Making it Yours

29th January, 2010: Posted by G.L. Pease in Method

A couple nights ago, I had the sort of daydream experience that often accompanies the wondering over what I’m going to cook tonight. Thanks to often hectic schedules, as often as not, menus around here are not planned in advance, but are rather more improvised affairs based on what inspires me in the pantry, the cupboards, the drawers, the cooler. Unless the kitchen is empty, there’s always something that can be brought together into a tasty meal. In this case, it was a pot of what I sometimes call Minute MInestrone, for the ease by which it comes together. (I’ll try to write something down and post it to the recipe pages.) It’s a great, quick soup, and the family loves it.

But, I needed to run out for a couple of items, the most important being a loaf of crusty bread and some fresh parsley. While I was at the store, I spied a bin of beautiful orange Habaneros beckoning. When the supermarket is bold enough to put Habaneros out, I buy them. I want the produce managers to know that at least one person in town appreciates their stretching beyond the conventional Jalapeños and Pasillas. I filled a bag with the little fireballs, grabbed a bunch of parsley, some cilantro, some lovely red chard, a loaf of bread, and went to check out. Read more…»


9th January, 2010: Posted by G.L. Pease in Tools

A confession: I am something of a cheapskate. I used to attempt to hide this fact behind a masque of frugality, but the simple truth is that I’m just cheap when it comes to some things. I won’t skimp on ingredients or knives or sautée pans or things like that, but once in a while, I really blow it by just being cheap.

I’ve never owned a fat separator. Being a little old-skool, I always figured there are dozens of ways, or at least two, to rid the stock of that layer of grease without resorting to a single-purpose tool. (Alton Brown – I know if you’re reading this, you know who he is – is one of my heroes, and he despises single-purpose tools even more than I do.) So, I’ve never bought a fat separator. Until sometime this last year. (That’s 2009. It’s still hard to believe it’s already behind us.) Read more…»