In an old hunting lodge on the grounds of an ancient Norman castle in Abergavenny, Wales, a small, extinct dog peers out of a handmade wooden display case.
"Whiskey is the last surviving specimen of a turnspit dog, albeit stuffed," says Sally Davis, longtime custodian at the Abergavenny Museum.
The Canis vertigus, or turnspit, was an essential part of every large kitchen in Britain in the 16th century. The small cooking canine was bred to run in a wheel that turned a roasting spit in cavernous kitchen fireplaces.
Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 11:07 am
Finally, the weather is warming up. And that means I'm dreaming about ice cream sundaes.
When I was researching my book Ice Cream: A Global History, sundaes were the ice cream treat I was most eager to learn about. For me, there's no more sumptuous dessert than the classic American combo of ice cream, toppings and whipped cream.
Prep a little in advance and get ready for some really exciting mid-week eating. This week’s recipe for Banh Mi Pork Burgers with Cucumber, Carrots, and Cilantro from Carla Hall’s Carla’s Comfort Foods combines the best of Vietnam’s fragrant banh mi sandwiches with the ease of the American burger.
Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 1:04 pm
We've all heard the advice to eat more whole grains, and cut back on refined starches.
And there's good reason. Compared with a diet heavy on refined grains, like white flour, a diet rich in whole grains — which includes everything from brown rice to steel-cut oats to farro — is linked to lower rates of heart disease, certain cancers and Type 2 diabetes.
Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 1:57 pm
Passover is nearly upon us. And for many observers of the Jewish faith, that means saying goodbye to leavened bread.
In the place of leavened bread comes what many Jews call the "bread of affliction," or matzo. Passover commemorates the exodus of the Jews from Egypt. And as the biblical narrative goes, they had to leave in such a hurry that they couldn't wait for their bread to rise.
So the matzo at Passover is symbolic. But the plain, dry crackers tend to get a bad rap for their taste (or lack thereof).
Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 3:26 pm
Why would anyone put her family of four through a radical food experiment that would deprive her children of Halloween candy and chocolate-chip cookies?
A cynic who happens upon Eve Schaub's recently published book, Year Of No Sugar, might say that banning sugar from your home for a year to document the effects on your family is no more than a gimmick veiled in a health halo, and a harsh one, at that. "This experiment was pretty much guaranteed to wreak all kinds of unpredictable havoc with our lives," Schaub admits early on in the memoir. "I loved it."
Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 1:27 pm
The typical American Seder meal served on the first night of Passover tends to be hearty, comforting and pretty bland. But it doesn't have to be.
At Rosa Mexicano, a New York-based chain of upscale Mexican restaurants, tried and true dishes like matzo ball soup and beef brisket are getting a spicy makeover this year for its 12th annual Mexican Passover week.
Wait, you may be saying. Mexican Passover? There are Jews in Mexico? Actually, yes, although the country is 97 percent Catholic.
Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 7:41 am
Just in time for Easter, food writer Michael Ruhlman has a new cookbook that will likely change the way you think about the egg. At the very least, you may learn how to spruce up your scrambled egg technique.
Egg: A Culinary Exploration of the World's Most Versatile Ingredient is a guide to perfecting the most familiar of egg dishes — from poached to hard boiled — but also mastering béarnaise sauce and meringues.
Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 9:38 am
A record number of kids are donning the blue corduroy jacket of FFA, formerly known as Future Farmers of America. The jacket is an icon of rural life — the organization is sort of like Boy Scouts for farming, and it dates back to the 1920s.
Even though fewer and fewer young people grow up on farms these days, the extracurricular activity is attracting more urban and suburban kids interested in food and agricultural science.
With winter hanging on by its nails for much of the country, a steaming bowl of soup is still welcome at the end of these early spring days.
This recipe, from Terry Golson's The Farmstead Egg Guide & Cookbook, is a soup finished in the oven like a classic French onion. However, rather than topping with cheese, a single egg is poached in the garlicky broth.
For all of you feeding kids on weeknights, this is a recipe you're going to want in your hip pocket. Crispy Chicken Milanesa is from our friend Pati Jinich, mother of three ravenous boys and author of Pati's Mexican Table.
Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 3:22 pm
As a culture, we tend to suffer from the angel-or-devil mindset. Especially when it comes to food.
And for 40 years now, saturated fat — found in high amounts in meat, cheese and other full-fat dairy products — has been one of our top nutritional demons.
The U.S. Dietary Guidelines urge us to limit consumption because of concerns that saturated fat raises the risk of heart disease. But after decades of research, a growing number of experts are questioning this link.
This week's recipe for Winter Squash Soup with Red Chile and Mint is from masterful cook and our dear friend Deborah Madison. This is a core recipe, which can go in any direction -- smooth as silk when it's pureed, or rustic and earthy and finished with a drizzle of cream.