to book from the collection and following its instructions for a project, in order to get a clearer sense of what life was like a century or two ago. Thus far in 52 Weeks of Historical How-Tos, they've learned how to make shoe polish like an 1825 footman, bake mince pie from 10 different recipes dating from 1710-1862, perform parlour tricks to amaze your friends, and take photographs via the wet collodion process.
you will so want to make some up...like about a dozen..or two! Chili Relleno simply means ‘stuffed chilies’ that form a part of the Mexican cuisine. This dish traces its origins to the city of Puebla and consists of roasted poblano pepper, a mild pepper variety named after the city it comes from. Sometimes instead of poblano pepper, hatch green chile, Anaheim, pasilla or even jalapeño chili peppers are used. Commonly, queso Chihuahua or queso Oaxaca cheese is used for the stuffing. Generally, masa flour or egg whites with a pinch of salt is used as the batter for the chili relleno dish. [more inside]
Have you met Jack? Author of the popular "eat just as well when you have less" blog, A Girl Called Jack, Jack Monroe came to widespread attention in the UK and the rest of the world when she wrote a blog entry called "Hunger Hurts", in which she detailed how heartbreaking it was for her to realize that she had run out of money and yet she still had a small child to feed and needed to keep the lights on. The NYT has called her "Britain's Austerity Celebrity"; the Daily Mail hates her as does Edwina Currie, but whether you like her or not, she has created a delightful set of frugal yet elegant recipes. She even beat Jamie Oliver in an austerity challenge cook-off.
In 1929, Italian artist (author of The Futurist manifesto) Filippo Tommaso Marinetti opened a restaurant, La Taverna del Santo Palato [Tavern of the Holy Palate] in Turin. In 1930/31, Marinetti went on a polemical crusade against pasta, decrying it as holding the Italian people back. In 1932, he wrote La Cuicina Futurista [The Futurist Cookbook]. Part manifesto, part cookbook, all promotional, it contained a host of sensational delights, like "Chicken Fiat": chicken roasted with steel ball bearings, on a bed of whipped cream, as well as desciptions of banquets, and a recounting of his success against pasta. [more inside]
Food And Loathing In Charleston: Cook It Raw comes to Charleston, including the world's best hog roast
Celebrate author Laura Ingalls Wilder's 147th birthday with a recipe for Laura's Wedding Cake, taken from Little House Cookbook, Frontier Foods from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Classic Stories. (The Hairpin)
OnlyTheBestRecipes.com : The top 1% of recipes from sites like allrecipes, food.com, epicurious, and foodnetwork. [via mefi projects]
How to Reheat Food - From Pizza to Pasta to Eggs. (Warning: Slideshow)
"....many a tragic episode in family life is superinduced by the baleful influence of a tortured stomach. Mighty is the hand that holds the ballot-box, but mightier is the hand that wields to advantage the pepper-box, the salt-spoon, and the sugar-shaker." read the entirely of Maud C. Cooke's, Breakfast, Dinner and Supper; or, What To Eat and How To Prepare It (1897) online and enter a world of home remedies, large scale recipes, sound advice, leftover wizardry, squirrel stews, scientific digestion, and horrible things done to vegetables.