Friday, March 30, 2012


(It took me this long to notice that there is a special text box for post titles. Posts should look more uniform from now on.)

I'm not much of a meat eater, not for health reasons but mainly by preference. I seem to crave vegetables, salads, cheese, and crunchy foods. However, I do love certain meats, and among them is the hamburger. I don't like any old hamburger—never buy them at fast food places or lunch counters—but I do love a juicy grilled hamburger, like the ones I used to enjoy before anyone worried about cholesterol,  the carcinogenic properties of grilled food, or pink slime.

Since my first few attempts at grilling went so well, I decided to branch out and grill meat, the food that most people probably associate with grills immediately. I went online and did sine reading on the subject, and I enjoyed the variety of approaches and instructions:
  • Never add onions. Then you have meatloaf.
  • Never flip a hamburger more than once.
  • Cold meat doesn't stick to a hot grill.
  • Don't flatten the hamburger!
  • Make a dent in the center of each patty.
  • Pack the meat tightly and your burger will be tough and dry.
  • Grill 4-6 minutes until beads of blood appear. Then flip.
The first opinion I read in only one place. The others I read numerous times, so I took heed. I bought some fresh hamburger that wasn't super lean and some sturdy buns. Then I fired up the grill and cooked four burgers. Learning from past experience, I skewered the onions before grilling them, and that worked well. I toasted the buns, added a bit of cheddar to the burgers, and had a great supper.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


I don't have much of a sweet tooth, but this time of year, I always treat myself to a Cadbury egg. I bought one a few days ago and threw it in a kitchen drawer to enjoy later. Yesterday afternoon, I decided to take it out for my midafternoon snack, but I was doomed to disappointment. When I opened the drawer, I saw that my candy egg was not only unwrapped but also half-eaten. And the part that was not eaten had teeth marks on it. Some times, I'm willing to share my snacks with critters, if, for instance, they've taken only a nibble of my food. This time, though, I left the half-eaten egg and closed the drawer. I thought briefly about throwing the remainder in the trash, but that seemed spiteful. The critter had claimed its prize and deserved to keep it. Now I need to have a firm discussion with my cats.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Winter Tomatoes

Usually, I don't even bother to buy tomatoes in winter. They are hard, tasteless, and somewhat depressing because I always remember the taste of summer tomatoes. A few days ago, though, I abruptly changed my usual practice. I was visiting BJs, a store that I usually associate with toilet paper and kitty litter. However, this time, I was wandering through their food aisles.

During this visit, I saw a plastic package of small tomatoes. They were so pretty that I just bought them. I didn't care what they tasted like; I was attracted to their appearance. As it turned out, they tasted almost like real tomatoes: juicy, sweet, and just slightly tart. I may rethink my entire approach to winter tomatoes.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

basket of vegetables

What? Another Blog?

Lately, I've been playing around with food more than usual. I've been photographing it, cooking it, and just generally enjoying it. For my last birthday, my daughters gave me a gas grill, which I've been experimenting with. I can see a lot more playing with food in my future.

I have always loved food. My birth family enjoyed a huge variety of foods, I realize in retrospect. I was exposed to numerous ethnic foods (Chinese, Japanese, Middle Eastern, Russian, Polish, Italian, French) as a youngster and have broadened my tastes ever since. There is no category of food that I dislike or avoid, although I certainly have favorites.  For years, I wrote for a food magazine, often researching a single subject or food-related topic. I also reviewed restaurants for another publication.

So my decision to write about food will probably not surprise most of my friends. I don't yet have a clear plan for this blog. I will probably include a certain number of recipes, some anecdotes, and maybe even a few cooking techniques. I will definitely include pictures, most of which can be found on my flickr page. As for the rest, well—time will tell.