Baking bread is one of the oldest forms of cooking, fundamental to civilization and satisfying to the individual soul. Is it because baking bread is so powerful that so many fear it, feel that it’s beyond them? Baking bread is easy and and its pleasures are deep, not just for the one baking but for everyone in the house. The smells of baking bread are a natural analgesic and stress reliever, the bread itself nourishing. This fall, talking with my partner in digital productions Will Turnage (by day, Will is the upstanding VP of Technology and Invention at R/GA, a digital ad agency—I want to be a VP of Invention!; by night he’s a digital Mr. Hyde), about what kind of App to do next, we looked to the iPad because tablets are the future, Read On »

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This week, two enthusiastic cook-bloggers, Cathy Barrow, of Washington, DC, and Kim Foster, of New York City, put a name to their joint efforts in curing duck breasts for duck prosciutto, hashtagging it on Twitter #charcutepalooza.  Their aim, one Charcuterie challenge per month.  A splendid idea, I thought.  The more cooking and curing that people do, the better the world is.  And the duck prosciutto is a perfect way to begin, an all but foolproof form of dry curing.  They’ve asked me to weigh in when needed and I will.  To their amazement, and my delight, 54 bloggers at last count have embraced the charcutepalooza challenge.  MrsWheelBarrow has the how what where on her site.  Join them in their monthly charcuterie quests!  May the body of charcuterie be with you. OpenSky: A New Internet Commerce Read On »

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As some readers know, I and my buddy Mac have begun to manufacture new cooking tools that we love, and we’re already getting great feedback. We love The Spanker, above (photo by Donna, thanks hon!)—the big paddle for stirring big pots. There’s simply nothing out there like it that we could find. I’ll be using it to stir a double batch of Hoppin’ John for a New Year’s Day fete. But my mom said it was too big for her—she never cooked in batches that would require this bad boy.  Another reader said the same, but added that she loved the paddles she’d received so much that she’d have been happy to pay the same amount for two small paddles.

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