Christopher Freeman, and his kids Tatum and Cash, cooking together/photo by Justin Park-Yanovitch

Christopher Freeman began his adult life, as I did, aspiring to be a novelist, and was exactly as successful at it as I was. For money work, he was an academic book editor, a job he found so personally soul-killing, he turned to his love of food. He’s now not just a cook and caterer in D.C., he’s security-cleared to work in the White House and at other State venues, including all the dinners at our Vice President’s residence. (The Washington Post wrote about him a few years ago.)  I was in our capital last month talking schmaltz, and Freeman, in the audience, raised his hand to ask a question not about schmaltz, but rather about Ruhlman’s Twenty. His praise was so genuine and effusive I asked if I could use it to tell others. What Read On »

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Little, Brown, my esteemed publisher, has set up a page for pre-ordering my new book, Egg: A Culinary Exploration of the World’s Most Versatile Ingredient. As a bonus for pre-ordering, they’re offering a free signed flowchart, which is a visual display of the entire book on a four-and-a-half-foot piece of paper (the cover gives you something of an idea of the chart, though only an idea). Donna wrote out the original flowchart by hand, five feet of parchment paper, which served as the book proposal. We’re all excited about this new book, which is officially published first thing in April.

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I love pancakes on winter mornings. And I find something terribly satisfying about pancakes with an over-easy egg and bacon—the savory bacon and the sweet pancake and syrup expertly mediated by the versatile egg.  I got to thinking about them recently after a commenter on a recent post announcing the Ratio 2.0 release wrote that for five bucks he’d do the math himself. It kind of annoyed me, but I couldn’t figure out why until I thought about pancakes. I always remember that I prefer a 5% brine, so that however much water I use, I can multiply that by .05 to determine the salt quantity. But ratios aren’t simply math, they’re about the proportions of several ingredients. No matter how many times I make pancakes, I always check the ratio. Moreover, they scale to Read On »

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Check out the Ideas in Food blog’s newest book: Maximum Flavor.    

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Among the books that caught my eye this season, two of the most lovely are The New Midwestern Table by Amy Thielen and The Heart of the Plate by Mollie Katzen. I’m biased on the Midwestern book, as it’s my home turf, but the Minnesotan Thielen, who logged serious years as a cook and chef at some of the best restaurants in Manhattan until she began a family, brings new life to recipes that are so at home in this part of America, dishes featuring our lake fish and our abundant venison, and vibrant takes on pot roasts and meat pies, recipes from simple salads to more elaborate preparations for headcheese and red current jelly. The publisher sent me an extra copy—it will be a GIVEAWAY to a commenter, just name your favorite cookbook (other Read On »

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