Pantry Chef – Who Knew?

Cooking is second nature to me, after nearly 60 years. I am a practical cook with a taste for heat, eclectic palette, and a bit of flair. I mostly love to cook to feed people, to honor guests. In COVID time, I have been cooking mostly for myself, and finding that I am just as … Read more

Bonus Recipe in Time for Thanksgiving

[Pumpkin Applesauce] I love to invent new dishes, especially when I am finding food that is slightly past prime but redeemable. This is the case with apples often. They get a little soft, perhaps a bit withered, but not rotted. Perfect time to make applesauce. Last night I was finally digging out the pulp from … Read more

PHD Kitchen Essentials – Fats & Oils, Part II – Bacon!

My mother would fry bacon patiently, rendering as much of the fat as possible. After she removed the slices to drain on paper towel, she would crack eggs into the hot pan, and carefully baste them with the bacon fat until cooked through to a perfect sunny-side up, dotted with little brown orts left behind. … Read more

The First of the Poets Happy Dance Kitchen Essentials

I have been cooking since I was nine years old, first by my mother’s side. I received my first cookbook for Christmas and promptly started earning Girl Scout badges in hospitality, baking, and cooking with its recipes. By the time I was 11, I could prepare a full meal for a family. This came in … Read more

Funny How Tastes Will Change

[with Corn Chowder Recipe] Awhile back, I think last fall, when the world was more routine and safe from disease, I visited a friend in her stately 19th century house in the country on a hill overlooking a local reservoir. Deb was preparing a corn chowder in her newly remodeled kitchen. The door was left … Read more

Early Life as a Kitchen Apprentice

I began learning to cook when I was nine; simple tasks: frying an egg, dicing onions, peeling potatoes, sloppy joes. Once I grew confident in the kitchen, I was eager to try anything. In the early 60s, Golden Press released Betty Crocker’s New Boys and Girls Cookbook, with its bright yellow cover depicting happy children, … Read more