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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Cooking

 Classic Potato Pancakes Recipe Recipe | Epicurious

 

I was born in a time (and place) where men didn't learn how to cook.

Here's the story of how I did.

Now, let me mention from the outset that raising men incapable of preparing their own food violates ancestral precedent. In the old tribal days, every war party or hunting party would take along a few youths—men-in-training—to cook for them. These would already have learned to cook in the Boys' House, where you made your own stew, stir-about, and oat cakes, or went without.

For numerous reasons—personal affinity foremost among them—I became vegetarian at 18. (It is, admittedly, a very freshman year kind of thing to do.) In those days, that made eating out difficult.

One night as, for the umpteenth time, I was cobbling together (at a steak house, no less) a meatless meal for myself from the “Sides” menu, sitting with my baked potato, tossed salad, cottage cheese, and glass of tomato juice in front of me, I had my Scarlett O'Hara moment.

“As the Goddess is my witness,” I vowed, “I'll never piece together a meal out of 'sides' again!”

So I learned to cook.

Even my father, who (you could tell) for years felt kind of ambivalent about his gay son who liked to cook, learned—after my mother stopped cooking (surely after 50+ years, she'd earned the right)—to love the fact. When I came to visit, he would always have suggestions.

“So, how about potato pancakes on Friday?” he would say.

Friday it was. Indeed, my potato pancakes are some of the best.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Round about the cauldron go...
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    There is a Methodist church north of the James river that sells homemade Brunswick Stew for a few days each year. My parents love

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
A Minoan Grocery List, Sort Of

I've written a couple of times about Minoan food and cooking. It's a perennially popular subject, since food is one of the human universals: everyone has to eat. And learning about a culture's foodways is one of the easiest ways to connect with them.

Over the years, I've gathered up bits and pieces of information from research about Bronze Age Mediterranean food. I shared some lists of typical Minoan foodstuffs in Labrys & Horns. But I've collected up far more than I have published. So today, I thought I'd offer what you might think of as a comprehensive Minoan shopping list of the foods that the best-stocked kitchen in Bronze Age Crete might have included.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Something from the Oven

There was an advertising phrase that went, "Nothing says loving like something from the oven…" however, I think the advertising agency had it backward. It's the love in the preparation that does this. The oven only helps, as do the ingredients, preferably as clean and fresh as possible. Love helps us to choose them, as well as to guide the utensils used in the preparation. Furthermore, the focus of the mind is an important ingredient as well. If I am angry or upset when I am preparing food, it could affect the way it tastes as well as the way it is digested. Though I can't prove it, it's my belief that thoughts and feelings can be powerful in their effect on food.

A study of this potential would make an interesting experiment for a science project, though it could be difficult to set up. I do really enjoy cooking. Though I've never had any courses or training for it and am completely self-taught, I get great praise from those who taste my cooking. I remember one person saying, "This must be Tasha's kitchen because it smells so good." Another time, I had prepared a tropical entrée made with bananas with other ingredients, baked inside their skins. When I stopped one guest from cutting into his, he said, "Oh, I thought if you had cooked it, I could eat it." I laughed and thanked him.

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Eggs are delicious, nutritious and versatile

       Though I've never had it or made it myself, I remember Goldenrod Eggs--a dish made with hard boiled eggs that my mother served at luncheon parties. The eggs were carefully hard cooked—never boiled as this turns the yolks green. The whites were chopped up and stirred into a white cream sauce. This was spread over toast with the crusts cut off and made into triangles. The yolks were then pressed through a sieve and sprinkled over the top of the creamed whites

          This was a pretty dish yet far too labor intensive for me. Besides, I prefer hard boiled eggs cut up and made into egg salad or stuffed—but not by me. I can't get the whites out of the shells easily. However in the days when I was little there was more time for cooking because life was simpler and less hectic. In addition, women like my mom had luncheons in their homes because her friends were home with their kids too and did not have to go out to work.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Food and Cooking in Minoan Crete

One way to connect with an ancient culture like the Minoans is to learn about their daily life: what they did for a living, what their houses looked like, and especially what they ate. Food is a powerful way to connect with other cultures, and that includes those of the ancient world.

A while back I wrote about how the Minoans cooked - what their kitchens and cookpots were like, how they used braziers or outdoor cookfires instead of hearths. Today I'm going to talk about what they cooked. Most of this information comes from an appendix in my book Labrys and Horns.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Minoan Cooking: A taste of the ancient world

One way we can connect with ancient cultures is by exploring their daily lives: how they cooked, dressed, worked, played, and so on. These are things we all do, things we in the modern world can relate to and that can help make ancient people more real to us. And this, in turn, can help us connect with their spirituality.

So how about the Minoans? Let's explore their food a little bit so we can get a taste (ahem) of what their life was like.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_Tellus1.jpgThere is a cookbook titled The Joy of Cooking. It was the go-to book in my mom’s household when I was growing up. Don’t know how to make something? Go look in the book. It had everything from how to cook nearly any kind of meat, [I believe I recall frog legs!] vegetables, pastry, desserts, aspic and an assortment of other things. When I moved out, mom gave me my own copy, and at my request, she gave me another when I got married many years later.

I’m not sure how much she actually felt joy about cooking. She’s an artist and has ADD, and cooking is not one of the things that grabs her attention. In fact, she can find it difficult to remember to eat, with the exception of sweet baked goods. Such was my introduction to cooking. Ie. I learned how to make cookies and bake bread, but had to teach myself to make a pot of soup. I don’t blame her for this lack. She did make food everyday, and if it wasn’t fancy, it was nourishing and I did eat some things that scared my friends: sea food was a regular at our dinner table in Pennsylvania, as was calf’s liver. But she didn’t teach me to cook any of it myself. I don’t think she had the energy, as a single mom, she wanted far more help from me than she got, and she didn’t have the will to fight with me once I hit my teens.

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