Dick Stein

Midday Jazz Host

Dick Stein has been with KPLU since January, 1992. His duties include hosting the morning jazz show and co-hosting and producing the Food for Thought feature with the Seattle Times’ Nancy Leson. He was writer and director of the three Jimmy Jazzoid live radio musical comedies and 100 episodes of Jazz Kitchen. Previous occupations include the USAF, radio call-in show host, country, classical and top-40 DJ, chimney sweep, window washer and advertising copywriter.

His most memorable KPLU moment: Peeling Alien life form from Erin Hennessey’s face after it leapt at her from the biohazard refrigerator he picked up cheap for the station at an FDA garage sale. Dick is married to nationally noted metalsmith, jewelry designer and cowgirl “Calamity” Cheryl DeGroot.


Food for Thought
5:23 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Epiphany! Make an iceberg-blue cheese layer cake

Deb Perelman's horizontal iceberg lettuce/blue cheese salad

Dick tells Nancy about a cool way to slice the humble iceberg/blue cheese salad.

As I tell Nancy Leson in this week's Food for Thought, I have had an iceberg lettuce epiphany.  A voice whispered, "Slice it horizontally." 

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Food for Thought
5:35 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Let's do lunch!

Want to share a salad?
swamibu flickr

Nancy and Dick tell what's for lunch.

In my whole life I've never even had a one-martini lunch. I stay right here in the KPLU Jazz Bunker, wolfing down last night's leftovers.  If you think  Seattle Times food writer Nancy Leson  is lunching more luxuriously, think again.

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Food for Thought
4:59 am
Wed May 22, 2013

My secret shame's no secret anymore

It's versatile. And red.

This is an encore episode of Food for Thought.

I blame my mother. 

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Food for Thought
5:20 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Now you Caesar salad bowl

Nancy's favorite salad bowl....
Nancy Leson Seattle Times

Dick and Nancy talk Caesar salad and Caesar salad bowls.

I don't expect you to forgive me for that headline. To paraphrase Tammany Hall "Honest Grafter" George Washington Plunkitt, I saw my opportunity and I took it. But I digress. In this week's Food for Thought we come to praise Caesar salad.

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Food for Thought
5:25 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Sniff, memory!

The smell of mint triggers a fond memory from Nancy's childhood. For me it's...

Dick and Nancy follow their noses into the past as they recall treasured food smell memories.

Some smells always bring back fond memories. Seattle Times food writer Nancy Leson says one whiff of mint, and she's suddenly 6 again. 

Two of my favorites are  flame-broiling meat in a highly air-conditioned room, and the aroma of onion soup on a freezing Quebec day. I guess I just like the memory of warm food smells in a cold environment. Not always, though.

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Food for Thought
7:50 am
Wed May 1, 2013

How does your garden grow?

Nancy's pellegrini beans poke their little heads into the spring sunshine
Nancy Leson Seattle Times

Nancy and Dick discuss their gardening plans for this season.

These look like some nice beans. And there's a story behind them, too. In this week's Food for Thought, Nancy and I chatted about what we're putting into the ground this spring, and what we hope to get out of it—including something I never knew could be grown around here.

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Jimmy Jazzoid
2:21 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Relive KPLU's Jimmy Jazzoid Rides Again

Justin Steyer KPLU

Need more Jimmy?

You can listen to the wildly popular, live radio performance of Jimmy Jazzoid Rides Again below! Want to take Jimmy Jazzoid with you, wherever you go?  You can download the podcast here

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a jazz reminiscence
10:09 am
Fri April 26, 2013

Jaki Byard calls B.S.

One night in New York City a long time ago I was in search of a last gasp of civilization before a taking up a year’s exile at an Air Force radar site in the Bering Sea. I found it – and more — at The Dom, an East Village Jazz joint where pianist Jaki Byard’s quartet was playing.

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Food for Thought
5:35 am
Wed April 24, 2013

'Triple chrome-plated and made in the finest tradition'

No well equipped kitchen should be without the Hostess Frozen Food Saw.
Nancy Leson Seattle Times

Nancy Leson describes her haul of retro kitchen gear from her mother-in-law's apartment.

So says the Hostess company of its frozen food saw. I hadn't known there even was a tradition for frozen food saws. I do know that the Hostess company would never exaggerate, so probably the tradition they mean is that of medieval surgical tools. 

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Food for Thought
5:35 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Let's wrap and roll... Chinese dumplings

I made this wrapper-roller out of a sawed off piece of broom handle.
Kevin Kniestedt Unrepresented

Nancy and Dick differ on the best method for making your own homemade Chinese Northern-style dumpling wrappers, but the agree that homemade beats store bought by a mile.

Nancy Leson surprised me when she said she was using cake flour and plain cold water for her dumpling wrapper dough.  I've been using all purpose and just-boiled very hot water. 

Nancy got the recipe from Judy Fu of Seattle's Snappy Dragon restaurant fame and wrote about it recently.  There's something I like about her method. And something I don't.

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Food for Thought
5:35 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Nancy eats fancy in Chi-town

What Nancy thinks of when she thinks Chicago eating:Teensy food on antler cross sections arranged on a log.
Nancy Leson Seattle Times

My friend and fellow–though fancier– eater,  Seattle Times food writer Nancy Leson is just back from the Windy City, and telling wide-eyed tales of exotic dinners.  Nance and her fellow Times gastro-journalist Providence Cicero lucked into reservations at two of the top restaurants in the country, if not the world.

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Food for Thought
5:30 am
Wed April 3, 2013

Would you pay $7 for a loaf of this bread?

Michael Sanders' beautiful bread
John Lok Seattle Times

I would. And so would Nancy. She calls Michael Sanders' loaves "perhaps the best bread in town" and says she'd happily pay twice that.  

Only about 50 of these beauties come out of Sanders' oven each day and most of those are going to a Matt Dillon restaurant. But if you get to Sitka and Spruce in Melrose Market early enough, you just might be able to score one.

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Food for Thought
10:26 am
Tue April 2, 2013

Pledge drive special: Best of Food for Thought

5.  Celebrating a super Seattle sushi chef

Seattle's own Daisuke Nakazawa was featured in the sushi documentary, Jiro Dreams of Sushi.  

Speaking of sushi, Nancy expressed surprise that I'd never eaten sushi before she offered me some. It wasn't really any big deal. We were leaving the Tacoma Pal Do World supermarket with a car full of Asian cooking supplies, and she'd picked up a container of the little rice rolls to eat on the way home.  

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Food for Thought
5:30 am
Wed March 27, 2013

Easter Peep show draws hundreds

This story can't end well.
Stein Marshmallow Mavens, Inc

Dick and Nancy discuss Peeps art.

There are Peeps diorama contests held all across the nation, not least of which is that sponsored by the Seattle Times. Here, take a look.  This year's contest attracted hundreds of entries. As Nancy pointed out, it's perfectly possible that these Peepsle have too much time on their hands. Some fun, huh?

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Food for Thought
4:30 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Be a recipe renegade!

Some notes I've made on one of my favorite recipes from one of my favorite authors -- Molly Stevens' All About Braising.

Dick and Nancy agree: Sometimes it's okay to run roughshod over recipes.

Run wild!  Sure, if you've never made something before, it's a good idea to follow the instructions. But if the instructions look weird or include ingredients you really don't like, that's another story.

Recipes come from all-too-fallible humans. Take it from me that some of them can haul you right over the Foodscal Cliff. I speak from bitter experience.

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