Food for Thought

Nancy Leson / Seattle Times

I do. So does Seattle Times food writer Nancy Leson – but only if they're fried. Others won't eat them at all, no matter how succulently crisp those feathery little hind appendages may be.

Nancy Leson / Serattle Times

Or should that be "grate"?  My Food for Thought pard Nancy Leson swears she uses a box grater not a food processor to grate the spuds.  Good thing she keeps a sufficient supply of band-aids on hand. Keep reading for the recipe.

Dick Stein / KPLU

 Don't you think you're due? It had been about ten years for me and that was too long. 

Traditionalist that I am I went with Oscar Mayer, spongy white bread,  mayo, iceberg lettuce and house-brand chips. The result is pictured above. Was it good?

Dick Stein / KPLU

For many a year I was quite proud that other than appliances I owned no kitchen tools, pots, pans or gear of any kind that I paid more than $10 for.  

There was just one problem.

Dick Stein / KPLU

I was so proud of my brilliant Thanksgiving pecan pie innovation.  And then I learned the awful truth.

Dick Stein / KPLU

I love gravy. It's like liquid meat. Here's how I make it.

Dick Stein / KPLU

Hint: It has to do with baking.  But first take a look at picture #2 above.  I've had that picture for years and still have no idea what the thing is or does.  

If you do please share.  And now the answer to the question posed in today's headline.

Last weekend my wife asked me if I would make her some egg fu yung. "You want egg rolls wit' dat?" I asked.  Of course she did.  But why stop there?

Nancy Leson / Seattle Times

According to Roger Williams, the founder of Rhode Island, the Narragansett Tribe  called it askutasquash, meaning  "a green thing eaten raw."  Of course squash comes in plenty more colors than green and usually we cook it. 

Here's two ways.

Dick Stein / KPLU

I clipped the steamed minced pork with salted duck eggs recipe pictured above from a Honolulu newspaper decades ago. After a few years and much use I transcribed and pasted it, apparently with oyster sauce, to the inside of that cookbook.  

I'll post a more legible version further down so keep reading.

Dick Stein / KPLU

Which would you rather mix up some cake or waffle batter in? 

My birthday present, that stoneware beauty pictured above, or some soulless plastic thing?

cute cupcakes

In this week's Food for Thought Seattle Times food blogger Nancy Leson rhapsodizes over New York style cheesecake. Who knew there were so many other kinds?

The Bulgarians top it with smetana, not the composer but a soured heavy cream. Ancient Romans made it with honey and a cheese similar to modern-day ricotta. The Bavarian Quarkkuchen is put together with quark cheese, not the elementary particle but a cheese made from soured milk. 

It seems almost every nation on Earth has its own version of the waist-thickening wonder.


I think I've found the secret and it's just two words:

Baking powder.  

Courtesy of Nancy Leson

Buy pork bellies! 

I've always wanted to bellow that phrase into a two-piece antique telephone while dressed up with top hat and money bag like the Monopoly millionaire.

But this time I really mean it. 

... and you don't even have to be Polish to make 'em.

Nancy Leson

I'd teach my kid to cook if I had one.  I  have cats instead and they're not interested.  But if you do have a kid, there are lots of ways to get them to do the cooking.

Nancy Leson

I'd define "kitchen gizmo" as one of those things that you buy on impulse, use a few times and then stash away in the closet – or in Nancy Leson's case – a basement freezer. 

None of us are immune to the lure of the kitchen gizmo, even though I claimed otherwise in this week's Food for Thought. 

Dick Stein / KPLU

I was tempted by a recipe I found on the web for Poor Man's Lobster which called for boiling sturgeon in lime soda.  Intrigued but dubious, I chose a less bizarre preparation. 

Cheryl DeGroot

That sturgeon shot out of the water like a Polaris missile late for its appointment with apocalypse.

This was but my second fishing trip in 50 years and I was unsure what to do. "What do I do?" I yelled. 

Wikipedia commons

Two  corn cobs walk into a bar.  They notice a third, shady-looking cob trailing them. First cob turns to his friend and whispers ...

Courtesy of Nancy Leson

It's not that I envy Nancy Leson for all the fancy restaurants she eats at on the Times' dime. What I really envy is her energy. 

Tad Doviak

With my wife Calamity Cheryl off riding the range with her saddle bum pals I'm free to run wild in the kitchen.

The 18th century's John Montagu, Fourth Earl of Sandwich gets the credit, but as we now know the sandwich was probably invented no more than five or ten minutes after the appearance of bread.

Call them what you will: wieners, franks, tubesteaks, Fourth of July must-haves. In this reprise of Food for Thought, Seattle Times food writer Nancy Leson and our own Dick Stein discuss (burp!) everybody's favorite dog.

In this Food for Thought I had a lot of fun lording it over Nancy Leson about my garlic garden.

Nancy Leson

A happy restaurant experience comes from a combination of food,  people and  place.  While all that can come together as a lucky accident, more often it's the result of careful planning.

Photo and design by Justin Steyer / KPLU

She was bronzed, glistening and gorgeous beneath the merciless lights and I  knew she could be mine -- all mine -- for a lousy $5.95.  I had just one question. 

Nancy Leson

History records the nation's first diner as a horse-drawn lunch wagon in 1870s Providence, R.I.

Choose your poisson

May 25, 2011
Nancy Leson

Hope I'm not getting all touchy-eely and making a bass of myself but before I clam up and call for kelp I should point out that if you tuna in to this Food for Thought you'll be herring all about...

I was eager to hear all about the fabulous high-end chow I knew Nancy Leson had been scarfing in New York City's hottest dining spots. Instead we took a detour to Jersey. You got a problem wit dat?