Vazool

Brooklyn '50s street scene

A Note to My Readers — Part 2 His name was Harry. Don't think English king; instead, it's from the Yiddish "Herschel," although his three brothers, three sisters and many friends called him "Hashel." When I stared at my freckled, rusty-skinned dad as he watched Gunsmoke or smoked Chesterfields while having his cup of Chock full o'Nuts, I often thought of the Irish name Dinty Moore, the hash that came in a can. I'm watching him now as he drives the Buick Special -- bottom of the line, only three portholes -- on his weekend rounds through … [Read more...]

Learning To Cook: Frittata

Potato, scallion, mushroom, sweet onion and Parmesan frittata

  Eggs, and recipes for eggs, are paradoxical. That shouldn't seem so at first. An egg will do a certain thing when placed near, or mixed with, another thing, and do that thing at a certain temperature for a certain amount of time. Which is what all ingredients do. But actually, as lucky four-year-olds know, eggs are full of surprises. Eggs are also full of doubt. Their clichéd purity of form is challenged by the slippery dualism of yolk versus white, which is why there's something sad, even destructive, when you take a fork or whisk … [Read more...]

Condiment Time-Travel

Who Invented Crab Louis? It's almost pink, not a pretty-in-pink pink but a sickly, Pepto pink. Neither liquid nor solid, it crawls from server to plate like lava, lava with chunks. I know what those chunks are, because I chopped and diced green pepper, green onion, and green olive to create them. Sure, I licked that spoon. But in the time it took for my palate to awaken, before I could compute the flavor and register my pleasure and approval -- the taste was right, in the certain way that a blend of wrong things can be right -- I … [Read more...]