2x-Farm-photos

The following post by my fellow writer and former neighbor, Kristin Ohlson, is in honor of World Soil Day. Kristin argues in her excellent book, The Soil Will Save Us, how important it is to think of our soil as a living thing, which it is—healthy soil teems with life. She compares it to a coral reef in her book, and rightly so, as she elaborates in this short post.—M.R.   by Kristin Ohlson I was visiting a friend in New Jersey’s bucolic countryside – no, not an oxymoron. Knowing my fondness for farms, he took me down the road to visit Bobby, the man who sells him eggs. We soon stood on a windy hilltop near Bobby’s home, surrounded by fields in which feathery green lines of wheat radiated into the distance separated by bare Read On »

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mando

  Continuing holiday shopping week, and again reposting from last year as the essentials rarely change, here are my recommendations for modestly priced kitchen tools that are essentials in my kitchen. (All but one of the following links is to Amazon; I’m a part of its affiliate program—when you shop at Amazon via this site, it helps to support this site.) I own and love everything mentioned below. The above Benriner mandoline ($23) is one of my most valued kitchen tools for uniform slicing, julienning, and making brunoise (a julienne turned into a dice). By far my most valuable electric device in my kitchen is the hand blender—I use Braun that seems no longer unavailable, but I bought this Cuisinart version for my mom  ($60) and it works well—these devices all do the job of pureeing soups and sauces, Read On »

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Braised-Lamb-Shank-parchmen

This is the big ticket recommendations from last year (and the year before) because, well, the best equipment, lke fundamental technique, doesn’t change. Hope everyone had a happy and festive thanksgiving! It’s time again for my picks for the big-ticket items, those expensive appliances and pots that are game changers, but real investments. I’ve just started a relationship with Le Creuset, the company that makes the best enameled cast-iron cookware on earth. My go-to pot is the 7-quart Dutch Oven (they’re made in France and the company wants me to call them French ovens, which I find interesting since there really should no longer be a nationality attached to the thing; my preferred name for this one is “My Favorite Pot”). It’s what I bought my beloved Dad long ago; now, sadly, I have two Read On »

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Spoon Bundle w egg square

Hope everyone had a happy and bountiful holiday. Yes, it’s Cyber Monday! And we’re making all the tools from shop.ruhlman.com 50% off. Be sure to use the promo code: eggnog into the designated field. Mac and I made these tools to make cooking easier and more fun; and their distinctive looks makes them a good influence in the kitchen even when you’re not cooking with them. These tools began with the simple offset spoon, still my favorite. Great for basting and skimming as it dips naturally into the pan. The offsetness let to offset soup spoons, ones that won’t slide into the soup! And then the big offset serving spoon. Of coarse the flat edged wooden paddles are a must in every kitchen. I don’t care what Ted Allen says. I travel with them. But the whole Read On »

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Cranberry-Sauce

This is a repost from November 21, 2012 featuring Michael’s Cranberry Sauce and Gravy from scratch. My dad made this cranberry sauce when my daughter was very young. He was mystified, as I recall, having never cooked cranberries before, always used the kind with can-ribs, sliceable. That his granddaughter loved it made it very special to him. He continued to make it. His granddaughter is no longer four but rather seventeen and she will be making it this year (and so did I, because I wanted to share it in this post and think of my dad while it cooked). It’s really simple, can be done today or the day of (or several days ahead, next year). Just throw everything in the pot, bring it to a simmer, and set a timer for 90 minutes. Read On »

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