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When I saw Sam Sifton announcing in the NYTimes weekly cooking letter that he was featuring a video by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs on How To Make a Grilled Cheese Sandwich Without a Recipe, I checked the calendar. Nope, not April 1st. What could they possibly be thinking? I wondered. Who needs a recipe for grilled cheese? Or am I that out of touch? When all the cooks out there hanker for a grilled cheese sandwich do they go in search of a recipe? Honestly, I thought it was a spoof. And I love all parties involved and have great respect for all three mentioned. Sifton has done an amazing job overseeing the expansion of the Times’s food offerings, both in the paper and importantly online (did you see the great video on the Times food Read On »

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photo by Donna

                                                Merry Christmas all! Hope Santa was good and brought you lots of cooking tools and/or delicious food. Hope all the cooks had success. And hope we all stopped to consider our blessings. And that we all listen to Linus, regardless of our religions. To paraphrase: “Peace and good will toward all peoples. That’s what Christmas is about, Charlie Brown.” “We are all Charlie Brown. Wishing you all a Happy New Year as it arrives.

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Slicing the pig in half.

Re-posting this because I can’t be there this year and it is such a valuable event. I’m sorry to be missing it, and miss very much my dear friends Brian and Kate Hill and Christoph and Isabell. -MR Christoph Wiesner, the Austrian butcher who raises Mangalitsa, is always tense before the kill. Last year, he told me, yes, he was nervous because it wasn’t his pig, the pig didn’t know him, he couldn’t know what the pig would do. Under normal circumstances the pigs have spent their lives with him and the week before they are done in, he brings the captive bolt, the stunning device, into pens so the pigs are used to even that. The pigs are calm throughout. This year, at Pigstock in Traverse City, MI, Christoph was not only unfamiliar to the pig, he was miked Read On »

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Arugala1@1020

  I wanted to take a moment to appreciate arugula because, well, Donna had the urge to photograph it. These are from our local market and it’s probably the most tasty green I’ve ever had. How a green packs such a powerful taste, I don’t know (if anyone does, please educate me). Must be good for you! Even James likes this leaf. Thanks, Donna, for this photo. Love the intense pleasures of fresh arugula. It’s very stemmy so takes some picking, but it’s well worth it, especially raw but also lightly sautéed. Working hard on revising this site design so that it’s easier to read. Thanks for everyone’s comments.

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Celebrate the life of a true actor of our time. We will miss you Peter O’Toole, via the NYT.

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