Race week in Key West is a massive boondoggle for me.  I wake, look out at the water, drink coffee, write until noon, personal writing, then head to the house where I cook for 12 to 16 people every night. I straighten the kitchen, throw away a few forgotten red plastic cups with limes floating in them, make a list, do some shopping, prep what can be done ahead (make some sauces, or a stock, pick and blanch green veg).  Then I go back to my room at The Galleon, condos right on the docks, and have some coffee and write and re-write some more. The boys return from being on the water and I put in earphones and listen to music and keep working till six, then head to the house and start dinner. Read On »

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Video: The amazing Julia Child bringing cooking home to all and Julia Powell sharing what she learned, via Good Morning America.

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Looking to check out a new media format, the Kindle Single, I came across Ann Patchett’s long essay The Getaway Car. I bought it for $3 and was reading away on my sleak Kindle Fire moments later. (Impulse purchasing = Danger!) In this case, the purchase was well worth it. The highly regarded novelist tells her story—every writer has a different one. Patchett, in easy, conversational prose (it kind of reads like a long email to an acquaintance), traces her course from a girl who knew she wanted to be a writer pretty much since she became conscious of being conscious, through college, the Iowa writing program, skipping over a brief marriage, work as a waitress at TGIFridays where she made up stories in her head, to teaching writing, through the actual creation of her Read On »

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The economy struggled but cooking and writing about food sure didn’t! My colleague Emilia and I decided to have a look at the most popular—or most viewed is perhaps the better phrase—posts from this site this year. By far the most exciting blog event of the year was Cathy Barrow‘s and Kim Foster‘s Charcutepalooza. What an amazing thing happened, and all because of that catchy hashtag on Twitter. This would not have happened without Twitter. Congrats to all who participated and who pushed themselves to cook in unfamiliar and often difficult ways! Special congrats to Cecilia, who blogs at One Vanilla Bean, and Peter, who blogs at Cookblog, as the two year’s end finalists. Good luck to you both! Top ruhlman.com posts from 2011, in no particular order: Stock Convictions & Stock Clarifications In which I Read On »

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