In which I screw up the bechamel.

Every so often I’ll go to cook something I’ve made many times before, and that I know how to make, and could make in my sleep, and I mess it up. I’ve made bechamel over and over again for macaroni and cheese, tuna noodle casserole*, and whatever else, but a few weeks ago I was … Continue reading

Alice’s sweet and spicy beef noodles

Tonight’s dinner, sweet and spicy beef noodles, came to us courtesy of my old friend and former roommate Alice. Alice describes this dish as “Chinese spaghetti with meat sauce,” an apt metaphor. You almost feel like you should break out the parmesan cheese and start grating—until you taste the sauce, which is about as far … Continue reading

Vacation alla Vodka

I’m off from work this week, and it was supposed to be a big cooking week. I got off to a great start—chicken pot pie, two kinds of cookies, the big snowed in meal, pasta alla norma—and then I got sick on Monday night. The kind of sick where I ate mostly applesauce on Tuesday. … Continue reading

What I did with the tomato sauce

tomatoes/photo by Flickr user Chiot's Run used under a Creative Commons license

Yesterday I talked about deputizing Jay to make a vat of tomato sauce while I was at work. Now I’m going to talk about what I did with the sauce. I am not going to talk about how Jay confessed to adding “a pinch” of sugar to the sauce, because I’m trying to forget that … Continue reading

Beyond Basic Tomato Sauce

I just emailed Jay my recipe for super basic tomato sauce so he can prepare it while I’m at work today (I should note here that this is about the only benefit of the overnight job site coverage he’s been doing this week). This is a blank-slate kinda tomato sauce. I use it as a … Continue reading

“I realize that when I met you at the turkey curry buffet, I was unforgivably rude, and wearing a reindeer jumper.”

In the past week, I’ve made recipes on either side of a New York Times clipping from last November. The Dining & Wine section of the Times is really more about eating out (“dining”) than it is about cooking, much to my chagrin, but I need to remind myself that they do publish good recipes—buried … Continue reading

The Burgers of My/Your/Our People

Old habits die hard. Old food habits die harder. Last night I made Grandma Burgers, a delicacy of my childhood that are so called because my grandmother makes them (and to differentiate them from regular burgers served on a bun). I could just as easily call them Belarussian Burgers, because my former roommate Hanna, who … Continue reading