Senses-X3

Last week I had lunch with Kate Lee, a senior editor at medium.com, an elegant publishing platform created by the Twitter co-founders (she had a salad, which put me on guard until she agreed to taste some of my terrible-looking but most delicious chicken livers on toast). Medium was in search of writers/content and my book agent, the lovely Cait Hoyt, said she wanted all her writers to contribute to medium. I’m always interested in new platforms, ideas, ways to share and spread information, and promote my own projects. Medium is about three years old and still trying to find its legs, it seems, though no one denies it’s a great place to read interesting stuff, though it’s often somehow about itself. Which may scarily be what we’re coming to. One of the subtexts of Read On »

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kw-8

The return from Key West is always a hard reentry. At least I wasn’t Mark Wiss, who returned to Newport! Hi, Mark, how’s the snow?! But it’s cold. And I’m alone in my office and not with the sailors who are all so much fun. Really, it’s kind of like being in college again, all the diligent work during the day and drunken camaraderie at night (ok, maybe just the latter plus sailing), and good food. Spaceman Spiff came in second to My Shirona in the J-111 class, alas, but a good show in all. I relive the glorious days through the food, so, for posterity, the menu: The first full day is rough, as we’re all rather, um, exuberant when we reach Key West the night before, and so with woolly brain, I and Read On »

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Peternell-12

I want to call attention to a cookbook after my own heart, a cookbook that seeks to encourage and teach the few fundamental ideas on which all cooking is based. It’s called Twelve Recipes by Chez Panisse chef Cal Peternell, and it came into being out of the love of a father for his sons. Peternell, on returning from a family trip to Europe, wondered why more cooking wasn’t done at home, notably and especially by his fellow chefs. He understands: fatigue, time, the desire to see new restaurants. But he also knew this: “The ancient acts of gathering foods, cooking them, and then coming together to eat are as profound as any that we do, and as pleasurable.… I consider cooking and eating with my family my best skill.” Yet he’d failed to teach his Read On »

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Key-Sunset-Cocktail

(Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman) In one week I’ll be in quirky, decadent Key West on my annual boondoggle cooking for my cousin, Rob, and the crew of Spaceman Spiff. Yesterday afternoon I spent an hour gathering pots and pans, two big cutting boards, a giant cast iron skillet, Lexan tub and circulator, flat-edged wood spoons, side towels, knives, all of which are loaded onto the boat trailer that’s now on the road south. My iPhone says it’s 77 degrees and sunny. Here in Cleveland it’s 18 degrees. Yesterday when I woke it was -2. Tomorrow’s high here will be 16 degrees. Needless to say I am not disappointed that I’ll spend nine afternoons cooking for the sailing droogs, with mornings poolside to get some writing work done. And looking forward so much I intend to Read On »

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small-chicken-stock-x3

My mom traveled to the crazy garment district in New York for her work when I was a copyboy at the New York Times, five blocks north. I remember once she took me to lunch and ordered a Bull Shot. When I asked, she told me beef broth and vodka. Which sounded whack. But tasted nourishing on that winter day. Julia Moskin’s excellent piece in the Times on stock and broth made me think of that day. At last, stock/broth is being appreciated in its own right. (But it’s not a “trend beverage” as Moskin calls it—I guess she had to justify a story on one of the oldest, most fundamental preparations in the kitchen; “trend beverage,” Jesus. But I’ll take it, and thank you Julia!). Yes, it is delicious sipped from a mug! You can feel how Read On »

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