Food for Thought

Food for Thought
4:00 am
Wed November 28, 2012

The goat-to gal for charming cheeses

One of the original cheesemakers at Mountain Lodge Farm
Nancy Leson

Sure,  I love to play the philistine in my encounters with Nancy Leson on Food for Thought but it's time to reveal that I have been Velveeta-free for almost four years.   One more year and I get my pin. 

Meantime, I've been enjoying some of the wonderful locally made stuff and so has Nancy.   We had a lot of fun on this one.  Hear all about it with a click on the audio gizmo under the
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Food for Thought
4:30 am
Wed November 21, 2012

What's so entertaining about entertaining?

thearchnemisis.com

You go nuts all day long with the cooking and the cleaning and the worrying and the will  this or won't that and did I remember to and does the house look and will they even show up  and what was I thinking when I decided to do this they could have had their lousy corn flake stuffed pork chops and gone the hell home by now... and waitasecond is that cat-box I smell? 

Or you could be like my Food for Thought pal,  Seattle Times food writer  Nancy Leson.

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Food for Thought
4:30 am
Wed November 14, 2012

Clean as you cook

Nancy's cleanup arsenal. I just use white veinegar.
Nancy Leson

Pro chefs have their kitchen grunts to handle the cleanup but we home cooks have to do it ourselves.  And the way to do it is as you go.  I think the clean-up is as much a part of the cooking process as the mixing and chopping, the slaughtering of the ox, all that kind of stuff.

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Food for Thought
4:00 am
Wed November 7, 2012

Why you probably shouldn't open your own restaurant

holytaco.com

Nancy Leson tells Dick Stein what makes restaurants successful.

Every good home cook has had the dream of opening his or her own restaurant.  But we've also heard the dire warning: "90% of restaurants fail in the first year of operation."   It isn't true.

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Food for Thought
4:00 am
Wed October 24, 2012

Make your own preserved lemons

Most of what you need to make your own preserved lemons.
Stein The Corporation for Refrigerated Saxophones

In this week's culinary adventure Nancy Leson and I chat about our canning projects.  Balsamic jams for her and preserved lemons for me.   Preserved lemons give a powerful jolt of flavor. 

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Apples
4:00 am
Wed October 10, 2012

The shocking truth about Granny Smith

The real Granny Smith (seated).
Wikipedia

Yes, there actually was a Granny Smith.  That's her right above.  But she was not (gasp) an American.

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Food for Thought
4:00 am
Wed October 3, 2012

Here's lookin' at you, squid

Nancy says hello to her little friend.
Stein Set design by C. Degroot

Nancy Leson is back in the saddle again. After months spent in lady-of-leisure mode (I can just hear her outraged snort) Nance is back  doing a weekly column for The Times. In this week's FfT she talks about her new job and about a Pink Door recipe for squid she gave her own twist to.

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Food for thought
4:00 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Asian Tofu cookbook a Nguyen/Nguyen deal

Dried tofu sheets for tofu chicharrones.
Stein

This week's Food for Thought is part two of our chat with Andrea Nguyen, author of the terrific new cookbook Asian Tofu, hence the dreadful pun above. Nancy and I usually get a fair number of comments to our Food for Thoughts post. But last week's Part One brought this response.  So it's time to walk on the wild side.

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Food for Thought
4:30 am
Wed September 19, 2012

The definitive tofu cookbook is here

The Tofu Firm of Stein, Nguyen and Leson.
Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU

I blame the hippies. If it weren't for concoctions like Tofu Chili Surprise and other abominations maybe so many Americans wouldn't turn up their noses at tofu. I've always believed that the only legitimate context for the stuff is in Asian cooking.  

In Andrea Nguyen's terrific new cookbook, Asian Tofu, that's right where she puts it. Full disclosure:

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Food for Thought
7:36 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Supermarket self-check: Raising convenience or blood pressure?

zazzle.com

Definitely the BP in my case but I'm a confirmed Luddite, anyway.   I can be accused of malfeasance right at home by my wife.  I don't need to go to the supermarket to hear it from a snooty machine.

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Food for Thought
4:30 am
Wed August 29, 2012

Finding feasts in your freezer

Nancy's Sri Lankan beef curry.
Nancy Leson

Of course there will be no feast to find unless you put one in.  The feast my Food for Thought pard Nancy Leson likes to store is her Sri Lankan Beef Curry.  The picture above shows the results, and it looks pretty good to me.  Why don't we all give it a try?  Here's  the recipe.

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Food for thought
4:30 am
Wed August 22, 2012

Restaurant openings are not always so grand

Freeclipart.com

Even for some of our favorite activities the first time is not necessarily the best time.  Restaurants are no exception.  Especially when you stop to think about how much there is to go wrong.

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Food for thought
4:30 am
Wed August 8, 2012

What's shakin' is bacon!

The impossible dream.

It's a bacon renaissance. The stuff's in everything from milkshakes to chocolate to bourbon whiskey. Just Google "new uses for bacon" and you'll see. There are innumerable sites devoted to all things bacon. Including one called Mr. Bacon Pants, a concept with some intriguing possibilities. 

And now in the interest of full disclosure, I confess:

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Food for Thought
4:30 am
Wed August 1, 2012

Edmonds farmers market puts bite on dogs

Nancy's Mya-Kai sips a frosty muttini.
Nate McCarthy Wereteens of Edmonds

Nancy's pretty let down about this. Not so much that she can't bring her own but that she won't get to watch the dogs others bring.  In Seattle dogs are allowed at some farmers markets and banned at others.  

Here's a list: Farmers markets in Washington make their own rules.

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Food for Thought
4:30 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Having fun at farmers' markets

From Nancy's local Edmonds farmers market.
Nancy Leson

Well, Nancy has fun. Sometimes I get a little freaked when hemmed in by a farmers' market crowd. You know –  potato panic. Arugula anxiety. 

But my Food for Thought pard Nancy Leson loves s nothing better than immersing herself in the mob of happy food grazers at farmer's markets in the Seattle area.

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