My Favorite Black Bean Soup, in 30 Minutes or Less

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Inasmuch as complex events can be said to have their roots in a single moment, I credit my first attempt at this delicious soup - an assignment for my Fundamentals of Stocks, Soups, and Sauces course at the ICE Culinary Institute some 10 years ago - with much of what I've produced in the kitchen ever since. I might as well call it my Butterfly Effect Soup.

Because it rhymes with ‘orange’

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I may have seen a cloud this week, but if I did, I don't remember it. Really, our weather has been impossibly nice. And really, it ought to worry me - the lack of rain, the risk of budbreak before a frost - but it's hard not to simply soak in it, the whole of our little wine country valley like some great, tickly bubble bath of pea shoots and sunlight.

When Vegetarians Eat Meat

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The Dalai Lama eats meat because his doctors tell him to. My wife was a lacto-ovo vegetarian for many years, until she got pregnant and we went to Paris for lunch; now, she’ll eat meat, but only from animals that she would kill with her own hands. My father’s wife will taste meat, but only […]

When Life Gives You Lemons, Cook Them

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Road Trip: Sunday night red-eye from SFO to JFK; mythical quantities of food and booze; a cumulative loss of sleep bordering on some chapter in FM 34-52, the field manual of interrogation techniques. Many of my best and oldest friends and much personal history remain rooted in the concrete canyons of Manhattan, so normally I’d […]

“Parker House” Dinner Rolls

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Somewhere, in a squat little cardboard tube, lies a row of Pillsbury dinner rolls, mashed into one another as if caught in some evil baker's version of airline seats... and each of those rolls, as it pays its Karmic debt to the gods of flour and water, thinks of one thing only: Please, please let me come back as a Parker House roll, baked from scratch in somebody's kitchen, pulled apart by the chubby little fingers of happy little children.