Okra: from Africa to My Microwave, and an Okra Succotash for All Tables

In July through September the okra displays at produce and farmers’ markets attract a veritable study in a cross section of peoples that make up America and its cooking: Japanese, Chinese, Southeast Asians and Asian Indians, Greeks, Turkish, African Americans, Latinos, Middle Easterners, all precisely selecting the size pods desired for their dish: tiny ones for … Continue reading Okra: from Africa to My Microwave, and an Okra Succotash for All Tables

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam=Spring Serendipity

Strawberries and rhubarb are as fine a culinary pairing as there is. Like tomatoes with basil or chocolate with cherries, each delightful on its own, together they are serendipitous.  I like the word serendipity because it describes a good surprise discovered or revealed on the way to another place, an “aha” that comes as a kind of

Strawberries and Rhubarb

sidebar of another intent. A famous story of serendipity is that of Archimedes sitting down into his bath and noticing how his body displaced the water, meaning, made its level rise. Eureka! he exclaimed, and from such a simple observation came the law of buoyancy which explains that the weight of any object in water will float or sink according to its weight in relation to the volume of the water. Archimedes’ aha! has had ever-widening ramifications in various fields of science, from how to float submarines to how to sink them.  The etymology of the word, however, is Persian, based on the story The Three Princes of Serendip, a real place that is now called Sri Lanka. It tells how a wise king’s three sons, though well-tutored, were not yet Continue reading “Strawberry Rhubarb Jam=Spring Serendipity”

Sausage: the Cookbook

My latest cookbook, Sausage: Recipes for Making and Cooking with Homemade Sausage (Ten Speed Press, April, 2010), is hot off the press and available in bookstores and online. It includes 75 do-able recipes, no casing required! With flavors from around the world, the recipes showcase sausage as an easy focus for a meal, morning, noon, … Continue reading Sausage: the Cookbook