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July 11, 2013

kitchenMage Sandwich ~ A Memorial of Sorts

Kevin Weeks, Farmgirl Susan, and I got to be friends back in the early days of food blogs; back before spokesmodel was rebranded as "brand ambassador" and everything was sponsored.

Man, I miss those days...

The three of us created A Year in Bread, which was perhaps the first site of its kind. It was to have a finite lifespan, be tightly focused on baking bread, and would (we all hoped) build a community of bread-bakers. Little did we know what we were tapping into at the time. That first year, in particular, was a blast for all three of us.

I miss those days, too.

If you had asked any of us what our favorite part of A Year in Bread was, we'd have agreed it was the community. Secretly, I adored the conference calls just about as much. Kevin knew how to use "Hey girl..." when Ryan Gosling was but a pup. It made my day when I'd pick up the phone to hear his voice on the other end. Add Susan to the mix and it was non-stop hysterics. It was common for an hour or more to pass before one of us said, "Business! Didn't we have a list of things to discuss?" We got there eventually but the trip was the fun part.

Damn, I miss those calls.

Kevin died last year. He knew it was coming, we spoke about it occasionally over the years and he left behind a few bits of raw writing when death drew closer. Broken, Dealing, Mortality: 1.

Of all the things I miss tonight, I miss him most.

This post was lifted from's cache of Seriously Good, the site that Kevin Weeks ran for many years. With any luck his ghost will pay me a visit to discuss copyright. I have a bottle of the good stuff waiting, Kev, bring it...

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October 28, 2009

Halloween - The Whole Human: Head to Toe Eating

With apologies to Fergus Henderson.

Halloween approaches, bringing a seeming need to cook food that looks decidedly inedible. Web sites that usually have lovely pictures of tempting treats now drip with body parts, some of which drip with other things. Things we may do well not to look at too closely.

A trip around the web netted a body's worth of disgustingly realistic creations ready for the Halloween table. I give you the Whole Human:

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August 13, 2009

Bacon: One American’s Outrage

This post comes from Chris Perrin, who writes at Blog Well Done. One evening on twitter, Chris offered to write a guest post and I invited him to pick something he might not write for his own site. A few days later, Chris sent me this piece, convincing me that the simple instruction to 'write something you wouldn't post at your place' was a great way to elicit marvelous guest posts. When you are done reasing, stop by Blog Well Done and encourage Chris in antics like Fantasy Top Chef.

The following public service announcement comes to you from Blog Well Done and good, God fearing Americans everywhere.

There’s a threat out there, lurking in the grocery store and hiding in the hearts, refrigerators and arteries of American citizens.  It’s more disruptive to American values than even health care reform, which can only cause all of us to be happier and healthier.  Read my lips, no good will come of it.

But back to the matter at hand.  Some call this threat I speak of a silent killer.  Some find it thoroughly addictive.  Some call it delicious, delicious pork fat.  Everyone calls it: bacon.

That’s right bacon.

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July 11, 2008

USDA to release names of stores with recalled meat...sometimes

The US Department of Food and Agriculture has just announced that in the future they will be making public the names of stores with recalled meat and poultry.

"The identity of retail stores with recalled meat and poultry from their suppliers has always been a missing piece of information for the public during a recall," said Schafer. "People want to know if they need to be on the lookout for recalled meat and poultry from their local store and by providing lists of retail outlets during recalls, USDA's Food Safety Inspection Service will improve public health protection by better informing consumers."


Well, sort of...

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July 03, 2008

Beef recall: Kroger, QFC, Fred Meyer

Just in time for the 4th, Kroger has announced a recall for hamburger purchased between May 21-July 5. You know the deal, e. coli, yadda, yadda. Why it is dated for the meat sold in the future, I don't know. Details below:

Cincinnati-based Kroger is recalling ground beef products in plastic foam tray packages wrapped in cellophane, or purchased from a service counter at all Fred Meyer's and QFC stores between May 21-July 5. The first 6 digits of the UPCs for the effected products are:

  • 241659 and 241661 for lean ground beef 20%
  • 271665 and 271670 for extra lean ground beef 15%
  • 241670 and 241676 for leanest ground beef 7%
  • 231677 for Laura’s Lean Ground Beef 4% fat.

Chef’s Express items:

  • meatballs with the first 6 digits of the UPC 291196
  • meatloaf 291091
  • meatloaf with spinach 291297
  • stuffed peppers 291119
  • beef mushroom burgers 291306.

(KOMO: QFC, Fred Meyer issueground beef recall)

March 18, 2008

The clueless feeding the blind

Everywhere you look there is a new horror about food consuming the mainstream media 24/7 showing up at a site like Grist, The Ethicurean or any of a thousand other excellent web sites that talk about food.My outrage for today is this article, Meat Wagon: Cow-feed misdeeds, in which Tom Philpott explores the use of distillers  grains, generated as waste when making ethanol from corn, as livestock feed.

Apparently distillers grains shares the bounty of problems it brings: it can increase the risk of e. coli 0157 (bad for us), cause sulfur toxicity (bad for the cows), and dramatically increase levels of phosphorous in the ground and water (bad for the environment). It's not a small problem either, the US ethanol industry created 10 million tons of distillers grains last year, with most (75-80%) being fed to cows. That number is expected to continue rising, especially since without selling the spent grain as feed, ethanol seems to be unprofitable. Even with all the subsidies.

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February 22, 2008

Hallmark Meat: Not so total recall which the Hallmark Meat 'recall' gets watered down. Even more.

I am really trying to wrap my brain around something and not having much luck. Read this and tell me what I am missing.

"If a processor or grinder has records demonstrating that products were produced using less than 100% of recalled Westland meat for the meat component, then there is no retrieve that 'commingled' product,"  Beef Industry Presses For Reduced Recall -

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December 03, 2007

Stuffed Acorn Squash with sausage and two rices recipe


Just a couple of weeks ago, I wrote that there was a "distinct nip in the air and a slight crunch to the grass. Fall was creeping in on little cat feet."

Um yeah, whatever. What a difference a fortnight makes.

Can you say 129 mph winds, boys and girls? How about 3 inches of rain in six hours? I knew you could.

Seriously, in the last few weeks, we have gone from start of fall to first time they used the word hurricane to describe a northwest storm. The main interstate between Seattle and Portland is closed, probably for days,  (But remember, global climate change is a myth.)

Along with the overnight shift in seasons comes a shift in menus. Grills have been stored for the winter while tomatoes and basil have given way to winter squash and sage. Mmmmm! I love fall! It is all about warm comfort food around my house.

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September 23, 2007

whb: Sausage-stuffed Lovage recipe

sausage stuffed lovage

Lovage is one of those obscure, sort of old-world herbs, that few people seem to have heard of. You may even have some in your garden, like some friends of mine, who were nevertheless, unsure exactly what it was - it looks, smells and tastes like celery, after all, but it never actually grows any celery stalks. Confusing beast.

My first recollection of lovage only goes back a decade, to one of those 9 course tasting menus at the Herbfarm, which included Columbia River sturgeon in a ragout of apples, leeks and lovage. While I liked it quite a bit, someoneElse announced then and there that he was going to have to figure out how to make it. I offered, "It's in his cookbook," and someoneElse has been offering me food with lovage ever since.

Most of the time, youngish leaves are used - they toughen as they get older, so save the mature stalks for soups and other dishes where you will remove them before serving - chopped up to lend a slightly more complex celery flavor to food.

lovage The stalks, however, are hollow and lend themselves to all sorts of interesting uses. As a straw, for example, for a bloody mary or other vegetable juice based drink. Rumor has it that you can candy the stems like angelica, although I have never done it. You can even make them into decorative thingies by slicing them and tossing the cut pieces into ice water. Strange but true. What I wanted to try was a bit different: creating an appetizer by stuffing the fattest stems I could find with...something.

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June 23, 2006

Ribs with Chipotle Rub and Apricot-Pineapple BBQ sauce recipe

RibschipotrleapricotpineappSummer has always meant sloppy, gooey finger-food to me. Whether it's licking an arm to catch a dribble of fresh peach juice or licking the last bit of whipped cream from the strawberry shortcake off a finger, summer gives a pass to table behavior that may be considered a bit gauche in other, more serious, seasons. Heck, in summer you can lick peach juice off someone else's arm and get away with it!

This time of year also inspires a very non-RR sort of "thirty minute meal" around my place. Take thirty minutes, divide into two parts, and insert a long time in the middle while some meat cooks ever so slowly and I give it nary a passing thought. (Hey, hey, now all you RR purists! It's still thirty minutes and nobody said it had to be thirty contiguous minutes. If there's one thing I've learned as a writer, it's that if you don't pick your words carefully, others will pick them apart...)

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