Thursday, July 24, 2008


There is nothing more exciting to a waiting mouth than a slice of fresh, whole pineapple from the Dole corporation. Except a fresh, whole pineapple from Hawaii. Ten years ago, one could expect to find Hawaiian-grown pineapples at most supermarkets. This seems to no longer be the case. First, let me assure my Central American brothers that I have nothing but the deepest love and respect for their culture as well as all the wonderful things they send us up here, and at such good prices. Then I would like to say that their pineapples are inferior to those grown in Hawaii. But since the long and bony finger of food fate has already pointed the way, south. I suppose I shall do nothing but humbly accept this new arrangement and be grateful for any pineapple at all.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


From The Guide:

The parsnip is similar to the common carrot, but it is white in color and much more fibrous than its orange cousin. It is also far more reluctant to reveal its secrets and will do so only after being cooked (boiled, baked) for a period of at least one half of an hour. The man who chooses to eat raw parsnips almost certainly bears further investigation.

Monday, April 14, 2008


Unfortunately, much of the celery found in supermarkets today is far more stringy than it used to be. This change was first recognized by the noted saladologist Hans Schlecter in his now-famous treatise published in 1987, entitled Apium graveolens: What the Hell? Here, Schlecter reasoned that the advent of globalization coupled with the increasingly widespread adoption of the cost-saving Spain wedge method of early transplantation had put selective pressure on the growing Apium graveolens. In order to survive these new and brutal methods, Apium would need to have sturdier, more shear resistant longitudinal fibers. The net consequence was a celery that grew faster, stronger, cheaper, and yes, stringier.

From The Guide:

Celery is truly the most wonderful of our daily vegetables. For it gives the most delightful crunch when one takes bite of it. Indeed, to bite into a well-grown stalk of celery is one of the joy’s of living. What an horrible tragedy were it to ever become too stringy.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


Occasionally, you will come across a recipe which calls for the addition of canned corn. It may look something like this:

Add one 8 oz canned corn

This is exactly when you begin looking for another recipe. The internet, books, and television are all good starting points.

From The Guide:

Under no circumstances should one ever purchase or use canned corn. If this admonishment should fall on deaf ears, then let no one complain that the corn kernels in one’s chili are too chewy or that they have ruined said chili, soup or bisque. And let no one cry out from a lavoratory in bemused astonishment (or dismay, such as one’s disposition may be) at the observation that these once-canned kernels do remain as intact on the way out as on the way in.

If, on the other hand, you do come upon a recipe in which the opening line should happen to be, “First, stun the duck,” then it is probably also time to move on.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Should be maple. As a matter of general leniency, children may be allowed to eat non-maple syrup (Aunt Jamima, Log Cabin) up to a certain age. Naturally, the optimal timing and method for conversion to maple syrup has been hotly contested, among mothers, and the current recommendation is to allow the child to voluntarily indicate when he/she is ready.

From The Guide:

A recent rumor has been spreading that the Canadian peoples have discovered a way to generate maple syrup using nothing but trees. Trees! Clearly this is just another one of those to-good-to-be-true stories from up north, of which we all tire. Nevertheless, an investigation is probably warranted.

John E. Smith,
United Sates FBI
(dated 1897)

French Toast

Some say it is best to use day-old or slightly staling bread to make French toast. I do not subscribe to this or any other theories, about anything. I believe the overriding goal should be to use the best possible bread one can lay hands on. There are numerous reports in the record of great success having been had as the direct result of a good French baguette. The kind with airy holes and a flavorsome crust. It is important not to kill someone over French toast.

From The Guide:

In 1443, at the Abbey de Quay, in France, there was once a very serious-minded (and memorable) monk name Jean-Paul. Upon learning that his French toast had not in fact been flighted away by an especially large crow, but had actually been stolen away by a fellow monk named Simon (slightly less memorable, but certainly capricious enough to bear mention), whilst he had left the table for a particularly long time in order to retrieve his favorite syrup vessel, which he had forgotten in his quarters amidst the mornings’ excitement, it being French toast day at the abbey, needless to say Jean-Paul did not take the news very well. In fact, one might say he took the news rather not well as he broke his holy vows in that same instant. He broke them by turning to Simon and stabbing him straight through the heart with a bread knife, which had been in his hand at the time.