As many sharp readers may have guessed, I’m not only a cook, amateur writer and degenerate wastrel, but a huge… And I mean HUGE geek. Capital G!
I love 80s ‘wrasslin, comic books, Godzilla flicks and nostalgic video games almost as much as love shaping dumplings or searing duck breasts. So when I was researching my 2014 Holiday Guides (plural, I also have a gift guide for foragers in the works that probably won’t make it out before X-Mas) I was floored by the massive amount of geek-centric kitchen gifts available to the internet-savvy public.
Sites like Nerd Approved, Archie MacPhee’s, and Pintrest led me down a long ‘n dark rabbit hole of nerdy kitchen accessories. This stuff is serious kitsch… It’s like the internet knows me!
Holiday shopping sucks.
It should be fun and joyful, but most of it is a florescent-lit hell of shopping cart lines, tinny Sinatra music and a dull nagging doubt that you (yes you) could have done better… Could have found that perfect gift for the one you love! Instead every year is a bit of a compromise, a sell out. And every year another promise to get it right… Next year.
No longer! “Next year” is this year, and your good buddy The Internet is here to save you from another long, soul destroying slog through Wal Mart. This year you can point and click your way to the perfect gift for everyone on your list, including your buddies in the culinary industry!
A very special chicken deserves very special care, and I can think of no better technique to accentuate all the wild, bug-fed chickeny goodness of a farm chicken than en cocotte.
I got turned on to this old-school French method of cooking chicken from an old issue of Cook’s Illustrated, which touted it as one of the “Discoveries that will change the way I cook”! Well, it wasn’t quite as revolutionary as all that, but it is a great way to cook chicken.
It’s been months since that fateful morning of flat tires, generosity and surprises at the Disco Thistle Farm, but Robyn, bless her buttons, wasn’t finished with me.
On that fateful day, I was flushed with the pioneering spirit projected by her and her husband Shane. I may have said something like: “If you ever need someone to help out…”
A couple months later they needed someone to help out.
Alright, so I missed Oktoberfest.
This means that once again I’ve blown my chance to get buzzed on Bavarian lager, clad in lederhosen, publically showing my Teutonic solidarity by dancing ‘n singing like a fool. Glückliches Oktoberfest!!!
It’s cool. I’ve avoided many a St. Patrick’s Day in my time, so culturally, I’ve already got a lot to atone for. (more…)