I traveled to Yunnan, China three times to join my mycologist friend, David Arora. Some of you may know his books: Mushrooms Demystified, and All the Rain Promises and More. The latter volume includes my first published pieces! Two small paragraphs on mushroom collecting. Here, you see David photographing one of the women we had … Continue reading Yunnan, 1998.
Magnus Nilsson’s “The Nordic Baking Book” is a fabulous cookbook. It is far and away the most solid most varied baking book in my library. My daughter and I made these cardamom flavored cinnamon rolls on the last day of this year’s school holiday. They work perfectly as written. The instructions are good, but here … Continue reading Cinnamon Buns
These berries are growing on the path to “Panther Beach” a few miles north of Santa Cruz, California where I collect mussels. The photograph was taken January 10th. While spring does come early to the North-Central California Coast, this is early for the berries to start blooming. Also, near this plant, the nettles are beginning … Continue reading Signs of Climate Change
I have only been to Japan once. Fall 2019. I fell in love. My plan had been to return one week per month for a while, starting Spring 2020. I live in California forty minutes from an airport with direct flights to Tokyo so this was a practical concept. Week blocks are practical for me. … Continue reading Bread in Japan
https://videopress.com/v/qWSn2IfC?preloadContent=metadata Atavistic reverie. The land’s fat raining into the lèchefrite. I add water, onions, carrot, garlic, etc. to the lèchefrite so that the fat won’t burn. This also creates the basis for a lovely natural sauce.
Two women with their camel moving house. Near Wamba, Kenya. Photo: by Augustine, head of the blacksmith clan. Near Wamba, Kenya August, 2020 Photo by Augustine, head of the blacksmith clan This was sent to me by my blacksmith friend, Augustine. He is his own story. Not today. Tall, handsome, a Paul Robeson baritone; voice … Continue reading Wamba, Kenya Camel
Luang Probang, Laos, January, 2001 Mekong. Languid air. Languid river. Languid landscape. The captain replied, “Not bird,” while flapping his arms. Concise explanation for the steamed lunch’s outer wrapping not understood until his young son picks up what was set-aside, unfolds a wing, and starts sucking to retrieve every possible bit of flavor. Happy boy! … Continue reading Bat Boy!
Piping royal icing to construct a gingerbread house. When you want an icing to dry hard, like on a British Christmas Cake, or to use it as a glue piecing together sugar sculptures, like those for the Mexican Day of the Dead, or for a gingerbread house, then Royal Icing is what you need. My … Continue reading Royal Icing
There is no question about this. Manchet was the "best bread" in most of Early Modern England, with a comparable bread considered "best" in Continental Europe, as well. This will have been the case for hundreds of years. Precision is not possible, as documentation is so scarce, but there is no reason to suppose the … Continue reading Manchet! The Long-time “Best Bread”
The muffin that the English understood as a muffin -- the muffin of the "muffin man", the widely recognized itinerant muffin seller on the streets of English cities, especially London, from the mid-19th century well into the 20th -- is known internationally as the "English muffin." This differentiates from the American muffin, which is single-serving … Continue reading English Muffins circa 1750s