Never Buy A Rotten Avocado Again

Ripe Not Rotten Avocado (1)

Where I live, far from avocado country, it’s not unusual for organic avocados to be $2.50 or $3 each. “Oh, waaah, you big crybaby,” locavore purists might argue, “avocados are expensive because you live in Seattle, so stop buying non-local food!” To which I reply: “The zombies can have my guacamole when they pry it [Continue Reading…]

How To Render Beef Tallow From Marrow Bones

I recently made beef stock with marrow bones (sometimes called pipe bones) and in the process rendered out a heck of a lot of beef fat (tallow) from inside the bones. Two birds with one stone, and all that. See all the white stuff inside the bones? That’s marrow. It’s either a great culinary delicacy [Continue Reading…]

The Man’s Guide To Manly Water Boiling


My dad, a capable man by any measure, a highly skilled Marine in his youth, a brilliant car mechanic and automotive diagnostician as an adult, and a generally handy-about-the-house guy, has long confessed that he does not know how to boil water. If a man of his skill and diverse competencies cannot boil water then [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…]

How To Dice An Onion – Fast

There are some techniques that, when you have been doing them for awhile, seem so natural and automatic it comes as something of a shock to learn some people don’t know about them. For me, this is one such technique: How To Dice An Onion It will almost certainly take you longer to scroll through [Continue Reading…]

The Essential Apple Peeler Gizmo


This is my apple peeler gadget: I don’t know if this thing has a proper name. It seems like something you’d find in the back of a barn somewhere to crank start machinery that no one uses anymore. And in truth it probably was invented 160 years ago and hasn’t changed since. But don’t let the [Continue Reading…]

Palm Your Tater: Exfoliating Gloves Clean Root Vegetables


A while back I realized that the cheap scrubbing-mitts I kept in the shower might do for root veggies what they do for my post-garden-work-Hobbit feet: get the dirt off. I bought a pair for kitchen use and put them to work. Here’s how they fared against purple potatoes and sunchokes fresh out of the [Continue Reading…]

Frugal Friday: What Farm Grandmas and Chefs Do (And You Should To)


When I was in culinary school, we learned how to filet salmon. Even if you are amazingly good (and we weren’t), when you cut the filet off a whole fish there is a little layer of salmon left against the bones. My instructor showed us students how to use a spoon to scrape the carcass [Continue Reading…]

The Addictive Power Of Pork Fat


Well, I don’t usually echo Emeril Lagasse, but pork fat really does rule. I’ve known vegetarians who hot-rodded their Boca patty with bacon when they thought people weren’t looking, and any meat product that can find its way into desserts is a force to be reckoned with. But pork fat isn’t just bacon. For as long as [Continue Reading…]

Green Your Greens: DIY Convenience Produce


Here’s the thing those plastic bags and clear clamshells of pre-washed lettuces and greens have going for them: they are super convenient. Need a salad in 25 seconds? Done. Need a handful of baby spinach to throw in an omelette? Easy. Need a mix of baby braising greens like kale and chard as a side [Continue Reading…]

Is It Cookware, Or Is It A Blunt Object? Re-Seasoning Cast Iron


I’m partial to cast iron cookware. I also use stainless-clad aluminum pots and pans for soups and blanching vegetables and making oatmeal, but my daily-use pans are a set of five Lodge Cast Iron Skillets.  I say ‘set’ like I went down one day to my local Williams-Sonoma and got a deal for buying the [Continue Reading…]

Third Time’s The Charm: Doing The Leftover Dance & Reducing Food Waste


Have you ever forgotten your leftovers or take-out containers in the back of the fridge (or the back seat of the car) for a few weeks? Maybe given up on the celery because it’s so limp even Viagra couldn’t revive it? Ever had your rice grow fuzz or been surprised by fizzy apple juice? Ever [Continue Reading…]