04/15/17 9:16am
Start your Easter meal with deviled eggs surrounded by avocado, grapefruit and baby kale. (Credit: John Ross)

Start your Easter meal with deviled eggs surrounded by avocado, grapefruit and baby kale. (Credit: John Ross)

Although lamb is more commonly served in the spring and at Easter due to its long tradition dating back centuries, smoked ham is a popular second choice. This came from a scarcity of lamb in northern Europe and the tradition there of smoking and curing ham over the winter. This tradition continued in colonial America, especially in the South. Today, we continue to enjoy smoked ham as a choice for Easter.

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04/01/17 6:00am
Braised chicken with hard cider and pears. (Credit: John Ross)

Braised chicken with hard cider and pears. (Credit: John Ross)

Food and beverages affect us in many different ways and at every level of our journey through life.

We learn to eat what is around us for sustenance from a very early age. During this time we develop tastes for familiar things in our environment that are then influenced by our culture. As we grow older we discover the enjoyment of food and those who consume it with us, no matter what our circumstances are in life.

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03/18/17 6:00am
Slow-poached wild salmon with mussels and green sauce. (Credit: John Ross)

Slow-poached wild salmon with mussels and green sauce. (Credit: John Ross)

In “Walking the Poems of Ireland, Marilyn J. Middleton writes: “The landscape of Ireland became a poem upon my mind. I had seen those ghostly misty landscapes before. I had touched the ancient high crosses and felt the feelings of pilgrims long before that had touched them also. Touring Ireland was for me like going somewhere where you knew you belonged and finding some lost part of yourself …

“We arrived at the little seacoast harbor town of Dingle. … The sea here gave harvests of wild mussels, salmon, and shrimp.”

I have not traveled to Ireland, but I know the feeling that this author conveys in her book. I have experienced it in Germany when visiting the small, medieval villages that seem (more…)

03/04/17 6:00am
The humble hamburger gets special treatment, with hand-ground beef, a homemade bun, coleslaw and roasted french fries. (Credit: John Ross)

The humble hamburger gets special treatment, with hand-ground beef, a homemade bun, coleslaw and roasted french fries. (Credit: John Ross)

The hamburger is a culinary icon in the United States. It is an American symbol of a fast-moving lifestyle where convenience is king.

Its origins are in the late 19th century as immigrants populated a rapidly industrializing America. Many immigrants came from northern Europe and crossed the ocean on Hamburg America Line ships. These ships served a seasoned minced beef along with bread. This may have inspired the name of the future American sandwich of ground beef served on a bun.
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02/04/17 6:02am
Credit: Aulusgellius Flickr/https://www.flickr.com/photos/muybridge/

Credit: Aulusgellius Flickr/https://www.flickr.com/photos/muybridge/

The Southwestern cooking of Arizona and New Mexico closely resembles the cooking of Mexico. Chiles (or chili peppers) are a large part of these cuisines. Some of the more common peppers are finding their way into our supermarkets as well, as more members of our community have roots in Mexico and other Central American countries.

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01/21/17 6:00am
Braised wild ivory salmon with Peconic Bay scallops and mussels. (Credit: John Ross)

Braised wild ivory salmon with Peconic Bay scallops and mussels. (Credit: John Ross)

I received a Christmas present of 10 pounds of wild Alaskan salmon fillets, individually frozen and sealed in cryovac. The package included red king salmon, Kalgin Island king salmon and white (or ivory) king salmon. They were all high-quality, troll-caught fish that were processed and shipped via FedEx to my door. At a time of year when local fish are not in abundance, it was a timely gift. (more…)

01/07/17 6:00am

Braised lamb shanks with cannellini, cranberry and garbanzo beans. (Credit: John Ross)

Dried beans, a member of the legume family, have all the characteristics of a monumental food: They have been cultivated for some 9,000 years; the many varieties are identified with culturally significant dishes throughout the world; and they have unusual potential for improving human health.

We often pass by that long row of dried legumes in the supermarket, thinking that they are not very exciting, are hard to cook and don’t taste very good. I have discovered that using dried instead of canned beans and cooking them at low temperature for a long time produces a delicious result. Here are two recipes that will warm you up on a cold winter day. (more…)