• Hungry Monkey
    Coming May 29, 2009 from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

    My daughter's first meal was supposed to be, oh, let's say local organic carrots pureed with homemade chicken broth in a hand-cranked food mill. That's what everyone wants for their kid, right? I swear I was totally planning a feast of that nature when fate intervened and a doughnut fell on her head.
  • Beyond Pie Filling, May 2008

    So around the Fourth of July, my family rolled up to the generous reader's front yard, armed with buckets. I was worried this would be some kind of scrawny, homegrown cherry tree with inferior fruit, and we'd have to politely pick cherries and then toss them in a Dumpster on the way home (the fresh-fruit version of "your home-brewed beer is delicious!"). Instead, I found a towering, mature tree, bearing bushels of the same bright-red Montmorency cherries I was paying $7.50 a pound for at the farmers market.

  • Looking Sharp, October 2008

    Recently, a couple of guys with a bunch of sharp knives cleaned out my wallet. It was a mugging of a culinary rather than criminal nature. I've emerged poorer but unscathed, and I'm here to tell you that you can buy a great basic knife and keep it in good shape without spending too much money.

  • Cooking for a Crowd
    Seattle Times, November 2006
    Reprinted in Best Food Writing 2007

    When I was a kid, I had this toy called Tipovers, which was a box of black and white dominoes aerodynamically designed to be perfect for setting up and knocking down. I still have all my Tipovers in an old two-gallon ice cream tub, and I am patiently awaiting the day when I can present them to my daughter and she will say, "Dad, what the hell is this?" Then, together, we will spend an hour setting up dominoes until one of us knocks them over prematurely and we share a heartwarming father-daughter tantrum.