Cool Stuff – Food + Drink

Sweet Woodruff Wine

I’m in New York this week, which was perhaps serendipitous since it’s May Day, and with it, came a lesson in sweet woodruff from Grandma Pellegrini. Sweet woodruff, is also known as Master of the Woods. It is a perennial, with small white flowers that bloom in May and June and star-like leaves in circles of six or eight. On May 1st, the Germans use Sweet Woodruff to make May […]

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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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Lemon Curd

I have a custard addiction. And I recently discovered that custard is socially acceptable to eat at breakfast. I don’t know why it took so long to find this out. I haven’t had enough exposure to doughnuts I think. So I immediately made lemon curd. And after I spooned it into the jar, I licked every last vistage from the bowl. Because I really, really don’t like to be wasteful. […]

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Homemade Tonic Water

I’m into liquids this week, what can I say? I’m not a big alcohol drinker as you know, seeing as it makes me rather pink in the face. However. I can appreciate alcohol produced on a truly craft level. For example, I’m mildly obsessed with this certain secret whiskey that I’m going to tell you about in my book soon. Furthermore, I was out for a friend’s birthday the other […]

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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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Perfect Steelhead or Salmon

After our Arctic morning on the river, contending with Mother Nature’s bad, bad mood, we had lunch on the shore. This kind of shore lunch requires some acrobatics. It’s also a time to keep things really, really simple. Simple. Keep things simple. Okay? Simple. The first thing you’ll need is a sharp knife. Which I didn’t have. The second thing you’ll need is a flat surface on which to fillet […]

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Jello Eggs

It’s entirely possible I’ve lost my mind. But I prefer to call it investigative blogging. It has a better ring to it. I was talking to Grandma Pellegrini the other day about Easter, and food, and food, and Easter, and she started telling me about these jello eggs she used to make. “Wait, what?!?!” I replied very casually. And so she set about telling me that she used to use […]

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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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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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