Out of the Kitchen, Onto the Couch

I know talking about the importance of cooking to readers of your food blog is preaching to the choir, but I wanted to highlight a few things from Michael Pollan’s latest article in the New York Times Magazine. Pollan is a Knight Professor of Journalism at Berkeley best known for his book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma. I’ve been following his work since he called Twinkies “synthetic cream-filled pseudocakes” in an article two years ago about the problems with the U.S. farm bill. I also liked that he used the phrase “head-hurtingly complicated” a few paragraphs later.

His new article looks at what it means to “cook” in the age of fast food chains, frozen PB&J and more squeezable products than I like to think of. Pollan explores the relationship between the decline of true cooking and the rise of Food Network. “The Food Network has helped to transform cooking from something you do into something you watch,” he says.

Continue reading “Out of the Kitchen, Onto the Couch”

Farmer Portrait Series

If anyone’s wondering why Michael has been MIA from He Cooks, She Cooks lately, it’s because he’s roadtripping with a few friends from Chicago to LA. Hopefully he’ll have some food stories when he returns.

In the meantime, here is Michael’s final photo essay about Missouri farmers. The images have audio if you want to know a little more about the people supplying meat, eggs, vegetables and honey to homes and restaurants around mid-Missouri.


A brisket sandwich from Smoque, an amazing BBQ place on the North side.
A brisket sandwich from Smoque, an amazing BBQ place on the North side.

I just found out about Chicago’s Ribfest on June 12-14th. I will most definitely be going to this. Not only do they have 65,000 pounds of meat (!!!),  they have a lot of bands, including Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin (from Springfield, MO), who I know personally (yeah, I dropped that).  Their music is delightful.  The other band I recognized was the very talented and original Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s (a Chicago band).

Anyone ever been?

check check it

unrelated:  I got a beer of the month club subscription as a gift from my dentist for graduation.  awesome.  I promise I will update my beer going-ons soon, I have much to write about.

Why I don’t like ‘bitter’ foods: The science of taste

Coffee, olives and mustard seeds...all too bitter

I wasn’t too picky of an eater as a kid, but I did have an aversion to onions, green bell pepper, tomato, beets and a few other things that I have since grown to love. There are some foods, though, that no matter how hard I try, I simply cannot stand the taste of. Olives, grapefruit, capers and mole, for instance, are listed on our About Us page as things I do not like. Chef Mike Odette gave me a hard time about this. He said being a chef and hating certain foods was like being a painter and not liking red.

I wanted to figure out why I didn’t like the foods I didn’t like (coffee, most things that are pickled, certain salad greens like radicchio, mustard and others). Earlier this year I realized that all these things are generally considered bitter. But there had to be something that made them extra intolerable to me.

So I did some internet research and checked out four books at the library about taste. I soon learned that there was a scientific reason that certain foods made my taste buds tingle in unhappy ways.

Continue reading “Why I don’t like ‘bitter’ foods: The science of taste”


Awesome article via BoingBoing, from WIRED that’s all about the future of how local farmers will get their products to customers via technology. WIRED

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is a great magazine, and I love when they cover topics like this.