Stencil on Bread

I am interested in the surfaces of breads. When we think back on the history of bread, how often is surface decoration part of one’s vision? I bought this stencil at a stationary store. This is an experiment I made when writing an article for Mother Earth News about stencilling breads. Shouldn’t we imagine stencilled…

Boiling Ravioli

February, 2021. Boiling ravioli — ricotta, finely minced chicken fried to the edge of crispy, lemon rind, lemon juice, fresh rosemary, fresh thyme, grated parmesan, lots of nutmeg, a hint of cayenne, and salt to taste.


For my friends, Marco and Sandra Floriani, Sardinia is like a continent. They live in the foothills of the Alps, near Trento. This was many years ago. I joined them on a ferry from the Italian mainland to Sardinia. What can I say, it is like a continent! We drove the car off the ferry…

Pane Carasau

Sardinia. 2005. Pane Carasau. This is the first baking. The dough, a yeasted dough made from semolina, is rolled out using a sheeter. The baker, a female pensionnaire. While production is in a family house, the oven in the living room, there is enough production to provide for a commercial mixer and sheeter. Note how…

Sardinian Forest-fed Pigs

Pigs fed on forest acorns roasted in front of a fire in a Sardinian restaurant, 2005. Driving to the restaurant we saw pigs on the side of the road. We stopped. I approached. The group of pigs smelled like the meat tasted. 


I always find it calming. The Dutch oven before the fire. You set the embers over and under and then the magic happens. When cooking meat in the Dutch oven, I have started using a digital thermometer that works remotely — probe inside the Dutch oven connected to the digital output device. The advantage of…

Medieval-style Pottage

I was watching a YouTube video about Medieval cooking by Lucy Worsley. She works at Hampton Court and produces a wide range of videos for BBC. In the Medieval food video, she says that the average Medieval household always had a soup going — a “pottage.” Amongst other things, the postage was made with scraps….

Roasting duck!

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.

Cooking a Road-kill Raccoon

This is the first time I have skinned and butchered road kill. Yes, I was apprehensive. But the raccoon was young, small by raccoon standards, had no visible injuries from having been hit and was clearly  healthy. I looked up skinning online but ended up being helped y a friend who had grown up skinning…

Candied Angelica

Like many recipes published prior to the stricter copyright laws of the twentieth century this recipe for candied angelica is found in many cookbooks. I include two version here, one from 1717 and one from 1788. They are identical but for one detail. The later recipe leaves off the option of drying the angelica before…