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A Press Democrat Blog

Proximal Kitchen

Cooking locally, with really sharp knives

The Bacon Hall of Fame Top 5

The Bacon Hall of Fame. I should stop right there, really. But if you caught Monday’s missive, then you already know how excited I am about the upcoming festivities at COCHON555, the concert tour for cooks and farmers and roving celebration of all things good and just about the noble swine, so hopefully you’ll bear with me for one more post. That being said, nobody needs to hear me bang the table all over again about how much I love… Read More »

For the love of pig!

If you like local food and wine, and the idea of watching an entire pig morph from carcass into dinner doesn’t scare you, then you could do worse than a Sunday afternoon spent eating and drinking alongside 5 local winemakers, 5 local chefs, and their 5 porcine victims – all from heritage bloodlines, all sustainably raised by local farmers – at COCHON555. The main event will surely be the rainbow of piggy plates offered up by some of Wine Country’s… Read More »

30 Minutes, 3 Ingredients, 1 Dinner

Sometimes, it’s fun to see how much we can do, with how little. I could list the underlying moral imperatives – saving money and time would presumably occupy the penthouse suite – but in the main, I just think it’s plain fun, a sort of Sudoku with pots and pans. Case in point: How do you feed 3 persnickety kids, using just 3 ingredients, in only 30 minutes? Why 3, 3, and 30? 3 kids, because I get my wife… Read More »

Because it rhymes with ‘orange’

I may have seen a cloud this week, but if I did, I don’t remember it. Really, our weather has been impossibly nice. And really, it ought to worry me – the lack of rain, the risk of budbreak before a frost – but it’s hard not to simply soak in it, the whole of our little wine country valley like some great, tickly bubble bath of pea shoots and sunlight. … Read More »

Larks’ Tongues in Aspic

What did you listen to when you were young? And do you still play the same records? Looking back, I may have been indicted as excessively broad, as wantonly eclectic for its own sake: Experimental jazz, baroque classical, LA punk, progressive rock (whatever that means), and lots of metal, a scattershot gang of vinyl finery parading across my turntable.… Read More »

Eat Pig, Drink Pinot, Save Our Schools

I have mixed feelings about school fund-raisers: On the one hand, like most parents, I have kids in public schools that fall chronically short of financial resources; on the other, I believe that I already pay more than enough in taxes to expect a properly funded system of public education, that the root of the problem is not the quantity of money available, but rather the means by which it is allocated. In any case, on the morning after our Pigs ‘n Pinot fund-raising dinner, I am hungover, fat, and happy all the same.
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Savory Onion-Cranberry “Jam”: My New Favorite Condiment

Pork Loin sous vide sandwich, w/ Pt Reyes Bleu & Onion-Cranberry MarmaladeYesterday, as I was blabbering about cooking with friends, I tried to argue that the biggest prize from letting another cook into your kitchen is, aside from some help with the dishes, the potential to eat a meal that you’d not otherwise have thought of. A case in point comes courtesy of a dear friend’s torrid love affair with thermal immersion circulators and my new favorite condiment: A pitch-perfect finger sandwich of pork loin sous-vide, local blue cheese, and savory onion “jam”.Read More »