Occasionally you pick up a cookbook at random. You park it on your “to read” shelf with every intention of getting around to it. Meanwhile, various disasters transpire: dental work, feline illness, neighbor drama, spousal sickness, inept national leadership, world mayhem. Finally you open the cookbook. There, glimmering, is the…

Continue Reading »

Asian Fish Cakes

September 20, 2016

Many of you know the woman behind the IK hails from Detroit. She is of Eastern European extraction. Sadly, she has never traveled to Asia, though she hopes to, one fine day. It may be surmised from the above that the IK has no expertise in matters Asian, culinary or…

Continue Reading »

Nearly Nicoise Salad

August 31, 2016

The recipe authenticity argument is a deep, dark hole we’re not going down today. I mean, if you want to go, I won’t stop you, but you’re going alone. Suffice to say the IK is not remotely qualified to call her salads “Nicoise.” She’s never visited Nice, for starters. People who…

Continue Reading »

“Your x-rays look fine,” the physician assistant said. “No arthritis.” Saying an x-ray of my knee looks good is akin to saying the surface of the ocean appears calm. Then National G or some other science show, narrated by a fellow with a plummy Oxford accent, sends a pile of…

Continue Reading »

Mussels in Vermouth

June 13, 2016

Many food blogs avoid discussing news. It’s easier to avoid politically fraught issues (oh, I can see the Facebook posts now….) and just leap to the recipe. Leaping was never my forte. Over at the Huffington Post, there’s a partial list of the dead. The single most shocking thing about these people–apart…

Continue Reading »

Tea-Smoked Salmon

May 5, 2016

Cookbooks are full of suggestions for the smokerless (nonsmokers?). These range from relatively low-tech tinfoil and rice setups to some outright alarming suggestions. I have a book whose directions for a home-built smoker include words like “hinges,” “flexible aluminium tubing,” and “battens.”  When you’re to a word like “battens,” I…

Continue Reading »

Salmon Burgers

April 14, 2016

Let us agree that “salmon” and “burger” do not belong in the same sentence. So what gives? Well, “salmon slider” sounds like a remnant dance of the disco era. “Salmon patties” like something requiring cleanup. Then again, “salmon slide”….now that could be worked into a Pretenders song parody, or discussion…

Continue Reading »

Fancying up Fish

September 17, 2015

For years I avoided both cooking or eating fish, making exceptions for shellfish or sushi, and those only in restaurants. Then I acquired an extremely skinny, fish-loving boyfriend, only to go ahead and marry him. Marriage meant better glassware, matching plates, and legal status. It did nothing for my piscatory…

Continue Reading »

Japanese Rice Bowl

September 11, 2015

When I moved to California in 1985, it was rather like being dropped on Mars.  Everything–the landscape, the weather, even the English people spoke–was different. I wandered around in a state of perpetual culture shock. The food was different, too.  I’d never seen, much less tasted, authentic Chinese, Mexican, or Vietnamese…

Continue Reading »