From our position atop the rock that the Acropolis sits on, we could see an excavation of some sort, lying below us. - May 2016.

Des Informations, des Idées, et des Opinions Suspectes - rarement mises à jour et de qualité douteuse.

Recipe Hits

Once in a blue moon, I discover a truly great recipe...and then I lose it.

sheep heads

I enjoy cooking. It's one of the few hobbies I have that is uncomplicated by anything other than doing it just for the pleasure of cooking and for the reward of eating the results. I also like the fact that the food I make is up to my own standards in terms of food handling and hygiene; something I worry about with absolutely every meal not prepared in my own home.

It's a shame that classical "Home Economics" is not taught in schools anymore. It's the economics that really makes cooking most enjoyable for me. I love to see how well I can utilize a limited set of ingredients, yet still come up with something savoury. I like to see how inexpensively I can make a meal; I prefer meals that scale well and store well. I also like to employ economy of movement in the kitchen which I view as just another way to save. I absolutely LOVE soul food.

But one thing I no longer strive for when cooking is pleasing my family. My wife has one of the most limited lists of acceptable food I have ever encountered in a person. She absolutely refuses to try anything new, or re-try anything that she historically found unpleasant. There are even foods that she enjoys but not in combination with other foods (hot dogs are OK and baked beans are OK, but not beanie-weenies.) And because she is vocal about her preferences, the kids by association hate all the same foods that she does - often without ever really having tried it!

I recall my own experiences with foods I previously didn't enjoy - like lamb. I used to hate lamb. I mean, I would eat it if it was on my plate; and I could even plaster a smile on my face while eating it, but I never enjoyed its dryness, and it's "off" taste, and what's up with store-bought mint jelly? After years of just plain avoiding lamb, several years ago I ended up at a chi-chi restaurant in Montreal on business; I was bored with food - I'd had everything on restaurant menus a hundred times, so I ordered the "lamb medallions" just for the hell of it and I was blown away. I realized at that moment that I had never before enjoyed lamb properly prepared. I've since had lamb many times, and because I am now qualified to know what good and bad lamb tastes like, I've never been disappointed. Same with the sushi, and with venison too now that I think about it. And even headcheese. I now realize that one should try everything several times before passing judgement. I don't dislike any food anymore.

Usually when I make a dish and it turns out great and I really enjoy it, I throw the recipe on top of my massive and disorganized recipe pile and never see it again. In a week or a month when I need a good recipe idea, I come up blank and end up making soup and crackers. Recently after making and enjoying a phenomenal skillet cornbread and not wanting to yet again simply relegate it to the pile , it occurred to me that if I put my favourite recipes up here on my web site, only the really great ones mind you - the true hits, then over time I would have a ready list of truly awesome recipes to draw from...So that's what I am going to do.

I'm going to start with my phenomenal Skillet Cornbread. Then I'll put up my Savoury Muffins, Steak Salad, and as of yersterday, my Sufferin' Succotash. Have you ever had succotash? I hadn't...it was awesome! I look forward to making all these dishes more often from now on.

Recipe Hits

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Maybe read No Big Deal, a story I consider to be the very best thing I ever wrote.