Chili on a boat

Boat stove and skillet

This is where it started. Somewhere among the small table flanked by two short benches, V-berth bed that could sleep about 1.5, and the tiny restroom sat this marvelous cabin kitchen.

On my recent sailing adventure, that’s the spot on the 25-foot Catalina where Cap’n Chris cooked up some veggie chili. It was a nice complement to the spring-like air and the shimmering water of the Potomac River as well as our chips and salsa and multigrain bread with persimmon jam. Plus the brewskies and fresh apple cider.

There’s nothing better than being on a boat–except being on a boat with snacks and beer and friends! Continue reading


A touché moment

“Here’s a trick you might try at home sometime: pick almost any recipe in the ‘Moosewood.’ Now add bacon. You will find that the addition of this decidedly unwholesome ingredient makes the food taste much better.”

-Ariel Levy, comparing the tone of Our Bodies, Ourselves and The Joy of Sex in “Doing It,” a New Yorker review of the new edition of the later. Unlike the first edition of JoS, food-sex analogies never get old.

Adventures in garden hardware

In the past week, Operation High Nutrient Density Garden (OHNDG for short, I guess) went into the hardware collection phase.

Last Tuesday, one of my co-gardeners and I headed to an alley in Van Ness to collect about 100 free bricks. This was a Freecycle find, and therefore a you-haul kind of deal. She and I each stacked about half of the bricks in the trunks of our respective cars, which proceeded to lug them across town like babies with loaded diapers scooting along the living room floor. Continue reading

An open letter to the three couples I saw shopping at the co-op today

Dear Couples Grocery Shopping Together This Morning at the Co-op,

I couldn’t help but notice you shopping today. You were walking around, figuring out the best version of each thing on your list, debating whether you already had this or that, and from time to time selecting an item and putting it in your shopping cart.

On the surface, this is exactly what I do when I go grocery shopping — which is precisely what I was doing this morning, by the way, really minding my own business and intent on my errand except when I may have overheard your conversation or happened to glance over. I couldn’t help but look because the thing about you guys is that you did all of the things anyone would do at the co-op, but you insisted on doing these things TOGETHER.

There you were, walking up and down each aisle, side by side, deep in conversation about whether the lentils were running out and if you need a new jar of honey.

So my reason for writing this letter is to ask you a simple question: Why??

Continue reading

Office Snax??

Office Snax Classic Creamer, Pop-Top, Resealable Lid, 12 Ounce Canister - OSX00020

Another resolution: Do not use this stuff. I’ve been seeing these products around my office lately, and saw their sugar packets over with the coffee at a meeting this morning.

This company’s offerings seem to be proliferating and growing in popularity, while the nutritious value of their offerings–not to mention the asthetic quality of their graphics–consistently declines. Now, as a friend put it when she got fed up with artisan cakes made to resemble burgers and salads, something needed to be said.

Won’t you join me in this resolution? It might be hard, but be wary. Be vigilant. Don’t let a catchy name like Office Snax sway you. Bring your own organic, grass-fed half-and-half for your coffee, and stick with it for the sake of a good new year.

Christmas cookies…


…the breakfast of champions! Coffee and buttery, sugary goodness… yes, I’ve been living the good life over the past few days.

Actually, I’ve watched with interest over the past few weeks as my sugar threshold has risen. While I don’t seek out sweet things during most of the year, around the holidays I’m inundated with chocolate Hanukkah gelt, candy canes, cookies, and all sorts of other stuff–and I eat it! And then, as the major sweet-related holiday, Christmas, approaches, I start getting into it. “Yeah,” my body says on T-minus two weeks (or around the time Hanukkah starts, whichever comes first), “I could manage another Elite coin.”

A little later, it’s thinking cookies for breakfast is a pretty fine idea. “It’s tasty! And festive! Why not?”

By December 24, things have gotten a little ugly. My inner appetite meter has morphed into something hulking and dark, grabbing at any White Elephant gift with even the faintest whiff of sugar emanating from its wrappings, shouting “More! More! You think Santa NEEDS a head? No way! He can get along fine without it. [munch munch] And the body, too. Why do they make these damn things hollow, anyway? [glomp glomp slurp] Why??” And then a deep rumble begins in my stomach and gurgles up in my throat, eventually emerging: “MORE.”

Ah yes.

Happy holidays, everyone! Eat well, and be happy.

A sight you may never see again

pizza box 2



Like an ice age or Halley’s Comet, it only happened for a split second in the grand scheme of the planet, and will not happen again for a very long time. But yes, there was a moment when my refrigerator a.) was clean and b.) actually resembled the fridge of a cooking-averse bachelor.

Moving will do that to you. It will also keep you from posting in your beloved blog. Never fear, though. More is coming, maybe even a recipe for a raw kale salad with orange sections and pomegranate seeds.

Hey – Whatever You’re Into

This 9/11 anniversary week saw some twisted food stories. Samak Sundaravej, prime minister of Thailand, was ousted for accepting payment for his cooking show. The poor guy just gets off on being on camera kvetching about food. Give him a break! Although the consequences aren’t too grave (he may be appointed as his own successor), I’ll bet Rachael Ray just made a note to herself in a super cute digital recorder about this. “If that bid for Congress comes through, sweetie, the next yum-o tour of the French countryside better be pro bono!”

More locally, KFC moved its ancient, hand-written recipe with those 11 herbs and spices to allow for a security upgrade to the recipe’s regular digs. I’d love to get an interview with ex-NYC police detective Bo Dietl, the guy who signed up to personally escort the recipe. Being handcuffed to a  68-year-old piece of paper describing how to make America’s favorite sold-by-the-bucket greasy chicken… You have to go in for a special degree of crime-fighting kink if that’s your thing.

Ribbed, Red, and Ready to Whip

Sex WhiskThe next part of the travelogue is coming up, but I couldn’t resist showing you this in the mean time. Can these people really sell a whisk that looks so much like a sex toy with a straight face? And without blushing?

If you think the resemblance is just a coincidence, consider the one color it comes in: devil horn red.

I’m just sayin’.