Cool Stuff – Pioneer Skills
“Chamomile Tea”

Two days ago, I called my grandmother to ask her about her meatloaf. She has this way of making it that I’ve never been able to duplicate. But she didn’t answer. She usually answers, or if she can’t get to the phone fast enough, she always calls back. But she didn’t call back this time. Maybe she didn’t notice she had a message? Maybe she was out with a friend? […]

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“Soft German Pretzels”

I made a friend! It’s a big deal because since I moved to CA for a bit, I don’t have many in this neck of the woods. YOU are my friend. No, don’t look behind you, I’m talking to YOU. I have a very active cyber life. It’s how I cope. But the good news is that a professor of mine from college just sent me a new friend. He […]

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“Homemade Cheese”

I like soft foods. It will serve me well if I have no teeth one day. I like to make my own soft foods whenever possible, the skills will be useful if I’m living off the grid somewhere and I’m toothless. Or if I’m just living off the grid. Or just living toothless. I made homemade cheese the other day and served it to myself by the spoonful. You should […]

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“Pickled Red Beet Eggs”

I like all things pickled. Pickled peppers, pickled ramps, pickled… things. Sorry. I’m not feeling very eloquent today. I just read a lot of legal jargon and it fried my brain and my eyes are blurry. I can barely see this screen. I’m waiting for things to return to normal… which isn’t necessarily eloquent either, but at least there’s a sliver of a chance. I had fried pickles the other […]

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“Earth Day Egglings”

Grandma P. and I had a recent exchange via Gmail, as we are prone to do. We like to talk about projects. And radio programs. She tells me what Arthur Schwartz and Joan Hamburg are up to in New York and I tell her what the latest title of my book is. She has much more to offer to the conversation usually, I go into a tunnel when I’m working […]

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“Mad Pioneer Skillz”

I was going to write earlier, but I got distracted by a strawberry rhubarb pie. Now that it’s cooling, I thought I’d tell you about a class I tought this past weekend on pioneer skills… this particular segment was on pickling. Some dedicated picklers and I convened at a very cool blue Victorian house in Oakland and pickled in the sun. And we ate snacks. Snacks are important for successful […]

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“Turkey Brine”

No, it’s not Thanksgiving silly. It’s April. Also known as turkey hunting season in certain paradigms. My very first hunt was for turkey. It was deep in the Arkansas delta, on a three-thousand acre hunting preserve that runs five miles up the length of the great Mississippi. It was Spring, early on a Saturday morning after a night of imbibing aged Scotch and smoking cigars on a wide veranda with […]

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“Eucalyptus Tea”

Do you snore? Great! Thanks for stopping by! I’ve got just what you need. I was on the winding road to Tamales Bay the other day to eat oysters, and drink a cold beverage, and drink oysters, and the air smelled incredible. It was the eucalyptus trees. I opened every roof and window in the car. And sucked it in. Then I stopped and ate twelve more oysters. Life was […]

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“Boys vs. Girls”

First off, I’d like to point out that the location of my fishing trip keeps changing in my posts. Rather than go back and correct it, I figured I’d let my missteps dangle in the breeze for all the world to see. It was 5:30am and I was running on a green banana and acid coffee and I’d slept 4 hours and couldn’t feel my pinkies. Thank you for your […]

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“Duck Prosciutto”

As you can tell, I’m on a bit of curing kick these days. I’m conjuring my Italian roots. It’s just that I had these duck breasts that were just begging to be turned into prosciutto. And I couldn’t help myself. Duck prosciutto is simple to make at home, and is a perfect way to store the meat when you don’t have time to cook it, and you just can’t fit […]

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