Cool Stuff – Sides & Snacks
“Homemade Crackers, Friday Night Lights & A Giveaway”

Scroll to the bottom to enter the second giveaway of the week… we’re on a roll baby. I’ve been bewitched by Friday Night Lights. The show and the real life fantasy of mine. It is partly because I want to be as cool as Tim Riggins when I grow up, minus the jail bait, but also because I’m enamored by the football culture, and the tailgating culture that can bring […]

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“Homemade Fruit Leather”

Fruit roll-ups were a big thing when I was growing up. There were so many iterations at one point that I was in pure fruit candy bliss. Then there were the healthy versions that we’d always find at the health food store. They were called “fruit leather,” because they were thicker and made out of pure fruit I suppose… not the other nasty bits that were probably in the fruit […]

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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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“Cracklin’ Bread”

A few weeks ago I rendered some duck fat. And then I rendered some pig fat. And it was good. Whenever you render fat, you’re left over with something we call “cracklin’.” It’s an automatically southern word. Don’t bother putting a proper -ing on the end of it, you’re wasting your time. It’s cracklin’. The first time I heard about cracklin’ was from a farmer named Frank Griffith in East […]

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“Brown Bread”

A while ago I uncovered a recipe book from my great-great grandmother. It was full of recipes for brown bread. She was mildly obsessed with it I think. Maybe it tapped into her Puritan nature and she felt satisfied by its simplicity. Then a while after that, I got the latest edition of our family recipe book in the mail, a compilation of six generations of recipes from the family […]

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“Irish Soda Bread”

I’m 1/8 Irish. I couldn’t let St. Patrick’s Day go by without a nod. It is beloved by so many after all. It’s a passport to drink a month’s worth of beer in one day. And to wear buttons demanding to be kissed. But I can’t say it’s a holiday that celebrates my favorite foods. I thought about what to make for a while… and couldn’t bring myself to negotiate […]

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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 Caramelize Onions”

On Friday when I was showing you my adventures in thin crust pizza, one of the ingredients that I unloaded onto the crust was caramelized onions. And then it dawned on me that maybe not everyone knows how to caramelize onions… Do you know how? Do you want a quick little demo? Hm… I’ll take your silence as a yes. If I were to just go about my life throwing […]

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