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Canned Man Food

I am not a sports fan. I had a brief flirtation with the excitement of professional sports last October when my home team won the World Series, but by and large sporting events just don’t make my radar. But there’s some kind of big football event coming up, I hear? I don’t know thing one [...]

East Meets West: Yuzu kosho on Christmas Eve

On my mother’s side, my family is entirely Italian-American, and each year on Christmas Eve we would observe the Feast of the Seven Fishes. No fewer than seven fish dishes would be prepared, in groaningly large quantities, and laid out on a large table for dinner. Among the dishes there was always baccalà, salt cod [...]

Rany’s Tomato-Meyer Lemon Chutney

Back in August, I was tapped to be a pickle judge at the Eat Real Fest in Oakland, CA. The festival was a bacchanalia of all things foodie: Squadrons of street carts, tremendous walls of spigots spewing microbrews, live demos of everything from butter to butchery.  The judging came as part of a series of [...]

Homemade Holiday Liqueur: Pompelmocello

Homemade liqueurs are the ultimate gifts that keep giving. They continue to mellow and improve over time, and always trigger fond memories of the gifter when the recipient takes a little post-prandial tipple. I’ve been making whatevercellos for years now. Limoncello is the most famous, of course, made from large, pungent lemons from Italy’s southern [...]

Cranberryless Sauce

Even non-foodies are passionate about their Thanksgiving foods. Would you prefer white meat or dark? Do you call it stuffing or dressing? Is ambrosia salad actually food? But the one T-day element that cleaves the world neatly in two is cranberry sauce. In one corner you have the folks who like the gelatinous log embossed [...]

Hooked on Heat: Apple Habanero Jelly

I’m not really sure when it happened. At some point in my life I became hooked on heat. It was probably some gateway drug, over-the-counter stuff like Tabasco. A dash on some eggs, and then on a slice of pizza. I craved new sensations: Sriracha, chile verde, South Indian curries. My growing tolerance drove me [...]

Pear Butter for Chilly Autumn Mornings

Autumn’s been asserting itself in San Francisco. After a few weeks of Indian summer, full of sun and occasionally blazing heat, the mornings now break cool and grey, swathed under a scarf of silvery fog. On these chilly mornings, I find a strange comfort in the blandness of oatmeal and plain black tea, but I [...]

Zucchine Sott’Olio

I recently had the pleasure of lunching at the Oakland home of Rosetta Costantino. Rosetta’s been teaching how to cook the foods of her native Calabria for years, and her extensive knowledge of this much overlooked regional cuisine is now lovingly and gorgeously documented in a new book.

Fig Jam with Fennel Pollen

Abundance is the mother of preservation. My friend Amy found herself in possession of a very large quantity of figs, more than any rational human could possibly manage to consume, so I happily took a few flats off her hands. Fig jam, after all, is my absolute favorite.

Canning Tomatoes: Many (Dirty) Hands Make Light Work

The end of summer means that once again my husband and I, along with a couple of friends, are undertaking a major tomato canning extravaganza. We work together to stock all of our shelves with jars of tomato-y goodness for the year to come, methodically processing the fresh tomatoes from firm, whole fruit to bubbling [...]

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