Salad Days

I love this time of year. The bulk of good weather still lies ahead, and the speed of growth in and outside the garden mean that there are new inspirations for dinner every single day as I make my rounds. Right now, apart from the asparagus and some wild things, the salad stuff is the mother lode of culinary riches right now.

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La Porte Des Lilas

A few years ago I read that lilacs are edible, so I made lilac ice cream. Now it’s become a bit of a tradition, and since today would have been my Mother’s sixty-sixth birthday, the timing is pretty evocative.

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The Return Of The Native

The painting is done, so my frantic 12+ hour days have abated for now. Happily, there’s all kinds of vernal burgeoning going on in the garden and elsewhere, so my return to the kitchen has been made even more inspiring by all the good food that’s growing everywhere. I had promised my wife a special dinner for having cooked most nights while I worked through the evenings, so last night I delivered.

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Emu-Egg Cassoulet With Crème Fraiche

Did anybody read this horrifyingly ignorant drivel about how the alleged conflict between “Foodies vs. Techies” represents “the great clash that now reverberates through American culture?” Holy shit. I thought that Atlantic anti-foodie screed was bad, but this is the single stupidest thing I have ever read in or on the New York Times (which is saying something given the presence of David Brooks on their payroll). Looks like somebody’s angling for a job as Business and Economics editor at the Atlantic once McMegan gets tapped for an endowed chair at Cato or the Heritage Foundation.

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It’s All About The Cheddar

I finally finished the painting and now I have to wait three days until it’s fully dry so I can assemble the hundreds of pieces and put it in the crate (which I get to build in the meantime). There have actually been some foodular developments here at cookblog HQ, but they’re of various other process-heavy things and as such not ripe for the posting. But not very much visually dramatic is going to happen to this cheese over the next six months, even though the interior will be undergoing all sorts of cheesy alchemy as it transforms into sharp, crumbly cheddar, so I figured I write about it now.

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My Salami Brings All The Goyim To The Yard

This month’s task was grinding sausage, which was exciting because the post announcing that fact came out just after I had ground and stuffed a bunch of sausage, and some salami meant for aging as well. The fresh sausage has made for some wonderful meals, but it was the salami that I was really excited about.

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Nose To The Grindstone

This month’s Charcutepalooza project was grinding sausage. As luck would have it, that announcement came just a few days after I had ground and stuffed a whole bunch: some for hanging, and some for eating fresh. This post deals with one of many subsequent meals featuring the fresh sausages.

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Nature Is A Mother, Too

Mothers’ day gets a little easier each year, though I still don’t enjoy being reminded so overtly that I don’t have one any more. But my wife is a Mother, and her Mom has been in town visiting, and we’ve been having some high spring glory in the weather department, so today was pretty nice.

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Fridgestrone

I’m working flat out to get a new piece ready for a show in LA at the end of the month, so posting might be spotty and/or lackluster over the next couple of weeks since I’m logging long hours in the studio (the wood shop, actually, sanding hundreds of small pieces and fabricating the aluminum plates that will hold them all together). It’s frustrating, because there’s much gardening to do but I’m not letting myself do any of it until the piece is done. And fancy cooking is likely to be another casualty of the 10+ hour days, though I’ll do what I can.

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Flogging A Dead Pig

This month’s Chronogram is out, and for this issue I revised the pig-killing post from last summer. The event has stayed with me in a positive way; I try harder to use every scrap of everything I buy so that the life taken on my behalf gets the respect it deserves. If you haven’t read the original post, you can find it on the “best of” page up top.

Yours Truly



I'm a painter who happens to also spend a lot of time growing, making, and writing about food. I'm particularly interested in the intersection of frugal peasant cooking techniques and haute improvisation. And I have a really great personality.

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