Vegetable Curry, a book and recipe

vegetable curry

(recipe follows) Several years ago the love of my life, Hiro, gave me an unexpected birthday present: A curry cookbook written in both Japanese and English. Until then I had never made Indian food — curry had just never occurred to me. He didn’t know me that well at the time but mine is the personality that when I do something, I devote myself to it and so I bought every single ingredient in the index from Asafoetida to Yogurt and went to work page by page, which created some friction in our… Read More

Apple Strudel Your Way!

(recipe follows — red text areas are links) I started working with Filo shortly after starting this blog (you might remember some of the teaser posts). I couldn’t bring myself to publish anything I’d written. I was unsatisfied with the pictures I took and unsure how to present filo dough in a way which would peak your interest, especially as an undeserved reputation as being difficult to work with. Filo needs just three ingredients: Flour, fat, water. To that you can add salt for flavor or stevia for sweetness. The principles for… Read More

The Onion Sandwich — Caramelized Onions

(recipe follows) People who comment or send me mail tell me I can improve my blog by talking more about my life. From their advice I have been adding bits and bytes. A part of my life story I never speak about is poverty: I grew up poor. After my parents divorced my mother and I were so poor we couldn’t afford a vacuum. My mother borrowed one every couple of months from her half-brother’s wife. (To clean the carpet we used the back side of tape.) We were poorer than most… Read More

Candied oranges

  (recipe follows) Yes, I really do curl up on the sofa reading “gode” “cookery” books or food histories. Two summers ago I spent two weeks in Provonce retracing Julia Child’s footsteps. So, yeah, I’m kinda single these days, but I can apply what I’ve learned from medieval cookbooks to make some of the best candied fruits you’ll ever eat. Candying fruit was something I taught myself through trial and error by following the directions from 16th century manuscripts. Much later I learned the science behind what I was doing and was… Read More

Raw Apple Pie Your Way — Play with your food!

(recipe follows) When I was younger my credo was to try everything at least twice (in case I got it wrong the first time). Keeping an open mind this way, I learned — and shaped — my preferences. With food, over time, I developed a leaning towards the healthful. Even when cooking with butter, or cream, or sugar, or meat in my mind I work through variations. One fairly new approach I’ve been thinking about is raw food. Interestingly, dehydrating foods under 118 degrees Fahrenheit is still considered raw by many which,… Read More

Bolognese Sauce (with vegan option)

The backbone of any western dish.

(recipe follows) _ Japan has slowly tortured all the affection I had for Italian food out of me by reducing it to PASTA. _ A: Let’s go out! B: Where? A: Italian. B: (Pasta!) ___ If you’re out looking for a restaurant _ A: I’m hungry. Oh look, Italian! B: (Pasta) __ Even when you’re at a Japanese restaurant _ A: Hey, look! They have tuna on the menu. B: (It’s served over pasta! ) _ None of it is any good. It’s almost always overcooked spaghetti with watered down tomato sauce containing… Read More

The Kim Chi Department

Living near Tokyo means Seoul is a day trip. I was in Seoul last May to visit a friend for hanami, do a little shopping, and eat. The most prestigious department store in South Korea is a massive 12 story chunk of architecture named Lotte. Their food department is kinetic, laid out to show how much you’re spending and pulse you through the whole floor. Each pristine display has a salesperson fitted to the task. Toothsome young ladies in Confectionary, delicate women in Fruits, dishy old broads in Kim-Chi — I confess, I completely… Read More

Dosa, a recipe

Dosa and Sambar.

I received a bilingual Indian cookbook about seven years ago, English and Japanese — I ordered every single ingredient. Two years later I was attending cooking school in India. The first day I had to study in the library, which was packed with Asian, European, African, and Indian faces — every one of them were Indian — their culinary traditions as varied and in harmony with each other. In southern India Dosa is ubiquitous and varied like the faces in India. It is made with urad dal and rice, or semolina, or with an… Read More

portobello mushrooms

Portobello mushrooms stuffed with cheese and spinach topped with (vegetarian-ized) bolongaise sauce, na no hana as a side dish. It’s surprising how much like meat the mushroom smells, tastes, feels. — Everything is homemade and this dish took only ten minutes to put together.