The fast history of the potato.

It’s another link today. I promise MetaCookbook won’t become just a link-sharing spot, but I probably am going to increase the number of links I put out here to share with you guys.

This one came to me, I think, from Mark Bittman’s twitter feed. I don’t actually recall, though, because it’s been sitting on my computer waiting for me to read it for about a week.

It’s a fascinating and relatively quick history of the potato’s impact on agriculture. Called “How the Potato Changed the World” by Charles C. Mann, it has a fascinating run-down of the potato’s history, and makes a case for the potato being the root1 of current agricultural processes.

One thing I found truly fascinating? The claim the article makes that modern pesticides originated with a frustrated farmer throwing paint on his potato plants.… Continue reading →


You guys? I had no idea how many different kinds of waffles there are!

I love waffles, but almost never eat them. I don’t have a waffle iron, and when we go out for breakfast these days, Bill & I tend to find places that don’t sell waffles. Or we find places that DO sell waffles, but have something way more interesting and even harder to make at home than waffles.

And we don’t buy frozen waffles. Not for the reasons you’re thinking! Insert some thought about processed foods or not local foods or whatever you’re thinking here

No, we don’t buy frozen waffles because I will eat them. All. In less than two hours. Eight frozen waffles is no challenge for my voracious waffle hunger.… Continue reading →

A few mundane things

Bill & I get married in 19 days. That, I think, firmly lands us in the “HOLY CRAP” area of life.

It’s so exciting. It’s also a little nerve-wracking, but it will be fine in the end. I keep trying to remind myself that we have guests, food, an officiant, a venue and, most importantly, each other. It will be fine1. Still, it doesn’t always work that way.

I’ve been cooking some, but not as much as I’d like. Still, some challenge recipes have been made. I’d tell you more about them, but my darling bridesmaid Angelique reads this blog, and at least one is part of her bridesmaid’s gift. So, uh, yeah. Plus I have to remember what I’ve made that’s new.… Continue reading →


Yesterday, I took a tomato canning course through Slow Food Chicago. I suspected (correctly) that I didn’t really need the course, as between my books and experience with jam I could figure it out. However I also suspected (also correctly) that it would give me a chance to meet other people who are interested in food & food preservation.

Not that I did a great job of getting or giving contact info…

When I signed up for the course, way back a bazillion years ago, I paid for them to purchase 10 lbs of tomatoes on my behalf. I do have a CSA share, and the farm we get it from is “named after tomatoes”: but last year I didn’t get so many tomatoes that I felt I’d have enough for this workshop.… Continue reading →