The other day, when I was in the gym, I was flipping through the channels, searching for something to hold my attention while on the treadmill. After a few clicks, I stopped, landing on the familiar fedora of Indiana Jones.
As Indiana trekked through the jungles on his elephant, I immediately recognized this movie as the second installment in the series, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. I wasn’t old enough to see the movie in the theaters — I was only four — but I can remember watching the movie as a young teen, perhaps catching the movie on television late one weekend night.
Owing to my young age, Continue reading
Every so often, I like to treat myself to a steak. During the week, I often settle for a cold sandwich of almond-butter and jelly, chicken salad, or sliced turkey. Lunch is unabashedly dull. If I have the energy, I try to make something more exciting for dinner: fish, perhaps, or even arepas, the Venezuelan corn cakes that I recently discovered.
Fish and arepas are appealing because they are quick and easy to cook. But so is steak and so is couscous (provided I don’t make it more complicated than necessary). And unlike a broiling fish, there’s a certain pleasure in hearing the sizzle of the steak, as the hot iron meets the cool, raw side of the meat. After a quick flip and a few minutes in the oven, the steak is cooked, leaving you five minutes of eager anticipation, as the steak cools and cooks under its foil tent.
If you remember to marinate the Continue reading
Quinoa is a pseudocereal – a plant that looks like a grain and behaves like a grain – but that, in fact, is more closely related to spinach and beets, than any wheat or oat. Gluten-free and packed with protein, quinoa has seen its popularity surge in recent years.
Unfortunately, this sudden rise in popularity has produced unintended consequences in the global market.
As the demand for quinoa has surged, so has its price, commensurate with the laws of supply and demand. Bolivian farmers have responded to the demand by shipping their quinoa harvest abroad, reaping Continue reading
There are over twenty cookbooks on my kitchen shelf, the collection squeezed between a small, black, plastic bookend on one end, and the beige kitchen wall on the other end. From the kitchen, you can see the various spines, with a variety of colors, types, and themes. There are books on baking and grilling. There are books devoted only to Italian and Greek cooking. And there are books from restaurants encountered along the way.
My collection, in other words, has a nice variation. Except in one respect. On the wall side, wedged between my Cooking Light Desserts and Justin Wilson’s Cajun Cookbook, sits seven books, each spine beginning with the words “Barefoot Contessa.”
Ina Garten is, in other words, my go to chef. So with my New Year’s Resolution to make more main courses, I naturally Continue reading
There is a certain joy to the art of discovery.
Four years ago, I rarely, if ever cooked. But then I discovered that it was something I really enjoyed, and that it could bring me pleasure. I found cooking to be fun and relaxing, irrespective of the process or outcome.
And cooking is only one example. We all have those moments of individual discovery, of learning of a new love or skill, place or interest. Scanning the radio and stumbling upon an artist that inspires. Picking up a paint brush and finding an innate command of the canvas. Walking along the street and feeling the vivacity and charms of a heretofore undiscovered neighborhood.
Most recently, I discovered books on tape. I have always enjoyed fiction and reading. I have pleasant memories of lying awake, in bed, reading – at various times Continue reading
The Palouse region along the Idaho-Washington border is lentil country. In field after field, the tiny, green-coated legume covers the land.
The Palouse region counts roughly 200 miles of land, and is home to over 3,000 family farms. Between them, these farms account for nearly 90 percent of the lentils grown in this country. But sadly, few of these lentils ever find their way onto American plates or palates. Nearly the entire lentil crop is exported – to countries like Spain, Italy, Greece, and India – countries that appreciate the culinary qualities of the lentil.
And the lentil is worthy of appreciation. Unlike beans, lentils cook quickly and do not require soaking. They pair with almost any dish, and Continue reading