I tried not to read Kim Severson’s New York Times article on the one-touch buttons on appliances at the International Home and Housewares show in Chicago.  You know the buttons that say “Cookies” on your toaster oven or the “Popcorn” button on your microwave that even ConAgra, maker of microwave popcorn, says you should not use.  My microwave, my toaster oven, they have these stupid, maddening, insulting, ridiculous, harmful buttons.  I hate them, but they’re unavoidable. I didn’t want to read Kim’s story—Electrolux oven has a “perfect turkey button,” put a turkey in, press a button, perfect turkey!—because I knew it would make … my … blood … BOIL! Hey!  Idiot manufacturers!  Cut it out!  The buttons don’t work—even your partners in food crime say so!  Worse, when they don’t work, you are telling your Read On »

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I was honored to be asked to speak at our local TEDxCLE last Friday where I was allowed to try to explain why I think cooking is important.  There’s a great book out now that argues that our ancestors became human only after we began cooking for ourselves and our families. I believe it’s still important, but for different reasons.  Not just sort of important.  Really important.  I’m not saying anything that hasn’t already been said before, but I know it can’t be said enough. Consider that cooking food might be far more vital than you ever imagined.  I don’t believe that everyone ought to cook.  But I think at least one person in every group ought to cook.  We fail to cook for ourselves at our own peril.  I make the case here that Read On »

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As readers here know, I’m a salt advocate, if only because I believe America is hoodwinked into fearing all kinds of natural foods for no good reason. I admit my pleas to have you salt your food as you wish so long as you avoid processed and fast food are based on nothing more than common sense, intuition and personal experience. I don’t do randomized clinical trials. Here, doing something that traditional journalism is so good at, a NYTimes article by John Tierney shows that there is no evidence to say lowering salt in our diet, helps us or hurts us. It might even make us fatter! Again, eat natural foods that you cook yourself and stop listening to the agenda-pushing health police.  See also my recent salt rant.

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I posted yesterday on twitter that I began cooking because I was hungry but continued to cook because I loved to eat, and it got me thinking.  There are so many different reasons to cook, as a number of twitters pointed out.  Self-defense was a good one!  And with the state of our processed food, one that every cook can claim!  Can I encourage other bloggers to post about why you cook?  Spell it out.  Writing it down forces you to know what you think.  When I was nine, I cooked because I was hungry and making things was fun.  Today, age 46 and devoted to family, I cook because: —I want my family to have great food all the time that’s tasty and good for their body and brains. —I cook because it relaxes Read On »

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After my minor salt rant, a number of people asked which salt to use and what I thought about various salts.  There are a mind-numbing array of salts out there, even big blocks of salt you can cook and serve on.  But, with apologies to Mark Bitterman, whose work and business I truly admire, I stick to three salts.  Kosher is my all-purpose, everyday, really-don’t-need-any-other-kind salt.  I use Morton’s because that’s what my grocery store stocks. If they offered a choice, I’d use Diamond Crystal, which is flakier and doesn’t have any anti-caking agents in it.  It’s just salt.  I use fine sea salt to season fish and vegetables I eat raw.  And I use a finishing salt for visual and textural appeal, fleur de sel or Maldon. I was given some smoked salt, which Read On »

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