Tim Farmer found a giant puffball mushroom in the woods, a fall delicacy that requires a little good luck and timing to enjoy. They are a lot safer than picking other wild mushrooms because they are pretty easy to identify. Read the rest
Perhaps mom still has a twinkle in her eye when she makes pancakes with that special ingredient, coyly hidden from you since early childhood, a ritual that speaks to a parent's enduring love, the small things that return us to the best moments of our youth and reify the bonds of family.
Perhaps dad still talks in hushed terms about the family ragu, passed down from generation to generation since the days of the old country, a secret to be earned, cementing centuries of careful experimentation in tomato and wine, drawing one's soul back into the collective warmth of an ethnic milieu often forgotten in the relentless yet blandly anglosaxon routines of American life.
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In response to our call, 174 readers wrote in with stories of plagiarized family recipes. Hailing from New York to Nicaragua, from Auckland, New Zealand, to Baghpat, India, they prove that this is a global phenomenon. The majority of readers described devastating discoveries: They found supposedly secret recipes in the pages of famous cookbooks, and heard confessions from parents whose legendary dessert recipes came from the side of Karo Syrup bottles.
Maximize flavor, minimize cleaning. Read the rest
Surprise! Making perfect blackened salmon is easy. Read the rest
Who can forget where their jaw was in mid-December when celebrity chef Mario Batali ended his sexual misconduct apology letter with a recipe for his "fan-favorite" Pizza Dough Cinnamon Rolls? Breezily contrite and self-promotional!
Well-known blogger, Geraldine DeRuiter, of The Everywhereist, decided to try her hand at the ill-timed recipe and found the results as gag-worthy as Batali's ham-handed apology. There are some hilarious lines in here. And the whole piece, intercut with DeRuiter's own harassment memories, is quite effectively snarky and intense.
The base of the rolls is pizza dough – Batali notes that you can either buy it, or use his recipe to make your own.
I make my own, because I’m a woman, and for us there are no fucking shortcuts. We spend 25 years working our asses off to be the most qualified Presidential candidate in U.S. history and we get beaten out by a sexual deviant who likely needs to call the front desk for help when he’s trying to order pornos in his hotel room.
Donald Trump is President, so I’m making the goddamn dough by scratch.
The pizza dough does not mix well with the sweetness. The icing is sickly sweet, the rolls themselves oddly savory. I was right about the texture – the dough is too tough. I hate them, but I keep eating them. Like I’m somehow destroying Batali’s shitty sexist horcrux in every bite.
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Because I’ve rolled them too tightly, the middle pops up and out of one of the rolls.
The $77 Pizzacraft PC0601 Pizzeria Pronto Stovetop Pizza Oven is a clever design: it's a stovetop oven that has a large thermal mass (thanks to a cordierite pizza stone) and other good thermal properties, allowing it to hit 600F in 10 minutes of pre-heating on your gas burner; it gets top marks in Wired's pizza gadget guide, too. Read the rest
Just one of those odd internetal coincidences: the meeting of The Godfather of Soul, Cup Noodles, and a big-bucks doodad for wealthy folks in Japan. Let’s start with the show, with Mr. James Brown shilling for Cup Noodle in a Japanese TV commercial to the tune of his hit “Get Up.” Though he is often hard to understand, here there is a reason: he’s shouting in Japanese, and it’s not about being a sex machine.
Of course you all know what Cup Noodles are. Large cups of salt with a few noodles and bits of dried veggies and some sort of meat. But they are delicious, reliable, and convenient as hell. I once took a trip to a country which shall remain unidentified, whose food I was warned in advance was “speculative,” and traveled with an entire suitcase of Cup Noodle. Ate it lunch and dinner for two weeks using the little tea maker in my hotel room to boil water. Compared to the offal, slugs, dog, and horse my friends were stuck eating I felt quite pleased with myself.
The Japanese company Nissin has been making numerous varieties of instant noodles for many decades. Instant ramen (the noodly stuff) was invented in 1958 by Momofuku Ando. His secret was to flash fry the noodles. The idea of putting them in a cup came later, in 1971. In Japan, the different types of instant noodle dishes sold in cups and bowls, ready for hot water, takes up an entire aisle in the supermarket—you can’t imagine the huge number of varieties and different dishes. Read the rest
Do you like brownies with crispy edges all around? Gooey in the middle? This is the brownie making pan for you!
My daughter continues to point out things that must be perfected with what I cook. She is, in her own words, "very particular." Brownies, she told me, would be so much better if every tasty bite was like a treat cut from the corner of the pan. So, we found a pan that is all corners!
Kinda like a cupcake pan for brownies, this one comes kid endorsed.
In 1978, Random House recalled the Woman's Day Crockery Cuisine cookbook because one of the recipes could apparently "cause a serious explosion." According to a statement from Random House, "If the recipe (for Silky Caramel Slices) is followed, the condensed milk can could explode and shatter the lid and liner of the crockery cooker." (Please, no Boston Marathon bomb jokes.) From a May 1978 article in the Chicago Tribune:
Because of an unfortunately elusive line that should have instructed folks to fill the pot with water, following the recipe appears to have resulted in some unintentional pop-top cans and badly damaged crockpots...
The conditions that have made this underground recipe successful and therefore popular, especially with children, are water and temperature. By being heated in boiling water, the temperature of the can and milk do not exceed the boiling point. After a few hours of this, the sugared milk turns to a caramel pudding. In the Crockpot, however, especially without water, the temperature can build up rather like a pressure cooker. That was the most immediate cause of the problem.
I've long wanted some new pots, and this $80 14 pc ceramic cookset was too good a deal to pass up!
Well made and easy to cook on, these turquoise pots and pans match the odd-but-pleasing tiles in my 1983 kitchen perfectly. These three pots will see frequent use, and three pans will likely split between the Vanagon camping set and my house. Cooking tools are always usefuL!
While Greenlife's ceramic "Thermolon" coating is a wonderful cooking surface, I offer no opinion on the cookware's freedom of PFOA, PFAS, lead or cadmium. I did not test for these and trusted the marketing. The coating is easy to clean, however! The pots seem to both conduct and hold heat well, but it aint cast iron. The soft handles are pretty much the same silicone material with I use on my cast iron skillet.
The set also comes in red and in black, but I love my turquoise.
Amazon has a good deal on these BBQ grilling mats. You just set them on the grill and place whatever it is you want to cook right on them. I like the charcoal flavor of steak and chicken, but it's hard to cook vegetables, because they tend to break and fall between the wires These mats prevent that from happening. A set of four costs $13. Read the rest
A German start-up has prototyped a bread oven that operated in microgravity that may someday enable astronauts to enjoy fresh-baked goods in space. Currently, astronauts eat tortillas because they aren't crumbly and have a long shelf-life. (See the below photo of a rather unappetizing tortilla cheeseburger on the International Space Station.) From Space.com:
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On Earth, bread needs to be baked at a temperature of about 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Once it’s done, the bakers remove it from the heated oven. But that would not be possible in space. Processes such as thermal convection, which helps to mix up air on Earth, don't work in space. If a bubble of air that hot were to escape from the oven in orbit, it could stay floating inside the station for quite a while, posing a serious health risk to the astronauts, (Bake In Space CEO Sebastian) Marcu said.
Marcu said the team has found a way to overcome this challenge.
"We basically put the baking product, the dough, inside the cold oven and start heating it up," he said. "Once it's almost done, we start cooling it down. But at that time, any product will start to get dry, and that's why we need to design the oven so that some water is added during the baking process."
The oven also needs to be able to operate with only 270 watts of power — about one-tenth the power used by conventional ovens on Earth. Marcu said the team hopes to have a prototype ready by the end of this year.