Cool Stuff – Pioneer Skills
“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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“A Lesson in Lard & L.A.”

I just returned from L.A. L.A. land, and it was a lot of fun. It was a very successful trip and I saw all kinds of new things that you can only expect to see in a new place… for example, this culinary experience that I had while walking to my car one evening: Somewhere right now, a 3 year old feels gypped because they didn’t get to eat nearly […]

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“Homemade Bacon”

The first time I saw a wild boar smoking slowly under the soot-blackened eaves of a dome-shaped grill I was mesmerized. I was standing 100 yards from the banks of the Mississippi, deep in the beating heart of the Arkansas Delta. The body of the pig was cloaked in thick slabs of bacon which were coated in thick layers of molasses and the whole thing oozed and dripped onto a […]

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“How to Cure Salmon and Other Fatty Fish”

This is the time of year when a lot of your proteins are in the freezer, since in many places, it is the “in between” season. One of my favorite things to do in these months is cure meat and fish. If I can manage to do it before it hits the freezer even better, but you do what you can. Salt curing inhibits the growth of microorganisms by drawing […]

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“How to Render Duck Fat & Other Important Matters”

I rendered some duck fat and wanted to tell you all about the glorious experience. I plan on using it in all of my recipes, from pie crusts to steaks to milkshakes. Just kidding. Sort of. I made the rendered duck fat and have step-by-step instructions over at my “second home“… I just had too many boxes and filing cabinets and needed to spread out a bit. It’s much more […]

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