Putting The Harvest Back In The Harvest Festival


Thanksgiving is my favorite of the celebratory checkpoints in the Fall-to-Winter Holiday Season. Putting aside the historical – ahem – issues regarding the origin story of Thanksgiving, I can really get behind a good celebration of the harvest and a day dedicated to gluttony and loosening one’s pants. This year’s Thanksgiving was a bit different because we [Continue Reading…]

The Political Act of Making Dinner

Emily Matchar recently wrote an excellent article for the Washington Post raising the question of whether the “new domesticity” was a step back for women. She asks if the burgeoning popularity of Gen-X jam making is a betrayal of the career-mom-and-microwave-meal life made possible by Baby Boomer feminists, and if radical homemakers risk setting our [Continue Reading…]

The Turkey Vortex: The Next Five Days Of Your Life, In Crayon


Happy Thanksgiving, all. I’m off to go prep for dinner. Have a warm and wonderful holiday, completely free of fried-onions-in-a-can. See you next week, if I’m not sucked permanently into The Turkey Vortex. What are your plans for the mass of leftovers the Grand National Gluttony Festival will inevitably leave you with?

5 Holiday Gift Ideas For The Male Domestic Geek


Black Friday is just around the corner, and let’s just suppose that your idea of a good way to spend the morning after Thanksgiving does not include any of the following: Waking up at 4am to queue (I haven’t done that since the last time Pink Floyd went on tour). Receiving trampling injuries from someone [Continue Reading…]

Garden Fresh Produce For Thanksgiving


In the Maritime Northwest, with only the most basic of season extension techniques, you can celebrate Thanksgiving as a true, local harvest festival. Kale needs no protection, and looks glorious bathed in crackling frost. Chard won’t make it unassisted through a snap of real cold (teens/low-twenties around here) but protected by a cheap plastic tunnel [Continue Reading…]

The Slow, Painful Truth About Chores and Patience


It seems like there is this phase kids go through where they really want to imitate their parents. My 14 month old son is in that phase now. This’ll tell you all you need to know about how I’ve spent the last 14 months of my life: he just adores wiping up spills, sweeping and pushing his mini-vacuum [Continue Reading…]

5 Ways To Be A Better Vegetable Gardener Without Lifting A Shovel Or Spending A Dime


1. Order seed catalogues. Amateur gardeners buy seed packets off the rack at Home Depot. Serious gardeners place orders with trusted seed houses. Once you’ve placed a major order with Territorial, Johnny’s, Irish Eyes, or your favorite regional seed seller, you’ll be on their list and – soon – on everyone’s. This isn’t a bad thing. Seed catalogs [Continue Reading…]

The Finnish Potato Masher I Can’t Live Without


A fellow personal chef friend of mine who is married to a Finnish man gave me this…uh…suggestive kitchen tool a few years back. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t entirely certain what it was (Scandinavian modern sculpture? World’s biggest muddler? Minimalist bishop from an oversize chess set?) or what to do with it, though several inappropriate [Continue Reading…]

Storing Winter Squash


To preserve many foods, you have to do a crazy water-bath dance in the heat of late August, or give over to acid-ravaged hands as you chop another ten pounds of tomatoes. Winter squash is easier. Like Goldilocks, all it asks is to be tucked away someplace not too hot, and not too cold, but [Continue Reading…]

An Ode From The Savoy Cabbage Patch Girl


I have grown the perfect Cabbage Patch Kids Cabbage. I could fit my 14 month old into the wrapper leaves of this beast without too much work. I don’t want to fish for complements here, but really – have you ever seen a nicer cabbage? The cabbage in question is named Melissa, and she is a savoy [Continue Reading…]

Brew Or Buy: Is It Worth It? It Depends.


Chow recently kicked up some great discussion in the homesteading community with their article “DIY or Buy?” I’ve gone through this exercise quite a few times with my homebrewing, pricing my expenses vs. the cost of running out and buying a sixer. And my results may not be what you expect, regardless of what you [Continue Reading…]

Mussels with Bacon, Thyme and Onion in Porter Sauce


If you like mussels, you love them. If you don’t…well, just come back tomorrow when I’ll be talking about something different. No hard feelings, really. There now, all the mussel-haters have gone and left just us, right? Great, more bivalves for us! This recipe a great way to steam clams or mussels that has a bit more [Continue Reading…]