photo by Donna

Santa, emblem of the infinite giver/photo by Donna

As the holidays wind down and before we look forward toward 2014, I’m looking back on a few of the more popular posts of the year. One of the most trafficked was inspire by a report, picked up at face value by all the media it seems, that urged people not to wash their chicken because it sprayed bacteria all over the place. The ever sensible and funny Alton Brown, tweeted a post-it commentary that inspired this: Bacteria! RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY! America’s ridiculous and idiotic fear of bacteria.

Of course, we all want to be happy and healthy. Here’s my advice: Cook Your Own Food. Eat What You Want. (Think for Yourself.) The irony of it is that I don’t think you should follow it, as I explain in the post.

And more ranting on the general state of the ways of this country: America Has a Serious Eating Disorder

Final Word on Battle of the Spoons (with Crème Anglaise)—spoons, one of my favorite subject (and Le Bernardin’s recipe for vanilla sauce).

Wheat Berry Salad—this is a great recipe, but it was clicked on a lot because it was my attempt to go vegan as weight-loss strategy (a notion many people disabused me of, noting you can get plenty fat eating pasta; paleo was the way to go for losing weight). Wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be!

American biscuits are unique and subject to  controversy. Some prefer drop, I prefer flakey and buttery: The Key to Flaky Biscuits.

This bears repeating: Home Cooks’ Biggest Disadvantage

And finally, my take on a fuss I’m not sure is all that important, though many feel otherwise. Are Tasting Menus the Way Toward “Art”?

Thank you all for reading and for your thoughtful comments. Look for a revised look to this site early in the new year.

All best wishes to you and your family for a peaceful and prosperous 2014!

© 2013 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2013 Donna Turner Ruhlman. All rights reserved.

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9 Wonderful responses to “Happy New Year (Top Posts of 2013)”

  • berti

    Thank you for making a difference this year on my way to becoming a chef at age 47. :) You were an inspiration.

  • Chad

    Just gave my nephew a copy of “Twenty” and made Whiskey Sours for him, my Dad (on his 65th birthday), and myself. It was their first time with an egg-white cocktail, and it received a passing grade (Neither would consider themselves whiskey drinkers). Got me thinking though – how about a (very) last minute, New Year’s Eve edition of the Cocktail Hour?

  • Allen

    Oh, what a humbling experience my attempt at an afternoon yoga class was.
    Like trying to be nimble and smuggle a beach ball at the same time.

    I read the vegan post again, you mentioned the paleo method was best at loosing weight, perhaps you could give an honest post of your experience with it, as you always seem to make everything seem so approachable and easy.

    In retrospect, what a great year of post, your return visit of hog butchering, and the cast iron skillet filled with tomato sauce, soft egg, salsa verde and a basil leaf promoting the guest new restaurant, the Bitters makers from NY, all of the great tips and recipes. I even tried the fat infused whiskey – not for me, but well worth the try.

    A wish for good health, happiness, peace and a little love to be spread equally amongst all for the coming year.

  • Bob

    And a Happy & Prosperous New Year to you, as well.

    Thank you for being the messenger of a simple truth: cooking isn’t the onerous chore ‘convenience foods’ make it out to be. It’s fun. There’s pride and sense of accomplishment to be found in putting something delicious on the table for family and friends.

  • jim budros

    Michael, got your book SCHMALTZ from a friend and made a batch last week. Schmaltz is golden in so many ways. so far chopped liver and potatoes. totally worth the pleasant process from obtaining the free fat and skin from the North Market Poultry, chopping everything made easier by your freezing suggestion to the long slow cooking and the “golden result” and the “oh My” gribenes, thx, jim