Technique: An easy way to sort lentils

Yes, we are talking about lentils. Chocolate will be on the docket again soon enough… It may seem like a step you can skip, sorting through the lentils before cooking them. But once you discover that not all that is lentil is in the bag of lentils, the sorting step will never be skipped again.…

Read More

Technique: How to temper chocolate (and ourselves)

Here’s the thing about chocolate: it’s a little more complicated than it seems. The more I’ve come to understand it, the more I get that we two are kindred spirits. My chocolate-making teacher, Chef Bob Hartwig at the French Pastry School in Chicago, threw out so many stunning metaphors during the week I spent with…

Read More

Technique: Tips for Making Caramel

Caramel is like the fraternal twin of chocolate when it comes to making the kind of sweet you cannot, and will not, resist. Caramelization—the toasting or deep-golden-browning—of just about anything you cook, from Brussels sprouts to nuts to bread, takes on a whole new meaning of good. Same holds true for sugar. And that’s really…

Read More

Homemade yogurt: a few tips about ingredients

How to make Yogurt, MaureenAbood.com

Once you get the hang of making your own yogurt (a.k.a.: laban), you will do it without thinking. You’ll do it as a matter of course, the same way you start the week off with all kinds of habits. While I’ve struggled to form many a habit, laban-making is not one of them. I love…

Read More

How to make your own pumpkin puree

How simple and satisfying to make your own pumpkin puree from pie or sugar pumpkins. Use in pie or any recipe calling for pumpkin puree. Be sure to drain the pumpkin puree if it is watery, as that will affect other recipes it’s used in. The whole time I’ve been working with fresh pumpkin in…

Read More

Technique for a warm bowl of soup

I suppose this isn’t so much about how to warm a bowl for soup as it is a persuasion to warm a bowl. At Tante Marie’s, it was a student’s job every day to warm the bowls and plates for lunch. To forget to do this was as much a problem as failing to salt…

Read More

Technique: How to brown butter

If I could write a single culinary aria and sing it all the rest of my days, that love song would be to brown butter. It’s a bold statement, given the many contenders that are deserving of such devotion. It’s also ironic, given that brown butter’s name includes one of the less desirable words in…

Read More

Postcard from Up North

Laughter is the shortest distance between two people. ? Victor Borge (There were three, and they had just run out in front of me across M-119. They smiled for the camera, we laughed together, and then they moved on.)

Read More