Archive for the ‘On Cooking’ Category

Wildhorse Creek, Idaho Bob Griswold, handsomest cowboy in the Sawtooth’s, cut a willow branch with a knife, tied on some line and a hook, placed a bright red salmon egg on the end of the hook and let Livia drop it in Wildhorse Creek, in a pool close to the bank.  She pulled out three […]



Aeolian Capers They are as big as South Sea Pearls, plump and juicy, the pickled bud — before it blossoms into the gorgeous white and purple spiny flower.  On Salina in June I saw them everywhere, the caper bush flourishing in the dry, black volcanic soil of the Aeolian Islands.  I was struck by their […]

Ever since I was little girl I have enjoyed cooking. I started because I liked brownies and wanted to get to the bottom of how they were made.  I would only make them from scratch and failed repeatedly.  They were so hard my stepbrothers called them “rockies” and used them as ammunition for their slingshots. My determination (and […]

  Over the years I have made many variations of tiramisu, some incredibily elaborate with multiple liquors, but my favorite is the one I share here.  I use fresh eggs from my mother’s farm, but when I don’t have them I buy the best, organic brand I can find.  Cooking the yolks is part of […]

Luca’s Risotto With Shrimp And Lemon First, the secrets: 1) A heavy pan, cast iron, perhaps a Le Creuset 2) A highish heat 3) Abundant liquid. Keep the rice well soaked with broth even to the far end. It should be almost soup-like when you turn the heat off. 4) When finished cooking, pour the […]

bake bread with my son. Jasper Whole-Wheat Bread 1/2 cup milk 1/2 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup butter 4 teaspoons salt 1 3/4 cups lukewarm water 2 teaspoons sugar 2 packages active dry yeast 3 cups whole-wheat flour 3 cups white flour Heat the milk, brown sugar, butter and salt together in a saucepan.  Stir […]

An Ode Once again I am reminded of, and thus devastated about, the loss of Gourmet.  We’re off to Providence for Thanksgiving.  Many McPhees collecting at my cousin’s house to cook an enormous feast.  (Twenty-six of us this year.)  We arrive each year armed with Gourmet and the intention to cook many of the recipes, replacing […]


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